PTO's Patent Application Electronic Filing System & Software

 by David S. Guttman, Guttman Patent Office

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) uses contractors such as Lockheed Martin to implement its Electronic Filing System (EFS) for filing both Provisional and Non-Provisional utility patent applications via the Internet. To file electronically one must prepare the application with an 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.  Drawings must converted to a specified  B&W TIFF image file format. Then the XML documents are electronically filed by a program called ePave (electronic packaging and validation engine), which provides encryption and an electronic signature. For WordPerfect users, a WP XML template and WP Authoring Manual are also downloadable.

The EFS software works only with Win 95, 98, NT, and 2000 platforms, but there are workarounds for Win ME & XP.  The current EFS software tools will NOT work with Win 3.1, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, OS/2, UNIX, and DOS platforms.

Here are some helpful non-USPTO links about using PASAT:

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