SmartShell FAQ

We’ve anticipated some of your questions below. Click to see the answer. If you have other questions, please contact us using the form below.


What is SmartShell?

SmartShell is automation software used to significantly simplify the process of responding to patent examiners.

Why Should I Use SmartShell?

SmartShell assists you in generating Office action response shells. It increases your efficiency in creating shells so you can move on to other work. In a side-by-side comparison, veteran paralegals using SmartShell were able to create patent shells five times faster than with traditional, manual entry methods.

How Do I Sign Up to Use SmartShell?

SmartShell Account Request

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How Much Does SmartShell Cost?

SmartShell is offered as a monthly subscription based on your volume. Contact us to discuss your expected volume and contract options.

How Does SmartShell Work?

SmartShell uses predictive analytics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and other automation and artificial intelligence technology. Users enter the patent application number, and SmartShell goes to work, intelligently scanning and extracting data from the patent examiner’s response, highlighting the examiner’s issues, rolling over and cleaning the previous claims, and creating a custom response shell from a bank of selectable templates in Word format.

How Can I Provide Feedback on SmartShell?

Email We appreciate your feedback!

How Does SmartShell Handle Any Sensitive IP?

TurboPatent does not store anything processed through SmartShell, nor do we store any of the results. Anything processed on servers is ephemeral.  Information is encrypted in transit, processed, and the data is delivered back to the browser where the results are displayed.


Can SmartShell Work With Our Shell Template?

Yes! Contact us to request a customized template.

What If We Have More Than One Template?

No problem. We can customize any number of templates for you, and your users will just choose which one to use for each project as the final step in the SmartShell process. Depending on your pricing plan, there may be additional one-time setup charges for extra templates.

How Do We Import Our Templates?

Contact us to request a customized template. Once you provide samples of your template and some completed shells using that template, we’ll do a one-time approval and installation process and then your customized template will be available for all users in your organization.

What If We Need Updates to Our Templates Once They’re Set Up?

Contact us to request any further customization for your templates.


What Do I Need to Provide SmartShell?

You can begin the process by entering only the application number of a published application! In some cases, you may need to upload a PDF of the Office Action. If you want the shell to include claims, then you must provide the previously filed claims as well.

When Can I Enter the Application Number and When Do I Have to Provide the Office Action PDF?

You will need to provide the OA PDF for any unpublished applications. As long as the application is published, you can try entering the application number. SmartShell will then ask you to confirm the date of the most recent OA that appears in our database. If the OA is too recent and does not appear in our database, then you can either wait a day or two and try again, or upload the OA PDF.

Why Can’t SmartShell Automatically Retrieve Office Actions from Private PAIR?

That would require your Private PAIR certificate and credentials. Currently, SmartShell does not support that. We are looking to add that feature in the future.

What Types of Office Actions Does SmartShell Handle?

Currently, SmartShell can handle Non-Final, Final, and Restriction Requirement Office actions.


Can I Change the Information SmartShell Extracted?

Yes. On the Bibliographic Information screen, all fields are editable. Please confirm that the data is correct and appears in the format you’d like, before continuing to the next screen.

Why is It Missing Information in Some Fields?

SmartShell retrieves information from Public PAIR in order to fill in the bibliographic data fields. For unpublished applications, SmartShell instead uses only the data it can get from OCRing the Office Action itself, but you will need to fill in the remaining data yourself.

What is SSP?

SSP is the Shortened Statutory Period for response. It will default to 3 months, as stated on the Office Action itself. If you want your client letter to indicate an earlier due date, you can change the SSP date to one or two months instead.


How Does SmartShell Identify Issue Statements?

SmartShell uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), and other automation and artificial intelligence technology to identify the issues statements in an Office action.

What If SmartShell Missed an Issue Statement?

You can add an issue statement by clicking the orange “Add New Issue” button, selecting the issue text, and then indicating what type of issue it is.

What If SmartShell Identified Text That Wasn’t an Issue Statement?

Click the red gear to the right of the statement. You’ll then have the option to modify or remove the issue statement.

What If SmartShell Missed Part of an Issue Statement?

Click the red gear to the right of the statement, then click “Modify issue”. Use your cursor to select the text you want included in the issue statement, then choose the issue type from the dropdown list. Click “Apply” to save your changes to the issue statement.


What Does SmartShell Do With the Claims?

SmartShell extracts the claims from the document you provide, rolls over the status indicators, cleans up any markup, and inserts the cleaned up claims into the shell document with the formatting specified in the template.

What Do I Need to Provide?

SmartShell requires a .docx Word document containing the most recently filed claims. This can be the original specification document (as long as the claims are included), or the entire previously filed amendment or Office Action response; SmartShell will find and extract the listing of claims. You do NOT need to clean up any claims markup first!

What If I Don’t Have the Right Document?

If you don’t already have a Word (.docx) file, then…

(a) If you have a .doc or .rtf file, you can simply save it as a .docx. SmartShell should then accept the file.

(b) SmartShell can OCR a PDF of the claims for you, using advanced patent-specific OCR technology. If the application is published, then SmartShell can retrieve the claims from public PAIR and OCR them for you. Otherwise, you can retrieve the claims PDF yourself from private PAIR, then drop it into the OCR tool. Note that no OCR technology is perfect, and we highly recommend a thorough review of the OCR result before you continue the process by dropping that .docx file into SmartShell.

How Does SmartShell Handle Chemical Formulas or Other Images in the Claims?

SmartShell does not currently handle chemical formulas or other images. You will need to paste these images back into the final shell document.

Support Request

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TurboPatent | 105 S Main St. – Suite 240 | Seattle, WA 98104, United States
Phone: 206-681-9321 | Email:

© Copyright 2013-2020 TurboPatent Corp. TurboPatent® is a registered trademark of TurboPatent Corp. Invention Hub™, SmartShell™, Inventioneering®, RapidResponse™, and RoboReview™ are trademarks of TurboPatent Corp. While we are not a law firm, we engage with a law firm to assist with supervised drafting on a project basis. The law firm can then file the drafted application or, if you prefer, you can file the drafted application yourself or with the assistance of another counsel of your choice.