COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Thank you very much, Mr. Donaldson.
        Next, I'd like to call R. J. Riley.
 
        MR. RILEY:  My name is R. J. Riley.  I represent Riley and
        Associates.  I'm an independent inventor.  My address is 1323 West
        Cook Road, Grand Blanc, Michigan, 48439.  The phone is (810)
        655-8830.  I'm going to address each of the, I believe, 14 items in
        order.  I won't read the questions, since everybody should be aware
        of them.  Regarding question one, I do not believe it's reasonable
        to require materials to be sent to one location. The practice would
        add delays in processing materials and would make it likely that
        material would not be processed in a timely manner.  Question two, I
        do not believe that a standard application format is practical.  By
        the nature of innovation, all inventions are unique.  While many of
        them might fit in a standard format, I suspect that there are always
        going to be exceptions where it won't.  I also believe that will add
        significant costs, indirect costs to inventors.  Number three, to
        minimize burdensome costs associated with publishing, the "Gazette"
        should only publish the patent description of an inventor.  Any
        additional information should be purchased by the party that wants
        the information, with that party bearing all the costs associated
        with publishing, including all administrative costs associated with
        preparing the information for publication.  Four, my answer is, yes,
        the cost of sending the notice should be borne by those companies
        who would benefit from the publication.  Five, the PTO claims that
        the average pendency is 19 and a half months.  The PTO should face
        sanctions for failure to process a patent within that time.  I think
        that the PTO should use the money that would be associated with
        publishing to improve the system so that all patents are published
        within the 18-month interval.
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Can I ask you a question?
        What kind of sanctions would you consider?
 
        MR. RILEY:  I don't know.  I think that would be an interesting
        thing to discuss.  I do believe that submarine patents are a direct
        result of the Patent Office not prosecuting things in a timely
        manner.  I understand that some patents, once they become delayed,
        become dogs for the examiners involved.  I think that most examiners
        are probably trying to do a good job, but if they get a file that
        has a long history in, it represents a huge amount of work.  You get
        a job like that, you tend to put it on the bottom of the pile and it
        makes the problem even worse.  Six, all costs associated with
        18-month publication should be borne -- did I address that or not?
        I guess I tried to -- should be borne by those who wish to access
        the patent information.  Any indirect costs incurred by inventors
        should also be passed on in the publication fee.  The application
        fee should be lowered to reflect a refund for those increased costs. 
        I do fee that this is going to add indirect costs in prosecuting
        patents.  Item seven, the PTO should not publish unless they receive
        notice to do so.  Patents are property, intellectual property.  To
        publish without an explicit consent, could cause publication to
        occur where it wasn't intended.  It is taking away the option of
        using trade secrets as a method of protection.  If something is lost
        in the mail -- or there could be a lot of reasons, followups,
        paperwork followups.  Eight, my answer is, no.  Nine, this will be a
        moot point if the PTO processes all patents in a timely manner,
        i.e., before 18 months.  Ten, yes.  Eleven, yes.  Twelve, no. 
        Thirteen, no comment.  Fourteen, I think like most other people, I
        don't want to see an opposition system like we've had here in item
        fourteen.  I also have some other concerns.  I don't think that the
        estimate of cost on this, your estimates are reasonable.  I have
        done a great deal of systems work related to computers in the
        industrial sector.  I think we can look at your existing computer
        system and the fact that it is dramatically beyond the original
        schedule and my understanding is, at this point, it's over a billion
        dollars.  That is what I have been told.  If that's wrong --
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  No, we spent about a half a billion dollars
        since it was initiated in 1983.
 
        MR. RILEY:  It's still significantly beyond its schedule.  I think
        that what is going to happen if you try to implement a system like
        this, in a year, you aren't going to be successful.  Then you're
        talking about giving people access to the patent files.  I believe
        that's going to delay the patents and bog the system down even more. 
        I just don't think that the numbers are realistic.  I think you have
        past experience that indicate that that might be the case with the
        existing computer system.  It is dramatically over budget, right?
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  It's not over budget, no.
 
        MR. RILEY:  Well, that's not the information that I had.
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Well, we have to operate on the basis of
        facts.  Probably nobody is more audited than we are by everybody,
        from the General Accounting Office, to the Inspector General to
        everybody else.
 
        MR. RILEY:  The last thing, all bureaucracies like to increase their
        size and that's true whether you're talking corporate or government
        or whatever.  Most certainly, we are seeing dramatic downsizing in
        corporate America, where it sort of crept up on them and they had
        layers and layers of middle management.  But almost every manager
        wants a bigger organization under them.  So, it's more budget and
        everything associated with it.  I can't help but wonder if the
        18-month disclosure, the cynic in me wonders if this is a method to
        dramatically increase the budget and the scope of what the Patent
        Office does.  So, with that comment, are there any other questions?
 
        COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  No, there aren't.  Thank you very much.  I'd
        like to remind people that President Clinton actually has indicated
        that we're going to eliminate a thousand people.  President Clinton
        has indicated that he is going to reduce the size the Federal
        Government by 250,000 employees.  We already have achieved about a
        100,000 reduction already.  So, I think that I want to make it
        perfectly clear that, no one in this administration is interested in
        expanding the size of the bureaucracy.  Next, I'd like to ask Thomas
        Irving, please, to come forward.
        [No response]