Prototype for Examination in
                           an Electronic Environment

  In an effort to support the re-engineering of the patent process at
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the PTO is implementing a
limited prototype electronic processing and examination system.
Effective immediately, a special box will be established for filing of
correspondence related to this prototype. Additionally, for purposes of
this prototype only, the requirement of 37 CFR 1.4(d) that
correspondence must be signed in permanent ink is waived under 37 CFR
1.183 only to the extent that it will be permissible for a person to
place "/s/" on the signature line of an electronic document as the
original signature. The requirement of 37 CFR 1.4(d) that the original
signature (i.e., "/s/") be personally signed by that person is not
waived by this notice. The printing of that electronic document by PTO
personnel will result in "/s/" being printed on the signature line of
the paper copy which is placed in the official paper file wrapper.
Patent process customers whose participation in this prototype is
solicited by the PTO will be so notified by separate letter, including
detailed instructions regarding prototype participation requirements.

Point of Contact for this Notice:

Name: Gerald Goldberg
Telephone number: (703) 308-5443
Fax number: (703) 305-3588

May 10, 1996                                            EDWARD R. KAZENSKE
                                             Deputy Assistant Commissioner
                                                               for Patents