Drawings in Patent Application Publications and Patents

   The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has revised its 
patent drawing review procedures to implement the eighteen--month 
publication of patent applications.  See Changes to Implement Eighteen--
Month Publication of Patent Applications, 65 Fed.  Reg. 57023, 57026--27
(Sept. 20, 2000), 1239 Off. Gaz.  Pat.  Office 63, 65--66 (Oct. 10, 2000).  
While the Office of Initial Patent Examination (OIPE) will perform an 
initial review of drawings to see if the drawings are acceptable for 
publication purposes by inspecting the drawings to see if they can be
effectively reproduced by digital image scanning, the standard of review 
employed by OIPE is such that most drawings will be considered acceptable 
(even if they are designated by applicant as "informal").  If OIPE requires 
corrected drawings, the corrected drawings filed in reply to the
OIPE requirement will be included in any patent application publication or  
patent.  Otherwise, in most situations, patent application publications and patents will 
reflect the quality of the drawings that are included with a patent 
application on filing unless applicant voluntarily submits better quality 
drawings as set forth below.

   If applicant desires to have better drawings included in a patent 
application publication than the drawings which were submitted with the 
application on filing, applicant may submit replacement drawings on paper 
within the later of one month from the filing date of the application or 
fourteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is sought 
under title 35, United States Code.  The replacement 
paper drawings must be filed in an envelope addressed to BOX PGPUB 
DRAWINGS, Commissioner for Patents, Washington D.C. 20231, with a petition 
under 37 CFR 1.182 requesting entry of the drawings and the petition fee set forth 
in 37 CFR 1.17(h), in the time period set forth above.  If such drawings 
are properly and timely submitted, the patent application publication will include the 
replacement drawings.  Replacement drawings that are received later than 
this date may be included in the patent application publication, where 
practicable, if the USPTO has not started the patent application 
publication process.

   Box PGPUB DRAWINGS should only be used for filing replacement drawings 
for inclusion in a patent application publication.  The replacement 
drawings should be accompanied by a transmittal letter identifying the 
application to which the replacement drawings are directed and 
either an authorization to charge the petition fee or other payment of the 
petition fee. Replacement drawings received in this special box will be 
scanned and included in the electronic document which will be used for the 
patent application publication.  After the replacement drawings are scanned 
for the patent application publication, they will be made of record in the 
application file.  Replacement drawings that are not mailed to BOX PGPUB
DRAWINGS, or are filed without the appropriate petition fee, or are
untimely submitted, will be routed to, and made of record in, the application 
file without scanning and will not be included in the patent application 
publication, but may be included in any patent. Replacement drawings for 
other applications must be submitted in a different envelope.

   An applicant may also provide a copy of the application, as amended 
during prosecution (including better replacement drawings),
for publication via EFS.  See 37 CFR 1.215(c) and Changes to Implement 
Eighteen-Month Publication of Patent Applications, 65 Fed.  Reg. 57024,
57036 and 57059, 1239 Off.  Gaz.  Pat.  Office 63, 74 and 94.

   Questions regarding this notice may be directed to Karin Tyson, 
Senior Legal Advisor, Office of	Patent Legal Administration, Office of the 
Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy,
by telephone at (703) 306-3159, by facsimile at (703) 872-9411, or by 
e-mail to karin.tyson@uspto.gov.
December 18, 2000                                        NICHOLAS P. GODICI
                                                   Commissioner for Patents