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This seems to be the rules on mailing a codebase for a software application on CD, it seems it needs to be on ASCII format. The reason to mail a cd of codebase is to show that you know how to build your invention concept.

I am unclear if it needs to be in .txt format, or if you can send in the original codebase file format. For example, for python scripted software, the extension is in .py format. To open it, the office would probably need to use special reader software, or perhaps can open in notepad but lose some of the formating. Should it be in .txt format, or is specialized file format of the original codebase okay? When they say you can provide specialized instructions for interpreting cd material, does that mean you can say you need to use xx program to open it, which you can download at xx.

How does providing software code work that is over a certain amount of lines where they ask you to send on cd? Thank you!

References:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s608.html#d0e51838

AND:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/mpep-9020-appx-r.html#d0e318327

"Recordable (CD-R) in compliance with this paragraph. A CD-ROM is a “read-only” medium on which the data is pressed into the disc so that it cannot be changed or erased. A CD-R is a “write once” medium on which once the data is recorded, it is permanent and cannot be changed or erased. (3) (i) Each compact disc must conform to the International Standards Organization (ISO) 9660 standard, and the contents of each compact disc must be in compliance with the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). CD-R discs must be finalized so that they are closed to further writing to the CD-R. (ii) Each compact disc must be enclosed in a hard compact disc case within an unsealed padded and protective mailing envelope and accompanied by a transmittal letter on paper in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. The transmittal letter must list for each compact disc the machine format ( e.g., IBM-PC, Macintosh), the operating system compatibility ( e.g., MS-DOS, MS-Windows, Macintosh, Unix), a list of files contained on the compact disc including their names, sizes in bytes, and dates of creation, plus any other special information that is necessary to identify, maintain, and interpret ( e.g., tables in landscape orientation should be identified as landscape orientation or be identified when inquired about) the information on the compact disc. Compact discs submitted to the Office will not be returned to the applicant."

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I would call the Inventors Assistance Center at the USPTO. How to Contact the IAC : 800-PTO-9199 (800-786-9199) and ask for IAC. My guess is ASCII means ASCII means txt. Also, it is very rare for someone to send in code. –  George White May 20 at 20:27
    
Thank you, I did speak with them...it is txt file. Note that this encoding is a special sort of save, notepad can't do it, microsoft word can. My understanding is if I submit this code on cd as part of a provisional patent, this will remain confidential. Is this true? –  user8678 May 24 at 23:05
    
If a non-provisioanl application is filed within the one year time period that claims the benefit of a provisional, then whenever the non-provisional is published, the provisional becomes visible. I don't know about the code. The principle is, if it helps define your rights then the public needs access to it. –  George White May 25 at 1:33

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