Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction, 64666-64669 [E9-29207]

Download as PDF 64666 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 234 / Tuesday, December 8, 2009 / Notices Workshop Objectives The protected species safe handling, release, and identification workshops are designed to teach longline and gillnet fishermen the required techniques for the safe handling and release of entangled and/or hooked protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and smalltooth sawfish. The proper identification of protected species will also be taught at these workshops in an effort to improve reporting. Additionally, individuals attending these workshops will gain a better understanding of the requirements for participating in these fisheries. The overall goal of these workshops is to provide participants with the skills needed to reduce the mortality of protected species, which may prevent additional regulations on these fisheries in the future. Grandfathered Permit Holders Participants in the industry-sponsored workshops on safe handling and release of sea turtles that were held in Orlando, FL (April 8, 2005) and in New Orleans, LA (June 27, 2005) were issued a NOAA workshop certificate in December 2006 that was valid for three years. These workshop certificates have expired, or will be expiring in 2010. Vessel owners and operators whose certificates expire prior to the next permit renewal must attend a workshop, successfully complete the course, and obtain a new certificate in order to renew their limited access shark and limited access swordfish permits. Failure to provide a valid NOAA workshop certificate could result in a permit denial. Dated: December 2, 2009. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–29258 Filed 12–7–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO–P–2009–0038] WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing a pilot program in which an applicant may have an application advanced out of turn (accorded special VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:16 Dec 07, 2009 Jkt 220001 status) for examination, for applications pertaining to green technologies including greenhouse gas reduction (applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas emission reduction). Currently, an application pertaining to environmental quality, or energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas reduction will not be advanced out of turn for examination unless it meets the requirements of the accelerated examination program. Under the Green Technology Pilot Program, applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy, or greenhouse gas emission reduction, will be advanced out of turn for examination without meeting all of the current requirements of the accelerated examination program (e.g., examination support document). The USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions to make special in previously filed new applications, provided that the petitions meet the requirements set forth in this notice. DATES: Effective Date: December 8, 2009. Duration: The Green Technology Pilot Program will run for twelve months from its effective date. Therefore, petitions to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program must be filed before December 8, 2010. The USPTO may extend the pilot program (with or without modifications) depending on the feedback from the participants and the effectiveness of the pilot program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer and Joni Y. Chang, Senior Legal Advisors, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at 571–272–7726 or 571–272–7720; by facsimile transmission to 571–273– 7726, marked to the attention of Pinchus M. Laufer; or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: New patent applications are normally taken up for examination in the order of their United States filing date. See section 708 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (8th ed. 2001) (Rev. 7, July 2008) (MPEP). The USPTO has a procedure under which an application will be advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination if the applicant files a petition to make special with the appropriate showing. See 37 CFR 1.102 and MPEP § 708.02. The PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 USPTO revised its accelerated examination program in June of 2006, and required that all petitions to make special, except those based on applicant’s health or age or the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, comply with the requirements of the revised accelerated examination program. See Changes to Practice for Petitions in Patent Applications To Make Special and for Accelerated Examination, 71 FR 36323 (June 26, 2006), 1308 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 106 (July 18, 2006) (notice); see also MPEP § 708.02(a). Applications that are accorded special status are generally placed on the examiner’s special docket throughout its entire course of prosecution before the examiner, and have special status in any appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) and also in the patent publication process. See MPEP § 708.01 and 1309. The USPTO is implementing a pilot program to permit applications pertaining to ‘‘green technologies’’ (i.e., applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources, or greenhouse gas emission reduction) to be advanced out of turn without meeting all of the current requirements of the accelerated examination program set forth in item VIII of MPEP § 708.02(a) (e.g., examination support document). The USPTO will accept the first 3,000 petitions to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program in previously filed new applications, provided that the petitions meet all of the requirements set forth in this notice. Upon receipt of more than 3,000 petitions, the USPTO may reevaluate the workload and resources needed to extend the pilot program. Applications that are accorded special status under the Green Technology Pilot Program will be placed on an examiner’s special docket prior to the first Office action, and will have special status in any appeal to the BPAI and also in the patent publication process. Applications accorded special status under the Green Technology Pilot Program, however, will be placed on the examiner’s amended docket, rather than the examiner’s special docket, after the first Office action (which may be an Office action containing only a restriction requirement). Applicant may participate in the Green Technology Pilot Program by filing a petition to make special that meets all of the requirements set forth in this notice in a previously filed application. No fee is required. The $130.00 fee for a petition under 37 CFR E:\FR\FM\08DEN1.SGM 08DEN1 WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 234 / Tuesday, December 8, 2009 / Notices 1.102 (other than those enumerated in 37 CFR 1.102(c)) is hereby sua sponte waived for petitions to make special based