Department of Commerce
                        Patent and Trademark Office
                 Proposed Determination of New Expiration
                        Dates of Certain Patents

Agency: Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce

Action: Request for Comments

Summary: The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) intends to determine and
publish the new expiration dates of patents that, 1) are in force on June
8, 1995, 2) are entitled to a term of 20 years from filing, and 3) have
received a term extension under either section 155 or 156 of title 35,
United States Code. The PTO seeks written comments on its intended course
of action.

Dates: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 26, 1995.

Addresses: Address written comments to the Commissioner of Patents and
Trademarks, Washington, D.C. 20231 Attention: H. Dieter Hoinkes, Office of
Legislative and International Affairs, Crystal Park 2, Suite 902, or by
facsimile to (703) 305-8885.

For Further Information Contact: H. Dieter Hoinkes by telephone at (703)
305-9300, by facsimile at (703) 305-8885, or by mail marked to his
attention addressed to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Box 4,
Washington, D.C. 20231.

Supplementary Information: Under section 156 of title 35, United States
Code, patent term extensions are issued for eligible patents from the
original expiration date of the patent. Since this provision was enacted
in 1984, the PTO has issued 195 certificates of patent term extension in
accordance with section 156. Under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act
("URAA"), Pub. L. 103-465, patents in force on June 8, 1995, are entitled
to a patent term of 17 years from grant or 20 years from their earliest
filing data, whichever is greater (see 35 U.S.C. 154 (c)(1)). It is
estimated that 94 patents whose terms were extended under section 156 are
entitled to such a longer patent term.
   On February 16, 1995, the PTO held a public hearing to elicit comments
on what action it should take regarding patents that are entitled to a
longer patent term under the URAA and that had previously been extended
under section 156. (See 60 Fed. Reg. 3398 (Jan. 17, 1995)). After having
considered all the comments, both written and oral, the PTO intends to
publish the new expiration date of all patents that fall into the category
mentioned above. The determination of the new expiration dates will be
based on the following three considerations:
   1) A patent that would have expired under the original 17-year patent
term before June 8, 1995, but that has received a patent term extension
for a period beyond June 8, 1995, is a patent "in force" on June 8, 1995,
even though the rights derived from that patent are circumscribed by
section 156(b) of title 35.
   2) The "original expiration date of the patent" referred to in section
156(a) of title 35 is the date on which the patent would have expired if
it had not been extended under section 156 to expire at a later date.
Therefore, the "original expiration date" of the patents under
consideration is the date on which the 20-year term from filing terminates.
   3) The extension already issued on the basis of the 17-year term will
be added to the 20-year term, subject to the limitation imposed by section
156(c)(3) of title 35. That provision limits the period remaining in the
term of an extended patent to fourteen years counted from the date on
which the product under review received approval for commercial marketing
by the relevant regulatory authority.
   In addition, it should be noted that under the provisions of section
155 of title 35, 33 patents were extended, each for a period of five
years, ten months and 17 days. Of the 32 patents in force on June 8, 1995,
20 are entitled to the longer term of 20 years from their relevant filing
date. Their new expiration date, taking into account the term of extension
provided by 35 U.S.C. 155, is also intended to be published.
   Comments are invited on the course of action the PTO intends to
undertake with respect to the new expiration dates of patents in the
category discussed above. In issuing its final determination, the PTO will
respond to significant comments received.

Mar. 20, 1995                                               BRUCE A. LEHMAN
                                        Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
                                     Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks