(160)                     Petition to Make Trademark
                             Applications Special

   The practice of expediting the prosecution of new trademark 
applications on request of the applicant (accelerated prosecution) was 
rescinded, effective Aug. 1, 1971 (36 F.R. 13231, July 16, 1971; 
825 O.G. 2). This action was taken after a careful study of the 
practice, including a recommendation of the Public Advisory
Committee for Trademark Affairs that the Patent Office terminate
accelerated prosecution of trademark applications. The study considered
both the effect of the procedure on the workload of the Trademark
Operations and the broader interest of examining trademark applications
in an order which is equitable to all applicants.
   Since the termination of this practice, the Office has experienced
some increase in the number of petitions requesting the Commissioner to
invoke his supervisory authority pursuant to Rule 2.146 in order to
advance the examination of applications out of their regular order. This
was to be expected since applicants who might have been able to show
special circumstances entitling them to advanced examination could
previously achieve this special treatment without resorting to a
petition. However, some of the petitions now being received are not
considered sufficient to justify the extraordinary relief of invoking
the supervisory authority of the Commissioner for the purpose of
advancing the applications out of their regular order.
   In particular, a number of such petitions have been based on the
ground that the applicant is about to embark on an advertising campaign
or to commit advertising or promotional expenditures in which the mark
applied for is material. Such a ground is not considered to constitute
appropriate circumstances justifying the advancement of the application
out of its regular turn and the petitions based on such ground have been
and will continue to be denied. The principal reason for the denial is
that these circumstances are applicable to a substantial portion of the
trademark applications filed in the Patent Office. The supervisory
authority of the Commissioner should be exercised only where an
extraordinary reason for such action has been disclosed. See Anderson &
Dyer v. Lewry, 89 O.G. 1861, 1899 C.D. 230, and Wilputte v. Van Ackeren,
103 USPQ 235. Thus, the extraordinary remedy of invoking the supervisory
authority of the Commissioner is not considered appropriate under these
   In the interest of equitable treatment of all applicants, the policy
of the Office in granting such petitions will be restricted to those
cases in which particular and very special circumstances exist, such as
a demonstrable possibility of loss of substantial rights, rather than
circumstances which would be equally applicable to a large number of
other applicants for trademark registration.

Mar. 13, 1972                                           ROBERT GOTTSCHALK
                                                  Commissioner of Patents

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