With the release of EFS-Web 1.1 on < ?xml:namespace prefix ="" st1 />October 14, 2006, the USPTO has streamlined the filing of sequence listings for practitioners and patentees. The prior version of EFS-Web was limited because it allowed submission of files in .pdf format only and was not enabled to handle sequence listings, which are typically written as text files (.txt). The latest version of EFS-Web overcomes this limitation and allows practitioners to submit electronically files such as sequence listings, computer program listings, and mega tables. This eliminates the need to submit these types of files on supplemental electronic media (e.g., CD-R, 3.5″ disk, etc.), which avoided fees relating to application size (currently $250 for large entities and $125 for small entities per 50 pages after the first 100).< ?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />
According to sources at the USPTO Electronic Business Center, the requirements of Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (37 C.F.R. §§ 1.52(e), 1.821-1.825) have been relaxed for sequence listings that are filed using EFS-Web 1.1. Specifically, filers need only submit a single .txt file containing the sequence listing and an amendment that incorporates the sequence listing into the specification. Practitioners no longer need to include the compliance statement under 37 C.F.R. § 1.821(f) or the paper copy of the sequence listing (or the duplicate copies of the sequence listing on CD-R in lieu of a paper copy) when filing sequence listings using EFS-Web. However, the USPTO recommends that filers include a statement that the content of the sequence listing does not extend beyond the original disclosure (i.e., does not contain new matter), either as a separate document, or as a part of the “Applicant arguments/remarks made in an Amendment” section of a response.
For the time being, the USPTO will also accept sequence listings filed through EFS-Web 1.1 in a .pdf format; however the practice is strongly discouraged, since the USPTO must convert such .pdf files to .txt files to accommodate the sequence listing in its database. As a result, filing sequence listings in .pdf format creates the possibility that conversion could introduce errors in the sequence that could compromise its capacity to be accurately processed and searched, and could even affect sufficiency of disclosure under 35 U.S.C. § 112.
NOTE: This USPTO News Update was written by Christopher Singer. Chris has a PhD in bio-inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University and is a patent attorney at MBHB.