Request for Comments on Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program, 55212 [E9-25798]

Download as PDF 55212 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 206 / Tuesday, October 27, 2009 / Notices The majority of patent applications filed United States Patent and Trademark with the USPTO proceed through the Office examination process consistent with established USPTO procedure. [Docket No.: PTO–P–2009–0032] However, some patent applicants, attorneys, and agents have expressed Request for Comments on Patents that their applications have not Ombudsman Pilot Program proceeded in accordance with AGENCY: United States Patent and established procedure. In some Trademark Office, Commerce. situations, the patent applicants, attorneys, and agents have felt that ACTION: Request for comments. examination has stalled and that their SUMMARY: The United States Patent and efforts to move their applications Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently forward through the normal channels developing a Patents Ombudsman Pilot have not been effective. Patent Program. The Patents Ombudsman Pilot applicants, attorneys, and agents have Program is intended to provide patent suggested that there be a dedicated applicants, attorneys and agents with resource they can turn to in such assistance with application-specific instances. These suggestions have led issues including prosecution the USPTO to consider implementing a Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program. advancement concerns. The Patents After considering its resources, the Ombudsman Pilot Program is not USPTO is proposing that the pilot intended to circumvent normal program take the following form. It is communication between pro se applicants or applicant’s representatives envisioned that pro se applicants or applicant’s representatives would and examiners or Supervisory Patent initiate use of the Patents Ombudsman Examiners (SPEs). The USPTO is Pilot Program via a link on the USPTO inviting public comment on the web site where pro se applicants or proposed Patents Ombudsman Pilot applicant’s representatives would Program. provide their name and phone number Comment Deadline Date: Written comments must be received on or before and select the ombudsman for the patent division (e.g., Technology Center) November 27, 2009. No public hearing in which they are seeking assistance; will be held. replies to the initial communication for ADDRESSES: Written comments should this pilot program will be by telephone be sent by electronic mail message over rather than by written communication, the Internet addressed to such as e-mail. The ombudsman in the ombudsmanprogram@uspto.gov. appropriate division will call the pro se Comments may also be submitted by applicant or applicant’s representative mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments within one business day to obtain a full (Attention: Patents Ombudsman Pilot description of the issue. Once the full Program), Commissioner for Patents, description is obtained, the ombudsman P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313– would create a record in a database. The 1450. Although comments may be record in the database will be solely submitted by mail, the USPTO prefers to limited to the contact information and a receive comments via the Internet. broad description of the issue at a level The written comments will be not requiring being made part of the available for public inspection at the application record. All requests for Office of the Commissioner for Patents, assistance made to the pilot program located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, will be tracked in the database to: (1) 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, Ensure that all requests for assistance and will be available via the USPTO are addressed; (2) identify and use Internet Web site (address: http:// trends to develop targeted training for www.uspto.gov). Because comments will employees as appropriate; and (3) be made available for public inspection, enhance customer service. After the information that is not desired to be USPTO gains greater experience with made public, such as an address or the Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program, phone number, should not be included the USPTO will reassess whether in the comments. additional information concerning the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: issue should be recorded and where best Mindy Fleisher, Special Programs to make a record of that information. Advisor, Technology Center 2400, at If possible, the ombudsman will (571) 272–3365, or Pinchus M. Laufer, immediately resolve the issue (e.g., Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal certain routine administrative issues); Administration, Office of the Deputy otherwise, the ombudsman will forward Commissioner for Patent Examination the issue to the appropriate area for Policy, at (571) 272–7726. review (e.g., Technical Support Staff, pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:45 Oct 26, 2009 Jkt 220001 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Technology Center Director, SPE, another business unit) and will request that the area send a message back to the ombudsman when the issue has been treated and the pro se applicant or applicant’s representative has been notified. It is intended that all issues be considered and treated within ten business days. The ombudsman in each division will regularly monitor the database to ensure that issues are being treated in a timely manner. In particular, the ombudsman will inquire into instances where five business days have elapsed and there is no indication that the issue has been closed out or is actively in the process of being treated. The Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program is not intended as an alternative forum for resolution of disagreements between the applicant and the examiner that are currently resolved via appeal or petition. The Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program does not supplant the requirement that all business with the USPTO be conducted in writing. See 37 CFR 1.2. The USPTO is publishing this request for comments to gather public feedback on the Patent Ombudsman Pilot Program to ensure that it will serve the patent community as intended. Dated: October 21, 2009. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. E9–25798 Filed 10–26–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Availability of the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Services Contract Inventory AGENCY: Defense Commissary Agency, DoD. ACTION: Notice of availability. SUMMARY: In accordance with Section 2330a of Title 10 United States Code as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (NDAA 08) Section 807, the DeCA Director of Contracting, in coordination with the Office of the Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, Office of Strategic Sourcing (DPAP/SS) will make available to the public the first inventory of activities performed pursuant to contracts for services. The inventory will be published to the DeCA Web site at the following location: E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 206 (Tuesday, October 27, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Page 55212]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-25798]



