(144)                       DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
                          Patent and Trademark Office
                        [Docket No. 980326078-8078-01]

            Request for Comments on Proposed Internet Usage Policy

AGENCY: Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and request for public comments.

SUMMARY: The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) requests comments on a
proposed Internet usage policy. The policy is intended to provide
guidance to PTO employees regarding the use of the Internet for official
PTO business. The policy is to cover (1) communications with applicants
via Internet electronic mail (e-mail) and (2) using the Internet to
search for information concerning patent applications and elements
appearing in trademark applications.

DATES: Written comments on the proposed Internet usage policy will be
accepted by the PTO until December 28, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to the attention of
Magdalen Greenlief, Office of the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for
Patent Policy and Projects. Comments submitted by mail should be sent
to: Box Comments - Patents, Assistant Commissioner for Patents,
Washington, D.C. 2023 1. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile
transmission to (703) 305-8825 or by electronic mail through the
Internet to "magdalen.greenlief@uspto.gov".

Written comments will be available for public inspection in Suite 910 of
Crystal Park 2, 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia. In addition,
comments provided in machine-readable format will be available through
the PTO's Website at http://www.uspto.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Magdalen Greenlief, by mail to her
attention addressed to Box Comments-Patents, Assistant Commissioner for
Patents, Washington, D.C. 20231; by telephone at (703) 305-8813; by
facsimile transmission to (703) 305-8825; or by electronic mail through
the Internet to "magdalen.greenlief@uspto.gov".

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks
issued a Notice entitled "Interim Internet Usage Policy" in the Official
Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (O.G.) on
February 25, 1997 at 1195 O.G. 89. The Notice set forth interim
guidelines for PTO employees regarding the use of the Internet to
conduct official PTO business. The Notice also stated that the
guidelines are interim since the public has not had an opportunity to
comment on them and that the PTO will publish a Notice in the Federal
Register and the Official Gazette requesting comments from the public on
the use of the Internet in the PTO's patent and trademark examination
process. Pursuant to the February 25, 1997 O.G. Notice, the following
proposed Internet Usage Policy is being published for public comment.
   
The Internet offers a highly effective means of identifing, locating,
and retrieving scientific and technical information and also provides a
means for the applicant to communicate with PTO employees via advanced
electronic mail. Communications via Internet e-mail are at the
discretion of the applicant. In view of the fact that all communications
and data transmitted from or to applicant by the Internet may be neither
encrypted nor secure, applicants who wish to communicate with the PTO on
an unsecure medium such as Internet e-mail do so at their own risk. If
an applicant wishes the PTO to communicate with the applicant on the
unsecure medium, the applicant may authorize the PTO to do so by
submitting a written authorization. Where the Internet is used to search
patent applications, PTO employees must restrict their search operations
to determining the general state of the art. The purpose of the Internet
usage policy is to provide guidelines for PTO employees for using the
Internet to conduct official PTO business.
   
(A) Regarding communications between PTO employees and applicant by
electronic mail, the PTO is particularly interested in comments relating
to the following:
   
(1) Regarding communication with the Patent Organization, where a
written authorization by the applicant has been given, Patent Article 5
of the proposed Internet usage policy limits the use of the Internet
e-mail for communications other than those under 35 U.S.C. 132 or which
othenvise require a signature. Should such limitations be imposed? If
so, what other types of correspondence should not be communicated via
Internet e-mail?
   
(2) What type of confirmation, if any, from the PTO would you like to
see regarding whether the e-mail with attachments has been received and
is readable?
   
(3) Regarding communication with the Patent Organization, the "Interim
Internet Usage Policy" published on February 25, 1997 at 1195 O.G. 89
indicated that an express waiver under 35 U.S.C. 122 by the applicant is
required before Internet e-mail may be used by PTO employees to conduct
official PTO business where sensitive data will be exchanged or where
there exists a possibility that sensitive data could be identified.
   
