EFS-Web - General - Process - Other - Other

Yes, you can file your assignments online through the Electronic Patent Assignment System (EPAS) at: http://epas.uspto.gov/.

Misindexing may delay processing of your application.

This is the current established procedure under which the examination of a patent application may be accelerated. Guidelines for Applicants under the Guidelines for Applicants under the New Accelerated Examination Procedure located at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/accelerated/ state you must file the application via EFS-Web.

You will receive the filing receipt by mail via the United States Postal Service.

Yes, you can file your assignments online through the Electronic Patent Assignment System (EPAS) at: http://epas.uspto.gov/.

Misindexing may delay processing of your application.

This is the current established procedure under which the examination of a patent application may be accelerated. Guidelines for Applicants under the Guidelines for Applicants under the New Accelerated Examination Procedure located at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/accelerated/ state you must file the application via EFS-Web.

You will receive the filing receipt by mail via the United States Postal Service.

EFS-Web - Formats, Forms & PDF Files - General - Other - Other

No. The ADS only needs to be signed if a request for nonpublication is indicated.

No. The ADS only needs to be signed if a request for nonpublication is indicated.

EFS-Web - General - Other

Yes. If you are filing a new application, you may utilize EFS-Web as an unregistered user if you are filing from the US or another country as a pro se inventor or registered U.S. patent attorney. For a filer to submit follow-on documents from a foreign country, the filer must be a registered user and the document must be signed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b).

No, the EFS-Web does not validate actual document content.

No, all applicants are invited to participate in the AE program providing they meet the filing requirements. See Accelerated Examination for more information at http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/accelerated/

Accelerated Examination can be filed for Design and Non-Reissue Utility applications.

Continuations and Divisionals are considered new applications and should be filed as new applications in EFS-Web. Specific continuity data should be stated in the Application Data Sheet (ADS) or in the first sentence of the specification.

No. Certified copies of priority documents should be submitted by mail. When a document that is required by statute to be certified must be filed, a copy, including a photocopy or facsimile transmission, of the certification is not acceptable. See 37 CFR 1.6(d)(2). An example of such a submission is a certified copy of a foreign patent application filed pursuant to 35 USC 119 or a certified copy of an international application filed pursuant to 35 USC 365. Note, however that it may be possible for the USPTO to retrieve an electronic copy of a priority document through the priority document exchange program. See 37 CFR 1.55(d).

No. As a registered-filer, however, you may file an express abandonment as a follow-on paper to abandon the submission.

After a filed provisional patent application is accorded a filing date, one is permitted to apply the term "Patent Pending" to products for which the patent application has been filed. After a filed nonprovisional patent application is accorded a filing date, one is permitted to apply the term "Patent Pending" to products for which the patent application has been filed as long as the nonprovisional patent application is pending.

E-mail addresses are used for identification purposes only.

EFS-Web does not accept plant applications.

Applications under the Accelerated Examination Program and Pre-Grant Publication requests.

Please view our EFS-Web Help and Tutorial page on the USPTO website located at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/efs_help.html

Go to www.uspto.gov, click on Patents on the left hand side of the screen, and click on File Online in EFS-Web.

This petition does include an option to change entity status.

Yes, inventors may use an electronic signature pursuant to 37 CFR 1.4(d)(2) such as on the oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63. The requirements for an electronic signature, however, are in addition to and do not substitute for the signature requirements specific to 37 CFR 1.63. Thus, an inventor seeking to S-sign a declaration pursuant to 37 CFR 1.63 must meet the signature requirements of both 37 CFR 1.63 and 37 CFR 1.4(d)(2). Pro se inventors can use S-signatures to sign replies to Office actions.

Yes, you may file design reissue and utlity reissue through EFS Web.

All communications between the end user's computer and the USPTO are encrypted and stored in a secure USPTO database.

A registered user can save submissions, submit follow-on applications, and view submitted applications in Private PAIR almost immediately after submission.

No. EFS-Web is only authorized for filing official submissions. However, please visit the EFS-Web Help and Tutorial Page located at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/efs_help.html for assistance with filing on EFS-Web.

E-mail EFS Feedback Mailbox at EFSFeedback@uspto.gov.

