Petitioning to Make Patent Applications
                    Relating to HIV/AIDS and Cancer Special

  Pursuant to 37 CFR 1.102, new patent applications are taken up for
examination in the order of their effective United States filing date and
are not advanced out of turn unless the Commissioner has so ordered to
expedite the business of the Office, the head of some department of the
Government requests immediate action on a patent application deemed of
peculiar importance to some branch of the public service under 37 CFR
1.102(b), or a petition to make a patent application special under 37 CFR
1.102(c) or (d) has been granted. In view of the importance of developing
treatments and cures for HIV/AIDS and cancer and the desirability of
prompt disclosure of advances made in these fields, the Patent and
Trademark Office is establishing a new category for petitions to accord
"special" status to patent applications relating to HIV/AIDS and cancer.
Applications which have been made special will advanced out of turn for
examination and will continue to be treated as special throughout their
pendency by the Patent and Trademark Office.
   Applicants who desire that an application relating to HIV/AIDS or
cancer be made special should file a petition, with the fee under 37 CFR
1.17(i) which is presently $130.00, requesting the Patent and Trademark
Office to make the application special. The petition for special status
should be made in writing, should identify the application by serial
number and filing date, and should be accompanied by a statement
explaining how the invention contributes to the diagnosis, treatment or
prevention of HIV/AIDS or cancer. Such statement must be set forth in oath
or declaration form unless it is signed by a registered practitioner. The
petition will be decided by the Director of the patent examining group to
which the application is assigned.
   This new category for a petition to make an application special will be
added to the other categories discussed in section 708.02 of the Manual of
Patent Examining Procedure.

February 23, 1995                                               BRUCE A. LEHMAN
                                            Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
                                         Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks