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   Writing complex math equations
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smgsmc
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Writing complex math equations
« on: Sep 15th, 2007, 6:36am »
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Hi.  Have any of you had to handle applications with extremely complicated mathematical equations? The inventors use specialized software which is incompatible with MS Word.  I’ve tried a package that claims to convert the equations to a Word Eqn Editor format.  But Eqn does not have enough horsepower.  Questions:
 
(1) There are extensions to Word Eqn editor which have more horsepower.  But what happens at the USPTO when they try to print it?  If you don’t have the extensions, you get error messages and print out garbage.
 
(2) Some equations are so complex that even the extensions don’t have enough horsepower.  The one consistent, flexible, effective approach I’ve come up with is to go into Word Draw mode and setup the various parts of the equations as text blocks, move them around, and then group them.  Essentially build them by hand.  This works great.  BUT:  (a) Extremely time consuming (wasted 3 whole days) and (b) Will text blocks print properly at the USPTO?  The general question:  If it can be handled by Word, will it be OK? One lingering problem is that later versions of Word have more horsepower than older versions.  Any guidelines from USPTO?  Assuming this is OK, any services that will do this?  This is not a job for a typical draftsman who runs Autocad.
 
 
(3) The classic (old-timer’s) approach is to have a draftsman generate the equations as figures, and refer to figures in the spec:  “Equation 100 in Fig. 1...”   This may work if the equations can be isolated as a block.  Doesn’t work well if you also have a lot of segments that need to be in-line with the text.  For example, : “Where __(complex symbol 1) is defined as __(complex symbol 2), if __(complex symbol 3) is greater than 9.”  I would then need to write:  “Where the expression 200 is defined as expression 202, if expression 204 is greater than 9 (see Fig. 2).”  
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JimIvey
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Re: Writing complex math equations
« Reply #1 on: Sep 25th, 2007, 9:49pm »
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I have yet to come across a mathematical equation I can't write up in OOo (OpenOffice.org).  Being largely software-focused, my practice involves equations frequently.  The most complex I've done aren't published yet, so I can't share them.
 
One-button export to PDF ensures that the PTO at least gets a clean copy through EFS-web.  They seem to be pretty good at accurately representing mathematical equations in patents.
 
Sorry, can't help with MS Word.  Left it behind in 1991 and haven't looked back.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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Re: Writing complex math equations
« Reply #2 on: Sep 25th, 2007, 11:25pm »
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I've used MathType for a few years now.  It fully integrates with MS Word.  I haven't run into an equation I could not generate using MathType, and I have yet to encounter any issues with the USPTO.
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Isaac
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Re: Writing complex math equations
« Reply #3 on: Sep 26th, 2007, 7:54am »
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on Sep 15th, 2007, 6:36am, smgsmc wrote:
But what happens at the USPTO when they try to print it?  If you don’t have the extensions, you get error messages and print out garbage.

 
Do you send word documents to the PTO?
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Isaac
smgsmc
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Re: Writing complex math equations
« Reply #4 on: Sep 26th, 2007, 10:35am »
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on Sep 26th, 2007, 7:54am, Isaac wrote:

 
Do you send word documents to the PTO?

Hi Isaac.  I just realized I've gotten several issues mixed up.  One is the software with enough horsepower to do the job, another is the electronic format that our clients want (almost always Word).  The third is what happens at the USPTO when it comes to printing?  The USPTO obviously has to reformat the application (eventually into two columns).  How is this done if you send them only a paper copy? No one here seems to know.  I assume that they are not all manually retyped by a clerk at the USPTO.  But the attorneys here are of the opinion that if it can be done in Word, I should have no problems.  But if I mess around with text blocks and odd fonts, I might run into problems.  You used to work at the USPTO.  Can you shed some light here?  Thanks.
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