Revision of Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 2012, 37296-37300 [2011-16001]

Download as PDF 37296 * * Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 123 / Monday, June 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules * * * Dated: June 16, 2011. Mark S. Ogle, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Hampton Roads. [FR Doc. 2011–15971 Filed 6–24–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Parts 1 and 41 [PTO–C–2010–0019] RIN 0651–AC44 Revision of Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 2012 United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to adjust certain patent fee amounts for fiscal year 2012 to reflect fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The patent statute provides for the annual CPI adjustment of patent fees set by statute to recover the higher costs associated with doing business. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before July 27, 2011. No public hearing will be held. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN number RIN 0651– AC44, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: Walter.Schlueter@uspto.gov. Include RIN number RIN 0651–AC44 in the subject line of the message. • Fax: (571) 273–6299, marked to the attention of Walter Schlueter. • Mail: Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450, marked to the attention of Walter Schlueter. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this proposed rule making. For additional information on the rule making process, see the heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Walter Schlueter by e-mail at Walter.Schlueter@uspto.gov, by telephone at (571) 272–6299, or by fax at (571) 273–6299. wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:26 Jun 24, 2011 The USPTO is proposing to adjust certain patent fees in accordance with the applicable provisions of title 35, United States Code, as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 108–447, 118 Stat. 2809 (2004)). Background: Statutory Provisions: Patent fees are set by or under the authority provided in 35 U.S.C. 41, 119, 120, 132(b), 156, 157(a), 255, 302, 311, 376, section 532(a)(2) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) (Pub. L. 103–465, § 532(a)(2), 108 Stat. 4809, 4985 (1994)), and section 4506 of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) (Pub. L. 106–113, 113 Stat. 1501, 1501A–565 (1999)). For fees paid under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) and 132(b), independent inventors, small business concerns, and nonprofit organizations who meet the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 41(h)(1) are entitled to a fifty-percent reduction. Section 41(f) of title 35, United States Code, provides that fees established under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) may be adjusted on October 1, 1992, and every year thereafter, to reflect fluctuations in the CPI over the previous twelve months. Section 41(g) of title 35, United States Code, provides that new fee amounts established by the Director under 35 U.S.C. 41 may take effect thirty days after notice in the Federal Register and the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The fiscal year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (section 801 of Division B) provided that 35 U.S.C. 41(a), (b), and (d) shall be administered in a manner that revises patent application fees (35 U.S.C. 41(a)) and patent maintenance fees (35 U.S.C. 41(b)), and provides for a separate filing fee (35 U.S.C. 41(a)), search fee (35 U.S.C. 41(d)(1)), and examination fee (35 U.S.C. 41(a)(3)) during fiscal years 2005 and 2006. See Pub. L. 108–447, 118 Stat. 2809, 2924–30 (2004). The patent and trademark fee provisions of the fiscal year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act have been extended through September 30, 2011, via the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. See Pub. L. 112–4, 125 Stat. 6 (2011); Pub. L. 111–322, 124 Stat. 3518 (2010); Pub. L. 111–317, 124 Stat. 3454 (2010); Pub. L. 111–290, 124 Stat. 3063 (2010); Pub. L. 111–242, 124 Stat. 2607 (2010); Pub. L. 111–224, 124 Stat. 2385 (2010); Pub. L. 111–117, 123 Stat. 3034 (2009); Pub. L. 111–8, 123 Stat. 524 (2009); Pub. L. 111–6, 123 Stat. 522 (2009); Pub. L. 111–5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009); Pub. L. 110–329, 122 Stat. 3574 (2008); Pub. L. 110–161, 121 Stat. 1844 (2007); Pub. L. 110–149, 121 Stat. 1819 (2007); Pub. L. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 110–137, 121 Stat. 1454 (2007); Pub. L. 110–116, 121 Stat. 1295 (2007); Pub. L. 110–92, 121 Stat. 989 (2007); Pub. L. 110–5, 121 Stat. 8 (2007); Pub. L. 109– 383, 120 Stat. 2678 (2006); Pub. L. 109– 369, 120 Stat. 2642 (2006); and Pub. L. 109–289, 120 Stat. 1257 (2006). The USPTO anticipates the enactment of legislation that would extend the patent and trademark fee provisions of the fiscal year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act through fiscal year 2012. Fee Adjustment Level: The patent statutory fees established by 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) are proposed to be adjusted to reflect the most recent fluctuations occurring during the twelve-month period prior to publication of the final rule, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has advised that in calculating these fluctuations, the USPTO should use CPI–U data as determined by the Secretary of Labor. In accordance with previous feesetting methodology, the USPTO proposes to adjust patent statutory fee amounts based on the most recent annual increase in the CPI–U, as reported by the Secretary of Labor, at the time the final rule is implemented. Proposed adjusted fee amounts are not included in this proposed rule in order to avoid confusion that could arise from using projected increases in the proposed rule that may not end up matching actual increases at the time of the final rule. Annual increases to the CPI–U are published monthly, and before the final fee amounts are published, the fee amounts may be adjusted based on actual fluctuations in the CPI–U. Adjusted patent statutory fee amounts based on the most recent annual increase in the CPI–U, as reported by the Secretary of Labor, will be published in a final rules notice. The fee amounts will be rounded by applying standard arithmetic rules so that the amounts rounded will be convenient to the user. Fees for other than a small entity of $100 or more will be rounded to the nearest $10. Fees of less than $100 will be rounded to an even number so that any comparable small entity fee will be a whole number. General Procedures: Any fee amount that is paid on or after the effective date of the proposed fee adjustment would be subject to the new fees then in effect. The amount of the fee to be paid will be determined by the time of filing. The time of filing will be determined either according to the date of receipt in the Office (37 CFR 1.6) or the date reflected on a proper Certificate of Mailing or E:\FR\FM\27JNP1.SGM 27JNP1 37297 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 123 / Monday, June 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules Transmission, where such a certificate is authorized under 37 CFR 1.8. Use of a Certificate of Mailing or Transmission is not authorized for items that are specifically excluded from the provisions of 37 CFR 1.8. Items for which a Certificate of Mailing or Transmission under 37 CFR 1.8 is not authorized include, for example, filing of national and international applications for patents. See 37 CFR 1.8(a)(2). Patent-related correspondence delivered by the ‘‘Express Mail Post Office to Addressee’’ service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) is considered filed or received in the USPTO on the date of deposit with the USPS. See 37 CFR 1.10(a)(1). The date of deposit with the USPS is shown by the ‘‘date-in’’ on the ‘‘Express Mail’’ mailing label or other official USPS notation. To ensure clarity in the implementation of the proposed new fees, a discussion of specific sections is set forth below. Discussion of Specific Rules 37 CFR 1.16 National application filing, and examination fees: Section 1.16, paragraphs (a) through (e), (h) through (j) and (o) through (s), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI–U. 37 CFR 1.17 Patent application and reexamination processing fees: Section 1.17, paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5), (l), and (m), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI–U. 37 CFR 1.18 Patent post allowance (including issue) fees: Section 1.18, paragraphs (a) through (c), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI–U. 37 CFR 1.20 Post issuance fees: Section 1.20, paragraphs (c)(3)–(c)(4), and (d) through (g), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI–U. 37 CFR 1.492 National stage fees: Section 1.492, paragraphs (a), (c)(2), (d) through (f) and (j), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI–U. 37 CFR 41.20 Fees: Section 41.20, paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI–U. Example of Fee Amount Adjustments: Adjusted patent statutory fee amounts based on the most recent annual increase in the CPI–U, as reported by the Secretary of Labor, will be published in a final rules notice. Table 1 provides examples of possible fee adjustments based on the February 2010 to February 2011 annual CPI–U increase of 2.3%. TABLE 1 37 CFR Title Current fee amount Fee amount (2.3% increase) 1.16(a)(1) .......... 