United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 21 February 2006

                           Electronic Processing of
                       Information Disclosure Statement


   As part of its e-commerce program, the United States Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) beginning on January 18, 2006, will begin
electronic processing of the list of citations (e.g., forms 1449 or SB
08) submitted as part of an information disclosure statement (IDS)
submitted in applications stored by the USPTO in image form. The USPTO
will provide examiners with a tool to electronically annotate citations
and electronically sign the IDS when reviewing cited references. The
electronically processed IDS will be stored in the USPTO's official
record as an entry in the application's image file wrapper and a copy
will be mailed to applicant as part of an Office action.


   The USPTO plans to make the tool to electronically process IDSs
available to examiners in a staged release beginning on January 18,
2006, and ending in February 2006. Accordingly, applicants that receive
numerous Office actions may receive some IDS annotated by hand while
receiving other IDSs annotated by electronic means for a limited time


   The electronic annotation, similar to hand written annotations,
will cause the initials of the reviewing examiner to be applied to
either: (1) the immediate left of each citation reviewed; or (2) the
immediate left of the first of several consecutive citations and the
left of the last of the consecutive citations reviewed with a line
connecting the initials. Citations that have not been considered will
be lined through.

   The electronic signature will be in the form /John Q. Examiner/
at the bottom of the last sheet of citations of an IDS. The examiner
may elect to electronically sign each sheet of citations considered.

   Comments regarding this notice may be directed to Robert A.
Clarke, Deputy Director  -  Office of Patent Legal Administration, at
robert.clarke@uspto.gov. Technical questions regarding the
tool for electronic processing of IDS may be directed to Michael Sigda,
Manager  -  Electronic Patent File Unit, at michael.sigda@uspto.gov.

                                                                  JOHN DOLL
                                                   Commissioner for Patents