Department of Commerce
                          Patent and Trademark Office

                        [Docket No. 980713169-8167-01]

               Dissemination of Patent and Trademark Information
                             on the PTO's Web Site
Agency: Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

Action: Notice and request for public comments.

Summary: The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) plans to expand the
searchable database offerings on its World-Wide Web (Web) site by adding
additional patent data and by including trademark data. This expansion
will provide Web access to the full text of patents granted since 1976
and to the trademark text data for registered and pending marks. The PTO
also plans to incorporate patent and trademark image data and trademark
data for inactive marks as part of its expanded Web offering. The PTO
requests public comments on its decision to expand its Web site

Dates: To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or
before August 26, 1998.

Addresses: Address comments to the Commissioner of Patents and
Trademarks, Attention: Wesley H. Gewehr, Administrator for Information
Dissemination, Crystal Park 3, Suite 451, Washington, D.C. 20231; or fax
to 703-306-2737; or e-mail to Comments will be
available for public inspection in the Office of Electronic Information
Products, Crystal Park 3, Suite 441, 2231 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va.

For Further Information Contact: Jane S. Myers, Office of Electronic
Information Products, by telephone at 703-306-2600; by fax at
703-306-2737; by e-mail to; or by mail to Patent
and Trademark Office, Office of Electronic Information Products, Crystal
Park 3, Suite 441, Washington, D.C. 2O231.

Supplementary Information: The PTO has been directed to disseminate
patent and trademark information using automated methods. See 35 USC
41(i)(2). The PTO currently provides the public with on-line access, for
a fee, to internal patent and trademark automated search systems in its
public search facilities located in Crystal City, Va. Thirty-one Patent
and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs) offer on-line access to PTO's
automated patent full-text search system, and three Partnership PTDLs
offer on-line access to PTO's automated trademark text and image search
system and to the automated patent image retrieval system. The PTO also
provides access to subsets of its patent and trademark databases on
CD-ROMs in the PTO's public search facilities and at 83 PTDLs located
throughout the country. The PTO sells its CD-ROM products to the public,
and the Government Printing Office makes them available to the Federal
Depository Libraries. Although the PTO has provided World-Wide Web
access to searchable patent bibliographic data since November 1995,
neither searchable trademark data, the full text of patents, nor patent
and trademark image data are currently available on the PTO Web site.

The PTO hereby provides notice to the public of its plans to expand
searchable patent data and to begin offering searchable trademark data
on its Web site. In August of this year, the PTO plans to provide free
Web access to the trademark text data that is currently available on the
PTO's Cassis CD-ROM products--Trademarks Registered and Trademarks
Pending--covering active registered and pending marks. In November 1998,
this trademark offering will include the "clipped" images associated
with these marks. In the future, this searchable trademark database will
be expanded to include inactive (abandoned, cancelled and expired) marks
and some additional data elements associated with those inactive marks,
and will be updated more frequently to reflect more current conditions
of the trademark database. Also in November 1998, the PTO plans to
expand its patent database offering on the Web to include free access to
the full text of all patents issued since 1976. In March 1999, the
patent offering will allow users free access to the full page images of
patents identified. On-line ordering of patent documents issued since
1976 for electronic delivery, for a fee, is planned for March 1999. Any
such fee will be established by taking into consideration applicable
government policy, OMB circular A-130, the Paperwork Reduction Act, and
any other applicable statutes. The PTO requests public comments on its
plans to expand its Web site offerings.

July 21, 1998                                               BRUCE A. LEHMAN
                                        Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
                                     Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks