United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 24 August 2004

                           All Electronic Copies of
                          Patent Application Records
                           Will Now Be Provided as
                     Certified Copies in Electronic Form

   The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is
changing to an electronic format for the electronic certified copies it
supplies of 1) U.S. patent applications as filed, and 2) U.S.
patent-related file wrappers and contents. Copies of U.S. patent
application documents made from the USPTO's Image File Wrapper (IFW)
electronic system will be provided entirely in electronic form and will
always be provided as certified copies. In addition, certified copies
of patent application documents will no longer be bound, regardless of
whether produced from IFW or a paper file.

   For the last two years certified copies of large patent
application files produced from the USPTO's electronic systems have
been provided only on compact disc, with an attached paper
certification statement. Currently, certified copies of patent
applications as filed of 400 or more pages and all certified File
Wrapper copies produced from IFW are provided on compact disc (CD),
both with attached paper certification statements. The $200 fee for a
file wrapper and contents was effectively waived and replaced by a $55
fee when the application contents are provided on CD. See
Copies of File Contents Available on Compact Disc Partial Waiver
of 37 CFR 1.19(b), 1278 Off. Gaz. Patent Office 261 (Jan. 27,
2004). The fee for an application as filed remains $20, as set forth in
37 CFR 1.19(b)(1), even when the copy is provided on compact disc.

   Effective July 30, 2004, all copies of patent documents
purchased under 37 CFR 1.19 and produced from IFW will be provided only
as electronic files, with an imaged certification statement included as
part of a digitally signed PDF (portable document format) file
containing TIFF (tag image file format) images of the document pages.
These electronic files may be downloaded from the USPTO website or
provided by the USPTO on compact disc. The electronic files are
digitally signed by the USPTO for authenticity and integrity, and
cannot be undetectably modified. As mentioned above, all copies
purchased pursuant to 37 CFR 1.19 and produced from IFW will be
produced only as certified copies. Uncertified copies may be downloaded
under the USPTO's Public PAIR system.

   Before submitting electronic certified copies of the
application as filed supplied on CD or in another electronic form to
intellectual property offices under Article 4 of the Paris Convention
for the Protection of Industrial Property applicants should inquire
whether that office accepts priority documents in electronic form.
Although the USPTO provides a certified copy in electronic form,
applicants may print the certified copies to paper if required by the
intellectual property office to which it is submitted.

   The USPTO is actively engaging in discussions with other
intellectual property offices for the mutual acceptance of electronic
priority documents. Should another intellectual property office not
accept a paper or electronic certified copy of a patent application as
filed as described in the above paragraph, upon presentation of a
notice of non-acceptance by the other office, the USPTO will provide a
substitute paper copy with a letter signed by an official of the USPTO
addressed to the foreign office indicating that the certified copy of
the application as filed is to be accepted under Article 4 of the
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Since
the USPTO will no longer bind or rivet paper certified copies of patent
applications as filed or file wrappers and contents, copies produced by
the Office will be identical to copies printed by an applicant from the
electronic certified copy.

   Questions regarding this change in practice should be directed
to the Office of Public Records at (703) 308-9743.

July 30, 2004                                          DOUGLAS J. BOURGEOIS
                                                  Chief Information Officer