[[Page 55212]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No.: PTO-P-2009-0032]


Request for Comments on Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is 
currently developing a Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program. The Patents 
Ombudsman Pilot Program is intended to provide patent applicants, 
attorneys and agents with assistance with application-specific issues 
including prosecution advancement concerns. The Patents Ombudsman Pilot 
Program is not intended to circumvent normal communication between pro 
se applicants or applicant's representatives and examiners or 
Supervisory Patent Examiners (SPEs). The USPTO is inviting public 
comment on the proposed Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program.
    Comment Deadline Date: Written comments must be received on or 
before November 27, 2009. No public hearing will be held.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent by electronic mail message 
over the Internet addressed to ombudsmanprogram@uspto.gov. Comments may 
also be submitted by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments (Attention: 
Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program), Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 
1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450. Although comments may be submitted by 
mail, the USPTO prefers to receive comments via the Internet.
    The written comments will be available for public inspection at the 
Office of the Commissioner for Patents, located in Madison East, Tenth 
Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, and will be available 
via the USPTO Internet Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov). 
Because comments will be made available for public inspection, 
information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address 
or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mindy Fleisher, Special Programs 
Advisor, Technology Center 2400, at (571) 272-3365, or Pinchus M. 
Laufer, Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of 
the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, at (571) 272-
7726.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The majority of patent applications filed 
with the USPTO proceed through the examination process consistent with 
established USPTO procedure. However, some patent applicants, 
attorneys, and agents have expressed that their applications have not 
proceeded in accordance with established procedure. In some situations, 
the patent applicants, attorneys, and agents have felt that examination 
has stalled and that their efforts to move their applications forward 
through the normal channels have not been effective. Patent applicants, 
attorneys, and agents have suggested that there be a dedicated resource 
they can turn to in such instances. These suggestions have led the 
USPTO to consider implementing a Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program.
    After considering its resources, the USPTO is proposing that the 
pilot program take the following form. It is envisioned that pro se 
applicants or applicant's representatives would initiate use of the 
Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program via a link on the USPTO web site where 
pro se applicants or applicant's representatives would provide their 
name and phone number and select the ombudsman for the patent division 
(e.g., Technology Center) in which they are seeking assistance; replies 
to the initial communication for this pilot program will be by 
telephone rather than by written communication, such as e-mail. The 
ombudsman in the appropriate division will call the pro se applicant or 
applicant's representative within one business day to obtain a full 
description of the issue. Once the full description is obtained, the 
ombudsman would create a record in a database. The record in the 
database will be solely limited to the contact information and a broad 
description of the issue at a level not requiring being made part of 
the application record. All requests for assistance made to the pilot 
program will be tracked in the database to: (1) Ensure that all 
requests for assistance are addressed; (2) identify and use trends to 
develop targeted training for employees as appropriate; and (3) enhance 
customer service. After the USPTO gains greater experience with the 
Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program, the USPTO will reassess whether 
additional information concerning the issue should be recorded and 
where best to make a record of that information.
    If possible, the ombudsman will immediately resolve the issue 
(e.g., certain routine administrative issues); otherwise, the ombudsman 
will forward the issue to the appropriate area for review (e.g., 
Technical Support Staff, Technology Center Director, SPE, another 
business unit) and will request that the area send a message back to 
the ombudsman when the issue has been treated and the pro se applicant 
or applicant's representative has been notified.
    It is intended that all issues be considered and treated within ten 
business days. The ombudsman in each division will regularly monitor 
the database to ensure that issues are being treated in a timely 
manner. In particular, the ombudsman will inquire into instances where 
five business days have elapsed and there is no indication that the 
issue has been closed out or is actively in the process of being 
treated.
    The Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program is not intended as an 
alternative forum for resolution of disagreements between the applicant 
and the examiner that are currently resolved via appeal or petition. 
The Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program does not supplant the requirement 
that all business with the USPTO be conducted in writing.
    See 37 CFR 1.2.
    The USPTO is publishing this request for comments to gather public 
feedback on the Patent Ombudsman Pilot Program to ensure that it will 
serve the patent community as intended.

    Dated: October 21, 2009.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. E9-25798 Filed 10-26-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P