Subject: Comments on proposals to amend 37 C.F.R. Sections 2.66(a) and
2.102(c)

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to oppose the proposals to amend the sections referenced above, as outlined in Volume 68 Number 60 of the Federal Register, issued on March 28, 2003.
(1) The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) proposes to amend section 2.66
(a) so that it will no longer allow an applicant to revive an abandoned
application based on unintentional delay unless the petition to revive is
filed within two months of the mailing date of the notice of abandonment.
It would eliminate the current provision that allows for the filing of a
petition within two months of actual knowledge of the abandonment if the
applicant did not receive the notice of abandonment. This would penalize
diligent applicants who, for some reason not their fault, do not receive a
notice of abandonment from the PTO. For example, one of our paralegals
recently made a docketing error by entering the Notice of Allowance date as
one month later than its actual issuance date. As a result, we believed
that we had timely filed an extension of time to file a statement of use
nearly one month after the deadline for filing it had passed -- the E-TEAS
system accepted the filing. We did not discover the error until 4 months
later, as we prepared to file a statement of use for the application and
realized that the application had been abandoned. We had not received a
notice of abandonment, but PTO records showed that the application had been
abandoned more than two months earlier. In this case, even though we acted
diligently by checking status within six months of the last action, we
would not have been able to file a petition to revive under the proposed
rule. The rule has potential for unfair application in cases where
applicants do not receive a notice of abandonment through PTO or mail
carrier error.
(2) The PTO also proposes to amend section 2.102(c) to disallow extensions
of time to oppose past 120 days after publication. It is rare for matters
to settle this quickly, and being able to get extensions of time to oppose
facilitates settlement discussions. I understand why the PTO wants to set
a limit on extension requests, as it does not want cases to remain in limbo
indefinitely, but 120 days is far too short a time. I would suggest
extending this proposed limit for requesting extensions to 180 days,
retaining the current requirement that the applicant's consent be obtained
for extensions past 120 days.

 

Michelle Brownlee
Assistant Trademark Counsel
The Gillette Company
Prudential Tower Building, 39th Floor
Boston, MA 02199
Phone: (617) 421-7855
Fax: (617) 421-7866
email: Michelle_Brownlee@gillette.com