Beginning the first of 2022, the USPTO will require submitting patent apps in the docx format. Well, technically not quite true- apps will still be accepted in pdf format but will cost extra. The process of uploading docx files will come with some new features that will show any errors in the formatting prior to submission, so changes can be made. The PTO says this will make it easier for them to extract the content internally.
Since our applications are created on Word, this will save a step in having to convert them to pdfs prior to submission, and should help eliminate font-not-included, content, and layer errors.
The Patent Office is currently hosting online training classes that demonstrate how the new system works.
To learn more, check out the USPTO’s page here.