upon the procedure specified in this notice. In addition, continuing applications will not automatically be accorded special status based on papers filed with a petition in a parent application. Each continuing application must on its own meet all requirements for special status. Paperwork Reduction Act: This notice involves information collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The collections of information involved in this rule have been reviewed and approved by OMB under the emergency processing provisions of 5 CFR 1320.13. The USPTO will publish the notices required by 5 CFR part 1320 in due course. I. Requirements: A petition to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program may be granted in an application if the eligibility requirements set forth in section II or III and the following conditions are satisfied: (1) The application must be a nonreissue, non-provisional utility application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), or an international application that has entered the national stage in compliance with 35 U.S.C. 371. The application must be previously filed before the publication date of this notice. Reexamination proceedings are excluded from this pilot program. (2) The application must be classified in one of the U.S. classifications listed in section VI of this notice at the time of examination. See section VI for more information. (3) The application must contain three or fewer independent claims and twenty or fewer total claims. The application must not contain any multiple dependent claims. For an application that contains more than three independent claims or twenty total claims, or multiple dependent claims, applicants must file a preliminary amendment in compliance with 37 CFR 1.121 to cancel the excess claims and/ or the multiple dependent claims at the time the petition to make special is filed. (4) The claims must be directed to a single invention that materially enhances the quality of the environment, or that materially contributes to: (1) The discovery or development of renewable energy resources; (2) the more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources; or (3) greenhouse gas VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:16 Dec 07, 2009 Jkt 220001 emission reduction (see the eligibility requirements of sections II and III of this notice). The petition must include a statement that, if the USPTO determines that the claims are directed to multiple inventions (e.g., in a restriction requirement), applicant will agree to make an election without traverse in a telephonic interview, and elect an invention that meets the eligibility requirements in section II or III of this notice and is classified in one of the U.S. classifications listed in section VI of this notice. See section V of this notice for more information. (5) The petition to make special must be filed electronically before December 8, 2010, using the USPTO electronic filing system, EFS–Web, and selecting the document description of ‘‘Petition for Green Tech Pilot’’ on the EFS–Web screen. Applicant should use form PTO/ SB/420, which will be available as a Portable Document Format (PDF) fillable form in EFS–Web and on the USPTO Web site at http:// www.uspto.gov/web/forms/index.html. Information regarding EFS–Web is available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/index.html. (6) The petition to make special must be filed at least one day prior to the date that a first Office action (which may be an Office action containing only a restriction requirement) appears in the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. Applicant may check the status of the application using PAIR. (7) The petition to make special must be accompanied by a request for early publication in compliance with 37 CFR 1.219 and the publication fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.18(d). II. Eligibility Requirements— Applications Pertaining to Environmental Quality: Patent applications for inventions which materially enhance the quality of the environment under the conditions specified in item V of MPEP § 708.02 will be eligible for the Green Technology Pilot Program. For an application pertaining to environmental quality, the petition to make special must state that special status is sought because the invention materially enhances the quality of the environment by contributing to the restoration or maintenance of the basic life-sustaining natural elements. If the application does not clearly disclose that the claimed invention materially enhances the quality of the environment by contributing to the restoration or maintenance of one of the basic lifesustaining natural elements, the petition must be accompanied by a statement signed by the applicant, assignee, or an PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 64667 attorney/agent registered to practice before the USPTO, in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b) explaining how the materiality standard is met. The materiality standard does not permit an applicant to speculate as to how a hypothetical end-user might specially apply the invention in a manner that could materially enhance the quality of the environment. Nor does such standard permit an applicant to enjoy the benefit of advanced examination merely because some minor aspect of the claimed invention may enhance the quality of the environment. See MPEP § 708.02 (item V). III. Eligibility Requirements— Applications Pertaining to Energy Conservation, Development of Renewable Energy Resources, or Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction: Patent applications are also eligible for the Green Technology Pilot Program if the applications are for inventions that materially contribute to: (1) The discovery or development of renewable energy resources; (2) the more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources; or (3) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The term ‘‘renewable energy resources’’ for purposes of the procedure specified in this notice includes hydroelectric, solar, wind, renewable biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, and municipal solid waste, as well as the transmission, distribution, or other services directly used in providing electrical energy from these sources. The second category would include inventions relating to the reduction of energy consumption in combustion systems, industrial equipment, and household appliances. The third category listed above would include, but is not limited to, inventions that contribute to (1) advances in nuclear power generation technology, or (2) fossil fuel power generation or industrial processes with greenhouse gas-abatement technology (e.g., inventions that significantly improve safety and reliability of such technologies). The petition to make special for an application directed to development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or directed to greenhouse gas emission reduction, must state the