From: CER@gknet. com
Sent: Monday, December 06, 1999 3:39 PM
Subject: rule changes regarding 37 CFR 1.84 and 1.85
Re: Proposed Changes to Rules 37 CFR 1.84 and 1.85 Commissioner:
The drawings in US patents are often the single most communicative aspect of the patent. As such, to most members of the public, the drawings are frequently how the extent of the right the patent grants are determined. While patent professionals understand that the claims define the right, expecting the public to understand c l aim language is asking for more than can reasonably be expected. While the claims by themselves may not practically communicate the invention to the public, when combined with accurate, readily understandable drawings the invention is better understood.
Additionally, the patentee is required to fully disclose his or her invention in return for the exclusionary rights granted by the patent. As the quality and the accuracy of the drawings is reduced, the public receives less of its part of the bargain. An effort to reduce costs at the PTO, which really means an effort to reduce expense for the patentee, should not be bought by giving away the public's rights to a clear and intelligible disclosure.
F inally, many patents are filed under a time constraint . At the time of filing only rough drawings are necessary. This is a service to the patentee. It allows them to avoid the cost of preparing formal drawings for applications that will never issue, it a l lows them to also receive input as to the content of the drawings from independent, well-trained sources (the Examiner and the PTO's draftsmen), and it allows the patentee to have drawings prepared later when the patentee is not subject to the pressures of the deadline. Going further, and removing the formal review of the drawings is not warranted.
To the extent that the USPTO's proposed changes decrease the quality and accuracy of the drawings, the public suffers because it receives less of its "quid pro quo: for granting the patent. The patentee's protection is less defined because the drawings may be inaccurate or inadequate. Finally, the appearance of the resulting patent is less aesthetically pleasing. The marginal cost savings to a patentee resulting from ending the formalization process do not warrant the costs such changes will impose on the public and on the quality of US patent documents.
Reg. No. 43,066
Charles E. Runyan, Jr. Ph. D. Esq.
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
2600 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004