Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

USPTO Notice of Document Faxed Upside Down.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on February 10, 2010

Per a pair of articles recently published by Erik Sherman at, found here and here, an applicant recently received the following notice when attempting to fax papers to the USPTO.

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Notice of Document Faxed Upside Down

Your request to record a document in the United States Patent and Trademark Office was received via electronic fax on [date and time in 2010 omitted].

The faxed submission was received upside down. We are unable to continue processing these images.

Please resubmit your document.

If you have any questions, you may contact our customer service center at [number omitted].

Office of Public Records

After publishing these articles, the author Erik Sherman later received a message from Peter Pappas, Chief Communications Officer at the USPTO.  The message stated:

This error, which affects a fraction of documents filed by fax, is due to antiquated software that is scheduled to be replaced next month. Our current software cannot read pages that are faxed in the wrong direction and consequently generates an automatic error message. The vast majority of filings are received electronically and are unaffected by this problem. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to fax filers and urge them to ensure that faxed pages are correctly oriented as we work to resolve this problem.

One Response

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  1. genamason said, on February 15, 2010 at 4:56 am

    No wonder the US patent law system is in such disarray (at least at the filing stage). One hopes that, with their new budget, the USPTO will be able to bankroll the new software.

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