Registered and Unregistered eFilers may file new Accelerated Exam, Design, Design Reissue, International Application for filing in the US receiving office, Provisional, Reexam, Utility (Utility under 35 USC 111 (a)), Utility Reissue, U.S. National Stage applications under 35 USC 371, ASCII text files (sequence listing, computer listings, mega tables, mathematical formulae, chemical formulae, and 3D protein crystal structures), and Petition under 37 CFR 1.378(c). Registered eFilers may also file follow-on documents and/or fees for previously filed applications, and Pre-grant publications.

Yes. EFS-Web is integrated with Private and Public PAIR. By becoming a Registered e-filer (someone who has a Digital Certificate), EFS-Web submissions are available for viewing in Private PAIR within hours.

Unlike USPTO's original electronic filing tool, PASAT, and its follow on, ABX, EFS-Web is not a patent application authoring tool, but simply a means allowing you to easily and quickly submit patent applications and related documents electronically as PDF attachments. You choose the tool, process and workflow with which you author your documents; the only requirement is that prior to submitting them via EFS-Web, you first convert them to PDF files.

EFS-Web is a web-based patent application and document submission solution that utilizes standard web-based screens and prompts to enable you to submit portable document format (PDF) files, ASCII text files, or a PCT-Easy Zip file directly to the USPTO.

EFS-Web offers you the ability to file patent applications and other patent documents electronically in a fraction of the time and at substantially less cost than paper filings. You forgo printing, postage, courier costs, and you receive immediate notification that your submission has been received. Unlike paper filings, most new applications submitted electronically can be viewed in Private PAIR within an hour after filing.

EFS-Web - Digital Certificate - General - Other - Other

A PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) certificate is a digital certificate issued by the USPTO to registered patent attorneys, registered patent agents, independent inventors, and limited recognition practitioners. The PKI certificate ensures your transmission via EFS-Web against unauthorized viewing, and allows you to view recent submissions in Private PAIR. More information regarding the use of Public Key Infrastructure and how to obtain a digital certificate is available at the Patent Electronic Business Center web page at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/ under "Register Now". It is recommended that EFS users obtain a customer number and digital certificate as soon as possible so that USPTO can provide them with the most complete information and support with regard to their applications as possible.

A PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) certificate is a digital certificate issued by the USPTO to registered patent attorneys, registered patent agents, independent inventors, and limited recognition practitioners. The PKI certificate ensures your transmission via EFS-Web against unauthorized viewing, and allows you to view recent submissions in Private PAIR. More information regarding the use of Public Key Infrastructure and how to obtain a digital certificate is available at the Patent Electronic Business Center web page at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/ under "Register Now". It is recommended that EFS users obtain a customer number and digital certificate as soon as possible so that USPTO can provide them with the most complete information and support with regard to their applications as possible.

EFS-Web - Process - Other

Continuation of divisional patent applications can be designated in the specification or the Application Data Sheet. This continuity information will not be present on the acknowledgement receipt.

No. The documents that are submitted through EFS-Web are sufficient.

Yes, you will receive an EFS ID, Application Number, and Confirmation Number on the acknowledgment receipt that is generated at the time of filing.

EFS-Web - Process - Troubleshooting - Other - Other

After one hour of inactivity, users will be asked if they would like to extend their session. If no action is taken, the user will time out of the session and lose any unsaved information.

After one hour of inactivity, users will be asked if they would like to extend their session. If no action is taken, the user will time out of the session and lose any unsaved information.

EFS-Web - Formats, Forms & PDF Files - Process - Other - Other

When filing a new application by EFS-Web, a signed transmittal form or a signed application data sheet (ADS) is recommended for identification purposes. However, a signature is not required for a transmittal form or ADS to obtain a filing date for a new patent application.

The provisional application will be considered incomplete, and the Office of Initial Patent Examination will issue a Notice of Missing Parts.

Auto-loading is the process of automatically extracting data from the USPTO fillable forms and loading the data into USPTO databases.

When filing a new application by EFS-Web, a signed transmittal form or a signed application data sheet (ADS) is recommended for identification purposes. However, a signature is not required for a transmittal form or ADS to obtain a filing date for a new patent application.

Auto-loading is the process of automatically extracting data from the USPTO fillable forms and loading the data into USPTO databases.

The provisional application will be considered incomplete, and the Office of Initial Patent Examination will issue a Notice of Missing Parts.

EFS-Web - Formats, Forms & PDF Files - Other

No, the fillable forms are provided for your convenience. They are not required.

The size varies based on the PDF creation tool used, whether the PDF is text-based or image-based, and the number of pages in the document.

The fillable forms are provided for your convenience, however they are not required. You may scan and attach a completed non-fillable form in EFS-Web.

They are located on the forms page

No, you must still submit the supplemental ADS with markups, underlining for additions and strikeouts for deletions.

The Application Data Sheet fillable form includes a number of fields at the top of each page. These fields are treated as part of the header, and are automatically populated based on information entered in other parts of the form.

When creating the document that will be converted to PDF format, do not include hyperlinks to files or WebPages. In addition, all fonts need to be embedded.

The main advantage is that they are auto-loaded meaning that they do not need to be manually processed, which eliminates errors and provides your information to the USPTO in the exact format that you intended. Please note: If you print and scan this document, then it will not be auto-loaded.

A multi-doc PDF is a single file that contains more than one document description. If the PDF attached, is a multi-doc document (i.e. the file includes the description, claims, abstract and drawings), please enter the document description and page start and page end for each section.

A form-fillable PDF is any form that is downloadable from the USPTO website that allows the USPTO to load data directly into a USPTO database that is used to process forms so that the same information can appear in the Patent Application Information Retreival (PAIR) system. By extracting the data directly from the Form-Fillable PDFs, EFS-Web users can minimize rework and improve data accuracy.

See EFS Forms to access the form-fillable PDFs that are currently available to EFS-Web users.

Subject matter is a characteristic the USPTO applies to the new filings we receive. An application may be a utility application, a design application, or a plant application. At this time, EFS-Web does not accept plant applications.

No, as long as Adobe Reader 7.0.8 or greater is used.

The latest versions of USPTO fillable forms are available for download from EFS Forms.

EFS-Web - Fees & Payments - Other

No, the old payment process has been replaced with Financial Manager as of October 17th, 2016.

IE 11, Firefox 42. While Chrome 46 is supported in Financial Manager, EFS-Web does not support Chrome 46. For more info, see EFS-Web System Requirements

We recommend that you pay as a guest; the guest options include credit card, deposit account, and EFT (until June 30). You will have to manually enter the account and access code for DA, the EFT profile name / password, or card information for payment.

After submitting the payment, you will be redirected to EFS-Web where a receipt will be presented as confirmation of submission. There will also be links to E-mail, Print, or Save the receipt.

The option to set up a fee preauthorization (also known as a general authorization) is only available to signed-in users who have the Fee Payer permission for a stored deposit account in Financial Manager.

No, your uspto.gov account credentials are not the same as your PKI certificate credentials. The uspto.gov account is a new sign-in service that will eventually allow you to access various USPTO tools online. It is currently replacing the deposit account number/access code and EFT profile name/password credentials required to pay fees. It also allows you to sign in to Financial Manager and the Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront. As other USPTO online tools connect to the uspto.gov accounts, it will continue to gradually consolidate various USPTO sign-ins.

No, the only changes you’ll see are in the payment process. For a limited time, the Pay Fees screen in EFS-Web will offer the option for you to check out using the old system or the new USPTO payment page. Eventually, this will be phased out and all EFS-Web customers will use the new USPTO payment page to check out.  

The page will redirect to the new Payment Page sign in screen. There will be options to “Sign in” or “Pay as Guest.” Customers that already have uspto.gov accounts can sign in and select to use a stored payment method from Financial Manager. If you do not have a uspto.gov account or do not have a stored payment method in Financial Manager, we recommend you select Pay as Guest. If you wish to set up a uspto.gov account and store a payment method in Financial Manager, we recommend doing so at a later time, as EFS-Web may time out by the time you create an account and add a stored payment method.

EFS-Web - Troubleshooting - Other

Yes. These documents will be treated identically to other submissions filed by paper.

Caution: It has been found that ABXPDF may create blank pages at the beginning and end of your document; this will not affect the review process of your application. There is also a possibility that content could be lost in the conversion to PDF, which will affect the review process of you application. If ABXPDF is your preferred PDF creation tool, please carefully review your PDF content before you submit. You may want to consider choosing another PDF Writer to create your PDF Files; click here for additional options.

Contact the EBC (866-217-9197) for alternative methods of payment.

Yes, the incorrect drawings will remain in the application file and will be included in a copy of the application-as-filed. Thus, if an applicant wishes to have an application without the wrong drawings, the applicant should file a totally new application (e.g., new specification including claims(s) and fees) comprising the correct drawings, and, if desired, expressly abandon the original application.

Call the EBC at 866-217-9197. Do NOT attempt to re-submit your information.

Please make sure you are using the latest version of the forms located at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/portal/forms.htm.

You may print the PDF as an image PDF file.

1. Open your PDF and select 'Print'. Then select your PDF printer in the Printer Name drop down list.
2. Select the 'Advanced' tab at the lower left-hand corner of the splash window.
3. Select the checkbox, 'Print to Image'.
4. Browse to the location you want the new image PDF file to be saved.
5. You can now attach the form in EFS-Web without the 'Embedded Font' error message.

Yes, because your browser parses the data in a different manner than your text reader.

An applicant may correct an error by filing a missing item(s) on the same day as the submission date of the application to avoid surcharges.

  • Remove the PDF file;
  • Correct the problem identified in the error message;
  • Save the PDF file;
  • Attach it in EFS-Web; and
  • Validate it again.

Yes.

Yes, please refer to the legal framework located at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/portal/efs/legal.htm for more information.

Yes. However, you may not submit correspondence via EFS-Web if you receive an error.

If you forget to index a document, a message will be displayed on the screen indicating that a document description must be chosen for each attached file> You will not be able to continue with your submission until document descriptions are selected for each attached file. However, if you incorrectly index a document, the error will be corrected by USPTO personnel. You may also contact the EBC to notify them of the indexing error to expedite the document being correct indexed.

Contact the EBC:
1-866-217-9197 (toll-free)
or 571-272-4100 (local)
ebc@uspto.gov

If you went to a previous screen in EFS-Web using the Navigation tab, updated the information and did not click continue, that information will not be saved. The navigation tabs should be utilized to go back, and the continue button should be used to save and go forward.

Do not resubmit your application. Please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197.

If you are a registered user, you may go back into EFS-Web under 'My Workplace' to view your last 20 submissions. If you see your submission but cannot open a hyperlink to it, it has been received. You should have access to that application via a hyperlinked receipt in approximately four hours. If you do not see your submission under 'My Workplace' anywhere, do not resubmit your application. Please contact the Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197.

This is an indication that you do not have a supported version of JAVA installed or enabled properly on your computer. Please refer to our JAVA Instructions for more information or call the Patent EBC at 866-217-9197 for assistance.

This error message usually indicates that your network settings are interfering with the system's login functionality. First, make sure that the correct version of JAVA is installed. Also, be sure that SSL and TLS security options are checked in this same spot. It may also be a connection issue caused by a proxy or firewall. Network configuration information can be found on our website. Proxy settings will need to be applied to both the browser and JAVA control panel.

The official copy of the file is what is rendered in IFW. If the original filing for the application was made via EFS-Web, any characters used in the bibliographic data outside the normal keyboard set may become unreadable. When filing the initial filing through EFS-Web, special characters are allowed within the EFS-Web Application Data screen and in the Application Data Sheet fillable form for the Title of Invention and theName of the First Inventor. However, due to legacy systems that have encoding issues with translating special characters such as ©, ®, „¢, œ etc., these special characters may be rendered incorrectly on the acknowledgement receipt on subsequent filings. To correct such rendering issues please use the traditional methods such as filing a Correction of Filing Receipt through OIPE or submitting a Bibliographic Data Change request through Private PAIR to the Patent EBC.

If the original filing for the application was made via EFS-Web, any characters used in the bibliographic data outside the normal keyboard set may become unreadable. When filing the initial filing through EFS-Web, special characters are allowed within the EFS-Web Application Data screen for the Title of Invention and the Name of the First Inventor. However due to legacy systems that have encoding issues with translating special characters such as ©, ®, „¢, œ etc. these special characters may be rendered incorrectly on the acknowledgement receipt on subsequent filings. To correct such rendering issues, please use the traditional methods such as filing a Correction of Filing Receipt through OIPE or submitting a Bibliographic Data Change request through Private PAIR to the Patent EBC. The USPTO is working to correct this issue in future releases of EFS-Web.

This error message usually indicates that the password supplied does not match the password for the certificate. Make sure that the digital certificate being used is the most recent one. Also, ensure that the password you are typing meets the requirements for authentication purposes. If you are unable to find the correct .epf file, or cannot remember the password, codes will need to be reissued to recover the profile. Please contact the EBC at 866-217-9197 for help in recovering your profile.

Yellow triangles [warning - yellow triangle] indicate that a warning message is associated with the PDF file.

Red inverted triangles [error - red inverted triangle] indicate that an error has been found in the PDF file. You cannot proceed with submission when the red error triangle appears.

Yes. EFS-Web will automatically validate the file types and data entered on the web screens and tell you before you submit your application if it meets USPTO standards.

EFS-Web - Digital Certificate - Other

There is no automatic notification. Customers should contact the EBC for renewal information by calling 1-866-217-9197.

Only one copy of the digital certificate will be renewed through the automatic update process. Any other copy, on a customer's alternate computer or disk drive, will not be renewed. Copies not renewed will stop working when the certificate was originally set to expire. Customers may make copies of the renewed certificate.

The customer should contact the EBC, who will reissue the authorization code and reference number. Reissue should take five to six business days.

The certificate expires 27 months after it was originally issued or recovered. If the customer uses the digital certificate during the last 100 days of this time period, the certificate will be updated automatically. Once updated, the certificate will be renewed for another 27 months. This renewal process continues indefinitely. If the certificate is not used by the customer during that 100-day period, it will expire and the customer must use either self recovery or must have an EBC-assisted recovery.

If you have lost your digital certificate or can no longer access EFS-Web using your current certificate, please contact the EBC by phone at 866-217-9197 or by E-mail at EBC@uspto.gov.

Yes, a USPTO certificate may be used by an employee who is a US citizen and who is located within the US, but who is not co-located with the certificate holder as long as the employee is actually acting at the direction and under the control of the certificate holder as is required by the United States Patent and Trademark Office Public Key Infrastructure Subscriber Agreement.

No. The "designated employee" in the United States Patent and Trademark Office Public Key Infrastructure Subscriber Agreement must be an employee of the certificate holder's organization. Thus, the person cannot be employed by a third party providing services to the certificate holder's organization, a person contracting to provide services to the certificate holder's organization, or a person contracting to provide services to the certificate holders. If the person using the PKI certificate (user) is not actually an employee of the certificate holder's organization, the user is not under the control of the certificate holder. Further, interpreting the term "designated employee" to include a non-employee is not only inconsistent with the common meaning of the word "employee", but also gives the certificate holder the ability to deny knowing what is occurring. In addition, if the user is not an employee, the certificate holder may have no way of knowing if the user is an alien or person in a foreign country. Accordingly, export control issues also mandate that the answer to this question is "no".

Yes, digital certificates issued by the USPTO Certification Authority allow access to both EFS-Web and Private PAIR.

Yes, digital certficates stay with the digital certificate holder.

EFS-Web - EAR - Other

The certification is administered by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The BIS administrates technology and software included in or intended for filing in patent applications that may be subject to U.S. dual-use export controls as set forth in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Access to this technology may require a license from the BIS. Further information may be obtained from the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website www.bis.doc.gov or by contacting the BIS Office of Exporter Services at 1-202-482-4811.

Information regarding U.S. export controls and their application to technology and software included in patent applications is available from the BIS. Please visit the BIS website www.bis.doc.gov or contact BIS's Office of Exporter Services at 1-202-482-4811.

