An application data sheet (ADS) is a sheet or set of sheets containing bibliographic data, which is arranged in a format specified by the Office. An ADS must comply with the requirements of 37 CFR 1.76, and may be submitted in a provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(b), a nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), a nonprovisional international design application, or a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. 371. See MPEP § 601.05(a) for requirements for an ADS that are specific to applications filed on or after September 16, 2012. See MPEP § 601.05(b) for requirements for an ADS that are specific to applications filed prior to September 16, 2012.
When an application data sheet is provided in a patent application, the application data sheet becomes part of the application and must comply with 37 CFR 1.52. While the use of an application data sheet is not always required (see MPEP §§ 601.05(a) and 601.05(b)), the Office prefers its use in all applications to help facilitate the electronic capturing of important data. When an ADS is optional, the data that is suggested to be supplied by way of an application data sheet can also be provided elsewhere in the application papers, but it is to applicant’s advantage to submit the data via an application data sheet. To help ensure that the Office efficiently captures the data, the Office specifies a particular format to be used. The Office also provides a fillable form (PTO/AIA/14 for applications filed on or after September 16, 2012 and PTO/SB/14 for applications filed prior to September 16, 2012) on the Office’s website, which contains the bibliographic data arranged in the specified format. The Office’s fillable form is designed to be completed electronically and then filed via EFS-Web or in paper. However, the data will only load directly into the Office’s electronic systems when the PTO/AIA/14 or PTO/SB/14 is submitted as an EFS-Web Fillable Form, rather than a scanned portable document format (PDF) image submitted electronically via EFS-Web or in paper.