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Archived updates for Friday, August 06, 2004

USPTO Certified Copies Now in Electronic Format

According to a notice posted by the USPTO on August 5, 2004, all copies of patent documents that are purchased under 37 CFR 1.19 and produced from the Image File Wrapper system (for applications filed on or after June 28, 2003) will now be provided only as certified electronic files. These electronic files are digitally signed by the USPTO for authenticity and integrity, and include an imaged certification statement as part of a digitally signed portable document format (PDF) file containing tag image file format (TIFF) images of the document pages. They may be ordered and downloaded from the USPTO website or obtained from the USPTO on compact disc. Informal copies may still be downloaded at no charge from the USPTO's Patent Application Image Retrieval (PAIR) website.

Applicants must print the certified copies to paper if required by the intellectual property office to which it is submitted. Should another intellectual property office not accept such a paper or electronic certified copy of a patent application, upon presentation of a notice of non-acceptance by the that office, the USPTO will provide a substitute paper copy. The substitute paper copy will include a letter addressed to the foreign office, and signed by an official of the USPTO, indicating that the certified copy of the application as filed is to be accepted under Article 4 of the Paris Convention. Since the USPTO will no longer bind or rivet paper certified copies of patent applications as filed or file wrappers and contents, copies produced by the Office will be identical to copies printed by an applicant from the electronic certified copy.
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