1.16(a)(1) .......... Filing of Utility Patent Application (on or after 12/8/2004) .. Filing of Utility Patent Application (electronic filing for small entities)(on or after 12/8/2004). Utility Application Filing (before 12/8/2004) ......................... Filing of Design Patent Application (on or after 12/8/2004) Filing of Design Patent Application (CPA) (on or after 12/ 8/2004). Design Application Filing (before 12/8/2004) ...................... Design Application Filing (CPA) (before 12/8/2004) ........... Filing of Plant Patent Application (on or after 12/8/2004) ... Plant Application Filing (before 12/8/2004) ......................... Provisional Application Filing ............................................... Filing of Reissue Patent Application (on or after 12/8/ 2004). Filing of Reissue Patent Application (CPA) (on or after 12/ 8/2004). Reissue Application Filing (before 12/8/2004) .................... Reissue Application Filing (CPA) (before 12/8/2004) ......... Independent Claims in Excess of Three ............................. Reissue Independent Claims in Excess of Three ............... Claims in Excess of Twenty ................................................ Reissue Total Claims in Excess of Twenty ......................... Multiple Dependent Claims .................................................. Utility Patent Examination .................................................... Design Patent Examination ................................................. Plant Patent Examination .................................................... Reissue Patent Examination ............................................... Utility Application Size Fee—For each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets. Design Application Size Fee—For each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets. Plant Application Size Fee—For each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets. Reissue Application Size Fee—For each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets. Provisional Application Size Fee—For each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets. Extension for Response within First Month ......................... Extension for Response within Second Month ................... Extension for Response within Third Month ....................... Extension for Response within Fourth Month ..................... Extension for Response within Fifth Month ......................... Petition to Revive Unavoidably Abandoned Application ..... $330, (SE) $165 .... $82 ......................... $340, (SE) $170 .... $84 ......................... $10, (SE) $5. $2. $850, (SE) $425 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $870, (SE) $435 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $20, (SE) $10. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $380, $380, $220, $600, $220, $330, $390, $390, $230, $610, $230, $340, $10, $10, $10, $10, $10, $10, 1.16(a)(2) .......... 1.16(b)(1) .......... 1.16(b)(1) .......... 1.16(b)(2) .......... 1.16(b)(2) .......... 1.16(c)(1) .......... 1.16(c)(2) .......... 1.16(d) .............. 1.16(e)(1) .......... 1.16(e)(1) .......... 1.16(e)(2) .......... 1.16(e)(2) .......... 1.16(h) .............. 1.16(h) .............. 1.16(i) ............... 1.16(i) ............... 1.16(j) ............... 1.16(o) .............. 1.16(p) .............. 1.16(q) .............. 1.16(r) ............... 1.16(s) .............. wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 1.16(s) .............. 1.16(s) .............. 1.16(s) .............. 1.16(s) .............. 1.17(a)(1) .......... 1.17(a)(2) .......... 1.17(a)(3) .......... 1.17(a)(4) .......... 1.17(a)(5) .......... 1.17(l) ............... VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:26 Jun 24, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) $190 $190 $110 $300 $110 $165 .... .... .... .... .... .... (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) $195 $195 $115 $305 $115 $170 .... .... .... .... .... .... Fee adjustment (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) $5. $5. $5. $5. $5. $5. $330, (SE) $165 .... $340, (SE) $170 .... $10, (SE) $5. $850, (SE) $425 .... $850, (SE) $425 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $52, (SE) $26 ........ $52, (SE) $26 ........ $390, (SE) $195 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $140, (SE) $70 ...... $170, (SE) $85 ...... $650, (SE) $325 .... $270, (SE) $135 .... $870, (SE) $435 .... $870, (SE) $435 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $52, (SE) $26 ........ $52, (SE) $26 ........ $400, (SE) $200 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $140, (SE) $70 ...... $170, (SE) $85 ...... $660, (SE) $330 .... $280, (SE) $140 .... $20, (SE) $10. $20, (SE) $10. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $0, (SE) $0. $0, (SE) $0. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $0, (SE) $0. $0, (SE) $0. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $270, (SE) $135 .... $280, (SE) $140 .... $10, (SE) $5. $270, (SE) $135 .... $280, (SE) $140 .... $10, (SE) $5. $270, (SE) $135 .... $280, (SE) $140 .... $10, (SE) $5. $270, (SE) $135 .... $280, (SE) $140 .... $10, (SE) $5. $130, (SE) $65 ...... $490, (SE) $245 .... $1,110, (SE) $555 $1,730, (SE) $865 $2,350, (SE) $1,175 $540, (SE) $270 .... $130, (SE) $65 ...... $500, (SE) $250 .... $1,120, (SE) $560 $1,740, (SE) $870 $2,360, (SE) $1,180 $550, (SE) $275 .... $0, (SE) $0. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\27JNP1.SGM 27JNP1 37298 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 123 / Monday, June 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules TABLE 1—Continued 37 CFR Title Current fee amount Fee amount (2.3% increase) 1.17(m) ............. 1.18(a) .............. 1.18(a) .............. 1.18(b) .............. 1.18(c) .............. 1.20(c)(3) .......... 1.20(c)(4) .......... 1.20(d) .............. 1.20(e) .............. 1.20(f) ............... 1.20(g) .............. 1.492(a) ............ 1.492(c)(2) ........ 1.492(d) ............ 1.492(e) ............ 1.492(f) ............. 1.492(j) ............. 41.20(b)(1) ........ 41.20(b)(2) ........ 41.20(b)(3) ........ Petition to Revive Unintentionally Abandoned Application Utility Issue .......................................................................... Reissue Issue ...................................................................... Design Issue ........................................................................ Plant Issue ........................................................................... Reexamination Independent Claims in Excess of Three .... Reexamination Total Claims in Excess of Twenty .............. Statutory Disclaimer ............................................................. First Stage Maintenance ...................................................... Second Stage Maintenance ................................................ Third Stage Maintenance .................................................... Filing of PCT National Stage Application ............................ PCT National Stage Examination—All Other Situations ..... Independent Claims in Excess of Three ............................. Total Claims in Excess of Twenty ....................................... Multiple Dependent Claims .................................................. PCT National Stage Application Size Fee .......................... Notice of Appeal .................................................................. Filing a Brief in Support of an Appeal ................................. Request for Oral Hearing .................................................... $1,620, (SE) $810 $1,510, (SE) $755 $1,510, (SE) $755 $860, (SE) $430 .... $1,190, (SE) $595 $220, (SE) $110 .... $52, (SE) $26 ........ $140, (SE) $70 ...... $980, (SE) $490 .... $2,480, (SE) $1,240 $4,110, (SE) $2,055 $330, (SE) $165 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $220, (SE) $110 .... $52, (SE) $26 ........ $390, (SE) $195 .... $270, (SE) $135 .... $540, (SE) $270 .... $540, (SE) $270 .... $1,080, (SE) $540 $1,660, (SE) $830 $1,540, (SE) $770 $1,540, (SE) $770 $880, (SE) $440 .... $1,220, (SE) $610 $230, (SE) $115 .... $52, (SE) $26 ........ $140, (SE) $70 ...... $1,000, (SE) $500 $2,540, (SE) $1,270 $4,200, (SE) $2,100 $340, (SE) $170 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $230, (SE) $115 .... $52, (SE) $26 ........ $400, (SE) $200 .... $280, (SE) $140 .... $550, (SE) $275 .... $550, (SE) $275 .... $1,100, (SE) $550 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 Rulemaking Considerations Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: 1. Description of the reasons that action by the agency is being considered: The USPTO is proposing to adjust the patent fees set under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) to ensure proper funding for effective operations. The patent fee CPI adjustment is a routine adjustment that has generally occurred on an annual basis when necessary to recover the higher costs of USPTO operations that occur due to the increase in the price of products and services. 2. Succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the proposed rules: The objective of the proposed change is to adjust patent fees set under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) to recover the higher costs of USPTO operations. Patent fees are set by or under the authority provided in 35 U.S.C. 41, 119, 120, 132(b), 156, 157(a), 255, 302, 311, 376, section 532(a)(2) of the URAA, and 4506 of the AIPA. 35 U.S.C. 41(f) provides that fees established under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) may be adjusted every year to reflect fluctuations in the CPI over the previous twelve months. 3. Description and estimate of the number of affected small entities: The Small Business Administration (SBA) small business size standards applicable to most analyses conducted to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act are set forth in 13 CFR 121.201. These regulations generally define small businesses as those with fewer than a maximum number of employees or less than a specified level of annual receipts for the entity’s industrial sector or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. The USPTO, VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:26 Jun 24, 2011 Jkt 223001 however, has formally adopted an alternate size standard as the size standard for the purpose of conducting an analysis or making a certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act for patent-related regulations. See Business Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and Trademark Office Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related Regulations, 71 FR 67109 (Nov. 20, 2006), 1313 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 60 (Dec. 12, 2006). This alternate small business size standard is the previously established size standard that identifies the criteria entities must meet to be entitled to pay reduced patent fees. See 13 CFR 121.802. If patent applicants identify themselves on the patent application as qualifying for reduced patent fees, the USPTO captures this data in the Patent Application Location and Monitoring (PALM) database system, which tracks information on each patent application submitted to the USPTO. Unlike the SBA small business size standards set forth in 13 CFR 121.201, this size standard is not industryspecific. Specifically, the USPTO definition of small business concern for Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes is a business or other concern that: (1) Meets the SBA’s definition of a ‘‘business concern or concern’’ set forth in 13 CFR 121.105; and (2) meets the size standards set forth in 13 CFR 121.802 for the purpose of paying reduced patent fees, namely an entity: (a) whose number of employees, including affiliates, does not exceed 500 persons; and (b) which has not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed (and is under no obligation to do so) any rights in the PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Fee adjustment $40, (SE) $20. $30, (SE) $15. $30, (SE) $15. $20, (SE) $10. $30, (SE) $15. $10, (SE) $5. $0, (SE) $0. $0, (SE) $0. $20, (SE) $10. $60, (SE) $30. $90, (SE) $45. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $0, (SE) $0. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $10, (SE) $5. $20, (SE) $10. invention to any person who made it and could not be classified as an independent inventor, or to any concern which would not qualify as a non-profit organization or a small business concern under this definition. See Business Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and Trademark Office Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related Regulations, 71 FR at 67112 (November 20, 2006), 1313 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office at 63 (December 12, 2006). The changes in this proposed rule will apply to any small entity that files a patent application, or has a pending patent application or unexpired patent. The changes in this proposed rule will specifically apply when an applicant or patentee pays an application filing or national stage entry fee, search fee, examination fee, extension of time fee, notice of appeal fee, appeal brief fee, request for an oral hearing fee, petition to revive fee, issue fee, or patent maintenance fee. The USPTO has been advised that a number of small entity applicants and patentees do not claim small entity status for various reasons. See Business Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and Trademark Office Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related Regulations, 71 FR at 67110 (November 20, 2006), 1313 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office at 61 (December 12, 2006). Therefore, the USPTO is also considering all other entities paying patent fees as well. 4. Description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposed rules, including an estimate of the classes of small entities which will E:\FR\FM\27JNP1.SGM 27JNP1 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 123 / Monday, June 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record: This notice does not propose any reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements. This notice proposes only to adjust patent fees (as discussed previously) to reflect changes in the CPI. 5. Description of any significant alternatives to the proposed rules which accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and which minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rules on small entities: The alternative of not adjusting patent fees would have a lesser economic impact on small entities, but would not accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes. The USPTO is proposing to adjust the patent fees to ensure proper funding for effective operations. The patent fee CPI adjustment is a routine adjustment that has generally occurred on an annual basis to recover the higher costs of USPTO operations that occur due to the increase in the price of products and services and to recover the estimated cost to the USPTO for processing activities and services and materials relating to patents and trademarks, respectively, including proportionate shares of the administrative costs of the USPTO. The lack of proper funding for effective operations would result in a significant increase in patent pendency levels. 6. Identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal rules which may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the proposed rules: The USPTO is the sole agency of the United States Government responsible for administering the provisions of title 35, United States Code, pertaining to examination and granting patents. Therefore, no other Federal, state, or local entity shares jurisdiction over the examination and granting of patents. Other countries, however, have their own patent laws, and an entity desiring a patent in a particular country must make an application for patent in that country, in accordance with the applicable law. Although the potential for overlap exists internationally, this cannot be avoided except by treaty (such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, or the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)). Nevertheless, the USPTO believes that there are no other duplicative or overlapping rules. B. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This rule making does not contain policies with federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:26 Jun 24, 2011 Jkt 223001 under Executive Order 13132 (Aug. 4, 1999). C. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): This rule making has been determined to be significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993), as amended by Executive Order 13258 (Feb. 26, 2002), and Executive Order 13422 (Jan. 18, 2007). D. Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review): The Office has complied with Executive Order 13563 (Jan. 8, 2011). Specifically, the Office has: (1) Used the best available techniques to quantify costs and benefits, and has considered values such as equity, fairness and distributive impacts; (2) provided the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the regulatory process, including soliciting the views of those likely affected, by issuing this notice of proposed rule making and providing online access to the rule making docket; (3) attempted to promote coordination, simplification and harmonization across government agencies and identified goals designed to promote innovation; (4) considered approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public; and (5) ensured the objectivity of scientific and technological information and processes, to the extent applicable. E. Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation): This rule making will not: (1) Have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; or (3) preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal summary impact statement is not required under Executive Order 13175 (Nov. 6, 2000). F. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects): This rule making is not a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211 because this rule making is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required under Executive Order 13211 (May 18, 2001). G. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform): This rule making meets applicable standards to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden as set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 (Feb. 5, 1996). H. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children): This rule making is not an economically significant rule and does not concern an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children under Executive Order 13045 (Apr. 21, 1997). PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 37299 I. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property): This rule making will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Mar. 15, 1988). J. Congressional Review Act: Under the Congressional Review Act provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), prior to issuing any final rule, the USPTO will submit a report containing the final rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office. The changes proposed in this notice are not expected to result in an annual effect on the economy of 100 million dollars or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets. Therefore, this rule making is not likely to result in a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804(2). K. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995: The changes proposed in this notice do not involve a Federal intergovernmental mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, or a Federal private sector mandate that will result in the expenditure by the private sector of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. See 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq. L. National Environmental Policy Act: This rule making will not have any effect on the quality of environment and is thus categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. See 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. M. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act: The requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) are inapplicable because this rule making does not contain provisions which involve the use of technical standards. N. Paperwork Reduction Act: This proposed rule involves information collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under E:\FR\FM\27JNP1.SGM 27JNP1 37300 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 123 / Monday, June 27, 2011 / Proposed Rules the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The collections of information involved in this proposed rule have been reviewed and approved by OMB. The Office is not resubmitting information collection requests to OMB for its review and approval at this time because the changes proposed in this notice revise the fees for existing information collection requirements under OMB control numbers 0651– 0016, 0651–0021, 0651–0024, 0651– 0031, 0651–0032, 0651–0033, 0651– 0063 and 0651–0064. The USPTO will submit to OMB fee revision changes for the OMB control numbers 0651–0016, 0651–0021, 0651–0024, 0651–0031, 0651–0032, 0651–0033, 0651–0063 and 0651–0064 if the changes proposed in this notice are adopted. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. 2010, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) submitted to EPA for approval an adjustment to the general rule, Use of Organic Material Rule, commonly known as the eight pound per hour (8 lb/hr) rule, as it applies to emissions of volatile organic matter (VOM) from Royal’s pool manufacturing facility. The adjusted standard relieves Royal from being subject to the general rule for VOM emissions from its Dix facility. EPA is approving this SIP revision because it will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). 40 CFR Part 52 Comments must be received on or before July 27, 2011. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R05– OAR–2010–0545, by one of the following methods: 1. http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. 2. E-mail: aburano.douglas@epa.gov 3. Fax: (312) 408–2279. 4. Mail: Doug Aburano, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR–18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. 5. Hand Delivery: Doug Aburano, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR–18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Final Rules section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments. [EPA–R05–OAR–2010–0973; FRL–9319–3] FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: List of Subjects 37 CFR Part 1 Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of information, Inventions and patents, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Small businesses. 37 CFR Part 41 Administrative practice and procedure, Inventions and patents, Lawyers. Dated: June 8, 2011. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2011–16001 Filed 6–24–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois; Royal Fiberglass Pools, Inc. Adjusted Standard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: EPA is proposing to approve into the Illinois State Implementation Plan (SIP) an adjusted standard for Royal Fiberglass Pools (‘‘Royal’’) at its Dix, Illinois facility. On November 8, SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:26 Jun 24, 2011 Jkt 223001 DATES: Carolyn Persoon, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR–18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353–8290, persoon.carolyn@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the state’s SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register. Dated: June 3, 2011. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5. [FR Doc. 2011–15868 Filed 6–24–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 98 [EPA–HQ–OAR–2011–0417; FRL–9323–3] RIN 2060–AP99 Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems: Revisions to Best Available Monitoring Method Provisions Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: EPA is proposing to amend certain provisions related to best available monitoring methods in regulations for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule. Specifically, EPA is proposing to extend the time period during which owners and operators of covered facilities would be permitted to use best available monitoring methods during 2011 without submitting a request to the Administrator for approval. In addition, EPA is proposing to expand the list of types of emissions sources for which owners and operators would not be required to submit a request to the Administrator to use best available monitoring methods for 2011 and extend the deadline by which owners and operators of covered facilities would request use of best SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27JNP1.SGM 27JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 123 (Monday, June 27, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37296-37300]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16001]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

37 CFR Parts 1 and 41

[PTO-C-2010-0019]
RIN 0651-AC44


Revision of Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 2012

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is 
proposing to adjust certain patent fee amounts for fiscal year 2012 to 
reflect fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The patent 
statute provides for the annual CPI adjustment of patent fees set by 
statute to recover the higher costs associated with doing business.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before July 27, 2011. No 
public hearing will be held.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN number RIN 0651-
AC44, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: Walter.Schlueter@uspto.gov. Include RIN number RIN 
0651-AC44 in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: (571) 273-6299, marked to the attention of Walter 
Schlueter.
     Mail: Director of the United States Patent and Trademark 
Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the 
attention of Walter Schlueter.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this proposed rule making. 
For additional information on the rule making process, see the heading 
of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Walter Schlueter by e-mail at 
Walter.Schlueter@uspto.gov, by telephone at (571) 272-6299, or by fax 
at (571) 273-6299.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO is proposing to adjust certain 
patent fees in accordance with the applicable provisions of title 35, 
United States Code, as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 
(Pub. L. 108-447, 118 Stat. 2809 (2004)).
    Background: Statutory Provisions: Patent fees are set by or under 
the authority provided in 35 U.S.C. 41, 119, 120, 132(b), 156, 157(a), 
255, 302, 311, 376, section 532(a)(2) of the Uruguay Round Agreements 
Act (URAA) (Pub. L. 103-465, Sec.  532(a)(2), 108 Stat. 4809, 4985 
(1994)), and section 4506 of the American Inventors Protection Act of 
1999 (AIPA) (Pub. L. 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501, 1501A-565 (1999)). For 
fees paid under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) and 132(b), independent 
inventors, small business concerns, and nonprofit organizations who 
meet the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 41(h)(1) are entitled to a fifty-
percent reduction.
    Section 41(f) of title 35, United States Code, provides that fees 
established under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) may be adjusted on October 1, 
1992, and every year thereafter, to reflect fluctuations in the CPI 
over the previous twelve months.
    Section 41(g) of title 35, United States Code, provides that new 
fee amounts established by the Director under 35 U.S.C. 41 may take 
effect thirty days after notice in the Federal Register and the 
Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    The fiscal year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (section 801 
of Division B) provided that 35 U.S.C. 41(a), (b), and (d) shall be 
administered in a manner that revises patent application fees (35 
U.S.C. 41(a)) and patent maintenance fees (35 U.S.C. 41(b)), and 
provides for a separate filing fee (35 U.S.C. 41(a)), search fee (35 
U.S.C. 41(d)(1)), and examination fee (35 U.S.C. 41(a)(3)) during 
fiscal years 2005 and 2006. See Pub. L. 108-447, 118 Stat. 2809, 2924-
30 (2004). The patent and trademark fee provisions of the fiscal year 
2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act have been extended through 
September 30, 2011, via the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. See Pub. 
L. 112-4, 125 Stat. 6 (2011); Pub. L. 111-322, 124 Stat. 3518 (2010); 
Pub. L. 111-317, 124 Stat. 3454 (2010); Pub. L. 111-290, 124 Stat. 3063 
(2010); Pub. L. 111-242, 124 Stat. 2607 (2010); Pub. L. 111-224, 124 
Stat. 2385 (2010); Pub. L. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034 (2009); Pub. L. 111-
8, 123 Stat. 524 (2009); Pub. L. 111-6, 123 Stat. 522 (2009); Pub. L. 
111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009); Pub. L. 110-329, 122 Stat. 3574 (2008); 
Pub. L. 110-161, 121 Stat. 1844 (2007); Pub. L. 110-149, 121 Stat. 1819 
(2007); Pub. L. 110-137, 121 Stat. 1454 (2007); Pub. L. 110-116, 121 
Stat. 1295 (2007); Pub. L. 110-92, 121 Stat. 989 (2007); Pub. L. 110-5, 
121 Stat. 8 (2007); Pub. L. 109-383, 120 Stat. 2678 (2006); Pub. L. 
109-369, 120 Stat. 2642 (2006); and Pub. L. 109-289, 120 Stat. 1257 
(2006). The USPTO anticipates the enactment of legislation that would 
extend the patent and trademark fee provisions of the fiscal year 2005 
Consolidated Appropriations Act through fiscal year 2012.
    Fee Adjustment Level: The patent statutory fees established by 35 
U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) are proposed to be adjusted to reflect the most 
recent fluctuations occurring during the twelve-month period prior to 
publication of the final rule, as measured by the Consumer Price Index 
for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) has advised that in calculating these fluctuations, the USPTO 
should use CPI-U data as determined by the Secretary of Labor.
    In accordance with previous fee-setting methodology, the USPTO 
proposes to adjust patent statutory fee amounts based on the most 
recent annual increase in the CPI-U, as reported by the Secretary of 
Labor, at the time the final rule is implemented. Proposed adjusted fee 
amounts are not included in this proposed rule in order to avoid 
confusion that could arise from using projected increases in the 
proposed rule that may not end up matching actual increases at the time 
of the final rule. Annual increases to the CPI-U are published monthly, 
and before the final fee amounts are published, the fee amounts may be 
adjusted based on actual fluctuations in the CPI-U. Adjusted patent 
statutory fee amounts based on the most recent annual increase in the 
CPI-U, as reported by the Secretary of Labor, will be published in a 
final rules notice.
    The fee amounts will be rounded by applying standard arithmetic 
rules so that the amounts rounded will be convenient to the user. Fees 
for other than a small entity of $100 or more will be rounded to the 
nearest $10. Fees of less than $100 will be rounded to an even number 
so that any comparable small entity fee will be a whole number.
    General Procedures: Any fee amount that is paid on or after the 
effective date of the proposed fee adjustment would be subject to the 
new fees then in effect. The amount of the fee to be paid will be 
determined by the time of filing. The time of filing will be determined 
either according to the date of receipt in the Office (37 CFR 1.6) or 
the date reflected on a proper Certificate of Mailing or

[[Page 37297]]

Transmission, where such a certificate is authorized under 37 CFR 1.8. 
Use of a Certificate of Mailing or Transmission is not authorized for 
items that are specifically excluded from the provisions of 37 CFR 1.8. 
Items for which a Certificate of Mailing or Transmission under 37 CFR 
1.8 is not authorized include, for example, filing of national and 
international applications for patents. See 37 CFR 1.8(a)(2).
    Patent-related correspondence delivered by the ``Express Mail Post 
Office to Addressee'' service of the United States Postal Service 
(USPS) is considered filed or received in the USPTO on the date of 
deposit with the USPS. See 37 CFR 1.10(a)(1). The date of deposit with 
the USPS is shown by the ``date-in'' on the ``Express Mail'' mailing 
label or other official USPS notation.
    To ensure clarity in the implementation of the proposed new fees, a 
discussion of specific sections is set forth below.