Yes. Private PAIR allows anyone associated with a customer number to view patent application information before the application has received a foreign filing license. Thus, persons located outside the United States or a foreign national inside the United States can view patent application information prior to the issuance of a foreign filing license. Access to such technology and/or software by any person located outside the U.S. or by a foreign national inside the U.S. constitutes an export that may require a license from the U.S. Users of Private PAIR will be required to certify in the future that they are using the digital certificate for access in a manner that doesn't violate or circumvent the EAR.

EFS-Web includes a feature that allows registered users to save submissions and to view the last 40 acknowledgement receipts for a limited amount of time. This information may be viewed by an employee who can use a practitioner's digital certificate to access saved submissions and to view the last 40 acknowledgement receipts. Access to such technology and/or software by any person located outside the U.S. or by a foreign national inside the U.S. constitutes an export that may require a license from the U.S. Further information may be obtained from the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website www.bis.doc.gov or by contacting the BIS Office of Exporter Services at 1-202-482-4811.

EFS-Web - Contingency - Other

No. EFS-Web Contingency is a production system and a submitted application will be processed as if it was filed through our primary EFS-Web system. Users are advised that the USPTO may revoke a user's digital PKI certificate or block a user's IP address if the user makes an improper submission through EFS-Web or EFS-Web Contingency.

EFS-Web Contingency is intended to be used when the primary portal to EFS-Web has an unscheduled outage. We strongly encourage applicants to file as a registered user to take advantage of the full features of EFS-Web.  However, EFS-Web Contingency will be available to applicants 24x7 except for scheduled outages and other shared system resource outages.

While we do not expect EFS-Web Contingency to experience any system outages, there may be rare instances when shared resources (i.e., USPTO network, RAM and PALM) are unavailable resulting in a partial or complete loss of service.   If the RAM (Revenue Accounting Management) system is unavailable, neither EFS-Web nor EFS-Web Contingency will be able accept online payment in real-time. If the PALM (Patent Application Location Monitoring) system is unavailable, neither EFS-Web nor EFS-Web Contingency can complete validation in PALM and thus national stage 35 U.S.C 371 applications cannot be accepted. Users are strongly advised to transmit their electronic filings sufficiently early in the day to allow time for alternative paper filing when transmission cannot be initiated or correctly completed in EFS-Web nor EFS-Web Contingency.

EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency share a common backend system. During scheduled maintenance activities, both EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency need to be brought offline to properly complete system maintenance.

Yes. EFS-Web Contingency will continue to provide an Electronic Acknowledgement Receipt that establishes the date of receipt by the UPSTO of a new application.

Yes. Documents filed in EFS-Web Contingency must meet the same file format requirements established for EFS-Web, e.g., file size and PDF embedded-font requirements. The same file validation performed in EFS-Web will also be performed in EFS-Web Contingency.

Applicants can submit online fee payments by selecting fees on the fee calculation screen and completing their payment at time of submission (i.e., chose the "Yes! I want to pay now" button rather than "No - I will pay later" button). 

No. Registered e-filers who have uploaded documents to a Saved Submission package in EFS-Web will not be able to access those Saved Submission documents in EFS-Web Contingency.

When an applicant improperly files a follow-on document as a new application via EFS-Web Contingency (or EFS-Web) and requests the USPTO to move the follow-on document to the appropriate application, a petition under 37 CFR 1.182 accompanied by the petition fee will be required.

No. Users do not need a digital certificate to access EFS-Web Contingency. This portal provides an identical user interface and equivalent functionality as Unregistered EFS-Web.

Yes. EFS-Web Contingency is protected with the same level of security as EFS-Web Unregistered by using Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt transmission over the Internet.

Yes. Users can type in the desired Customer Number to designate the application’s correspondence address.  The dropdown list of Customer Number that is displayed in EFS-Web for Registered e-filers will not be available in EFS-Web Contingency. And the correspondence address associated with the Customer Number entered will not be displayed in EFS-Web Contingency. Users are advised to double-check the Customer Number entered in EFS-Web Contingency to confirm it is accurate. 

To increase the availability of its patent electronic filing system, the USPTO has established a contingency option for applicants to e-file new applications when the main portal to EFS-Web is unavailable due to an unscheduled system outage.

Currently, EFS-Web contingency does not permit follow-on fee payments and most follow-on documents (e.g., amendments and replies to Office actions) filed after the initial submission of the application.