basis for the special status (i.e., whether the invention materially contributes to (1) development of renewable energy resources or energy conservation, or (2) greenhouse gas emission reduction). If the application disclosure is not clear on its face that the claimed invention materially contributes to (1) development of renewable energy or E:\FR\FM\08DEN1.SGM 08DEN1 WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES 64668 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 234 / Tuesday, December 8, 2009 / Notices energy conservation, or (2) greenhouse gas emission reduction, the petition must be accompanied by a statement signed by the applicant, assignee, or an attorney/agent registered to practice before the USPTO, in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b) explaining how the materiality standard is met. The materiality standard does not permit an applicant to speculate as to how a hypothetical end-user might specially apply the invention in a manner that could materially contribute to (1) development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or (2) greenhouse gas emission reduction, nor does the standard permit an applicant to enjoy the benefit of advanced examination merely because some minor aspect of the claimed invention may be directed to (1) development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or (2) greenhouse gas emission reduction. See MPEP § 708.02 (item VI). IV. Decision on Petition to Make Special Under the Green Technology Pilot Program: If applicant files a petition to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program, the USPTO will decide on the petition once the application is in condition for examination. If the petition is granted, the application will be accorded special status under the Green Technology Pilot Program. The application will be placed on the examiner’s special docket prior to the first Office action, and will have special status in any appeal to the BPAI and also in the patent publication process. The application, however, will be placed on the examiner’s amended docket, rather than the examiner’s special docket, after the first Office action (which may be an Office action containing only a restriction requirement). If applicant files a petition to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program that does not comply with the requirements set forth in this notice, the USPTO will notify the applicant of the deficiency by issuing a notice and applicant will be given only one opportunity to correct the deficiency. If applicant still wishes to participate in the Green Technology Pilot Program, applicant must file a proper petition and make appropriate corrections within one month or thirty days, whichever is longer. The time period for reply is not extendable under 37 CFR 1.136(a). If applicant fails to correct the deficiency indicated in the notice within the time period set forth therein, the application will not be eligible for the Green Technology Pilot Program and the application will be taken up for examination in accordance with standard examination procedures. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:16 Dec 07, 2009 Jkt 220001 V. Requirement for Restriction: If the claims in the application are directed to multiple inventions, the examiner may make a requirement for restriction in accordance with current restriction practice prior to conducting a search. The examiner will contact the applicant and follow the procedure for the telephone restriction practice set forth in MPEP § 812.01. Applicant must make an election without traverse in a telephonic interview, and elect an invention that meets the eligibility requirements in section II or III of this notice and that is classified in one of the U.S. classifications listed in section VI of this notice. See items 2 and 4 of section I of this notice. If the examiner cannot reach the applicant after a reasonable effort or applicant refuses to make an election in compliance with item 4 of section I of this notice, the examiner will treat the first claimed invention that meets the requirements in section II or III and section VI as constructively elected without traverse for examination. VI. Classification Requirement: The classification requirement set forth in this section of the notice will assist the USPTO to balance the workload and gauge resources needed to achieve the goals of the Green Technology Pilot Program. The USPTO recognizes that certain patent applications pertaining to green technologies may be excluded by this requirement. After the twelvemonth duration of the pilot program, the USPTO may extend the pilot program to include more classifications depending on the effectiveness of the pilot program and the resources availability. In order to be eligible for the Green Technology Pilot Program, the application must be classified in one of the U.S. patent classifications (‘‘USPCs’’) listed below at the time of examination. The classification descriptions are provided as helpful information, and they will not be used in determining whether an application is eligible. An applicant may suggest a classification for the application, but the applicant may not know the classification of the application at the time of filing a petition to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program. The USPTO will determine whether this requirement is satisfied once the application is in condition for examination and the petition is being decided. The following is a list of the eligible classifications: A. Alternative Energy Production 1. Agricultural waste (USPC 44/589). 2. Biofuel (USPC 44/605; 44/589). PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3. Chemical waste (USPC 110/235– 259, 346). 4. For domestic hot water systems (USPC 126/634–680). 5. For passive space heating (USPC 52/173.3). 6. For swimming pools (USPC 126/ 561–568). 7. Fuel cell (USPC 429/12–46). 8. Fuel from animal waste and crop residues (USPC 44/605). 9. Gasification (USPC 48/197R, 197A). 10. Genetically engineered organism (USPC 435/252.3–252.35, 254.11–254.9, 257.2, 325–408, 410–431). 11. Geothermal (USPC 60/641.2– 641.5; 436/25–33). 12. Harnessing energy from man-made waste (USPC 75/958; 431/5). 13. Hospital waste (USPC 110/235– 259, 346). 14. Hydroelectric (USPC 405/76–78; 60/495–507; 415/25). 15. Industrial waste (USPC 110/235– 259, 346). 16. Industrial waste anaerobic digestion (USPC 210/605). 17. Industrial wood waste (USPC 44/ 589; 44/606). 18. Inertial (e.g., turbine) (USPC 290/ 51, 54; 60/495–507). 19. Landfill gas (USPC 431/5). 20. Municipal waste (USPC 44/552). 21. Nuclear power—induced nuclear reactions: processes, systems, and elements (USPC 376/all). 22. Nuclear power—reaction motor with electric, nuclear, or radiated energy fluid heating means (USPC 60/203.1). 23. Nuclear power—heating motive fluid by nuclear energy (USPC 60/644.1) Photovoltaic (USPC 136/243–265). 24. Refuse-derived fuel (USPC 44/ 552). 25. Solar cells (USPC 438/57, 82, 84, 85, 86, 90, 93, 94, 96, 97). 