The reference to a waiver of 35 U.S.C. 122 has been deleted from the
proposed Internet usage policy because it appears to be unnecessary. Are
there any problems with the elimination of the waiver?
   
(4) Patent Article 7 and Trademark .Article 8 of the proposed Internet
usage policy permits PTO employees to respond to applicant's e-mail
correspondence by other appropriate means such as telephone or by
facsimile transmission. Would you prefer to have PTO employees respond
via Internet e-mail or is the other appropriate means noted above
acceptable?
   
(5) How likely would you utilize the Internet e-mail to conduct
interviews under the conditions set forth in Patent Article 8 and
Trademark Article 9 of the proposed Internet usage policy?
   
(6) In view of the fact that all communications and data transmitted
from or to the applicant by the Internet may be neither encrypted nor
secure, how likely and how often and for what purpose would you utilize
the Internet e-mail to communicate with PTO employees regarding a
particular application?
   
(7) Should digital signatures, digital certificates, public key/ private
key encryption and key recovery be used for Internet e-mail? If so, what
software(s) should PTO use?
   
(B) The PTO is also interested in comments regarding searching and
retrieving scientific and technical information in patent applications
via the Internet, particularly comments relating to searching and
retrieving scientific and technical information in patent applications
which the PTO must maintain in confidence pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 122.
   
Please submit separate comments concerning patent provisions and
trademark provisions. Although comments may be submitted by mail or
facsimile transmission, the Office prefers to receive comments via the
Internet. Where comments are submitted by mail, the Office would prefer
that the comments be submitted on a DOS formatted 3.5" disk accompanied
by a paper copy of the comments.
   
Written comments should include the following information:
   
-- Name and affiliation of the individual responding;
   
-- An indication of whether the comments offered represent views of the
respondent's organization or are the respondent's personal views; and
   
-- If applicable, information on the respondent's organization,
including the type of organization (e.g., business, trade group,
university, nonprofit organization).
I. PROPOSED PATENT INTERNET USAGE POLICY
Introduction:
The Internet and its offspring, the World Wide Web (WWW), offer the PTO
opportunities to (1) enhance operations by enabling Patent Examiners to
locate and retrieve new sources of scientific and technical information,
(2) communicate more effectively with our customers via advanced
electronic mail (e-mail) and file transfer functions, and (3) more
easily publish information of interest to the intellectual property
community and the general public. This new technology offers low-cost,
high speed, and direct communications capabilities upon which the PTO
wishes to capitalize.
   
The organizations reporting to the Assistant Commissioner for Patents
have special legal requirements that must be satisfied as part of the
PTO's goal to make effective use of the Internet. Because security
issues concerning transmission and capture of search requests by
unauthorized individuals have not yet been resolved, Patent Examiners
are to exercise good judgment and restrict their searches to nonspecific
patent application uses.
Purpose:
   
To establish a policy for use of the Internet by the Patent Examining
Corps and other organizations within the PTO;
   
To address use of the Internet to conduct interview-like communications
and other forms of formal and informal communications;
   
To publish guidelines for locating, retrieving, citing, and properly
documenting scientific and technical information sources on the Internet;
   
To inform the public how the PTO intends to use the Internet; and
   
 To establish a flexible Internet policy framework which can be
modified, enhanced, and corrected as the PTO, the public, and customers
learn to use, and subsequently integrate, new and emerging Internet
technology into existing business infrastructures and everyday
activities to improve the patent application, the examining, and
granting functions.
Article 1. Applicability
   
This policy applies to members of the Patent Organization within the
PTO, including contractors and consultants working with, or conducting
activities in support of, the Patent Organization.
Article 2. Scope
   
This policy applies to activities associated with, or directly related
to, use of the Internet via PTO-provided network connections,
facilities, and services. This includes, but is not limited to, PTONet
connections, Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO)-provided PCs and
workstations, and Internet provider services. This policy also applies
to use of other non-PTO Internet access facilities and equipment that
are used to conduct non-patent application specific work.
Article 3. Conformance with existing, PTO-wide, Internet use policy
   
This Internet Usage Policy supersedes the Interim Internet Usage Policy
published in the Official Gazette on February 1997. The policy outlined
in this document augments the existing PTO Internet Acceptable Use
Policy as set forth in the Office Automation Services Guide. As such,
this policy is an extension of current PTO office-wide Internet policy.
Article 4. Confidentiality of Proprietary Information
   
If security and confidentiality cannot be attained for a specific use,
transaction, or activity, then that specific use, transaction, or
activity shall NOT be undertaken/conducted.
   
