Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 9:06 AM
Subject: Standards for Patent Drawings
As a registered patent attorney, I must raise misgivings regarding any lowering of the standards for patent drawings. At the very least, applicants should continue to be given an express opportunity to put in new drawings after an indication of allowance.
On a more substantive note, absent rigorous review of the drawings by the Examiner and draftsman, there is a clear likelihood of a drop in the quality of U.S. Patents. This is as significant for the public as it is for the patentee. Specifically, if the drawings are unclear, or ambiguous, it further clouds the ability of an attorney to predict how a court may rule on the validity of a patent. Certainly, until several years have passed and the CAFC has had an opportunity to rule on the new standards, there will be great additional confusion as to the adequateness of disclosure of a patent specification. I do not see a valid reason for eliminating this requirement, merely to save costs. The least costly procedure would be to completely eliminate the Examiner corps, and I hope nobody will be suggesting that in the future.