Comments from Luc Pierre
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 8:11 PM
To: CCard Comments
Subject: Comment on 37 CFR proposed 1.21 (m) and 1.23 (b) credit card payment
After more than thirty years of practice before the PTO, I am pleased with the proposal to permit the use of credit cards for all payments. I always have had a Deposit Account, but my accounting staff finds working with checks and credit cards more in tune with their daily operation and I myself have experienced less inquiries from them when payment was by check or credit card, than via Deposit Account. Also, I suppose that routine credit card payments will be easier on the PTO staff than routine Deposit Account payments.
Therefore, my Deposit Account has been more of a save harbor, rather than a regular payment vehicle, and I would like to propose the following expansion of that principle to credit card payments.
In particular, I am herewith proposing that contemplated section 1.23 be worded as follows:
1.23 Method of payment.
* * * * *
(b) "(i)" Payments of money required for Patent and Trademark Office fees may also be made by credit card.***
"(ii) Any Deposit Account customer may designate his, her or its Deposit Account as overdraft protection for all check and credit card payments by that customer."
This would be in tune with the new practice, effective December 6, 1999, permitting customers to replenish their Deposit Accounts by credit card, and would enhance the traditional practice of authorizing the Commissioner to charge deficiencies in individual check payments to that customer's Deposit Account. My proposed subparagraph (ii) for 37 CFR 1.23 in effect would enhance that traditional practice to a general overdraft protection.
There should be a one-time PTO-Form permitting any Deposit Account customer to designate his, her or its Deposit Account as overdraft protection of check and credit card payments, thereby implementing the proposed 37 CFR 1.23 (ii).
In practice this would alleviate the paperwork now required of practitioners of authorizing a Deposit Account charge in each fee payment and the ongoing paperwork of PTO personnel to process each such charge for each such fee payment.
If my modest proposal is favorably considered, there may arise a question whether the contemplated charge of $50.00 in proposed paragraph (m) of 37 CFR 1.21 is justified if a defaulting check or credit card payment is covered by the above mentioned overdraft protection by the payor's Deposit Account. Possibly the charge should be less in such a case, if the overdraft is covered by the Deposit Account and if that means less work for PTO personnel.
Luc Pierre Benoit
Luc Pierre Benoit PTO Reg. No. 25,071 California State Bar Reg. No. 42163
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