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|Top of Notices (175) December 29, 2020||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1481 CNOG 524|
|General Information||Referenced Items (160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176)|
(175) Use of Metric System of Measurements in Patent Applications The ability of the United States to compete in world trade and improve our trade balance is becoming more important and more difficult each day as our competitors get stronger. Presently, the United States is the only industrial country which has not adopted the metric system of weights and measures. The lack of U.S. goods being produced and packaged under metric standards results in our country being at a competitive disadvantage in world markets. To improve our competitiveness, in the 1988 trade bill, Congress established metric as the Nation's "preferred system of units for United States trade and commerce," and set a 1992 date for Federal agencies to complete their transition to metric uses in "procurement, grants and other business related activities". To implement the congressional designation of the metric system of measurement for U.S. trade and commerce, the President on July 25, 1991, issued an Executive Order (Metric Usage in Federal Government Programs) for the Federal Government to lead the way in metric usage. The Department of Commerce has been designated as the lead agency responsible for coordinating usage by the Federal Government. The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) does not currently require weights and measures in patent applications to be stated in the metric system. However, in Section 608.01 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, all patent applicants are strongly encouraged to use either (1) only metric units or (2) inch-pound units together with their metric equivalents, when describing their inventions in the specifications of patent applications. In the spirit of the Executive Order, the PTO reiterates and emphasizes strong encouragement for patent applicants to use the metric system of weights and measurements in patent applications. At some future time when there has been a sufficient conversion to metric usage by U.S. research and development industries, the PTO will consider making it a requirement that patent applicants use metric units in patent applications. Jan. 15, 1992 HARRY F. MANBECK, Jr. Assistant Secretary and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks [1135 OG 55]