Discussion of Specific Rules

    37 CFR 1.16 National application filing, and examination fees: 
Section 1.16, paragraphs (a) through (e), (h) through (j) and (o) 
through (s), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established 
therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI-U.
    37 CFR 1.17 Patent application and reexamination processing fees: 
Section 1.17, paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5), (l), and (m), if 
revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to reflect 
fluctuations in the CPI-U.
    37 CFR 1.18 Patent post allowance (including issue) fees: Section 
1.18, paragraphs (a) through (c), if revised as proposed, would adjust 
fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI-U.
    37 CFR 1.20 Post issuance fees: Section 1.20, paragraphs (c)(3)-
(c)(4), and (d) through (g), if revised as proposed, would adjust fees 
established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI-U.
    37 CFR 1.492 National stage fees: Section 1.492, paragraphs (a), 
(c)(2), (d) through (f) and (j), if revised as proposed, would adjust 
fees established therein to reflect fluctuations in the CPI-U.
    37 CFR 41.20 Fees: Section 41.20, paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3), 
if revised as proposed, would adjust fees established therein to 
reflect fluctuations in the CPI-U.
    Example of Fee Amount Adjustments: Adjusted patent statutory fee 
amounts based on the most recent annual increase in the CPI-U, as 
reported by the Secretary of Labor, will be published in a final rules 
notice. Table 1 provides examples of possible fee adjustments based on 
the February 2010 to February 2011 annual CPI-U increase of 2.3%.

                                                                         Table 1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           37 CFR                      Title                  Current fee amount           Fee amount (2.3% increase)             Fee adjustment
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.16(a)(1)..................  Filing of Utility        $330, (SE) $165................  $340, (SE) $170................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Patent Application (on
                               or after 12/8/2004).
1.16(a)(1)..................  Filing of Utility        $82............................  $84............................  $2.
                               Patent Application
                               (electronic filing for
                               small entities)(on or
                               after 12/8/2004).
1.16(a)(2)..................  Utility Application      $850, (SE) $425................  $870, (SE) $435................  $20, (SE) $10.
                               Filing (before 12/8/
                               2004).
1.16(b)(1)..................  Filing of Design Patent  $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Application (on or
                               after 12/8/2004).
1.16(b)(1)..................  Filing of Design Patent  $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Application (CPA) (on
                               or after 12/8/2004).
1.16(b)(2)..................  Design Application       $380, (SE) $190................  $390, (SE) $195................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Filing (before 12/8/
                               2004).
1.16(b)(2)..................  Design Application       $380, (SE) $190................  $390, (SE) $195................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Filing (CPA) (before
                               12/8/2004).
1.16(c)(1)..................  Filing of Plant Patent   $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Application (on or
                               after 12/8/2004).
1.16(c)(2)..................  Plant Application        $600, (SE) $300................  $610, (SE) $305................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Filing (before 12/8/
                               2004).
1.16(d).....................  Provisional Application  $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Filing.
1.16(e)(1)..................  Filing of Reissue        $330, (SE) $165................  $340, (SE) $170................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Patent Application (on
                               or after 12/8/2004).
1.16(e)(1)..................  Filing of Reissue        $330, (SE) $165................  $340, (SE) $170................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Patent Application
                               (CPA) (on or after 12/
                               8/2004).
1.16(e)(2)..................  Reissue Application      $850, (SE) $425................  $870, (SE) $435................  $20, (SE) $10.
                               Filing (before 12/8/
                               2004).
1.16(e)(2)..................  Reissue Application      $850, (SE) $425................  $870, (SE) $435................  $20, (SE) $10.
                               Filing (CPA) (before
                               12/8/2004).
1.16(h).....................  Independent Claims in    $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Excess of Three.
1.16(h).....................  Reissue Independent      $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Claims in Excess of
                               Three.
1.16(i).....................  Claims in Excess of      $52, (SE) $26..................  $52, (SE) $26..................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               Twenty.
1.16(i).....................  Reissue Total Claims in  $52, (SE) $26..................  $52, (SE) $26..................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               Excess of Twenty.
1.16(j).....................  Multiple Dependent       $390, (SE) $195................  $400, (SE) $200................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Claims.
1.16(o).....................  Utility Patent           $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Examination.
1.16(p).....................  Design Patent            $140, (SE) $70.................  $140, (SE) $70.................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               Examination.
1.16(q).....................  Plant Patent             $170, (SE) $85.................  $170, (SE) $85.................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               Examination.
1.16(r).....................  Reissue Patent           $650, (SE) $325................  $660, (SE) $330................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Examination.
1.16(s).....................  Utility Application      $270, (SE) $135................  $280, (SE) $140................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Size Fee--For each
                               additional 50 sheets
                               that exceeds 100
                               sheets.
1.16(s).....................  Design Application Size  $270, (SE) $135................  $280, (SE) $140................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Fee--For each
                               additional 50 sheets
                               that exceeds 100
                               sheets.
1.16(s).....................  Plant Application Size   $270, (SE) $135................  $280, (SE) $140................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Fee--For each
                               additional 50 sheets
                               that exceeds 100
                               sheets.
1.16(s).....................  Reissue Application      $270, (SE) $135................  $280, (SE) $140................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Size Fee--For each
                               additional 50 sheets
                               that exceeds 100
                               sheets.
1.16(s).....................  Provisional Application  $270, (SE) $135................  $280, (SE) $140................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Size Fee--For each
                               additional 50 sheets
                               that exceeds 100
                               sheets.
1.17(a)(1)..................  Extension for Response   $130, (SE) $65.................  $130, (SE) $65.................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               within First Month.
1.17(a)(2)..................  Extension for Response   $490, (SE) $245................  $500, (SE) $250................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               within Second Month.
1.17(a)(3)..................  Extension for Response   $1,110, (SE) $555..............  $1,120, (SE) $560..............  $10, (SE) $5.
                               within Third Month.
1.17(a)(4)..................  Extension for Response   $1,730, (SE) $865..............  $1,740, (SE) $870..............  $10, (SE) $5.
                               within Fourth Month.
1.17(a)(5)..................  Extension for Response   $2,350, (SE) $1,175............  $2,360, (SE) $1,180............  $10, (SE) $5.
                               within Fifth Month.
1.17(l).....................  Petition to Revive       $540, (SE) $270................  $550, (SE) $275................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Unavoidably Abandoned
                               Application.