26. Solar energy (USPC 126/561–714; 320/101). 27. Solar thermal energy (USPC 126/ 561–713; 60/641.8–641.15). 28. Water level (e.g., wave or tide) (USPC 405/76–78; 60/495–507). 29. Wind (USPC 290/44, 55; 307/64– 66, 82–87; 415/2.1). B. Energy Conservation 1. Alternative-power vehicle (e.g., hydrogen) (USPC 180/2.1–2.2, 54.1). 2. Cathode ray tube circuits (USPC 315/150, 151, 199). 3. Commuting, e.g., HOV, teleworking (USPC 705/13). 4. Drag reduction (USPC 105/1.1–1.3; 296/180.1–180.5; 296/181.5). 5. Electric lamp and discharge devices (USPC 313/498–512, 567–643). 6. Electric vehicle (USPC 180/65.1; 180/65.21; 320/109; 701/22; 310/1–310). 7. Emission trading, e.g., pollution credits (USPC 705/35–45). E:\FR\FM\08DEN1.SGM 08DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 234 / Tuesday, December 8, 2009 / Notices 8. Energy storage or distribution (USPC 307/38–41; 700/295–298; 713/ 300–340). 9. Fuel cell-powered vehicles (USPC 180/65.21; 180/65.31). 10. Human-powered vehicle (USPC 180/205; 280/200–304.5). 11. Hybrid-powered vehicle (USPC 180/65.21–65.29; 73/35.01–35.13, 112– 115, 116–119A, 121–132). 12. Incoherent light emitter structure (USPC 257/79, 82, 88–90, 93, 99–103). 13. Land vehicle (USPC 105/49–61 (electric trains); 180/65.1–65.8 (electric cars)). 14. Optical systems and elements (USPC 359/591–598). 15. Roadway, e.g., recycled surface, all-weather bikeways (USPC 404/32– 46). 16. Static structures (USPC 52/309.1– 309.17, 404.1–404.5, 424–442, 783.1– 795.1). 17. Thermal (USPC 702/130–136). 18. Transportation (USPC 361/19, 20, 141, 152, 218). 19. Watercraft drive (electric powered) (USPC 440/6–7). 20. Watercraft drive (human powered) (USPC 440/21–32). 21. Wave-powered boat motors (USPC 440/9). 22. Wind-powered boat motors (USPC 440/8). 23. Wind-powered ships (USPC 114/ 102.1–115). WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES C. Environmentally Friendly Farming 1. Alternative irrigation technique (USPC 405/36–51). 2. Animal waste disposal or recycling (USPC 210/610–611; 71/11–30). 3. Fertilizer alternative, e.g., composting (USPC 71/8–30). 4. Pollution abatement, soil conservation (USPC 405/15). 5. Water conservation (USPC 137/ 78.2–78.3; 137/115.01–115.28). 6. Yield enhancement (USPC 504). D. Environmental Purification, Protection, or Remediation 1. Biodegradable (USPC 383/1; 523/ 124–128; 525/938; 526/914). 2. Bio-hazard, Disease (permanent containment of malicious virus, bacteria, prion) (USPC 588/249–249.5). 3. Bio-hazard, Disease (destruction of malicious virus, bacteria, prion) (USPC 588/299). 4. Carbon capture or sequestration (USPC 95/139–140; 405/129.1–129.95; 423/220–234). 5. Disaster (e.g., spill, explosion, containment, or cleanup) (USPC 405/ 129.1–129.95). 6. Environmentally friendly coolants, refrigerants, etc. (USPC 252/71–79). 7. Genetic contamination (USPC 422/ 1–43). VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:48 Dec 07, 2009 Jkt 220001 8. Hazardous or Toxic waste destruction or containment (USPC 588/ 1–261). 9. In atmosphere (USPC 95/57–81, 149–240). 10. In water (USPC 210/600–808; 405/ 60). 11. Landfill (USPC 405/129.95). 12. Nuclear waste containment or disposal (USPC 588/1–20, 400). 13. Plants and plant breeding (USPC 800/260–323.3). 14. Post-consumer material (USPC 264/36.1–36.22, 911–921; 521/40–49.8). 15. Recovery of excess process materials or regeneration from waste stream (USPC 162/29, 189–191; 164/5; 521/40–49.8; 562/513). 16. Recycling (USPC 29/403.1–403.4; 75/401–403; 156/94; 264/37.1–37.33). 17. Smokestack (USPC 110/345; 422/ 900). 18. Soil (USPC 405/128.1–128.9, 129.1–129.95). 19. Toxic material cleanup (USPC 435/626–282). 20. Toxic material permanent containment or destruction (USPC 588/ all). 21. Using microbes or enzymes (USPC 435/262.5). Dated: November 30, 2009. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. E9–29207 Filed 12–7–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C–570–959] Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High–Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet–Fed Presses from the People’s Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. DATES: Effective Date: December 8, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Neubacher, Jennifer Meek or Mary Kolberg, AD/CVD Operations, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–5823, (202) 482–2778 and (202) 482–1785 respectively. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 64669 Background On October 13, 2009, the Department of Commerce (the ‘‘Department’’) initiated a countervailing duty investigation of certain coated paper suitable for high–quality print graphics using sheet–fed presses (‘‘certain coated paper’’) from the People’s Republic of China (‘‘PRC’’). See Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High–Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet–Fed Presses from the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 74 FR 53703 (October 20, 2009). Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than December 17, 2009. Postponement of Due Date for Preliminary Determination On November 19, 2009, the Department received a request from Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corporation, S.D. Warren Company d/b/ a Sappi Fine Paper North America, and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (collectively, ‘‘Petitioners’’) to postpone the preliminary determination of the countervailing duty investigation of certain coated paper from the PRC. Under section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (‘‘the Act’’), the Department may extend the period for reaching a preliminary determination in a countervailing duty investigation until no later than the 130th day after the date on which the administering authority initiates an investigation if the petitioner makes a timely request. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(e), Petitioners’ request for postponement of the preliminary determination was made 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination. Thus, we are fully extending the due date for the preliminary determination to no later than 130 days after the day on which the investigation was initiated (i.e., February 20, 2010). However, February 20, 2010, falls on a Saturday and it is the Department’s long–standing practice to issue a determination the next business day when the statutory deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday, or any other day when the Department is closed. See Notice of Clarification: Application of ‘‘Next Business Day’’ Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005). Accordingly, the deadline for completion of the preliminary determination is now no later than February 22, 2010. E:\FR\FM\08DEN1.SGM 08DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 234 (Tuesday, December 8, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64666-64669]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29207]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2009-0038]


Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas 
Reduction

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is 
implementing a pilot program in which an applicant may have an 
application advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for 
examination, for applications pertaining to green technologies 
including greenhouse gas reduction (applications pertaining to 
environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable 
energy resources or greenhouse gas emission reduction). Currently, an 
application pertaining to environmental quality, or energy 
conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse 
gas reduction will not be advanced out of turn for examination unless 
it meets the requirements of the accelerated examination program. Under 
the Green Technology Pilot Program, applications pertaining to 
environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable 
energy, or greenhouse gas emission reduction, will be advanced out of 
turn for examination without meeting all of the current requirements of 
the accelerated examination program (e.g., examination support 
document). The USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions to make 
special in previously filed new applications, provided that the 
petitions meet the requirements set forth in this notice.

DATES: Effective Date: December 8, 2009.
    Duration: The Green Technology Pilot Program will run for twelve 
months from its effective date. Therefore, petitions to make special 
under the Green Technology Pilot Program must be filed before December 
8, 2010. The USPTO may extend the pilot program (with or without 
modifications) depending on the feedback from the participants and the 
effectiveness of the pilot program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer and Joni Y. Chang, 
Senior Legal Advisors, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of 
the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone 
at 571-272-7726 or 571-272-7720; by facsimile transmission to 571-273-
7726, marked to the attention of Pinchus M. Laufer; or by mail 
addressed to: Mail Stop Comments Patents, Commissioner for Patents, 
P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: New patent applications are normally taken 
up for examination in the order of their United States filing date. See 
section 708 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (8th ed. 2001) 
(Rev. 7, July 2008) (MPEP). The USPTO has a procedure under which an 
application will be advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for 
examination if the applicant files a petition to make special with the 
appropriate showing. See 37 CFR 1.102 and MPEP Sec.  708.02. The USPTO 
revised its accelerated examination program in June of 2006, and 
required that all petitions to make special, except those based on 
applicant's health or age or the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot 
program, comply with the requirements of the revised accelerated 
examination program. See Changes to Practice for Petitions in Patent 
Applications To Make Special and for Accelerated Examination, 71 FR 
36323 (June 26, 2006), 1308 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 106 (July 18, 2006) 
(notice); see also MPEP Sec.  708.02(a). Applications that are accorded 
special status are generally placed on the examiner's special docket 
throughout its entire course of prosecution before the examiner, and 
have special status in any appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and 
Interferences (BPAI) and also in the patent publication process. See 
MPEP Sec.  708.01 and 1309.
    The USPTO is implementing a pilot program to permit applications 
pertaining to ``green technologies'' (i.e., applications pertaining to 
environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable 
energy resources, or greenhouse gas emission reduction) to be advanced 
out of turn without meeting all of the current requirements of the 
accelerated examination program set forth in item VIII of MPEP Sec.  
708.02(a) (e.g., examination support document). The USPTO will accept 
the first 3,000 petitions to make special under the Green Technology 
Pilot Program in previously filed new applications, provided that the 
petitions meet all of the requirements set forth in this notice. Upon 
receipt of more than 3,000 petitions, the USPTO may reevaluate the 
workload and resources needed to extend the pilot program.
    Applications that are accorded special status under the Green 
Technology Pilot Program will be placed on an examiner's special docket 
prior to the first Office action, and will have special status in any 
appeal to the BPAI and also in the patent publication process. 
Applications accorded special status under the Green Technology Pilot 
Program, however, will be placed on the examiner's amended docket, 
rather than the examiner's special docket, after the first Office 
action (which may be an Office action containing only a restriction 
requirement).
    Applicant may participate in the Green Technology Pilot Program by 
filing a petition to make special that meets all of the requirements 
set forth in this notice in a previously filed application. No fee is 
required. The $130.00 fee for a petition under 37 CFR

[[Page 64667]]

1.102 (other than those enumerated in 37 CFR 1.102(c)) is hereby sua 
sponte waived for petitions to make special based upon the procedure 
specified in this notice. In addition, continuing applications will not 
automatically be accorded special status based on papers filed with a 
petition in a parent application. Each continuing application must on 
its own meet all requirements for special status.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: This notice involves information 
collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The collections of information involved in 
this rule have been reviewed and approved by OMB under the emergency 
processing provisions of 5 CFR 1320.13. The USPTO will publish the 
notices required by 5 CFR part 1320 in due course.
    I. Requirements: A petition to make special under the Green 
Technology Pilot Program may be granted in an application if the 
eligibility requirements set forth in section II or III and the 
following conditions are satisfied:
    (1) The application must be a non-reissue, non-provisional utility 
application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), or an international 
application that has entered the national stage in compliance with 35 
U.S.C. 371. The application must be previously filed before the 
publication date of this notice. Reexamination proceedings are excluded 
from this pilot program.
    (2) The application must be classified in one of the U.S. 
classifications listed in section VI of this notice at the time of 
examination. See section VI for more information.
    (3) The application must contain three or fewer independent claims 
and twenty or fewer total claims. The application must not contain any 
multiple dependent claims. For an application that contains more than 
three independent claims or twenty total claims, or multiple dependent 
claims, applicants must file a preliminary amendment in compliance with 
37 CFR 1.121 to cancel the excess claims and/or the multiple dependent 
claims at the time the petition to make special is filed.
    (4) The claims must be directed to a single invention that 
materially enhances the quality of the environment, or that materially 
contributes to: (1) The discovery or development of renewable energy 
resources; (2) the more efficient utilization and conservation of 
energy resources; or (3) greenhouse gas emission reduction (see the 
eligibility requirements of sections II and III of this notice). The 
petition must include a statement that, if the USPTO determines that 
the claims are directed to multiple inventions (e.g., in a restriction 
requirement), applicant will agree to make an election without traverse 
in a telephonic interview, and elect an invention that meets the 
eligibility requirements in section II or III of this notice and is 
classified in one of the U.S. classifications listed in section VI of 
this notice. See section V of this notice for more information.
    (5) The petition to make special must be filed electronically 
before December 8, 2010, using the USPTO electronic filing system, EFS-
Web, and selecting the document description of ``Petition for Green 
Tech Pilot'' on the EFS-Web screen. Applicant should use form PTO/SB/
420, which will be available as a Portable Document Format (PDF) 
fillable form in EFS-Web and on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/web/forms/index.html. Information regarding EFS-Web is 
available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/index.html.
    (6) The petition to make special must be filed at least one day 
prior to the date that a first Office action (which may be an Office 
action containing only a restriction requirement) appears in the Patent 
Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. Applicant may check 
the status of the application using PAIR.
    (7) The petition to make special must be accompanied by a request 
for early publication in compliance with 37 CFR 1.219 and the 
publication fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.18(d).
    II. Eligibility Requirements--Applications Pertaining to 
Environmental Quality: Patent applications for inventions which 
materially enhance the quality of the environment under the conditions 
specified in item V of MPEP Sec.  708.02 will be eligible for the Green 
Technology Pilot Program. For an application pertaining to 
environmental quality, the petition to make special must state that 
special status is sought because the invention materially enhances the 
quality of the environment by contributing to the restoration or 
maintenance of the basic life-sustaining natural elements. If the 
application does not clearly disclose that the claimed invention 
materially enhances the quality of the environment by contributing to 
the restoration or maintenance of one of the basic life-sustaining 
natural elements, the petition must be accompanied by a statement 
signed by the applicant, assignee, or an attorney/agent registered to 
practice before the USPTO, in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b) explaining 
how the materiality standard is met. The materiality standard does not 
permit an applicant to speculate as to how a hypothetical end-user 
might specially apply the invention in a manner that could materially 
enhance the quality of the environment. Nor does such standard permit 
an applicant to enjoy the benefit of advanced examination merely 
because some minor aspect of the claimed invention may enhance the 
quality of the environment. See MPEP Sec.  708.02 (item V).
    III. Eligibility Requirements--Applications Pertaining to Energy 
Conservation, Development of Renewable Energy Resources, or Greenhouse 
Gas Emission Reduction: Patent applications are also eligible for the 
Green Technology Pilot Program if the applications are for inventions 
that materially contribute to: (1) The discovery or development of 
renewable energy resources; (2) the more efficient utilization and 
conservation of energy resources; or (3) the reduction of greenhouse 
gas emissions. The term ``renewable energy resources'' for purposes of 
the procedure specified in this notice includes hydroelectric, solar, 
wind, renewable biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, 
current, and thermal), geothermal, and municipal solid waste, as well 
as the transmission, distribution, or other services directly used in 
providing electrical energy from these sources. The second category 
would include inventions relating to the reduction of energy 
consumption in combustion systems, industrial equipment, and household 
appliances. The third category listed above would include, but is not 
limited to, inventions that contribute to (1) advances in nuclear power 
generation technology, or (2) fossil fuel power generation or 
industrial processes with greenhouse gas-abatement technology (e.g., 
inventions that significantly improve safety and reliability of such 
technologies).
    The petition to make special for an application directed to 
development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or directed to 
greenhouse gas emission reduction, must state the basis for the special 
status (i.e., whether the invention materially contributes to (1) 
development of renewable energy resources or energy conservation, or 
(2) greenhouse gas emission reduction). If the application disclosure 
is not clear on its face that the claimed invention materially 
contributes to (1) development of renewable energy or

[[Page 64668]]

energy conservation, or (2) greenhouse gas emission reduction, the 
petition must be accompanied by a statement signed by the applicant, 
assignee, or an attorney/agent registered to practice before the USPTO, 
in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b) explaining how the materiality 
standard is met. The materiality standard does not permit an applicant 
to speculate as to how a hypothetical end-user might specially apply 
the invention in a manner that could materially contribute to (1) 
development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or (2) 
greenhouse gas emission reduction, nor does the standard permit an 
applicant to enjoy the benefit of advanced examination merely because 
some minor aspect of the claimed invention may be directed to (1) 
development of renewable energy or energy conservation, or (2) 
greenhouse gas emission reduction. See MPEP Sec.  708.02 (item VI).
    IV. Decision on Petition to Make Special Under the Green Technology 
Pilot Program: If applicant files a petition to make special under the 
Green Technology Pilot Program, the USPTO will decide on the petition 
once the application is in condition for examination. If the petition 
is granted, the application will be accorded special status under the 
Green Technology Pilot Program. The application will be placed on the 
examiner's special docket prior to the first Office action, and will 
have special status in any appeal to the BPAI and also in the patent 
publication process. The application, however, will be placed on the 
examiner's amended docket, rather than the examiner's special docket, 
after the first Office action (which may be an Office action containing 
only a restriction requirement).
    If applicant files a petition to make special under the Green 
Technology Pilot Program that does not comply with the requirements set 
forth in this notice, the USPTO will notify the applicant of the 
deficiency by issuing a notice and applicant will be given only one 
opportunity to correct the deficiency. If applicant still wishes to 
participate in the Green Technology Pilot Program, applicant must file 
a proper petition and make appropriate corrections within one month or 
thirty days, whichever is longer. The time period for reply is not 
extendable under 37 CFR 1.136(a). If applicant fails to correct the 
deficiency indicated in the notice within the time period set forth 
therein, the application will not be eligible for the Green Technology 
Pilot Program and the application will be taken up for examination in 
accordance with standard examination procedures.
    V. Requirement for Restriction: If the claims in the application 
are directed to multiple inventions, the examiner may make a 
requirement for restriction in accordance with current restriction 
practice prior to conducting a search. The examiner will contact the 
applicant and follow the procedure for the telephone restriction 
practice set forth in MPEP Sec.  812.01. Applicant must make an 
election without traverse in a telephonic interview, and elect an 
invention that meets the eligibility requirements in section II or III 
of this notice and that is classified in one of the U.S. 
classifications listed in section VI of this notice. See items 2 and 4 
of section I of this notice. If the examiner cannot reach the applicant 
after a reasonable effort or applicant refuses to make an election in 
compliance with item 4 of section I of this notice, the examiner will 
treat the first claimed invention that meets the requirements in 
section II or III and section VI as constructively elected without 
traverse for examination.
    VI. Classification Requirement: The classification requirement set 
forth in this section of the notice will assist the USPTO to balance 
the workload and gauge resources needed to achieve the goals of the 
Green Technology Pilot Program. The USPTO recognizes that certain 
patent applications pertaining to green technologies may be excluded by 
this requirement. After the twelve-month duration of the pilot program, 
the USPTO may extend the pilot program to include more classifications 
depending on the effectiveness of the pilot program and the resources 
availability.
    In order to be eligible for the Green Technology Pilot Program, the 
application must be classified in one of the U.S. patent 
classifications (``USPCs'') listed below at the time of examination. 
The classification descriptions are provided as helpful information, 
and they will not be used in determining whether an application is 
eligible. An applicant may suggest a classification for the 
application, but the applicant may not know the classification of the 
application at the time of filing a petition to make special under the 
Green Technology Pilot Program. The USPTO will determine whether this 
requirement is satisfied once the application is in condition for 
examination and the petition is being decided.
    The following is a list of the eligible classifications:

A. Alternative Energy Production

    1. Agricultural waste (USPC 44/589).
    2. Biofuel (USPC 44/605; 44/589).
    3. Chemical waste (USPC 110/235-259, 346).
    4. For domestic hot water systems (USPC 126/634-680).
    5. For passive space heating (USPC 52/173.3).
    6. For swimming pools (USPC 126/561-568).
    7. Fuel cell (USPC 429/12-46).
    8. Fuel from animal waste and crop residues (USPC 44/605).
    9. Gasification (USPC 48/197R, 197A).
    10. Genetically engineered organism (USPC 435/252.3-252.35, 254.11-
254.9, 257.2, 325-408, 410-431).
    11. Geothermal (USPC 60/641.2-641.5; 436/25-33).
    12. Harnessing energy from man-made waste (USPC 75/958; 431/5).
    13. Hospital waste (USPC 110/235-259, 346).
    14. Hydroelectric (USPC 405/76-78; 60/495-507; 415/25).
    15. Industrial waste (USPC 110/235-259, 346).
    16. Industrial waste anaerobic digestion (USPC 210/605).
    17. Industrial wood waste (USPC 44/589; 44/606).
    18. Inertial (e.g., turbine) (USPC 290/51, 54; 60/495-507).
    19. Landfill gas (USPC 431/5).
    20. Municipal waste (USPC 44/552).
    21. Nuclear power--induced nuclear reactions: processes, systems, 
and elements (USPC 376/all).
    22. Nuclear power--reaction motor with electric, nuclear, or 
radiated energy fluid heating means (USPC 60/203.1).
    23. Nuclear power--heating motive fluid by nuclear energy (USPC 60/
644.1) Photovoltaic (USPC 136/243-265).
    24. Refuse-derived fuel (USPC 44/552).
    25. Solar cells (USPC 438/57, 82, 84, 85, 86, 90, 93, 94, 96, 97).
    26. Solar energy (USPC 126/561-714; 320/101).
    27. Solar thermal energy (USPC 126/561-713; 60/641.8-641.15).
    28. Water level (e.g., wave or tide) (USPC 405/76-78; 60/495-507).
    29. Wind (USPC 290/44, 55; 307/64-66, 82-87; 415/2.1).

