COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Next, I would like to call
       Vincent Castiglione.
       MR. CASTIGLIONE:  Assistant Commissioner,
       distinguished staff, good morning.
       My name is Vinc Castiglione.  I am a patent
       attorney with Becton Dickinson and Company, 1 Becton Drive,
       Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
       These comments are being presented on my own
       behalf and the behalf of a colleague, who spoke yesterday. 
       They are not necessarily the views of our employer.
       We are very encouraged as to the changes that have
       been made to harmonize the laws, the U.S. patent laws, in
       line with those in the world environment and to conform to
       the GATT and NAFTA obligations.  However, we are somewhat
       concerned and some of the changes that were made are
       somewhat piecemeal and they, in fact, delay harmonization
       efforts.  The biggest concern we have is the period of
       effective term, the enforceability.  
       As the changes have been currently promulgated,
       the effective term of a patent will be measured from the
       date of issue, although the overall term of a patent will be
       measured from the date of filing.
       We do believe that this may result in some
       discrimination to patentees in that they will not be able to
       recoup the amount of money they have put in.  Unequal
       enforceability, they will not be able to recoup funds
       because the terms of effective enforceability will vary.
       We were informed yesterday that there is a current
       Senate bill that does have some type of provision of
       enforceability so that you will be able to get some type of
       royalty measured from the date of publication if, in fact,
       publication is implemented.
       However, to our knowledge, this has not been
       passed by the Senate.  The current House version does not
       this royalty provision, and in fact, there is no type of
       provisional remedy at this time.
       There may be some constitutional arguments to the
       lack of equal terms because the Constitution in Article I,
       Section 8, Clause 8, does provide that patentees will be
       guaranteed for limited times the exclusive right to their
       respective writings and discoveries.
       We feel that the patent terms, the so-called
       limited times, cannot be measured with some degree of
       specificity and consistency for the entire public at large. 
       It is likely that the law in its current form may face
       credible constitutional challenges under due process grounds
       or equal protection grounds.
       We feel that it is not equitable to measure one
       patentee's contractual disclosure to the public vis-a-vis
       another's in a way that would account for inevitable
       discrepancies in their abilities to reap awards for
       respective discoveries, particularly whereas substantially
       summit technology or developments are at issue.
       Interim protection would go to great lengths to
       even out the playing field, so to speak, and we are very
       much in favor of providing some type of interim protection
       so that at least we could be able to value the assets in a
       fixed manner, in an equitable manner, so to speak, and
       inventors in this country would be able to reap a similar
       reward.  At least, as to term.
       The terms of effective enforceability of patents
       may vary due to things that are not in the patentee's
       control at this time.  
       Factors.  The length of patent prosecution will
       vary according to the work load of certain groups, skill
       levels of certain individual examiners.  But really, most
       importantly, the work loads and talents of the attorneys and
       agents.  And as part of the patent community, we are very
       well aware that those vary tremendously and do contribute to
       discrepancies in issue dates, now, which will directly
       translate to effective terms enforceability when the new law
       goes into effect.  And we don't feel that the patentee
       should have to suffer for that.
       We do recognize that the PTO has recognized that
       there will be problems caused by delays, and in fact have
       provided provisions for extensions for interferences,
       secrecy orders, and Federal court and Board of Patent
       Appeals action.
       However, instead of trying to identify situations,
       it would be advisable to have extensions in all areas. 
       This, coupled with the publication of applications of
       provisional remedies, would go to a great length to rectify
       the problem of enforceability.
       I believe that is really the text of the comments. 
       A lot of these were presented yesterday by my colleague in
       terms of 18-month publication.  We just wanted to reinforce
       the notion that we do feel that provisional remedies should
       be provided for in the laws, when they are passed.
       COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Thank you very much.  
       MR. CASTIGLIONE:  Thank you.