PASAT Patent Appln Spec Authoring Tool

Using a contractor, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has implemented an Electronic Filing System (EFS) for securely electronically filing both provisional and non-provisional utility patent applications via the Internet. To file electronically one must prepare the application with a special free, downloadable editor kit called PASAT (Patent Application Specification Authoring Tool), downloadable from the USPTO. An add-on to Microsoft Word 97, PASAT assembles the application into an open-standard XML (Extensible Markup Language) ) format for electronic submission by an additional free, downloadable program called ePave (electronic packaging and validation engine), which provides encryption and an electronic signature. For WordPerfect users, a template for authoring specifications is also downloadable.

Because PASAT takes time to learn and has some bugs, it is not yet popular with patent attorneys. To promote its use and electronic filing, the USPTO recently entered into contractual "EFS partnerships" with several leading companies already offering patent docketing and managment software. These companies have agreed to incorporate PASAT and ePave electronic filing into their docketing and management software, adding ease-of-use enhancements.


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