Notice of Meeting to Provide Information to the Public about the Sequence
Search Systems Utilized by the Patent and Trademark Office

The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks is authorized under 35 U.S.C. 131 to cause an examination to be made of patent applications. The PTO has received a small number of patent applications each of which claim thousands of nucleic acid sequences. The search and examination of these applications will require the dedication of human and computer resources far in excess of normal workloads. These relatively few applications alone will require a large share of resources from both the sequence searching staff of the PTO Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) and the biotechnology examining staff for over a year. In an effort to get public suggestions on how the PTO can best meet this challenge, the PTO is establishing a dialog with its customers. On April 3, 1996, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the PTO will host an open house meeting to provide information about our current sequence search systems, including the hardware and software utilized, types of claims found in typical biotechnology applications, and the search times and costs associated with the volume of sequences which have been filed. The meeting will take place in the PTO Patent Academy, Crystal Square 4, Suite 700, 1745 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia, 22202. PTO would welcome recommendations from the public on available search systems, strategies, automated solutions or suggestions for efficiencies to address these search and examination challenges.

Space is limited and reservations will be allotted on a first come, first served basis. Individuals interested in participating should contact John Doll, Director, Patent Examining Group 1800, by telephone at (703) 308-1123, by fax at (703) 308-4930, by mail marked to his attention addressed to the Assistant Commissioner for Patents, Box Comments- Patents, Washington, D.C. 20231 or over the Internet to seqmeet@uspto.gov. A request for participation should include the names and addresses of attendees, the number of spaces requested, affiliation, the area of expertise for each attendee and telephone number. PTO will confirm your participation by telephone.

March 1, 1996

LAWRENCE J.GOFFNEY
Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks