COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Good morning.  My name is
       Bruce Lehman.  I am Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
       Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.
 
       Joining me this morning at his hearing are Michael
       Kirk, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy
       Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, to my immediate
       left.
 
       And then, Lawrence J. Goffney, Jr., Assistant
       Commissioner for Patents; and Stephen Kunin, the Deputy
       Assistant Commissioner for Patent Policy and Projects; and
       Nancy Linck, the Solicitor of the U.S. Patent and Trademark
       Office.
 
       This is a hearing on proposed rule changes to
       implement 20-year patent term and provisional applications
       and to modify certain procedures for filing and continuation
       of provisional applications.
 
       The proposed changes would amend 37 C.F.R. Parts 1
       and 3.  The proposed rules were published on December 12,
       1994, in Volume 59 of the Federal Register, at pages 63951
       through 63966, and on January 3, 1995, in Volume 1170 of the
       Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, at
       pages 377 through 390.
 
       The request for comments on changes to a 20-year
       patent term and its effects on patent expiration and patent
       term extension under 35 U.S.C. 156 was published on January
       17, 1995, in Volume 60 of the Federal Register, at pages
       3398 and 3399.
 
       Oral testimony relating to patent term extension
       under 35 U.S.C. 156 will begin this afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
 
       On December 8th of last year, 1994, President
       Clinton signed the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Public Law
       103-465.  Most of the provisions of the legislation will
       take effect on January 1, 1996.  However, provisions
       relating to patent term and provisional application will
       take place sooner than that, on June 8, 1995.
 
       The legislation that President Clinton signed
       amended 35 U.S.C. 154 by establishing a 20-year patent term
       from the date of filing of the application.  This
       legislation provides safeguards for applicants where the
       issuance of the patent was delayed due to interferences,
       secrecy orders, and/or successful appeals to the Board of
       Patent Appeals and Interferences or to the Federal courts. 
       In these cases, applicants are entitled to patent term
       extension of up to five years.
 
       The legislation also includes transitional
       measures to minimize the need to file continuing
       applications after the effective date of the 20-year patent
       term provisions, that is, June 8, 1995.
 
       These transitional measures will change the after,
       final, and restriction practices for certain applicants. 
       The legislation also provides for the first time the filing
       of provisional applications.  The filing of the provisional
       applications will not be counted in the measurement of the
       term of a later-filed application which claims the benefit
       of the earlier-filed provisional application, in effect, a
       21-year term.
 
       A transcript of these hearings will be prepared
       and a copy will be made available for purchase by the public
       approximately 10 days after this hearing.  Copies of the
       transcript will also be available for purchase directly from
       the stenographer, if you so choose, and the name of the
       stenographic service today is Miller Reporting.  Their
       telephone number is (202) 546-6666. That is, (202) 546-6666.
 
       We received 18 written comments and 25 requests to
       appear orally at this hearing this morning.  Due to the
       number of requests to appear orally and to permit those
       persons signing up today to present testimony, we are going
       to ask each speaker to hold their comments to 10 minutes.
 
       Those persons who wish to provide additional
       comments may, time permitting, continue their testimony at
       the end of today's hearings or may submit their comments to
       the Patent and Trademark Office in writing.
 
       The speakers have been listed in the order in
       which their requests were received by the Office.  Any
       persons who wish to speak and who have not previously
       informed us of their desire to do so are requested to add
       their names to the list located at the table in the rear of
       the room.  You may also pick up at the table copies of the
       Federal Register publication of the rules change proposal. 
 
       When you present your comments, please give your
       name and address, and whether the comments presented are
       your own, those of your law firm or company, or whether you
       represent an organization and are presenting comments on
       their behalf.
 
       I would like to make an observation about this
       hearing this morning, and that is that the hearing is not
       about the wisdom of the legislation that Congress enacted
       last fall.  The hearing is about implementing that
       legislation, and so, I would hope, out of fairness to the
       people who have come to talk about the Federal Register
       notice, that witnesses would keep that in mind in presenting
       their testimony.
 
       I would also like to say, too, that in that
       regard, probably the most important two people who are here,
       in that regard, on the Panel this morning, are Assistant
       Commissioner for Patents Larry Goffney, and Steve Kunin, the
       Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Projects
       because they will be the ones primarily responsible for
       implementing this change, because Commissioner Goffney
       really is in charge of our patent operation.
 
       I also would just note that it may be, given the
       press of business in Washington and lots of other things
       that are going on, that I may have to depart and not be here
       for all of the testimony.  But rest assured that
       Commissioner Goffney and other members of the Panel will be
       here and we will have a written transcript of everyone's
       comments.