From: Susan Freya Olive [solive@...]
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 3:33 PM
To: TM TEASPLUS Comments
Subject: Comments on proposed reduced-fee application [Docket No.
The proposed reduced-fee option is in large part reasonable.
With one exception, the proposed conditions that lead to
qualification for the reduced fee are calculated to reduce the
Office's costs of examination, either by ensuring that data is
received electronically so that it need not be converted to
electronic form (which obviously results in a savings), or by
requiring the use of standard descriptions for the goods and
services (which should remove issues relating to adequacy of
description and hence simplify examination, again resulting in
savings). The latter point, of course, assumes that the Office will
regularly update and enhance the Acceptable Identifications as it
has pledged to do.
However, the proposed requirement in Section 2.23(a)(2) that
responses to Office Actions and the like be filed within two months
has no fiscal effect and is inappropriate. The requirement
discriminates against foreign applicants, and against small
businesses and individual applicants. In each of those cases,
regardless of the technical prowess of the attorney
representatives, clients frequently communicate with their counsel
by regular mail. The attorneys are well able to meet the reasonable
requirements of the Office that result in improved efficiency and
cost savings, but cannot necessarily meet the 60-day requirement
because of communication difficulties with the clients. Indeed with
many foreign clients, and particularly the smaller entities and/or
those located in less-developed nations, it remains the exception
rather than the rule to receive a response on critical questions
within 60 days or to receive necessary additional specimens and
declarations within that time. The same is true for smaller
companies within the United States.
There is no need to reduce the response time in order to
accomplish the purposes associated with the reduced fee
application. The attempt to do so discriminatorily benefits
wealthier, more technologically-enhanced applicants without
rational justification. Congress established a six-month response
period, and there has been no showing that the Congressional scheme
is unwieldy, unworkable, or flawed. The Office should not
substitute its judgment as to a reasonable time period for that of
Congress. Applicants should not have to give up their right to the
time frame that Congress established in order to receive the
benefits of the reduced-fee application.
Susan Freya Olive
Olive & Olive, P.A.
Intellectual Property Law