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General Information Referenced Items (94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115)
(114)                Use of Metric System of Measurements
                          in Patent Applications

   The ability of the United States to compete in world trade and improve
our trade balance is becoming more important and more difficult each
day as our competitors get stronger. Presently, the United States
is the only industrial country which has not adopted the metric system
of weights and measures. The lack of U.S. goods being produced and
packaged under metric standards results in our country being at a
competitive disadvantage in world markets.
   To improve our competitiveness, in the 1988 trade bill, Congress
established metric as the Nation's "preferred system of units for United
States trade and commerce," and set a 1992 date for Federal agencies to
complete their transition to metric uses in "procurement, grants and
other business related activities".
   To implement the congressional designation of the metric system of
measurement for U.S. trade and commerce, the President on July 25, 1991,
issued an Executive Order (Metric Usage in Federal Government Programs)
for the Federal Government to lead the way in metric usage. The
Department of Commerce has been designated as the lead agency
responsible for coordinating usage by the Federal Government.
   The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) does not currently require
weights and measures in patent applications to be stated in the metric
system. However, in Section 608.01 of the Manual of Patent Examining
Procedure, all patent applicants are strongly encouraged to use either
(1) only metric units or (2) inch-pound units together with their metric
equivalents, when describing their inventions in the specifications of
patent applications.
   In the spirit of the Executive Order, the PTO reiterates and
emphasizes strong encouragement for patent applicants to use the metric
system of weights and measurements in patent applications. At some
future time when there has been a sufficient conversion to metric usage
by U.S. research and development industries, the PTO will consider
making it a requirement that patent applicants use metric units in
patent applications.

Jan. 15, 1992            			      HARRY F. MANBECK, Jr.
					            Assistant Secretary and
			             Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks

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