B. Energy Conservation

    1. Alternative-power vehicle (e.g., hydrogen) (USPC 180/2.1-2.2, 
54.1).
    2. Cathode ray tube circuits (USPC 315/150, 151, 199).
    3. Commuting, e.g., HOV, teleworking (USPC 705/13).
    4. Drag reduction (USPC 105/1.1-1.3; 296/180.1-180.5; 296/181.5).
    5. Electric lamp and discharge devices (USPC 313/498-512, 567-643).
    6. Electric vehicle (USPC 180/65.1; 180/65.21; 320/109; 701/22; 
310/1-310).
    7. Emission trading, e.g., pollution credits (USPC 705/35-45).

[[Page 64669]]

    8. Energy storage or distribution (USPC 307/38-41; 700/295-298; 
713/300-340).
    9. Fuel cell-powered vehicles (USPC 180/65.21; 180/65.31).
    10. Human-powered vehicle (USPC 180/205; 280/200-304.5).
    11. Hybrid-powered vehicle (USPC 180/65.21-65.29; 73/35.01-35.13, 
112-115, 116-119A, 121-132).
    12. Incoherent light emitter structure (USPC 257/79, 82, 88-90, 93, 
99-103).
    13. Land vehicle (USPC 105/49-61 (electric trains); 180/65.1-65.8 
(electric cars)).
    14. Optical systems and elements (USPC 359/591-598).
    15. Roadway, e.g., recycled surface, all-weather bikeways (USPC 
404/32-46).
    16. Static structures (USPC 52/309.1-309.17, 404.1-404.5, 424-442, 
783.1-795.1).
    17. Thermal (USPC 702/130-136).
    18. Transportation (USPC 361/19, 20, 141, 152, 218).
    19. Watercraft drive (electric powered) (USPC 440/6-7).
    20. Watercraft drive (human powered) (USPC 440/21-32).
    21. Wave-powered boat motors (USPC 440/9).
    22. Wind-powered boat motors (USPC 440/8).
    23. Wind-powered ships (USPC 114/102.1-115).

C. Environmentally Friendly Farming

    1. Alternative irrigation technique (USPC 405/36-51).
    2. Animal waste disposal or recycling (USPC 210/610-611; 71/11-30).
    3. Fertilizer alternative, e.g., composting (USPC 71/8-30).
    4. Pollution abatement, soil conservation (USPC 405/15).
    5. Water conservation (USPC 137/78.2-78.3; 137/115.01-115.28).
    6. Yield enhancement (USPC 504).

D. Environmental Purification, Protection, or Remediation

    1. Biodegradable (USPC 383/1; 523/124-128; 525/938; 526/914).
    2. Bio-hazard, Disease (permanent containment of malicious virus, 
bacteria, prion) (USPC 588/249-249.5).
    3. Bio-hazard, Disease (destruction of malicious virus, bacteria, 
prion) (USPC 588/299).
    4. Carbon capture or sequestration (USPC 95/139-140; 405/129.1-
129.95; 423/220-234).
    5. Disaster (e.g., spill, explosion, containment, or cleanup) (USPC 
405/129.1-129.95).
    6. Environmentally friendly coolants, refrigerants, etc. (USPC 252/
71-79).
    7. Genetic contamination (USPC 422/1-43).
    8. Hazardous or Toxic waste destruction or containment (USPC 588/1-
261).
    9. In atmosphere (USPC 95/57-81, 149-240).
    10. In water (USPC 210/600-808; 405/60).
    11. Landfill (USPC 405/129.95).
    12. Nuclear waste containment or disposal (USPC 588/1-20, 400).
    13. Plants and plant breeding (USPC 800/260-323.3).
    14. Post-consumer material (USPC 264/36.1-36.22, 911-921; 521/40-
49.8).
    15. Recovery of excess process materials or regeneration from waste 
stream (USPC 162/29, 189-191; 164/5; 521/40-49.8; 562/513).
    16. Recycling (USPC 29/403.1-403.4; 75/401-403; 156/94; 264/37.1-
37.33).
    17. Smokestack (USPC 110/345; 422/900).
    18. Soil (USPC 405/128.1-128.9, 129.1-129.95).
    19. Toxic material cleanup (USPC 435/626-282).
    20. Toxic material permanent containment or destruction (USPC 588/
all).
    21. Using microbes or enzymes (USPC 435/262.5).

    Dated: November 30, 2009.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. E9-29207 Filed 12-7-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P