United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 18 May 2004

                         Request for Alert Concerning
                             Submitted Petitions


   On July 1, 2003, the Office instituted the Image File Wrapper
(IFW) system to automate the prosecution of patent applications. All
patent application documents that are part of the official record,
including petitions, are converted to electronic form and stored in the
electronic IFW.

   When the IFW system was first implemented the system would only
send a processing message to one organization within the USPTO even
where a submission included matters treated by different areas of the
Office. For example, if a submission included both an amendment and a
petition of the type handled by the Office of Petitions (see MPEP
1002.02(b)), the IFW system would send a processing message to the
Technology Center but not to the Office of Petitions. Improved software
and internal procedures will soon create messages to alert both the
Office of Petitions and the other organization handling the other
documents, so the full submission will be correctly processed. However,
there are a number of petitions of the type handled by the Office of
Petitions for which the IFW system has not sent a processing message to
the Office of Petitions.

   To help assure prompt and proper service to the public, the
Office is requesting applicants to assist the Office to process
petitions by sending an e-mail alert to the office, in accordance with
the following temporary procedures.

Petitions Types Affected:

   Petitions that are decided by the Office of the Deputy
Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy (listed in MPEP Sec.
1002.02(b)), including the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA)
and the Office of Petitions.

   Examples of the most common petitions of these types are
petitions to revive applications that are abandoned due to failure to
respond to an Office action, petitions to withdraw an application from
issue, petitions for patent term adjustments. Consult MPEP Sec.
1002.02(b) for the full list of affected petitions.

Petitions Types Not Affected:

   Petitions for other offices within the USPTO, for
example those decided by the Technology Centers (listed in MPEP Sec.
1002.02(c)) or the Office of Publications (listed in MPEP Sec.
1002.02(r)), are not part of this program, and applicants
should not send an e-mail alert to the Office pursuant to this notice.

Temporary Procedures for an alert concerning submitted petitions:

   1. Confirm that a submitted petition filed after June 30,
2003 has not been answered, either by checking your records or
checking the postings on the Office's Patent Application Information
Retrieval (PAIR) system. Applicants unfamiliar with the PAIR system may
access information about it on the Office's web site:

   2. If a petition is filed, or has been filed after June 30,
2003, of the types listed in MPEP Sec. 1002.02(b), and applicant has
not received a response to the petition or seen a response posted on
the PAIR system, applicant is invited to send an e-mail alert to
petitions@uspto.gov indicating the following information:

   > application number of the application in which the petition(s)
     was filed
   > date of petition(s)
   > regulation under which petition(s) was filed, if known: (e.g. 37
     CFR1.137(b), 37 CFR1.183, etc.)

   3. Only the information described in paragraph 2 should be
provided in the e-mail. Other information will not be considered. No
attachments may be added to the e-mail. The e-mail will not be
acknowledged or answered.

   4. This e-mail alert will NOT be considered a communication in
the file under 37 CFR 1.4(a)(2) and will not be entered into the file
contents. The alert is NOT considered a status inquiry.

   5. A single e-mail alert may include information on more than
one unanswered petition. However, do not send in more than one alert
per unanswered petition.

Example [e-mail addressed to petitions@uspto.gov]

   The following petitions have not been answered to date:

   Application No.      Petition Filed:         Reg:

   10/111111            October 3, 2003         37 CFR 1.137(b)
   10/222222            December 5, 2003        37 CFR 1.183

For Further Information Contact

   Questions or status inquiries concerning specific petitions
should be directed to Office of Petitions Help Desk or by checking the
status of the application on the Private PAIR system (see
www.uspto.gov/ebc). Questions on the form of the e-mail
should be directed to the EFS Help Desk, at (703) 305-3028.

                                                           STEPHEN G. KUNIN
                                                    Deputy Commissioner for
                                                  Patent Examination Policy