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Policy > Comments from the Public > Comments On Teas Plus Proposed Rule > Susan Freya Olive
Susan Freya Olive

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. 2005-T-056]

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.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Freya Olive
Olive & Olive, P.A.
Intellectual Property Law

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