PRESENTATION BY LEONARD CHARLES SUCHYTA
BELLCORE, BELL COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH
MR. SUCHYTA;:  Good afternoon.  My name is Leonard Charles
Suchyta.  I'm a patent attorney and I'm also the Assistant
Vice President and general attorney for the intellectual
property managers for Bell Communications Research, Inc., more
commonly known as Bellcore.
The views that I will be presenting today are the views of
Bellcore.  On behalf of Bellcore and myself, we express our
sincerest appreciation for the Patent Office permitting us to
present our views on this important matter.
A short history of Bellcore.  Bellcore is owned by and is a
research engineering organization of the seven regional
telephone companies which was established in 1984 as a result
of the divestiture of what was known as the Bell System.
Bellcore's research activities are in support of the exchange
and exchange access telecommunications services offered by
these companies and a large part of these activities are the
development and the maintenance of software systems utilized
in the provision and the administration of the exchange and
exchange access telecommunication services.
Revenues for Bellcore are roughly $1 million and they have
slightly less than 7,000 employees, most of whom are employed
in New Jersey.  Software development and maintenance is a
significant portion of these activities, in that of the 7,000
employees roughly 3,000 Bellcore employees have this type of
function.
More from a perspective point of view, there are roughly 4,500
technical employees at Bellcore with approximately 2,100
actually performing software-related services.  The software
that Bellcore develops costs in excess of tens of millions of
dollars to develop and these are protected both by patents and
copyrights as well as by trade secrets.
As a result, Bellcore views patent protections for software as
critical to the protection of the investment of Bellcore and
its owner companies and the rate payer ultimately.  Bellcore,
while not offering any detailed testimony on Topic A, would
like to set forth for the record that it strongly favors
patent protection for software-related inventions.  When
Bellcore provides its written comments it will certainly
provide detailed comments with respect to Topic A.
With respect to Topic B, Bellcore would like to address the
specific questions that were raised in the notice of the
hearing.  First of all, do the patents and the printed
publications provide examiners with a sufficient and
representative collection of the prior art to assess novelty
and obviousness.  We believe that patents and the printed
publications provide sufficient prior art.
We base this conclusion on the fact that major companies who
are actively seeking patent protection utilize patents for the
protection and also publish.  This includes Bellcore.  We
believe that publication as well as patent protection is
especially true for the computer and the telecommunications
industries.
However, we are well aware that prior art collections can
always be improved.  As a result, Bellcore has agreed that it
would voluntarily submit nonproprietary software publications
to the Patent Office's library to assist them in their
collection for prior art.
The next question that we would like to comment on is, can an
accurate measurement of the ordinary level of skill in the art
in the field of computer programming be derived from printed
publications and issued patents.  The answer is yes.
The ordinary level of skill for a software-related invention
is the same as that as for any other invention.  It makes no
difference whether they be software or hardware.  There is an
assumption that software patents are those inventions
conceived by programmers or they're somewhere down at the
programming level.  This is generally not the case and
certainly this is not the case in the case of Bellcore.
The software-related inventions for Bellcore, which we seek to
protect by patents, come from software systems designers whose
tasks are to conceive and to define the various functions and
their interrelationships which can then be combined to
comprise the software system.  The inventive aspects are
generally found with these tasks, not with the detailed coding
implementations that are left to other non-highly-technical
people.
The third question is:  Should the PTO influence a special
duty on patent applications for software-related inventions? 
We believe that the requirements of Rule 56 are sufficient and
we do not believe that software-related inventions should be
treated any differently from those afforded any other patent
application for other technology.
We would, however, be receptive to helping the examiner to
identify the areas of search or to comment on those references
where the examiner has some difficulty finding their
relevance.
The next question is:  Do the standards governing novelty and
obviousness as applied by the PTO and the federal courts
accurately reflect the inventive activity in the field of
software design and development?  Our answer is yes.
Novelty and obviousness are statutory standards that are
equally applicable to software-related inventions as well as
to other inventions.  The fact that you mentioned hardware or
software should not change that statutory standard.
The next question we'd like to address is:  Should the PTO
require applicants for software-related inventions to conduct
a search and include copies of documents?  We believe the
answer is no.
The applicant for a software-related invention should not be
required to undertake any additional obligations other than
those set forth in Rule 56 and we believe that Rule 56
adequately sets forth the standard.
The last item we'd like to comment on is the format that
software applications should take.  Should the filing of
source codes be required?  Our answer to that is, when we file
software-related applications, meeting the requirements of 35
U.S.C. 112 is sometimes very troubling.  Also sometimes
uncertain and we do not believe that the filing of the source
code serves any particular beneficial purpose, the same for
the object code.
The patentable methodologies and the techniques of
software-related inventions are really best described by some
detailed specification that's accompanied by drawings which
include flow charts and block diagrams.  To require the filing
of source code or object code would do little to meet the
requirements of Section 112 since the source code and the
object code may not even be readily understandable by those
skilled in the art or by the patent attorneys who are actually
preparing and filing the patent applications.
In fact, the source code and the object code may even serve to
obfuscate the patentable subject matter.  The obfuscation
would especially be true where the amount of the source code
or the object code filed is so large as to make it superfluous
and/or nonintelligible.
Also the source code or the object code may not be
sufficiently annotated to provide any source of information or
it just simply may not be directed to the patentable aspects
of the invention.
It is our position that the filing of the source code should
not be required and, in fact, should not even be permitted
because we believe that it will do nothing to facilitate
searching and that it is really contrary to some of the other
protections that -- I'm sorry.
Also we believe that the filing of the source code may not be
appropriate in certain circumstances since it really may
disclose the trade secret aspects of subject matter which is
not the subject of the patent application.  This certainly is
not consistent with requirements nor the objectives of the
other forms of statutory protection.
Once again, on behalf of Bellcore we thank you for permitting
us to be heard on this important matter.  And if you have any
further questions we would be more than happy to answer them. 
Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Thank you very much, Mr. Suchyta.  We
appreciate the time you have put into this and Bellcore has.
I'd like to go back now and see if Michael Chakansky has
arrived.  Apparently not.  And I don't think Mr. Heckel has
arrived either.  I think we apparently are having some
transportation problems up and down the east coast here.
Did Mr. DeAngeli arrive?
(No audible response.)
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Then we'll go on to D.C. Toedt.  Oh,
I'm sorry, Vern Blanchard.  I'm sorry, I missed Mr. Blanchard. 
Sorry.
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