(10)              Relief in Certain Extraordinary Situations
   This notice addresses the extraordinary situation in which a Patent
and Trademark Office (PTO) customer has been intentionally deceived by
his or her representative, resulting in a potential loss of intellectual
property rights. In such a situation, the PTO will mitigate any such
potential loss, to the extent possible within the PTO's statutory
framework and the bounds of controlling law.
   To mitigate any such loss, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks
may suspend or waive certain regulations. When that is the case, the
Commissioner will exercise his power to do so under 37 C.F.R.      1.183
and 2.148 ("In an extraordinary situation, when justice requires," the
Commissioner has the power to sua sponte suspend or waive any
requirement of the regulations which is not required by statute.).
   In advance of the occurrence of such an extraordinary situation, the
Commissioner cannot determine what specific action justice will require.
Such action, however, could include waiving of certain non-statutory
fees, reviving an abandoned application, or granting an application
filing date based on the PTO filing date of a copending document that
has all the elements of a patent application required by law.

August 11, 1995                                            BRUCE A. LEHMAN
                                       Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
                                    Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks
                                 [1178 OG 42]