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GAK patents, anyone?

Anyone want to guess how long until they will give 'key escrow' systems
special protection?  

(Actually that would be a good thing, because it would make GAK more
expensive :-)


Petitioning to Make Special Patent Applications Relating to
Inventions For Countering Terrorism

New patent applications are normally taken up for
examination in the order of their effective United States
filing date.  However, the Commissioner may provide that a
patent application will be advanced out of turn for
examination if a petition to make the patent application
special under 37 CFR 1.102(c) or (d) is granted.

On July 31, 1996, Vice President Gore stated that “[i]t is
imperative that those seeking to prevent terrorist
activities have all of the tools necessary to accomplish
their task.”  In view of the importance of developing
technologies for countering terrorism and the desirability
of prompt disclosure of advances made in these fields, the
Patent and Trademark Office is establishing a new category
for petitions to accord "special" status to patent
applications relating to counter-terrorism inventions.
International terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2331 is
“activities that
(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life
that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United
States or of any State, or that would be a criminal
violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United
States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended (i) to
intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to
influence the policy of a government by intimidation or
coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by
assassination or kidnaping.”

The types of technology for countering terrorism could
include, but are not limited to, systems for
detecting/identifying explosives, aircraft sensors/security
systems, and vehicular barricades/disabling systems.
Applications which are made special will be advanced out of
turn for examination and will be treated as special
throughout their pendency by the Patent and Trademark

Applicants who desire that an application relating to
inventions for countering terrorism be made special should
file a petition, with the fee under 37 CFR 1.17(i) which is
presently $130.00, requesting the Patent and Trademark
Office to make the application special.  The petition for
special status should be made in writing, should identify
the application by application number and filing date, and
should be accompanied by a statement explaining how the
invention contributes to countering terrorism.  Such
statement must be set forth in oath or declaration form
unless it is signed by a registered practitioner.  The
petition will be decided by the Director of the patent
examining group to which the application is assigned.

This new category for a petition to make an application
special will be added in the next revision of the Manual of
Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) to the other categories
discussed in MPEP section 708.02.

Questions concerning this notice should be directed to
Magdalen Y. Greenlief, Office of the Deputy Assistant
Commissioner for Patent Policy and Projects, (703) 305-8813.

Bruce A. Lehman                         Dated: August 19, 1996
Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
   Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks