Last year, the federal judiciary announced that it was planning to “change the technical standard for filing documents in the Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system from PDF to PDF/A.” At the time, no target date for the change was provided, but it appears that the change may be coming soon in some jurisdictions. Each federal court is responsible for setting its own deadline for requiring documents to be filed in the PDF/A format. In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, for example, the court will start posting documents in PDF/A format beginning June 1, 2011, and all court ECF filings uploaded on or after Jan. 1, 2012, must be in PDF/A format. For those of you reading this and thinking, “PDF/A-whaaat!?,” here is a primer, courtesy of the PIT IP Tech Blog. In short, PDF/A is an International Standards Organization (ISO) approved version of the popular Adobe PDF format designed for archival purposes. It is a self-contained file, which means that it does not rely on external media players or hyperlinks outside of the documents. In addition, it embeds all of the fonts used in the document inside the file, so the recipient…

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