COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Next, I would like to call Louis D. Maassel.
 
        MR. MAASSEL:  My name is Louis Maassel.  I'm at 12716 Buckingham
        Drive, Bowie, Maryland.  The telephone is (301) 464-4006.  I am
        currently a consultant for the World Intellectual Property
        Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, a specialized agency of the
        United Nations.  I am here on my own behalf and my comments are my
        own.  Most of my comments, I wish to direct it to something that was
        really not discussed in the notice nor by any other people here this
        morning.  This relates to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and
        international applications.  I would like to submit the following
        observations so that they can be considered in developing the
        procedure and regulations for the publication of the U.S. patent
        applications soon after 18 months from the priority date or original
        filing date is no priority is being claimed.  My comments relate
        mainly to international applications filed under the Patent
        Cooperation Treaty, international applications designating the
        United States of America and international applications entering the
        United States' Patent and Trademark Office as a designated office 20
        or 30 months after the priority date.  As you know, the Patent
        Cooperation Treaty has been in effect for the filing of
        international applications since June 1, 1978, over 16 years.  The
        PCT provides for the publication of all international applications
        promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date of
        that application, subject to the reservation of PCT Article 64(3). 
        This reservation was taken by the United States of America and
        provides that a PCT contracting state may declare that, as far as it
        is concerned, international publication of international
        applications is not required.  The result is that, only those
        pending international applications which designate only the United
        States of America are not published by the International Bureau of
        the World Intellectual Property Organization promptly after the
        expiration of 18 months from the priority date of that application. 
        I should note that the PCT defines the priority date for the purpose
        of computing time limits to mean the earliest claimed priority date
        or if no priority of an earlier application is claimed under the
        Paris Convention, the filing of the international application.  The
        matter of the United States of America withdrawing its reservation
        under Article 64(3) should also be considered now, since the reason
        for the reservation, no 18-month publication in the U.S., will no
        longer exist.  Any such withdrawal becomes effective three months
        after the day on which the Director General has received the
        notification. Therefore, any such withdrawal should be forwarded
        three months prior to the effective date of the 18-month publication
        procedure in the U.S. PTO.  Note that, PCT Rule 48.5 currently
        provides that if an international application is not published due
        to Article 64(3), the U.S. PTO is required to notify the
        international bureau promptly after effecting national publication
        that is granted by the U.S. patent.  When a national application or
        a patent -- the United States the international application will
        nevertheless be published by the international bureau [sic].  So,
        when the U.S. patent issues, WIPO is to be notified and WIPO will
        then publish.  Almost all international applications designating the
        United States of America as one of the countries in which the patent
        protection is desired or published after promptly after the
        expiration of 18 months of the priority date [sic].  Between 1978
        through 1994, 207,696 international applications were filed
        worldwide.  In 1994, 34,104 international applications were filed
        worldwide.  Of these, 20,032 designated the United States of America
        or 58.74 percent of all filings.  I point this out to indicate that
        publications promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the
        priority date of the applications has occurred for many years for
        United States' patent applications and have, therefore, been
        publicly available for copying of claims for interference and the
        citation of prior art by third parties.  If the international
        application is filed in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese,
        Russian or Spanish, the international application itself is
        published in that language in which it was filed.  International
        applications filed in other languages are published in English.  All
        published international applications contain the title, abstract,
        search report in English.  Then I include a table which indicates
        the language of publication.  Basically, 68 percent are filed and
        published in English, 14 percent German, six percent Japanese, five
        percent French, one percent Russian, .4 percent Spanish, .3 percent
        Chinese.  Other languages such as Dutch and Swedish are published in
        English and amount to four percent. Therefore, a total of 72.5
        percent of the international applications are currently published in
        their entirety in English.  This is relevant when the U.S. PTO
        considers whether to re-publish any, all or only non-English
        international applications when they enter the international phase
        at 20 or 30 months after the priority date.  It should be noted that
        the English version of the "PCT Gazette" publishes all of the
        bibliographical information from the request form, figures if the
        application contains drawings and the title of the abstract in the
        English language.  This provides the basic identifying information
        for all published international applications to the public in
        English.  Consideration should be given as to whether the U.S. PTO
        official "Gazette" should include basic information such as the
        title of the invention, the name of the applicant, claim or
        abstract, et cetera, at the time of an international application
        designating the United States of America is published by the
        international bureau.  Such a practice is currently provided by the
        European Patent Convention in Article 158, which provides that:
        "Publication under Article 21 of the Patent Treaty of an
        international application for which the European office is
        designated as a designated office shall, subject to paragraph three,
        take the place of the publication of a European patent application. 
        It shall be mentioned in the 'European Patent Bulletin.'" That is to
        say, the European office does not re-publish them.  However, it's
        "Gazette" includes a notice identifying the application and the fact
        that it has been published by the international bureau.  As to the
        questions raised, really no comment on question one.  On question
        two, on the standard application format.  It should be noted that
        the PCT provides in Article 27(1) that, no national law shall
        require compliance with requirements relating to the form or content
        of the international application different from or in addition to
        those that are provided for in this treaty and the regulations.  The
        provisions for the physical requirements of the international
        application is set forth in PCT Rule 11.  The current U.S. PTO rules
        of practice take these provisions into account.  To require
        international applications entering the U.S. PTO as the designated
        office to meet different or additional formal requirements would be
        contrary to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.  Also note that PCT Rule
        49.5 provides that no designated office shall require that the
        translation of the international application comply with physical
        requirements other than those prescribed by the international
        application that is filed.  Although the PCT provisions do not
        control what a patent office require in non-international
        applications, it seems to be preferable to have only one set of
        formal requirements for patent applicants to follow and that these
        requirements be that that are internationally used so that U.S.
        applicants need not reformat their applications for foreign filing
        and that foreign applicants need not reformat their applications for
        filing in the U.S. PTO.
 
        It should also be noted that the PCT regulations may be changed by
        action of the PCT Assembly, however any substantial change would
        probably not be acceptable to the 76 other member countries of the
        PCT who have all changed their requirements to be those of the PCT. 
        Rule 11.5 requires that the size of all sheets of an international
        application be A4, that is 29.7 by 21 centimeters.  U.S. PTO rules
        of practice are more flexible and provide that the range of sizes
        for international application sheets and drawings [sic].  The
        sanctions under the PCT are that, if the receiving office believes
        that the international application does not comply with the
        prescribed formal requirements, it invites the applicant to correct
        the defects within a prescribed period which may be extended,
        failing which the application is considered withdrawn.  That is
        abandoned in U.S. PTO terminology.  The PCT also requires that the
        description claims drawing as an abstract, each commence on a new
        sheet.  No surcharge is made for any correction of any lack of
        compliance when a time limit for correction is set.
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Mr. Maassel?
 
        MR. MAASSEL:  Yes.
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  We have to keep things to ten minutes, because
        it wouldn't be fair to the other individuals who are here.  We have
        your complete set of comments.  So, we will study those.
 
        MR. MAASSEL:  May I ask how much time I have consumed?
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  You've consumed all your time.
 
        MR. MAASSEL:  The major reason I asked is because I presented this
        as oral mainly to inform other people of some of these concerns that
        they may wish to comment on.
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Well, this will be available to other people
        as well.  As we indicated at the beginning, the transcript will be
        available and people will have access to it.
 
        MR. KIRK:  And we have copies of all the submissions.
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  We have copies of all the submissions too that
        you can get here.
 
        AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Are you going to break for lunch?