Filing Electronically

The USPTO has simplified the process for filing a design patent electronically and the process is faster and ultimately less expensive than filing a paper application (the USPTO will soon implement a higher fee rate for paper applications). If you plan to file electronically, you will need to save your drawings as a PDF (or set of PDFS), and you will need to save your Specification as a PDF. Most word processing programs can do the latter, and most image programs such as Photoshop can accomplish the former.

You start at the EFS home page (click here) and choose "eFile Unregistered" under Patent Electronic Filing. (We're assuming you're not a registered efiler with the USPTO.)

EFS1

On the next screen (above), provide your first and last name and choose New Application. Then choose Design. Then choose NonProvisional Application.

EFS2

On the next screen (above), provide the name of your design and your contact information.

EFS3

The next screen (above) is where you do your uploading of PDFs. Under Category, choose Application Part and from the next drop down choose either Drawings or Specification, depending on which document you are uploading. When you're finished, click Upload and Validate on the bottom of the screen.

EFS4

The next screen should indicate that your files have "passed" and have been "validated." If not, you will be given instructions on how to correct problems.

EFS5

Finally, choose the fees that you will be paying. (You must pay the filing fee and we recommend paying for the search and exam fees at the same time.) Click Calculate and then click Continue.

On the next screen you will be asked to submit your application and finally you will be taken to a site to pay by credit card. The USPTO will not commence activity on your application until the fees are paid. You will receive an electronic receipt and proof of filing.

© 2012 Rich Stim