[[Page 37298]]

 
1.17(m).....................  Petition to Revive       $1,620, (SE) $810..............  $1,660, (SE) $830..............  $40, (SE) $20.
                               Unintentionally
                               Abandoned Application.
1.18(a).....................  Utility Issue..........  $1,510, (SE) $755..............  $1,540, (SE) $770..............  $30, (SE) $15.
1.18(a).....................  Reissue Issue..........  $1,510, (SE) $755..............  $1,540, (SE) $770..............  $30, (SE) $15.
1.18(b).....................  Design Issue...........  $860, (SE) $430................  $880, (SE) $440................  $20, (SE) $10.
1.18(c).....................  Plant Issue............  $1,190, (SE) $595..............  $1,220, (SE) $610..............  $30, (SE) $15.
1.20(c)(3)..................  Reexamination            $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Independent Claims in
                               Excess of Three.
1.20(c)(4)..................  Reexamination Total      $52, (SE) $26..................  $52, (SE) $26..................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               Claims in Excess of
                               Twenty.
1.20(d).....................  Statutory Disclaimer...  $140, (SE) $70.................  $140, (SE) $70.................  $0, (SE) $0.
1.20(e).....................  First Stage Maintenance  $980, (SE) $490................  $1,000, (SE) $500..............  $20, (SE) $10.
1.20(f).....................  Second Stage             $2,480, (SE) $1,240............  $2,540, (SE) $1,270............  $60, (SE) $30.
                               Maintenance.
1.20(g).....................  Third Stage Maintenance  $4,110, (SE) $2,055............  $4,200, (SE) $2,100............  $90, (SE) $45.
1.492(a)....................  Filing of PCT National   $330, (SE) $165................  $340, (SE) $170................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Stage Application.
1.492(c)(2).................  PCT National Stage       $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Examination--All Other
                               Situations.
1.492(d)....................  Independent Claims in    $220, (SE) $110................  $230, (SE) $115................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Excess of Three.
1.492(e)....................  Total Claims in Excess   $52, (SE) $26..................  $52, (SE) $26..................  $0, (SE) $0.
                               of Twenty.
1.492(f)....................  Multiple Dependent       $390, (SE) $195................  $400, (SE) $200................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Claims.
1.492(j)....................  PCT National Stage       $270, (SE) $135................  $280, (SE) $140................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Application Size Fee.
41.20(b)(1).................  Notice of Appeal.......  $540, (SE) $270................  $550, (SE) $275................  $10, (SE) $5.
41.20(b)(2).................  Filing a Brief in        $540, (SE) $270................  $550, (SE) $275................  $10, (SE) $5.
                               Support of an Appeal.
41.20(b)(3).................  Request for Oral         $1,080, (SE) $540..............  $1,100, (SE) $550..............  $20, (SE) $10.
                               Hearing.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rulemaking Considerations

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis:
    1. Description of the reasons that action by the agency is being 
considered: The USPTO is proposing to adjust the patent fees set under 
35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) to ensure proper funding for effective 
operations. The patent fee CPI adjustment is a routine adjustment that 
has generally occurred on an annual basis when necessary to recover the 
higher costs of USPTO operations that occur due to the increase in the 
price of products and services.
    2. Succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, 
the proposed rules: The objective of the proposed change is to adjust 
patent fees set under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and (b) to recover the higher 
costs of USPTO operations. Patent fees are set by or under the 
authority provided in 35 U.S.C. 41, 119, 120, 132(b), 156, 157(a), 255, 
302, 311, 376, section 532(a)(2) of the URAA, and 4506 of the AIPA. 35 
U.S.C. 41(f) provides that fees established under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) and 
(b) may be adjusted every year to reflect fluctuations in the CPI over 
the previous twelve months.
    3. Description and estimate of the number of affected small 
entities: The Small Business Administration (SBA) small business size 
standards applicable to most analyses conducted to comply with the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act are set forth in 13 CFR 121.201. These 
regulations generally define small businesses as those with fewer than 
a maximum number of employees or less than a specified level of annual 
receipts for the entity's industrial sector or North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) code. The USPTO, however, has formally 
adopted an alternate size standard as the size standard for the purpose 
of conducting an analysis or making a certification under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act for patent-related regulations. See Business 
Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and Trademark Office 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related Regulations, 71 FR 
67109 (Nov. 20, 2006), 1313 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 60 (Dec. 12, 2006). 
This alternate small business size standard is the previously 
established size standard that identifies the criteria entities must 
meet to be entitled to pay reduced patent fees. See 13 CFR 121.802. If 
patent applicants identify themselves on the patent application as 
qualifying for reduced patent fees, the USPTO captures this data in the 
Patent Application Location and Monitoring (PALM) database system, 
which tracks information on each patent application submitted to the 
USPTO.
    Unlike the SBA small business size standards set forth in 13 CFR 
121.201, this size standard is not industry-specific. Specifically, the 
USPTO definition of small business concern for Regulatory Flexibility 
Act purposes is a business or other concern that: (1) Meets the SBA's 
definition of a ``business concern or concern'' set forth in 13 CFR 
121.105; and (2) meets the size standards set forth in 13 CFR 121.802 
for the purpose of paying reduced patent fees, namely an entity: (a) 
whose number of employees, including affiliates, does not exceed 500 
persons; and (b) which has not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed 
(and is under no obligation to do so) any rights in the invention to 
any person who made it and could not be classified as an independent 
inventor, or to any concern which would not qualify as a non-profit 
organization or a small business concern under this definition. See 
Business Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and 
Trademark Office Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related 
Regulations, 71 FR at 67112 (November 20, 2006), 1313 Off. Gaz. Pat. 
Office at 63 (December 12, 2006).
    The changes in this proposed rule will apply to any small entity 
that files a patent application, or has a pending patent application or 
unexpired patent. The changes in this proposed rule will specifically 
apply when an applicant or patentee pays an application filing or 
national stage entry fee, search fee, examination fee, extension of 
time fee, notice of appeal fee, appeal brief fee, request for an oral 
hearing fee, petition to revive fee, issue fee, or patent maintenance 
fee.
    The USPTO has been advised that a number of small entity applicants 
and patentees do not claim small entity status for various reasons. See 
Business Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and 
Trademark Office Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related 
Regulations, 71 FR at 67110 (November 20, 2006), 1313 Off. Gaz. Pat. 
Office at 61 (December 12, 2006). Therefore, the USPTO is also 
considering all other entities paying patent fees as well.
    4. Description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other 
compliance requirements of the proposed rules, including an estimate of 
the classes of small entities which will

