Patents to Issue within Twelve Weeks after
                 Satisfaction of All Outstanding Requirements,
              Including Issue Fee Payment and Corrected Drawings

   In March of 1999, the United States Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) advised its customers that the USPTO had established the
objective of issuing patents within four weeks of the payment of the
issue fee. See Patents to Issue More Ouickly After Issue Fee Payment,
Notice, 1220 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 42 (March 9, 1999). The USPTO had
planned to meet this objective by July of 1999. Due to budgetary
constraints in FY 2000, however, the USPTO has had to reassess this
four-week objective. The USPTO has established a new objective to issue
patents within twelve weeks after the satisfaction of all outstanding
requirements, including issue fee payment and corrected drawings.
   The USPTO implemented the new patent publication system as discussed
in the above-mentioned March O.G. notice. Under this current patent
publication system, the electronic capture of most of the information to
be printed on the patent begins soon after the allowed application is
received in the Office of Patent Publication, in advance of the
satisfaction of outstanding requirements, i.e., issue fee and drawings.
The application file is not available for any further processing during
this initial electronic capture process. In order to implement the new
publication system efficiently, the USPTO encourages applicants to take
steps to minimize disruptions in the printing process.
   The USPTO encourages applicants to file items such as amendments,
information disclosure statements, petitions, and corrected or formal
drawings as soon as possible during examination of patent applications
instead of during the post-allowance time frame. If papers are filed
after allowance, please allow at least six weeks after the Notice of
Allowance and Issue Fee Due has been received before inquiring about any
post allowance correspondence.
   Also, the duplicate filing of papers (for example, the mailing and
faxing of the same amendment) will complicate the printing process.
Unless the duplicate has been specifically required by the USPTO,
applicants are encouraged not to file duplicate papers.
   Similarly, the filing of certain papers that are not required after
the allowance of an application will complicate the printing process.
For example, a corrected filing receipt is not needed in order to have
the correct information printed on the patent. Theinformation to be
printed on the patent is taken directly from the application papers. For
example, the spelling of the inventor(s) name is taken from the
originally executed oath or declaration and any later-filed papers
correcting the information thereon. A corrected filing receipt is not
needed for patent printing purposes. The processing of a post-allowance
request for a corrected filing receipt would require that the
application be temporarily removed from the printing process. Therefor,
the USPTO will continue its practice of not mailing a corrected filing
receipt after the date of mailing of a Notice of Allowance and Issue Fee
Due, unless special circumstances exist which compel such action.
   The Office will also continue its practice of mailing the Issue
Notification about 10 days before an application issues as a patent. See
Change to "Issue Notification" Procedure, Notice, 1222 Off. Gaz. Pat.
Office 108 (May 25, 1999).
   Questions regarding this notice should be directed to Mary Louise
McAskill, Manager, Publishing Division, Office of Patent Publication, by
facsimile at (703) 305-8577, by telephone at (703) 305-8283, or by
e-mail at

April 14, 2000                                           NICHOLAS P. GODICI
                                                   Commissioner for Patents