All use of the Internet by Patent Organization employees, contractors,
and consultants shall be conducted in a manner that ensures compliance
with confidentiality requirements in statutes, including 35 U.S.C. 122,
and regulations. Where a written authorization is given by the applicant
for the PTO to communicate with the applicant via Internet e-mail,
communications via Internet e-mail may be used.
   
Backup, archiving, and recovery of information sent or received via the
Internet is the responsibility of individual users. The OCIO does not,
and will not, as a normal practice, provide backup and recovery services
for information produced, retrieved, stored, or transmitted to/from the
Internet.

Article 5. Communications via the Internet and Authorization
   
Communications via Internet e-mail are at the discretion of the
applicant.
   
Without a written authorization by applicant in place, the PTO will not
respond via Internet e-mail to any Internet correspondence which
contains information subject to the confidentiality requirement as set
forth in 35 U.S.C. 122. A paper copy of such correspondence will be
placed in the appropriate patent application.
   
The following is a sample authorization form which may be used by
applicant: "Recognizing that Internet communications are not secure, I
hereby authorize the PTO to communicate with me concerning any subject
matter of this application by electronic mail. I understand that a copy
of these communications will be made of record in the application file."
   
A written authorization may be withdrawn by filing a signed paper
clearly identifying the original authorization. The following is a
sample form which may be used by applicant to withdraw the authorization:
   
"The authorization given on lh1,3, to the PTO to communicate with me
via the Internet is hereby withdrawn. I understand that the withdrawal
is effective when approved rather than when received."
   
Where a written authorization is given by the applicant, communications
via Internet e-mail, other than those under 35 U.S.C. 132 or which
otherwise require a signature, may be used. In such case, a printed copy
of the Internet e-mail communications MUST be given a paper number,
entered into the Patent Application Location and Monitoring System
(PALM) and entered in the patent application file. A reply to an Office
action may NOT be communicated by applicant to the PTO via Internet
e-mail. If such a reply is submitted by applicant via Internet e-mail, a
paper copy will be placed in the appropriate patent application file
with an indication that the reply is NOT ENTERED.
   
PTO employees are NOT permitted to initiate communications with
applicant via Internet e-mail unless there is a written authorization of
record in the patent application by the applicant.
   
All reissue applications are open to public inspection under 37 CFR 1.1
l(a) and all papers relating to a reexamination proceeding which have
been entered of record in the patent or reexamination file are open to
public inspection under 37 CFR 1.1 l(d). PTO employees are NOT permitted
to initiate communications with applicant in a reissue application or a
patentee of a reexamination proceeding via Internet e-mail unless
written authorization is given by the applicant or patentee.
Article 6. Authentication of Sender by a Patent Organization Recipient
   
The misrepresentation of a sender's identity (i.e., spoofing) is a known
risk when using electronic communications. Therefore, Patent
Organization users have an obligation to be aware of this risk and
conduct their Internet activities in compliance with established
procedures.
   
Internet e-mail must be initiated by a registered practitioner, or an
applicant in a pro se application, and sufficient information must be
provided to show representative capacity in compliance with 37 CFR 1.34.
Examples of such information include the attorney registration number,
attorney docket number, and patent application number.
Article 7. Use of Electronic Mail Services
   
Once e-mail correspondence has been received from the applicant, as set
forth in Patent Article 4, such correspondence must be responded to
appropriately. The Patent Examiner may respond to an applicant's e-mail
correspondence by telephone, fax, or other appropriate means.

Article 8. Interviews
   
Internet e-mail shall NOT be used to conduct an exchange or
communications similar to those exchanged during telephone or personal
interviews unless a written authorization has been given under Patent
Article 5 to use Internet e-mail. In such cases, a paper copy of the
Internet e-mail contents MUST be made and placed in the patent
application file as required by the Federal Records Act in the same
manner as an Examiner Interview Summary Form is entered.
Article 9. Internet Searching
   
The ultimate responsibility for formulating individual search strategies
lies with individual Patent Examiners, Scientific and Technical
Information Center (STIC) staff, and anyone charged with protecting
proprietary application data. When the Internet is used to search,
browse, or retrieve information relating to a patent application, other
than a reissue application or reexamination proceeding, Patent
Organization users MUST restrict search queries to the general state of
the art. Internet search, browse, or retrieval activities that could
disclose proprietary information directed to a specific application,
other than a reissue application or reexamination proceeding, are NOT
permitted.
   
This policy also applies to use of the Internet as a communications
medium for connecting to commercial database providers.
Article 10. Documenting Search Strategies
   
All Patent Organization users of the Internet for patent application
searches shall document their search strategies in accordance with
established practices and procedures as set forth in MPEP 719.05
subsection (B)(6).
Article 11. Citations
   
All Patent Organization users of the Internet for patent application
searches shall record their fields of search and search results in
accordance with established practices and procedures as set forth in
MPEP 719.05 subsection (B)(6).

Subparagraph A.
   
Internet document citations should include information which is normally
included for reference documents (i.e., Form PTO-892). In addition, any
information which would aid a future searcher in locating the document
should be included in the citation. Guidelines for citing electronic
information can be found as an attachment to this policy.

Subparagraph B.
   
When a document found on the Internet is not the original publication,
then the Patent Examiner or STIC staff shall pursue the acquisition of a
copy of the originally published document or an original of the document
or Web object in question for all references cited. Note: scanned images
are considered to be a copy of the original publication. Electronic-only
documents are original publications.

Article 12. Professional Development
   
The Internet is recognized as a tool for professional development. It
may be useful for keeping informed of technological and legal
developments in all art areas. For example, use of the Internet for
keeping abreast of conferences, seminars, and for receiving mail from
appropriate list servers is acceptable.

Article 13. Policy Guidance and Clarifications
   
Within the Patent Organization, any questions regarding Internet usage
policy should be directed to the user's immediate supervisor. Non-PTO
personnel should direct their questions to the Office of the Deputy
Assistant Commissioner for Patent Policy and Projects.

II. PROPOSED TRADEMARK INTERNET USAGE POLICY

Introduction:
   
The Internet and its offspring, the World Wide Web (WWW), offer the PTO
opportunities to (1) enhance customer services by enabling attorney
advisors (Trademarks) and other Trademark employees to locate and
retrieve new sources of legal, scientific, commercial and technical
information, (2) communicate more effectively with customers via
electronic mail (e-mail) and file transfer functions, and (3) more
easily publish information of interest to the intellectual property
community and the general public.
   
This new technology offers low-cost, high speed, direct communication
capabilities that the PTO wishes to leverage to the advantage of its
customers. The organizations reporting to the Assistant Commissioner for
Trademarks have special legal requirements that must be satisfied as
part of the PTO's goal to make effective use of the Internet and
electronic commerce.

Purpose:
   
To establish a policy for use of the Internet by organizations reporting
to the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks, including: the Office of
the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks, the Trademark Examining
Operation, Trademark Services, Trademark Program Control and the
Trademark Assistance Center;
   
To address use of the Internet to conduct interview-like communications,
and other forms of formal and informal communications;
   
To publish guidelines for locating, retrieving, citing, and properly
documenting scientific, commercial and technical information sources on
the Internet;
   
To inform the public how the PTO intends to use the Internet; and
   
To establish a flexible Internet policy framework which can be modified,
enhanced, and corrected as the PTO, the public, and customers learn to
use, and subsequently integrate, new and emerging Internet technology
into existing business infrastructures and everyday activities to
improve the trademark application, examination, and registration
business processes.

