COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Thank you.  Next, I would like to ask Robert
        Armitage to come forward, please.  Robert, the CD-ROM version will
        come.  We will all get them eventually.
 
        MR. ARMITAGE:  My name is Robert Armitage.  I'm here on behalf of
        the American Intellectual Law Association, although the views that I
        will express here will largely be my own as well.  We're located at
        2001 Jefferson-Davis Highway in Arlington, Virginia.  I'd like to
        begin by offering to the Patent and Trademark Office and
        particularly to you, Commissioner Lehman, a round of applause.  I
        think the initiative to move ahead in this Congress with 18-month
        publication will be a magnificent achievement for the patent system
        should Congress enact it.  The American Intellectual Property Law
        Association began its active support for 18-month publication
        coupled with 20-year patent term from filing, coupled with an option
        for accelerated examination back in May of 1990, when our board of
        directors unanimously approved a set of legislative initiatives that
        would accomplish these three objectives. We did not take this step
        of proposing modifications to the U.S. patent system lightly at all. 
        We had a select committee that met for approximately three years,
        under the chairmanship of one our past presidents, Bob Benson
        [phonetic], that consulted leading academics and economists, as well
        as a wide variety of members of the private sector to answer a
        simple question.  What is it we need to do for the 21st century to
        make our patent system as competitive, as great an incentive as it
        can possibly be to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. industry?
 
        We believe that the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, enacted by the
        last Congress, was an important first step because enactment of the
        20-year patent term from filing obviously ended what had become a
        potential for inventors and patent owners to take abuses of the
        patent system.  We hope now that, with this rulemaking and with the
        favorable reception in Congress that, we can put the remaining
        pieces of our proposed legislative initiatives of 1990 into effect. 
        Let me say that, in our written statement, we have taken what I view
        to be a long term perspective on how 18-month publication should
        take place.  We realize fully that there is a relatively short
        period of time between now and January 1, 1996 and it is certainly
        our intention to work with you closely to make sure that what is
        done is something that obviously can be done and can be done
        successfully within the time interval.  It is obviously a very
        dynamic environment in which we work with electronic filing and
        other technological changes in the offing.  Let me say that, one
        brief, cogent summary of all of our testimony would be that our
        bedrock principle is that published patent applications should be
        searchable and retrievable and citable with the same degree of
        facility that issued U.S. patents are searchable, retrievable and
        citable.  We see, particularly when we review how foreign patent
        offices work that, it is the published patent application that is
        the primary document that is cited by examiners.  It is the primary
        document which patent applicants reference in their patent
        applications as prior art.  To us, that document needs to be
        available in essentially the same form that issued patents are now
        available.  What this means, of course, is if the paradigm is a
        paper search system, with search files for the examiner, that there
        should be a printed document constituting essentially what is in the
        issued patent in the examiner's search files.  Similarly, where the
        paradigm is the APS system of the Patent Office, this means that the
        full text of the application is published and the image of the
        application as published ought to be in the PTO database.  In the
        propose rules, there is a suggestion that a patent application
        notice might be sufficient in the examiner's shoes.  We question
        whether this is feasible as an alternative either in the public
        interest long term or in the interest of the examining corps long
        term.  Certainly, like every other witness who will testify here
        today, we would like to see the PTO to minimize its costs, but we
        also realize that it is our burden as applicants to help you recover
        your costs from us. Therefore, what we are proposing in the way of
        cost minimization is that, the Patent and Trademark Office take
        every effort it can, by rule and otherwise, to prevent duplicate
        technical disclosures from being put in the examining shoes and
        being put in the APS system.  If this means requiring applicants to
        incorporate by reference technical disclosures from published
        applications and issued patents, we think, particularly as
        electronic search becomes the predominant form, that this would be
        an excellent tool for reducing costs.  Also, we would urge you not
        to create a new fee for publication, because it not only costs the
        office money to collect a new fee, but it costs applicants indeed
        money to pay a new fee.  We would rather suggest that the fees be
        allocated an increase as necessary to meet any incremental costs,
        particularly if we are accelerating the timing of the incurring of
        costs for publication from around the time of issue to closer to the
        time of filing.  Then we propose perhaps the issue fees and filing
        fees be readjusted.  The last important issue for us, of course, is
        the issue of public access.  We believe that it is very important
        that the patent application be available to the public, that the
        patent prosecution history be available to the public on request,
        but in a way that doesn't interfere with the examining process.  If
        this means that files can only be copied by examiners and only
        copies of the files be made available and that this procedure only
        be done evenings and weekends and on overtime, we would support it.
        Obviously, any access to an application file that incurs costs,
        ought to be borne by the person making the request.  I will not go
        through questions one through fourteen.  You will note in our
        materials that we have answered each of the questions fundamentally
        and in accordance with the principles I have just enumerated.