Posts Tagged ‘PDF’

This is hopefully a solution to a problem that has driven me mad for years.

When attaching PDF documents you often see errors from patent online filing software. For PCT applications a usual one is that a set of PDF Figures are not ‘Annex F compliant’ or the page numbers are not calculated properly.

One way around this is to use the Amyuni PDF printer driver that is supplied with the European Patent Office online filing software. However, this also tends to garble a PDF document .

I think there is another, better way:
– Choose to print the document.
– Select an AdobePDF ‘printer’ (assuming you have an Acrobat print driver installed).
– Select the ‘properties’ of this printer.
– Where it says “Default Settings” change “Standard” to one of the “PDF/A” options.
– Also, while you are here, click the “Paper/Quality” tab and select “Black & White”.
– Click OK and print.
The document should then print (better than the Amyuni driver). You should then be able to upload it without errors and it should pass the online filing validation checks. 



Update: My US colleagues advise that for US Patent Office compliance CutePDF is recommend – .

The CIPA Journal – the august publication of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys – contains a veritable treasure trove of articles for the discerning Patent Attorney. It’s a shame then that, after an initial read, most editions find themselves in a forlorn pile in a distance corner of the average Patent Attorney’s office…

CIPA Journal

…Until now. With a few simple steps, you can breath life into those old editions and be the envy of your Attorney colleagues. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Goto the CIPA Website: .
  2. Log in as a member (“Members” link on left-hand side).
  3. Once logged in, click “Journal Archive” on the right-hand side.
  4. Download the available issues into a directory, such as “CIPA Journals”.

This gets you a nice collection of CIPA Journals in PDF format. You can use Adobe Acrobats “Find” feature:

to search in individual editions. However, to be of real use we need to be able to search the whole directory. There are two ways to do this:

Using Acrobat Portfolios

Adobe Acrobat 9 has a “Portfolio” feature. Click on “File” > “Create PDF Portfolio” to create one:


When the Portfolio screen loads up click “Add Existing Folder”:

Add Existing Folder

Choose your “CIPA Journals” folder. After Acrobat has worked its magic, save the Portfolio using “File” > “Save Portfolio As…”. You can now search through the Journals in the Portfolio using the “Search” box in the top right corner:

Search Portfolio

Using Windows Search

Updated / modern versions of Windows come with a “Windows Search” tool. You can find this by looking for the magnifying glass in the system toolbar. You can also display a search box by right clicking the Windows toolbar, selecting Toolbars, then selecting Windows Search Deskbar:

Windows Search

If the “CIPA Journals” folder is in your “My Documents” folder you should be able to search within the PDFs straight away by entering the search term in the Deskbar.

If that does not work you may have to check your search options. Right click the magnifying glass in the toolbar and select “Windows Search Options”. When the optiosn screen appears click modify to add your “CIPA Journals” folder to the list of indexed locations. Also click on “Advanced” and go to the “File Types” tab. Check “pdf” is an option and that the second radio box is active: “Index Properties and File Contents”. If the radio options are greyed out you will need to install the PDF iFilter, available as a free download from Acrobat (see here).

One downside to the Windows Search is I have not yet been able to show the highlighted text within each PDF. Hence, for each of your search results you will need to search within the PDF in the usual way to find the specific paragraphs. There are other 3rd party tools that can be used to search PDFs: see this post for details.

As part of a digital workflow you may need to amend pages of a PDF document. For example, you may need to add or remove text. Patent Attorneys and patent paralegals regularly have to edit pages of a patent specification. This short tutorial will show you the easiest way to do this (that I have come across). It also saves printing, allowing you to claim “eco-warrier” status.

The method requires a full version of Adobe Acrobat (versions 7+); however, it may be transferable to other PDF editing tools.

Replacing a Paragraph

  1. First open the required page of your document. (Patent people may download their pages from the EPO’s Register Plus or the USPTO’s PAIR.)

    Test Page in Acrobat

    Test Page in Acrobat

  2. Next select the “Callout Tool” editing option (e.g. Menu: Comments->Drawing Markup Tools->Callout Tool). Click the page somewhere near where you need to make the edit. A post-it-note box and arrow will appear.

    Callout Tool

    Callout Tool

  3. Manipulate the arrow of the box so that it lies behind the text you wish to replace. Resize the yellow box until it covers the text you wish to replace.
    Move Arrow

    Move Arrow

    Adjust Box Size

    Adjust Box Size

  4. Right-click on the box and select “Properties”. Change the “Border” and “Fill” colours to white. Click close.
    Right-click then Properties

    Right-click then Properties

    Change Colours

    Change Colours

  5. Double click in the box to start entering text.

    Enter Text

    Enter Text

  6. To change the text properties (e.g. font size, bold, italics etc), when typing in the box press CTRL-E (Control key and letter E). A text properties tool bar will appear.

    Text Properties

    Text Properties

  7. Once you have made your edits, print the amended file to PDF. You can use Adobe’s or a third party’s PDF Printer Driver. This cements the changes and prevents future recipients from accessing and changing the text box.

    Print to PDF

    Print to PDF

  8. Patent people: you can now email the “printed” PDF page or use it for online filing. No paper is harmed at any point.

Masking Text

  1. Repeat step 1 above.
  2. Select the “Rectangle Tool”. (See a toolbar or Menu: Comments->Drawing Markup Tools->Drawing->Rectangle Tool).
  3. Draw a rectangle over the text you wish to mask.

    Draw Rectangle

    Draw Rectangle

  4. Right-click on the rectangle and select “Properties”. As in step 4 above change the “Border” and “Fill” colours to white. (The clever ones by now will have realised you can also use the toolbar that appeared when you pressed CTRL-E. They will rule us one day.)
  5. Repeat the above steps for any other portions of text to be masked.

    Lather, wash & Repeat

    Lather, wash & Repeat

  6. To cement the changes, print the edited page (or document) to PDF. (Beware: If you use this method to redact pages and do not print to PDF, any recipient can simply delete your nicely drawn rectangles to view the previous text.)

And that completes today’s lesson.

Edited Page

Edited Page

Most electronic file systems use Adobe Acrobat’s PDF format for official documents.  It is often useful to add text boxes to these documents; e.g. to add a signature box to certify that a scanned document is a true copy of an original.

One problem with at least versions 7 and 8 of Acrobat is that there is no obvious way to change the properties of the text in the text box. Luckily, the Acrobat User Forums (or more precisely a user named inixia) has the answer:

1. Select “Tools – Comment & Markup – Text Box Tool” [to add a text box];
2. Type any text within the text box and HIGHLIGHT it; and
3. Press CTRL + e (Control button and “e” at the same time).

A hidden “Text Box Text Properties” tool bar will appear allowing you to change the text properties.

Textbox Properties Tool Bar

When you unselect the text (e.g. by clicking on the edges of the text box) the newly-appeared tool bar also allows you to change the properties of the box itself (such as border/fill properties).