Notice of Policy Change - Change in Time
                     Requirement For Diligently Monitoring
                   Trademark Applications and Registrations

   The timeliness standard for due diligence in trademark cases is
extended to twelve months.
   On October 27, 1992, the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks
announced that applicants and registrants had a duty to monitor the
status of their pending trademark application and registration matters
every six months. 1143 TMOG 73 (October 27, 1992); see Trademark Manual
of Examining Procedure,    413 (2d ed. May 1993). In response to public
comment, and effective immediately, the Office is extending the
timeliness standard for due diligence to twelve months.
   The PTO generally processes applications, responses and other papers
in the order in which they are received in the Office. In addition,
examining attorneys are required to act on new cases within 14 days of
receipt and amended cases within 21 days of receipt. Accordingly,
applicants and registrants can expect to receive notice concerning their
filings within predictable time periods. However, delays in processing
certain types of trademark filings have led the Office to re-evaluate
its policy regarding due diligence in trademark cases.
   Since it is reasonable to expect some notice from the PTO about a
pending matter within twelve months of the filing or receipt of any
documents, a party who has not received the expected written action or
telephone call from the PTO within that time frame is considered on
notice that the filing may have become lost. The party awaiting
notification has the burden of inquiring as to the cause of the delay.
In order to be considered diligent in the monitoring of applications or
registrations, parties expecting notification from the PTO should
inquire within twelve months. Waiting until the end of the twelve-month
period is not recommended. Parties should inquire as soon as they
suspect that a problem exists.
   If nothing has been received from the PTO within a twelve-month
period, the party awaiting notification has the burden of inquiring as
to the status. Should the status inquiry reveal that the relevant
document is lost, or some other problem exists, a petition to the
Commissioner, or other required action, should be filed within 60 days.
37 CFR    2.146(d). Failure to act diligently and to follow up with the
appropriate action may result in denial of the requested relief.
   Whenever possible, status inquiries should be made by calling the
Trademark Status Line at (703) 305-8747. The Status Line provides the
current status and status date of all active federal trademark
applications and registrations, and is available from 6:30 a.m. until
midnight, Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Status Line information
is limited to Status Code items, e.g., whether or not an Office action
has been mailed.
   Although written status inquiries are discouraged, they may be
appropriate when a party has difficulty interpreting the Status Line
information. In lieu of written status inquiries, clarification and
additional information regarding a file may be obtained by contacting
the Trademark Assistance Center at (703) 308-9000.
   For further information regarding this Notice, please contact Nancy
Omelko, Administrator for Petitions, Office of the Assistant
Commissioner for Trademarks, at (703) 308-8910, ext. 39.

December 9, 1996                                PHILIP G. HAMPTON, II
                                Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks