"At Cost" Recordation of Assignments
                           and Related Transactions


   The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) offers "expedited local service"
for three well-defined products: patent and trademark copies; certified
copies of both patent and trademark applications-as-filed; and certified
copies of trademark registrations (status and title). Customers can
routinely order these expedited services which are specifically
identified by separate codes in the Office's fee schedule. The Office's
fee schedule does not specifically provide for other expedited service
relating to delivery of documents or other products, largely because of
the uncertainty and risk involved in promising services for which either
the media/papers to satisfy the order or PTO staff support might not be

"At Cost" Services for Recording Assignments and Related Transactions

   Assignments are processed and recorded on a "first in/first out" basis
from the date of receipt in the Assignment Division. While PTO does not
routinely and specifically offer expedited service to record
assignments, it has recognized that there are situations, such as
pending litigation or commercial transactions, which require other than
"first in/first out" processing in order to meet a most urgent judicial
or contractual deadline. Accordingly, the Office of Public Records (OPR)
practice has been to receive and process these requests on a case-by
case basis and to assess fees based on the statutory recordation fee
(481,482, 581), plus a combination of "Labor Services" (484, 584) and
"Other Services at Cost" (485,585). This has been referred to commonly
as "at cost" recordation.

   Turnaround time for this extraordinary recordation service is dependent
on the scope and complexity of the specific request, staff resources
which can be diverted, and other priority work in inventory. While every
effort will be made to assist all customers, the PTO cannot always
guarantee delivery of recorded documents on or before requested dates.

   Requests for "at cost recordation" must be hand delivered or sent via
overnight courier directly to OPR in the North Tower Building:

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Office of Public Records
ATTN: "At Cost" Recordation Services
2800 Crystal Drive, 10th Floor Service Counter
Arlington, VA 22202

Do not send requests to the general PTO address; such requests may be
significantly delayed before delivery to OPR.

   All documents submitted for "at cost" recordation must meet the minimum
requirements set forth in 37 CFR Part 3. In addition, there must be a
separate letter specifically requesting "at cost" recordation, signed by
a principal party to the transaction (owner, inventor) or the attorney
of record, stating the specific date the recordation notice must be
returned, and describing the reason special service is required.
Detailed justification/disclosure of commercial or confidential business
information is not required, but there must be a clear urgency in the

   Based on their review of the specific request, Assignment Division staff
will contact the customer to discuss the feasibility of meeting the
deadline and the total cost involved. The minimum charge for expedited
assignment recordation is $90 (3 hours labor at $30 per hour), plus the
established statutory fee per property. Customers will be contacted and
asked to approve all charges before work begins. Customers sending
requests via overnight delivery services must make payment via PTO
deposit account, MasterCard, or Visa. Local "walk up" customers may pay
cash at the PTO Office of Finance Cashier in addition to the other

   Once recorded, "at cost" assignments must either be picked up/signed for
at the Office of Public Records NT Service Counter or sent via Federal
Express (next business day service); charges for Federal Express
delivery will be added to the total "at cost" bill.
   Questions concerning "at cost" recordation services should be
directed to the Assignment Division Customer Services Desk at (703)

May 1, 1997                                                WESLEY H. GEWEHR
                                Administrator for Information Dissemination