Comments from Paul Wolstenholme

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FROM RESPONDENT 020:
     NAME: Paul Wolstenholme 
     COMPANY: Inventor
     ADDR-1: 630 Dushane Dr.
     CITY, STATE ZIP: Bellefontaine, Ohio
     TELEPHONE: 
     FAX: 
     REPRESENT: self
     

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QUESTION 01:
     Should the PTO require that all Official application related
     materials be delivered to a central location? Specifically, what
     problems would a requirement that all official application-related
     materials be delivered to a central location cause?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 01:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 02:
     Should the PTO adopt a standard application format? If so, what
     portions of the application papers should the PTO require be
     submitted in a standard size and/or format, and what sanction
     (e.g., surcharge) should be established for the failure to comply
     with these requirements?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 02:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 03:
     If the entire application is not published, what information
     concerning the application should be published in the Gazette of
     Patent Application Notices?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 03:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 04:
     Should the patent applicant receive a copy of the published
     application -- either published notice and/or application content
     at time of publication?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 04:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 05:
     Should the PTO permit an accelerated examination? If so, under
     what conditions?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 05:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 06:
     Since the cost for publishing applications must be recovered from
     fees, how should the cost of publication be allocated among the
     various fees, including the possibility of charging a separate
     publication fee?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 06:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 07:
     Should the PTO require an affirmative communication from a patent
     applicant indicating that the applicant does not wish the
     application to be published, or should failure to timely submit a
     publication fee be taken as instruction not to publish the 
     application? That is, should an application be published unless
     the applicant affirmatively indicates that the application is not
     to be published, regardless of whether a publication fee has been
     submitted? What latitude should the PTO permit for late submission
     of a publication fee?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 07:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 08:
     The delayed filing of either a claim for priority under 35 U.S.C.
     119 or 120 may result in the delayed publication of the
     application. Should priority or benefit be lost if not made
     within a reasonable time after filing? What latitude should the
     PTO permit for later claiming of priority or benefit?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 08:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 09:
     Once the patent has issued, should the paper document containing
     information similar to that published in the Gazette of Patent
     Application Notice, i.e., the Patent Application Notice, be
     removed from the search files, and should publication information
     be included on the issued patent?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 09:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 10:
     After publication, should access to the content of the
     application file be limited to the originally filed application
     papers? If not, what degree of access should be permilted? Should
     access be limited to the content before publication, or should it
     extend to materials added after publication?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 10:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 11:
     11.  After publication, should assignment records of a published
          application also be made accessible to the public?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 11:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 12:
     After publication, should access include the deposit of
     biological materials as set forth in 37 CFR 1.802 et seq.?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 12:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 13:
     What types of problems will be encountered if all amendments must
     be made by (a) substitute paragraphs and claims, (b) substitute
     pages, or (c) replacement of the entire application?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 13:
    No comments supplied
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QUESTION 14:
     Should protest procedures be modified to permit the third party
     submission of prior art only prior to a specific period after
     publication of the application?  What action should be taken with
     respect to untimely submissions by a third party?

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COMMENT ON QUESTION 14:
    No comments supplied
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GENERAL COMMENT:
     My name is Paul Wolstenholme. I live at 630 Dushane Dr.,
     
     Bellefontaine, Ohio. I have been awarded two U.S. patents and one
     
     Canadian patent on a highly successful low cost grain storage structure.
     
     At this very moment I estimate that over fifty million bushels of grain is
     
     being stored in my patented system in this country. My system reduces
     
     the cost of storage by seventy-five per cent, benefiting everyone from the
     
     farmer to the consumer. The bad news is that most of this use is
     
     unauthorized by me and therefore infringing my patents.
     
     I would like to speak with you today about how third party
     
     involvement in the patent examining process would affect middle class
     
     individual inventors like myself. One Dec. 12, 1995, The PTO invited
     
     testimony from the public to include comments on procedures for
     
     accepting third party submissions of prior art. (question 14) I don't
     
     speak from the perspective of a patent law expert, politician, or special
     
     interest spokesman but from the perspective on an ordinary citizen who
     
     invented something of value, almost by accident, during the course of his
     
     normal activities. This perspective is often overlooked but it is
     
     important and should be considered. "Common Sense" is often lost in the
     
     technocratic details. If we lose the critical components of our patent
     
     system I don't think we will ever get them back. In my view the
     
     "ex parte" nature of the examining process is critical.
     
     I know what it is like to have others oppose the issuance of your
     
     patent. I have been forced to initiate seven patent infringement suits
     
     against grain companies including Cargill, ConAgri, and Continental. The
     
     infringers have asked the court to declare my patents invalid due to prior
     
     art even though that prior art had been fully considered by the PTO on re
     
     examination. Their action forced me to pay attorneys to write a total of
     
     four legal briefs in opposition to their motion for summary iudgement on
     
     non-validity. The latest is this 21 page brief filed Nov. 30, 1994. I was
     
     billed for forty five hours of preparation time at a cost of $6,750. On
     
     February 10, 1995 the Court ruled that my patent was not invalid due to
     
     prior art. If I had not been able to finance the rebuttal I would have lost
     
     by default. The only reason that I was able to bear this expense is because
     
     I have strong patents in hand and I have been able to attract investors to
     
     buy a piece of them.
     
     I am currently working on new systems that would result in even
     
     more savings for our consumers but I fear the cost of patent prosecution.
     
     under a new system will be out of my reach. If potential infringers can
     
     offer prior art and arguments to defeat your patent before it is even
     
     issued, investors will be impossible to find. Foreign nations and large
     
     corporations will monitor all of the application as they are published at
     
     eighteen months. When they find one that is of value and owned by an
     
     individual of moderate means they will unleash their attorneys and the
     
     results will totally depend on whether you have the money to pay an
     
     attorney to argue your case. The unintended result would be that people
     
     like myself would be well advised to stay out of the invention business.
     
     Thus another unintended result would be that the American citizens would
     
     be deprived of the efforts of a large portion of current American
     
     innovation. The framers of our Constitution had it right when it came to
     
     encouraging invention but it seems our leaders today just don't get it!
     
     When I contemplate a patent system that makes your
     
     application public after eighteen months I see an inventor unfriendly
     
     system. To illustrate my point, imagine being on a surgery table for a
     
     heart transplant. You look at your doctors and are comforted by knowing
     
     that they are highly competent and dedicated to saving your life. Then you
     
     look at another team of competent doctors standing on the opposite side
     
     of the table, highly paid by a third party and equally dedicated to the
     
     opposing outcome. What inventor would put himself in this situation?
     
     What investor would support him?
     
     I respectfully recommend that if the eighteen month rule is
     
     implemented that third party actions be severely restricted.

Last Modified: March 1995