Professional Liability risks of filing in DOCX

Carl Oppedahl has been focused on the USPTO’s electronic filing and docketing system for several decades. Most recently, he has been calling out the USPTO for “pants-on-fire lies” about the workability of the DOCX standard.  The PTO plans to institute a $400 surcharge for those who fail to use DOCX starting at the end of June 2023.

Oppedahl is presenting two webinars on the topic, focusing on professional liability risks associated with the new process and some tips for reducing the risks:

Professional Liability Risks of Filing in DOCX – for users of Microsoft Word.  Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 10 AM to 11:30 AM Mountain Time.  Executive summary from 10 AM to 10:40 AM, details from 10:40 AM to 11:30 AM.  For more information, or to register, click here.

Professional Liability Risks of Filing in DOCX – for users of non-Microsoft word processors.  Friday, May 12, 2023, 10AM to 11:30 AM Mountain Time.   Executive summary from 10 AM to 10:40 AM, details from 10:40 AM to 11:30 AM.   For more information, or to register, click here.

9 thoughts on “Professional Liability risks of filing in DOCX

  1. 7

    I took the webinar today and it was an eye-opener to be sure. Most of my clients are small entity so it may be worth it for the risk management aspect to file pdf and pay the $160 surcharge ($400 for large entity).

  2. 6

    Oppendahl is a credit to the legal profession. There is something definitely wrong with the USPTO if they don’t take his concerns seriously. Time to lobby Congress again folks to get the USPTO back in line.

    1. 6.1

      Fitch Evens is having a free webinar of the nightmare problems Docx filing. Another webinar on the problem.

  3. 5

    I attended Oppendahl’s webinar in April on .docx filing – well worth the time.

    One point that was emphasized is that the USPTO does not keep the file that was actually submitted.

    I don’t understand why they will not do that or at least provide some sort of hash value for the received file that could be compared with the sent file to prove that they are identical.

  4. 4

    Could E&O carriers raise rates on DOCX filers?

    Hope not; but if client DOCX suits ratchet up in the years to come . . .

    While a $400 surcharge is obscene, it could make for relatively cheap insurance (perhaps client / counsel could split it?)

    Why would the PTO institute something so fraught with obvious and well-documented problems?

    Why Kathi? Why?

    This is just plain nuts.

  5. 3

    About a year ago, Schwegman firm uploaded a presentation to YouTube that discusses some of the risks, problems, etc with DOCX filing. Not trying to dissuade anyone from attending Carl’s seminars, just providing some additional context.
    link to

    1. 3.1

      This is Fine.

  6. 2

    I attended the MS Word session in April 2023. It is free to attendees due to sponsorship. Mr. Oppendahl does an excellent job of presenting the many pitfalls of filing in DOCX. If you are filing US patent applications, I recommend you go.

  7. 1

    Oppedahl’s efforts have been Extensive (and draws upon volunteer efforts of a host of practitioners).

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