Lawtomata PTOFlow Overview

PTOFlow is being developed by patent attorneys who understand the time-consuming task of receiving and reporting communications from the Patent Office. Time is literally money in our business, and PTOFlow can save you time by taking the grunt work out of the document intake process. Our goal is not to kick the human out of the loop. Instead, we strive to create a set of usable shell documents based on the content of the PTO communication. The documents we prepare are populated with relevant data and issues we identify in the PTO communication, saving you the time it takes to transcribe that information manually, fetch prior art references, and the like.

When you receive a PDF document from the Patent Office, we help you process it using the following simple steps.

1. Upload your document using drag-and-drop.

After upload, we process the document to identify the document type (e.g., an Office Action, a Notice of Allowance), metadata (e.g., application number, docket number) and issues (e.g., objections, rejections).

2. Confirm case data.

After initial processing, we ask you to confirm the case metadata, such as application number, inventor name, and so on.

3. Review issues.

Next, we walk you through the document. We highlight each issue we discovered in the document window, and give you a chance to edit the issue. You can modify the rejection type, relevant claims, or even delete the rejection entirely. If you spot an issue we missed, simply click on the relevant line in the document window. Our AI will give you its best guess, and you can edit it as required.

4. Generate Documents.

After walking you through the issues we spotted in the document, we generate shell reporting letters and other documents (e.g., office action responses) that are customized based on the document type. We can also fetch US patent references, if they are cited in an Office Action.

We provide all of our work to you in a result bundle formatted as a ZIP file. Here is a ZIP bundle created for an example Office Action. Each result bundle contains shell letters and other documents, prior art references if cited, and the like.

The following is an example of a shell reporting letter prepared by PTOFlow for a Notice of Allowance. Notice that many of the fields, including client contact information, application number, fees due, and the like, are already filled in. No more error-prone transcription of application metadata!

Note that the documents we create are not 100% ready to go to the client. Our goal is not to kick the human out of the loop. The expectation is that an attorney or paralegal will review the letter, fill in any missing information, and add advice as necessary.

We have created a base set of template letters for many of the most common types of PTO communications. We are happy to work with you to customize those templates or convert your preferred documents into templates for use with your account.


What kinds of documents can you process?

We do a nice job nice job with the most common documents from the patent office, including: We can recognize a much larger set of documents, but do not provide any special processing for those document types. But we are getting smarter every day!

How much time can PTOFlow save?

PTOFlow creates shell documents and pulls prior art references if present, based on issues we find in an incoming PTO document. We have observed that legal assistants spend at least a half hour, and sometimes an hour or more, processing an incoming office action. With PTOFlow, they can perform this process in half the time or less.

If your firm processes many documents per day, the savings really add up. A boutique law firm that processes 100 PTO communications per week could easily save 50 person-hours. At labor costs in excess of $50/hour, this translates to real savings. Even a solo practitioner who processes 10 PTO documents per week can save a few hours that are better spent billing or having fun doing something else.

What kind of documents can PTOFlow process?

We are focused on doing a good job for the most common Patent Office documents: Filing Receipt, Notice of Publication, Office Action, Notice of Allowance, and Issue Notification. We can handle and produce default reporting letters for other types of documents.

How much does it cost?

Right now, we are performing beta tests. If you wish to join, please contact us at Lawtomata info

Can multiple users access my subscription?

Yes, you can add a legal assistant or other users who can process documents using your subscription.

Is my data secure?

All access is password-protected. This means your data cannot be accessed by other subscribers/firms. If you cancel your subscription, all of your data will be erased.

Will you access my data?

We may access your data upon your request, to address a help desk inquiry. We may also access your data to improve the system. If there are documents that we did not process well, we'd like to use those documents to improve our system. We promise to always keep that information confidential.