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USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system

Ken

USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« on: January 03, 2014, 12:14:18 AM »
I've finally filed my Provisional Patent Apps tonight! Yayy! Now have to wait for that acceptance letter.

But what a headache! I'm on a Mac running the latest OS 10.9.1 (Mavericks). That EFS-Web process first required me to install Acrobat Reader, which has always been hated by Apple engineers. It installs a plug-in for Safari browser, which may or may not be the problem. There's no other way to fill out those PDF forms.

Now, are these problems?

1. The eFiled acknowledgment I got shows WARNINGS (yellow triangle) "this is not a USPTO supplied blah blah blah form" even though they are!

2. There's no way to digitally sign the Provisional Cover Sheet (SB16) or Application Data Sheet in Acrobat unless I go to another third party (fourth party?) called EchoSign and subscribe to their service at $15 per month! That's not right! I can easily sign PDFs with Apple's Preview app.

3. My previous correspondence with USPTO was the application for a Customer Number. They could NOT read any content in the Acrobat-filled application that I had FAXed to them! I ultimately had to use a totally different way to convert the PDF, fill it, sign it, FAX it, then call them up to be sure that they've received it, that they see the proper contents, my signature, etc. This is evidence that Acrobat-filled PDF forms may not show contents properly!

So should I be happy or should I be worried?

Brad

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Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 12:34:41 PM »
I think you should be fine. 

The yellow (warnings) are usually okay as long as a human can open and read your pdf files.

I agree about the adobe/pdf process.  I (and many others) try to circumvent this by using free pdf conversion programs that essentially let you "print to pdf" (for example I use a program called PrimoPDF).   This tricks the patent office's program and they are not able to read the pdfs electronically so you do not get any errors.  An alternative to this is to print the documents out on paper, then scan them using a scanner as a pdf file.

The proper way to electronically sign a form with the patent office is to type your name between two forward slash marks.  For example:
/Mickey Mouse/

My free patent template: https://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

Hire Me:  https://patentfile.org/packages/

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Ken

Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 04:30:24 PM »
Thanks, Brad, for the reassurance.

When I say that I can easily sign PDFs with Apple's Preview app, I'm saying exactly what you're suggesting — "circumvent this by using free PDF conversion programs..."

PDF is very common. It's broadly accepted. There are many ways to download them, open them, fill them, even sign them. Preview in Mac OS, for example, has an intuitive little procedure where you first physically sign black ink on white paper, then hold up your piece of paper to your Mac's FaceTime camera. There's a blue line that, once you position your paper near enough, it takes a clear snapshot, and VOILA. You've got an instant, up-to-date, real signature to paste into your PDF! It's quick, robust, reliable, stable, printable, small file size.

However, it DOES NOT trick the patent office's program!

Even without doing the little signature feature, any PDF saved from any "free PDF conversion program" other than Adobe Acrobat gets a ERROR (red triangle), and EFS-Web won't take me to the next step. So I had no choice. Believe me I've tried so many different ways. But this was only for the Cover Sheet SB16 and App Data Sheet — both requiring line items to be filled out and requiring a signature at the end — in Adobe Acrobat only.

This is what I mean by extremely limited.

Yes I did the /FirstName LastName/ thing for signature. So hopefully I don't wait (for the postal mailed receipt) in vain.

Brad

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Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 12:23:28 PM »
They (the USPTO) is making some progress in this regard.   They were late to the table allowing electronic filings and it was a lot harder back then.   I am just happy they allow PDFs to be used at all.  They used to only accept xml documents so you would have to mark up all your files in XML format first before you could submit anything.  This would often take 5+ hours for a simple document so most people found it easier to go to the post office and mail it in.

My free patent template: https://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Ken

Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 08:42:46 PM »
Apparently it's okay!

Today I've received the filing receipts. I had filed two, therefore two receipts. Less than 10 days turnaround. Not bad.

Brad

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Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 02:40:17 PM »
Wow.  That is great!
My free patent template: https://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Ishwar

Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 07:43:52 AM »
Hey Brad

I must say that following your blog and video made the provisional patent filing process a complete breeze. I was also stuck at the yellow errors, but just saw that it wasn't as big a worry. I filed today and wanted to let you know that you were a phenomenal help.

Thanks a ton for putting the info out there in such a clear and concise manner

Brad

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Re: USPTO or EFS-Web's extremely limited PDF system
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 10:04:16 AM »
Hey Brad

I must say that following your blog and video made the provisional patent filing process a complete breeze. I was also stuck at the yellow errors, but just saw that it wasn't as big a worry. I filed today and wanted to let you know that you were a phenomenal help.

Thanks a ton for putting the info out there in such a clear and concise manner


Thanks!
My free patent template: https://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

Hire Me:  https://patentfile.org/packages/

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.