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|Top of Notices (293) December 27, 2011||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1373 CNOG 1503|
|Issue: Fees, Notifications, Applicant Submissions||Referenced Items (284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293)|
(293) Change to "Issue Notification" Procedure The "Issue Notification" informs applicants of the patent number and issue date that has been assigned to a utility, design, plant, or reissue application. The "Issue Notification" is now being mailed about 10 days before an application issues as a patent. The process of printing patents has recently been changed so that patents are printed more efficiently with patents being issued four weeks after payment of the issue fee and compliance with all formal requiremenys. See Patents to Issue More Quickly After Issue Fee Payment, 1220 Off Gaz. Pat. Office 42 (March 9, 1999) and Filing of Continuing Applications, Amendments, or Petitions after Payment of Issue Fee, 1221 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 14 (April 6, 1999). In the past, the patent number and issue date were assigned before the process of electronic capture of the information to be printed as a patent began. If, during the electronic capture process, illegible text, undecided petitions, unentered amendments or the patent application was otherwise not ready to be printed as a patent, a printer query would be generated. Since printer queries could not always be resolved before the originally scheduled issue date, the applications had to be removed from the originally scheduled issue, and assigned another patent number and issue date once the query had been resolved. This process of assigning a new patent number and issue date was inefficient. Under the new shortened publication process, however, electronic capture of the information to be printed in a patent begins as soon as an allowed application is received in Office of Patent Publication, which is well before the issue fee is paid. As a result, when the issue fee is paid and processed by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), electronic capture of the data to print the application as a patent should have been completed and any queries addressed. Thus, under the new process, the patent number and issue date are assigned to the application approximately two weeks prior to the issue date, with the notification being mailed a few days later. The instances of an "Issue Notification" being mailed and a patent not issuing on the scheduled issue date should be extremely rare. As a result of the new process, the PTO will be unable to grant a request for an earlier assignment of a patent number and issue date or to inform applicants of the patent number earlier than the mailing of the "Issue Notification". If there are any questions or comments about this change in practice, they should be forwarded to Brian Johnson, Supervisory Patent Examiner, Systems and Contracts Division, Office of Patent Publication, by facsimile at (703) 305-4372, by telephone at (703) 305-0899, or by e-mail at email@example.com or Karna Cooper, Paralegal Specialist, Office of Patent Publication, by facsimile at (703) 305-4372, by telephone at (703) 305-5254, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. April 28, 1999 NICHOLAS P. GODICI Acting Assistant Commissioner for Patents [1222 OG 108]