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MALLINCKRODT

MALLINCKRODT
                                                                                                                               Jeffrey S. Boone, J.D.
                                                                                                                               Senior Patent and
                                                                                                                               Trademark Attorney
                                                                                                                               Mallinckrodt Inc.
                                                                                                                               Patent Department
                                                                                                                               675 McDonnell Boulevard
                                                                                                                               PO Box 5840
                                                                                                                               St. Louis, MO 63134 USA

1998 October 21
                                                                                                                              Internet: jsboon@mkg.com
                                                                                                                               Phone: 1 (314) 654-8955
                                                                                                                               Secretary: 1 (314) 654-3917
                                                                                                                               Fax: 1 (314) 654-3156

VIA FAX: 703 308-6916

  • Attention: Hiram H. Bernstein
    Re: PTO Advance Notice on Planned Rule Chances
  • In

    53498

    Changes to Implement the Patent Business Goals

    COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED RULE CIFLANGES:

                                                                                                                                   Jeffrey S. Boone, J.D.
                                                                                                                                   Senior Patent and
                                                                                                                                   Trademark Attorney
                                                                                                                                   Mallinckrodt Inc.
                                                                                                                                   Patent Department
                                                                                                                                   675 McDonnell Boulevard
                                                                                                                                   PO Box 5840
                                                                                                                                   St. Louis, MO 63134 USA

    1998 October 21
                                                                                                                                  Internet: jsboon@mkg.com
                                                                                                                                   Phone: 1 (314) 654-8955
                                                                                                                                   Secretary: 1 (314) 654-3917
                                                                                                                                   Fax: 1 (314) 654-3156

    VIA FAX: 703 308-6916

  • Attention: Hiram H. Bernstein
  • Re: PTO Advance Notice on Planned Rule Changes 53498
  • Changes to Implement the Patent Business Goals

    COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGES:

    Item 4, Limiting the number of claims in an application .

    I support limiting the number of claims, provided that the limit is reasonable. One way to ensure that a limit of 6 independent and 40 total claims is reasonable, would be to take the European approach to multiple dependent claims. Specifically, (a) no surcharge, (b) allow a multiple dependent claim to refer to another multiple dependent claim, and (c) count each multiple dependent claim as a single claim. This would also ease the burden on the public in evaluating infringement risks.

    Rather than requiring an applicant to file a separate application for excess claims, it would be better to require the applicant to pay, a second application fee and keep all of the claims in one application, resulting 'in the issuance of one patent. The present restriction practice already puts enough of a burden on the public because it results in multiple patents on a single inventive concept. We do not need even more patents for a single invention.

    1998 October 21

    page 2

    Combined Comment.

  • Item 1 1: No cause suspension of action
    Item 15: Rocked docket for design applications.
  • It is an embarrassment to the US, that all US applications are not published at 18 months. The burden on the public is immeasurable, in that someone making business decisions does not know what applications may be pending in the USPTO. This encourages business to locate manufacturing facilities outside the US where they can be more certain of patents that may issue.

    I propose that a rocket docket be available to both design and utility applicants, and that all applications be published at 18 months from the earliest priority date. For an original application with a priority claim, the rocket docket should allow at least the first, and preferably the second office action to arrive in time for the applicant to review the office action and withdraw the application (without publication) if desired.

    Item13:Changing amendment practice to replacement by paragraphs/claims.

    This proposal sounds like a very good idea. However, I have one suggestion. If the office requires that paragraphs, headings, and tables be numbered, this, will require US applications to be separately prepared. Applicants would not be able to use applications prepared for any other country. There should be no problem allowing, applicants to continue to use page numbering and line numbering. An amendment to a paragraph could refer to the pace and line numbers, e.g.: " The paragraph beginning, on page 7, line 18......"

    Item 9: Eliminating preauthorization of payment of the issue fee.

    Rather - than eliminate this procedure, modify it. Specifically, the rule should specify that any authorization to pay the issue fee, which is submitted in advance of the notice of allowance, will be treated as authorizing the payment of the issue fee on the last possible day for paying the fee without surcharge. This would

    1998 October 21

    page 3

    eliminate 95% of the problems listed in the proposal. The current proposal will result in abandoned applications when for various reasons an issue fee is not paid on time.

     

    Yours,

    Jeffrey S. Boone, J.D.

    Q:\JSB\PTO RULES COMMENTS.DOC

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