[[Page 37299]]

be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills 
necessary for preparation of the report or record: This notice does not 
propose any reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements. 
This notice proposes only to adjust patent fees (as discussed 
previously) to reflect changes in the CPI.
    5. Description of any significant alternatives to the proposed 
rules which accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and 
which minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rules on 
small entities: The alternative of not adjusting patent fees would have 
a lesser economic impact on small entities, but would not accomplish 
the stated objectives of applicable statutes. The USPTO is proposing to 
adjust the patent fees to ensure proper funding for effective 
operations. The patent fee CPI adjustment is a routine adjustment that 
has generally occurred on an annual basis to recover the higher costs 
of USPTO operations that occur due to the increase in the price of 
products and services and to recover the estimated cost to the USPTO 
for processing activities and services and materials relating to 
patents and trademarks, respectively, including proportionate shares of 
the administrative costs of the USPTO. The lack of proper funding for 
effective operations would result in a significant increase in patent 
pendency levels.
    6. Identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant 
Federal rules which may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the 
proposed rules: The USPTO is the sole agency of the United States 
Government responsible for administering the provisions of title 35, 
United States Code, pertaining to examination and granting patents. 
Therefore, no other Federal, state, or local entity shares jurisdiction 
over the examination and granting of patents.
    Other countries, however, have their own patent laws, and an entity 
desiring a patent in a particular country must make an application for 
patent in that country, in accordance with the applicable law. Although 
the potential for overlap exists internationally, this cannot be 
avoided except by treaty (such as the Paris Convention for the 
Protection of Industrial Property, or the Patent Cooperation Treaty 
(PCT)). Nevertheless, the USPTO believes that there are no other 
duplicative or overlapping rules.
    B. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This rule making does not 
contain policies with federalism implications sufficient to warrant 
preparation of a Federalism Assessment under Executive Order 13132 
(Aug. 4, 1999).
    C. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): This 
rule making has been determined to be significant for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993), as amended by Executive Order 
13258 (Feb. 26, 2002), and Executive Order 13422 (Jan. 18, 2007).
    D. Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review): The Office has complied with Executive Order 13563 (Jan. 8, 
2011). Specifically, the Office has: (1) Used the best available 
techniques to quantify costs and benefits, and has considered values 
such as equity, fairness and distributive impacts; (2) provided the 
public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the regulatory 
process, including soliciting the views of those likely affected, by 
issuing this notice of proposed rule making and providing on-line 
access to the rule making docket; (3) attempted to promote 
coordination, simplification and harmonization across government 
agencies and identified goals designed to promote innovation; (4) 
considered approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and 
freedom of choice for the public; and (5) ensured the objectivity of 
scientific and technological information and processes, to the extent 
applicable.
    E. Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation): This rule making 
will not: (1) Have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian 
tribes; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal 
governments; or (3) preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal summary 
impact statement is not required under Executive Order 13175 (Nov. 6, 
2000).
    F. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects): This rule making is not 
a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211 because this 
rule making is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, a Statement of 
Energy Effects is not required under Executive Order 13211 (May 18, 
2001).
    G. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform): This rule making 
meets applicable standards to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, 
and reduce burden as set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of 
Executive Order 12988 (Feb. 5, 1996).
    H. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children): This rule making 
is not an economically significant rule and does not concern an 
environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately 
affect children under Executive Order 13045 (Apr. 21, 1997).
    I. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property): This rule 
making will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have 
taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Mar. 15, 1988).
    J. Congressional Review Act: Under the Congressional Review Act 
provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), prior to issuing any final rule, the USPTO 
will submit a report containing the final rule and other required 
information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and 
the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office. The 
changes proposed in this notice are not expected to result in an annual 
effect on the economy of 100 million dollars or more, a major increase 
in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 
enterprises in domestic and export markets. Therefore, this rule making 
is not likely to result in a ``major rule'' as defined in 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).
    K. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995: The changes proposed in 
this notice do not involve a Federal intergovernmental mandate that 
will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, 
in the aggregate, of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any 
one year, or a Federal private sector mandate that will result in the 
expenditure by the private sector of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) 
or more in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the 
provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. See 2 U.S.C. 
1501 et seq.
    L. National Environmental Policy Act: This rule making will not 
have any effect on the quality of environment and is thus categorically 
excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969. See 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.
    M. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act: The 
requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and 
Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) are inapplicable because 
this rule making does not contain provisions which involve the use of 
technical standards.
    N. Paperwork Reduction Act: This proposed rule involves information 
collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under

[[Page 37300]]

the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
    The collections of information involved in this proposed rule have 
been reviewed and approved by OMB. The Office is not resubmitting 
information collection requests to OMB for its review and approval at 
this time because the changes proposed in this notice revise the fees 
for existing information collection requirements under OMB control 
numbers 0651-0016, 0651-0021, 0651-0024, 0651-0031, 0651-0032, 0651-
0033, 0651-0063 and 0651-0064. The USPTO will submit to OMB fee 
revision changes for the OMB control numbers 0651-0016, 0651-0021, 
0651-0024, 0651-0031, 0651-0032, 0651-0033, 0651-0063 and 0651-0064 if 
the changes proposed in this notice are adopted.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects

37 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of 
information, Inventions and patents, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Small businesses.

37 CFR Part 41

    Administrative practice and procedure, Inventions and patents, 
Lawyers.

     Dated: June 8, 2011.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2011-16001 Filed 6-24-11; 8:45 am]
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