Preliminary Amendments

Have you ever pressed “Send” on an email, and then a few horrible seconds later realized you left out a phone number or gruesomely typoed the recipient’s name?

Well, doing it on USPTO’s EFS-Web while submitting an application feels way worse — there’s the hard-line rule about “no new matter” in amended applications, right?

Right — but with one exception. The USPTO realizes that typos and mistakes happen. If you catch the mistake immediately, you can file a preliminary amendment. If made on the day of filing before midnight EST, preliminary amendments are considered part of the original disclosure. Thus, any “new” (or corrected) material is not considered “new matter.”

To file a preliminary amendment, you need a cover sheet and a (properly) amended specification. Make sure you get the formats correct!

Cover Sheet
The cover sheet should include specific application information. It must be labeled “preliminary amendment” when you attach it in EFS-Web.

preliminary amendment cover sheetAmended Specification
Include your changes, titled “Amendments to the Specification.” Only include the paragraphs which have changes. Deletions must be shown as strikeouts and insertions are shown as underlined text.

For example:

[086] The brilligslithy toves gyre and gimble throughout the tulgey woodin the wabe. The weather was horrible.All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

File the amended specification as a “miscellaneous incoming letter” in EFS-Web.

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