Thank you greatly in advance for your time!
I am a first time inventor/patent filer who had success using EFS-Web filing a provisional application. A year later, on the anniversary (3 weeks ago), I attempted to file the documents I had worked on for a year but received the following upon validation: "the attached pdf file references a non-embedded font.... (It showed this for various standard fonts multiple times for the specifications, claims, etc.)." I do not recall this issue when filing the provisional documents a year before. I attempted the solutions I found online, as well as contacting the different USPTO departments, but no luck. I did some research and found that an "unintentional delay" allows me 2 additional months. Now, I'm working to gather the required $850 for the petition.
(a) Is this a valid reason for "Unintentional Delay," (37 C.F.R. 1.78b Claiming benefit of earlier filing date and cross-references to other applications.). Will I have to send them screenshots of my attempts to file the documents and make phone calls requesting assistance.
(b) I'm wondering about how this affects the PCT application which I had planned on filing right after I filed the nonprovisional - If the petition is granted, will I be able to claim the benefit of the early filing date for the PCT application as well. Also, in reference to the PCT, will I need additional forms and fees for that petition as well, or can I use the US nonprovisional filing.
(c) I also disclosed the idea as well by submitting to a business competition. Does the provisional become prior art if the one year anniversary of that submission makes its way around before I am able to pay the $850, file the nonprovisional, and the petition.
(d) While raising the $850 petition fee (required upon submission), currently the only concrete delay, am I allowed to edit and add content to my submission. For example, additional drawings and claims.
(e) Finally, (especially if I can find professional assistance within the next few months) am I able to amend the claims, drawings, and specifications WITHOUT it affecting the PCT, or do I need to do this all for the PCT application as well? - Asking because I believe an attorney once told me I could use my US nonprovisional as the PCT reference documents (in other words, what happens with the US nonprovisional, happens to the PCT). I have a feeling it's not that simple.
Thank you for any assistance! I am extremely grateful for any advice!