Article 1. Applicability
   
This policy applies to members of the Trademark Organization reporting
to the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks within the PTO, including
contractors and consultants working with, or conducting activities in
support of, the Trademark Organization. It does not apply to members of
the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board or contractors and consultants
working with, or conducting activities in support of, the Trademark
Trial and Appeal Board.

Article 2. Scope
   
This policy applies to activities associated with, or directly related
to, use of the Internet via PTO-provided network connections,
facilities, and services. This includes, but is not limited to, PTONet
connections, Office of Chief information Officer (OCIO)-provided PCs and
workstations, and Internet provider services. This policy also applies
to use of other non-PTO Internet access facilities and equipment that
are used to conduct non-trademark application specific work.

Article 3. Conformance with existing, PTO-wide, Internet use policy
   
This Internet Usage Policy supersedes the Interim Internet Usage Policy
published in the Official Gazette in February 1997. The policy outlined
in this document augments the existing PTO Internet Acceptable Use
Policy as set forth in the Office Automation Services Guide. As such,
this policy is an extension of current PTO office-wide Internet policy.

Article 4. Correspondence acceptable via the Internet
   
Internet e-mail may be used to reply or respond to an examining
attorney's Office Action, to reply or respond to a petitions attorney's
30-day letter, to reply or respond to a Post Registration Office Action,
as well as to conduct informal communications regarding a particular
application or registration with the appropriate Trademark Organization
employee. If e-mail communication is initiated by the applicant or
applicant's attorney, Office Actions, Priority Actions, Examiner's
Amendments, petitions attorney's 30-day letters, and Post Registration
Office Actions may be sent to the applicant via Internet e-mail or by
telephone, fax, or other appropriate means. Readable attachments to
Internet e-mail for such purposes as the submission of evidence,
specimens, affidavits and declarations will be accepted.

Article 5. Communications not acceptable via the Internet
   
Internet e-mail or other Internet communications may NOT be used to file
Trademark Applications, Amendments to Allege Use, Statements of Use,
Requests for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use, Section 8
affidavits, Section 9 affidavits, or Section 15 affidavits until such
time as the PTO publishes electronic forms for these filings and they
are made available on the Internet by the PTO. Internet e-mail may be
used to submit specimens of use, but the Office will determine
acceptability of the specimen(s) and if the specimens are found not to
meet the standards for specimens of use, additional specimens will be
required. Certified copies of foreign certificates will NOT be accepted
via Internet e-mail. Internet e-mail may NOT be used for any
correspondence with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Article 6. Initiating Internet Communications
   
Internet communications will NOT be initiated by the Trademark
Organization unless it is authorized to do so by the applicant or by the
applicant's attorney. Authorization for members of the Trademark
Organization to communicate with applicant or applicant's attorney via
Internet e-mail may be given by so indicating in the application
submitted to the PTO or in any official written communication with the
Trademark Organization. The authorization must include the Internet
e-mail address to which all Internet e-mail is to be sent, Internet
communications may also be initiated and authorized by applicant or
applicant's attorney by telephone or by responding to an Office Action
or other official communication via an Internet e-mail address indicated
on the official correspondence.

Article 7. Waivers and Authentication
   
Applicants and their attorneys understand that the misrepresentation of
a sender's identity is a known risk when using electronic
communications. Therefore, Trademark Organization users have an
obligation to be aware of this risk and conduct their Internet
activities in compliance with established procedures.
   
Internet e-mail must be initiated and authorized by a practitioner, or
the applicant in a pro se application. Sufficient information must be
provided to show representative capacity in compliance with 37 CFR 2.17
and 10.14. In trademark cases, examples of such information would
include signing a paper in practice before the PTO in a trademark case,
attorney docket number, and trademark application serial number or
registration number.
   
The Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks will waive 37 CFR 10.18 to the
extent that it requires an original signature personally signed by a
trademark practitioner in permanent ink on any correspondence filed with
the PTO. Receipt of an Internet e-mail communication by the Trademark
Organization from the address of applicant or applicant's attorney
containing the /s/ notation in lieu of signature and which references a
Trademark application serial number will be understood to constitute a
certificate that:
   
1. the correspondence has been read by the applicant or practitioner;
   
2. the filing of the correspondence is authorized;
   
3. to the best of the applicant's or practitioner's knowledge,
information, and belief, there is good ground to support the
correspondence, including any allegations of improper conduct contained
or alleged therein; and
   
4. the correspondence is not interposed for delay.
   
Applicants requesting to correspond with the Trademark Organization via
the Internet should recognize that Internet communications might not be
secure, and should understand that a copy of any and all communications
received via the Internet will be placed in the file wrapper and become
a permanent part of the record.

Article 8. Office Procedures
   
When authorized to do so, the Trademark Organization will send Office
Actions and other official correspondence to the Internet e-mail address
indicated by the applicant or applicant's attorney. A signed, paper copy
of the outgoing correspondence will be associated with the trademark
application file wrapper.
   
When communications are received by an examining attorney, or other
appropriate Trademark Organization employee, the attorney or employee
will immediately reply to the communication acknowledging receipt of the
communication. The date the communication was received by the Trademark
Organization that appears in the heading of the communication will
constitute the receipt date within the PTO for purposes of
time-sensitive communications unless that date is a Saturday, Sunday, or
Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, in which case the
receipt date will be the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday,
Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. A paper copy
of all Internet e-mail communications, including a copy of any and all
attachments, will be associated with the trademark application file
wrapper. A paper copy of any informal communications regarding a
particular trademark application or registration will be associated with
the file wrapper and become a part of the record.

Article 9. Remedies
   
When an application is held abandoned because a timely Internet e-mail
communication was sent to and received by the Trademark Organization but
was not timely associated with the application file wrapper, the
abandoned application may be reinstated by the Trademark Organization.
There is no fee for a request to reinstate such an application.
   
When an application is held abandoned because a timely Internet e-mail
communication was sent to, but apparently not received by the Trademark
Organization, applicant or applicant's attorney may petition the
Commissioner to revive the abandoned application pursuant to 37 CFR 2.66
and TMEP      1112.05(a), (b). In determining whether or not an Internet
response was timely filed, the Commissioner may accept a copy of a
signed certificate of transmission meeting the requirements of 37 CFR
1.8, a copy of the previously transmitted correspondence, and a
statement attesting to the personal knowledge of timely transmission of
the response. 37 CFR 1.8(b)(1), (2), and (3).
   
In all situations, the applicant or the applicant's attorney should
promptly notify the Office after becoming aware that the application was
abandoned because a communication was not timely associated with the
file wrapper or was not received by the Office.

Article 10. Use of Electronic Mail Services
   
Once e-mail correspondence has been received from an applicant, as set
forth in Trademark Article 6, such correspondence must be responded to
appropriately. The Trademark Organization employee may respond to an
applicant's Internet e-mail correspondence by telephone, fax, or other
appropriate means.

Article 11. Interviews
   
Internet e-mail may be used to conduct an exchange of communications
similar to those exchanged during telephone or personal interviews. In
such cases, a paper copy of the Internet e-mail contents MUST be made
and placed in the trademark application file wrapper.

Article 12. Documenting Search Strategies
   
All Trademark Organization users of the Internet for trademark
application research shall document their search strategies in
accordance with established practices and procedures as set forth in
TMEP    1106.07(a).

Subparagraph A.
   
Any information, which would aid a future searcher in locating the
document retrieved through Internet research, should be included in the
citation. Guidelines for citing electronic information can be found as
an attachment to this policy.

Subparagraph B.
   
