U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Awards Reed Technology and Information Services - Government $172 Million Data Capture Pact

HORSHAM, Pennsylvania. October 14, 1998.

Reed Technology and Information Services - Government Services Division (RTIS-G) located in Horsham, Pennsylvania, was recently awarded a $172 million contract by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to convert hard-copy patent application files into electronic form.

Under the Patent Data Capture contract, RTIS-G will convert patent application files into an electronic patent format so PTO can publish its weekly Official Gazette and disseminate paper copies and text and image files. The contract consists of five one-year contracts, and calls for RTIS-G to convert each individual patent file to electronic formats, image files and an SGML file. Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) will replace the PTO's current system of tagging information in their database. The SGML format is independent of operating systems and will provide the PTO and its customers much more flexible delivery methods.

The contract also calls for RTIS-G to significantly reduce the processing time of patent applications and increase the number of patents issued on a weekly basis. ``We are compressing the processing cycle from the current 24 weeks down to 15 weeks,'' said Joseph Dariano, President of RTIS-G. ``The SGML format should make data easier for users to search and will enable Internet access.'' Also increasing is the volume of patents processed from 3,300 per week currently to an average of 4,000 or more than 200,000 annually.

``The contract will support our day-to-day production operations,'' said Dennis Shaw, chief information officer at PTO. The PTO will eventually replace the data capture contract with a project that will allow SGML patent documents to go directly into publication. The system should be in place by 2003 and will be tested this coming year. The SGML-to-publication system will save the PTO $20 million a year, said Shaw.

Reed Technology and Information Services Inc. - Government Services, originally formed in 1970 as part of International Computaprint Corporation, processes patent data for the PTO. Currently, RTIS-G patent processing results in the conversion of over 120 million keystrokes weekly, including 12,000 units of chemical rings, mathematical formulas, tabular data, and other forms of illustrative information.

Reed Technology and Information Services - Government Services is a member of the Reed Elsevier plc group and an operating unit of LEXIS-NEXIS. For more information, please refer to the RTIS-G Web site at http://www.rtis-g.com or call +1 215-441-6400.