SAWADA et al. V. JIN et al. - Page 6

          Interference No. 103,141                                                    

                                 Standard of Review                                   
                    On March 16, 1999, the Patent and Trademark Office                
          issued an interim rule change of patent interference rule 37                
          CFR  1.655(a).  64 Fed. Reg. 12900.  The rule deals with the               
          application of the abuse of discretion standard by a merits                 
          panel when considering an interlocutory order entered by a                  
          lone Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) acting in an                         
          interlocutory capacity.  The rule has been changed to                       
          emphasize that a panel  of the Board will resolve the merits                
          of an interference as a panel without deference to any                      
          interlocutory order.  Panels will, however, continue to apply               
          the abuse of discretion standard but only with respect to                   
          procedural matters decided by the lone APJ acting in an                     
          interlocutory capacity.  Accordingly, we consider the                       
          substantive issues dealt with by the APJ in his interlocutory               
          capacity and raised by the parties in their briefs giving them              
           de novo consideration in this decision.                                    
                    With regard to the date of effectiveness of the                   
          amended rule, the interim rule notice states that the amended               
          rule is effective as of the date of publication, viz., March                


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