When a document found on the Internet is not the original publication,
then the Trademark Examining Attorney or Trademark Library staff shall
pursue the acquisition of a copy of the originally published document or
an original of the document or Web object in question for all references
cited. Note: scanned images are considered to be a copy of the original
publication. Electronic-only documents are original publications.

Article 13. Professional Development
   
The Internet is recognized as a tool for professional development. It
may be useful for keeping informed of technological and legal
developments. For example, use of the Internet for keeping abreast of
conferences, seminars, and for receiving mail from appropriate list
servers is acceptable.

Article 14. Policy Guidance and Clarifications
   
Within the Trademark Organization, any questions regarding the Internet
usage policy should be directed to the user's immediate supervisor.
Non-PTO personnel should direct their questions to the Office of the
Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks.

Attachment

Guidelines for Citing Electronic Resources
   
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has created a
standardized method for citing electronic resources. The formats are set
forth in document ISO 690-2, which was published on November 15, 1997.
The formats in ISO 690-2 are consistent with those proposed by the PTO
in the fall of 1996.
   
ISO 690-2 references several ISO standards relating to documentation of
publications. These are namely ISO 4:1984 Documentation - Rules for the
abbreviation of title words and titles of publications; ISO 639:1988
Code for the representation of names of languages; ISO 690:1987
Documentation - Bibliographic references - content, form, and structure
(the parent standard of 690-2); ISO 832:1994 Information and
documentation - bibliographic description and references - Rules for the
abbreviation of typical words; ISO 2108:1992 Information and
documentation - International standard book numbering (ISBN); ISO
3297:1986 Documentation - International standard serial numbering
(ISSN); ISO 5127-1:1983 Documentation and information - Vocabulary -
Part 1: Basic concepts; ISO 8601:1988 Date elements and interchange
formats - Information interchange - Representation of dates and times;
ISO/TR 9544:1988 Information processing - computer-assisted publishing -
Vocabulary; and ISO/IEC DIS 11179-3 Information technology -
Coordination of data element standardization.
Elements of a Bibliographic Citation
The typical elements of a bibliographic citation are:
   
a. Author(s) -- individual and corporate
   
b. Title
   
Titles fall into two general categories:
   
 o Those that denote the source work (monograph, journal, 
conference, anthology/compilation, etc.)
   
 o Those that describe the paper, chapter, or portion of 
work
   
c. Publication Date
   
d. Publisher
   
e. Report number/Series Number/Other identifying number
   
f. Editor(s)
   
g. Page numbers
   
h. Volume number
   
i. Issue number
   
j. Edition
   
A single print resource may not have all of the elements listed above;
however, they will possess those which are appropriate to the work. In
the case of monographs the volume and/or issue number may not be
essential; as with journals the element for edition will be nonexistent.
Therefore, it can be noted that even in traditional print publications
the format of citations will vary with the resource being cited.
   
The same can be said for the realm of electronic publications.
Electronic documents with originally published print equivalents will
have most traditional bibliographic elements. Those that have no print
equivalents will most likely not have traditional elements, even though
they may look like and seem to possess many qualities of print
publications.
Elements of Electronic Resource Citations
   
What makes the electronic resource different from the print resource?
Initially it is safe to state that basic elements of a print citation
are also applicable to the electronic form. These basic elements will
include a title (even in the case of electronic mail in which the
subject line can become the title element), originator (author),
publisher, and publication date (although with electronic publications
this element often raises problems for those verifying the document).
Characteristics which are inherent to print publications but may not be
to the electronic form include volumes, issues, and page numbers. The
electronic resource will have elements in addition to the print
resource. These elements include:
   
a. Type of Media
   
CD-ROM or other optical storage media
   
Diskette or other magnetic storage media
   
Online, including the Internet
   
b. Availability
   
The information required to retrieve the resource. In the 
case of online Internet resources this would include 
address-type information, along with directories, file 
names, etc.
   
c. Date(s)
   
o Posted/Publication
   
The publication date is the date the author/originator 
affixes to the document. If that is not present, the date 
the system  administrator  or  webmaster  placed  the 
document on the online system can be substituted.
   
o Accessed on
   
The date the user found and read the document. They may 
also have downloaded the document for personal use. This 
date will provide future readers with documentation as to 
what version/edition the document was on when it was 
accessed. If a document was altered subsequently there 
will not be confusion as to which document the user is 
referring to.
   
Proposed Formats
   
When an examiner retrieves a document from an electronic source, he/she
will determine if it is useful and will cite it if appropriate. Assuming
the examiner has located all pertinent bibliographic elements for a
citation, the next task will be to format the citation.
   
Punctuation is an interesting problem for electronic documents.
Traditionally, academics and library scientists have used punctuation as
a means for separating bibliographic elements in a citation. In the case
of retrieving electronic documents, punctuation becomes part of the
citation. When expressing URLs, directories, filenames, etc.,
punctuation marks are required to create an accurate citation.
Therefore, limit the amount of punctuation in the citation in order to
avoid confusion.
   
Due to the ease and potential frequency of updates of electronic
documents, ISO 690-2 recommends the use of month, date, year, and time
of day on all date citations. There is no stated preference for dates
using standard abbreviated months (Jan., Feb., Mar.) or complete numeric
transcription (using standard format of year-month-date).
   
Additionally, standard abbreviations for journal titles, countries,
provinces, etc. should be applied to electronic citations.
   
The following formats are proposals for how an examiner might cite an
electronic document. However, all possible citation iterations are not
included; this is a sampling.

CD-ROM, Diskette, Commercial Database
Author. (publication date). Title. Source ("source" defined as the
entire work, i.e. journal title). [Type of Medium], volume (issue),
paging. Available:
sample:
Smith, Joe. (January 1999). How to do an online search. Database.
[CD-ROM], 17(2), 1-2. Available: UMI. File: General Periodicals Index.

FTP
Author. (publication date). Title. Source. [Type of Medium], volume
(issue), paging. Available: Accessed on:
sample:
Smith, Joe. (January 1999). How to do an online search. Database.
[Online], 17(2), 1-2. Available FTP: ftp.database.edu Directory:
pubs/journals/database.online/vol17 File: 002dbs.txt Accessed on:
February 1, 1999.

E-mail, Listservs, Usenet
Author. <author e-mail address> (publication/posted date). Title. Source
(or Subject Line replaces title/source). [Type of Medium], volume
(issue), paging. Available: (either list the listserv address or fill
this position with "personal e-mail") Accessed on (or received on):
sample:
Smith, Joe. <jsmith@database. org> (January 1999). How to do an online
search. Database. [Online], 17(2), 1-2. Available: personal e-mail.
Received on: February 1, 1999.
OR
Smith, Joe. <jsmith@database.org> Here's some search advice. [Online]
Available: PACS-L@UHUPVM1.uh.edu Accessed on: February 1, 1999.

Gopher
Author. (publication date). Title. Source. [Type of Medium] volume
(issue), paging. Available: Accessed on:
sample:
Smith, Joe. (January 1999). How to do an online search. Database.
[Online] 17(2), 1-2. Available Gopher:
meckler.dbs.org/Database/pubs/journals/vol17/Howsearch Accessed on:
February 1, 1999.

Web Site
Author. (publication date). Title. Source. [Type of Medium] volume
(issue), paging. Available: Last update: Accessed on:
sample:
Smith, Joe. (January 1999). How to do an online search. Database
[Online] 17(2), 1-2.
Available Web Site:
www/meckler.database.org/Database/pbs/journals/vol17/002dbs.txt
Last update: January 1999 Accessed on: February 1, 1999.
   
Examiners are encouraged to speak to a PTO librarian or technical
information specialist when they find that crucial elements to the
citation are lacking in their records. The information specialist will
work with the examiner to verify dates, authors, and other elements as
needed.

Oct. 20, 1998                                               BRUCE A. LEHMAN
                                        Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
                                     Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks

                                 [1216 OG 74]