Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees, 55364-55367 [2011-22792]

Download as PDF 55364 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / Notices will hold a working meeting, which is open to the public. DATES: The GMT meeting will be held Monday, October 3, 2011 from 1 p.m. until business for the day is completed. The GMT meeting will reconvene Tuesday, October 4 through Friday, October 7 from 8:30 a.m. until business for each day has been completed. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Western Regional Center’s Sand Point Facility, Building 9 Rooms A and B, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115–6349; telephone: (206) 526–6150. Council address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220–1384. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Kelly Ames, Staff Officer, Pacific Council: (503) 820–2280. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The primary purpose of the GMT working meeting is to develop recommendations for 2013–14 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures and consider inseason adjustments to 2011–12 groundfish fisheries. The GMT may also address other assignments relating to groundfish management. No management actions will be decided by the GMT. The GMT’s task will be to develop recommendations for consideration by the Council at its November meeting in Costa Mesa, CA. Although non-emergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may come before the GMT for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal GMT action during this meeting. GMT action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the GMT’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. emcdonald on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820–2280 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Entry to the NOAA Western Regional Center’s Sand Point Facility requires visitors to show a valid picture ID and register with security. A visitor’s badge, which must be worn while at the NOAA Western Regional Center’s Facility, will 17:37 Sep 06, 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration release of the final report in mid-2013. For complete instructions and supplementary information please see the original Federal Register Notice of a Request for Information at 76 FR 41217 (July 13, 2011), or the United States Global Change Research Program at http://assessment.globalchange.gov. ADDRESSES: General comments and expressions of interest should be submitted via email to Emily Therese Cloyd, NCA Public Participation and Engagement Coordinator, at ecloyd@usgcrp.gov. [Docket No. 110614333–1503–02] FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: August 31, 2011. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–22741 Filed 9–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Request for Information: Technical Inputs and Assessment Capacity Related to Regional, Sectoral, and Cross-Cutting Assessments for the 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) Report and the Ongoing NCA Process Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: This notice is an amendment to the request for information (RFI) published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 (76 FR 41217). This RFI sought comments and expressions of interest (EOI) from the public in providing technical inputs and/or offering assessment capacity on topics related to National Climate Assessment (NCA) regional, sectoral, and cross-cutting topics proposed for the 2013 NCA report and the ongoing NCA process. More information on the NCA process, including the strategic plan, proposed report outline, and information about the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee (NCADAC), can be found at http://assessment.globalchange.gov. This amendment provides a deadline of October 1, 2011 for EOIs describing anticipated inputs for the 2012 NCA report. SUMMARY: The deadline for EOIs describing anticipated inputs for the 2013 NCA report is October 1, 2011. As described in the RFI, the deadline for subsequent inputs for the 2013 NCA report remains March 1, 2012. A full draft of the NCA report is anticipated by mid-2012, so that scientific and subject-matter experts and the broader public will have sufficient time to review the draft and provide comments to the NCADAC on its content. A full year is planned to review and revise the report, with a planned DATES: Special Accommodations VerDate Mar<15>2010 be issued to non-Federal employees participating in the meeting. Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Any questions about the content of this request should be sent to Emily Therese Cloyd, NCA Public Participation and Engagement Coordinator, U.S. Global Change Research Program Office, 1717 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Suite 250, Washington, DC 20006, Telephone (202) 223–6262, Fax (202) 223–3065, e-mail ecloyd@usgcrp.gov. For more information about the NCA process, including the strategic plan, proposed report outline, and information about the NCADAC, please visit http:// assessment.globalchange.gov. Dated: August 31, 2011 Mark E. Brown, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–22743 Filed 9–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–KD–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104– 13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before November 7, 2011. SUMMARY: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • E-mail: InformationCollection@uspto.gov. Include ‘‘0651–0016 comment’’ in the subject line of the message. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / Notices • Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to Raul Tamayo, Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450; by telephone at 571–272–7728; or by e-mail to Raul.Tamayo@uspto.gov. Additional information about this collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under ‘‘Information Collection Review.’’ SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: emcdonald on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Abstract Under 35 U.S.C. 41 and 37 CFR 1.20(e)–(i) and 1.362–1.378, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) charges fees for maintaining in force all utility patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980. Payment of these maintenance fees is due at 31⁄2, 71⁄2, and 111⁄2 years after the date the patent was granted. If the USPTO does not receive payment of the appropriate maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge within a grace period of six months following each of the above due dates (at 4, 8, or 12 years after the date of grant), the patent will expire at that time. After a patent expires, it is no longer enforceable. Maintenance fees are not required for design or plant patents, or for reissue patents if the patent being reissued did not require maintenance fees. Payments of maintenance fees that are submitted during the six-month grace period before patent expiration must include the appropriate surcharge as indicated by 37 CFR 1.20(h). Submissions of maintenance fee payments and surcharges must include the relevant patent number and the corresponding United States application number in order to identify the correct patent and ensure proper crediting of the fee being paid. If the USPTO refuses to accept and record a maintenance fee payment that was submitted prior to the expiration of a patent, the patentee may petition the Director to accept and record the maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.377. This petition must be accompanied by the fee indicated in 37 CFR 1.17(g), which may be refunded if it is determined that the refusal to accept the maintenance fee was due to an error by the USPTO. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Sep 06, 2011 Jkt 223001 If a patent has expired due to nonpayment of a maintenance fee, the patentee may petition the Director to accept a delayed payment of the maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.378. The Director may accept the payment of a maintenance fee after the expiration of the patent if the petitioner shows to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in payment was unavoidable or unintentional. Petitions to accept unavoidably or unintentionally delayed payment must also be accompanied by the required maintenance fee and appropriate surcharge under 37 CFR 1.20(i). If the Director accepts the maintenance fee payment upon petition, then the patent is reinstated. If the USPTO denies a petition to accept delayed payment of a maintenance fee in an expired patent, the patentee may petition the Director to reconsider that decision under 37 CFR 1.378(e). This petition must be accompanied by the fee indicated in 37 CFR 1.17(f), which may be refunded if it is determined that the refusal to accept the maintenance fee was due to an error by the USPTO. The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33(d) and 1.363) permit applicants, patentees, assignees, or their representatives of record to specify a ‘‘fee address’’ for correspondence related to maintenance fees that is separate from the correspondence address associated with a patent or application. A fee address must be an address that is associated with a USPTO customer number. Customer numbers may be requested by using the Request for Customer Number form (PTO/SB/125), which is covered under OMB control number 0651–0035. Maintaining a correct and updated address is necessary so that fee-related correspondence from the USPTO will be properly received by the applicant, patentee, assignee, or authorized representative. If a separate fee address is not specified for a patent or application, the USPTO will direct feerelated correspondence to the correspondence address of record. The USPTO offers forms to assist the public with providing the information covered by this collection, including the information necessary to submit a patent maintenance fee payment (PTO/ SB/45), to file a petition to accept an unavoidably or unintentionally delayed maintenance fee payment in an expired patent (PTO/SB/65 and PTO/SB/66), and to designate or change a fee address (PTO/SB/47). No forms are provided for the petitions under 37 CFR 1.377 and 1.378(e). Customers may submit maintenance fee payments and surcharges incurred during the six-month grace period before patent expiration by using the PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55365 Maintenance Fee Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/45) or by paying online through the USPTO Web site. However, to pay a maintenance fee after patent expiration, the maintenance fee payment and the appropriate surcharge must be filed together with a petition to accept unavoidably or unintentionally delayed payment. The USPTO accepts online maintenance fee payments by credit card, deposit account, or electronic funds transfer (EFT). Otherwise, non-electronic payments may be made by check, credit card, or deposit account. Customers may submit the other forms and petitions in this collection electronically through EFS-Web, the USPTO’s online filing system. The USPTO also offers a special EFS-Web version of Form PTO/SB/66, which is used for the automatic processing and immediate rendering of a decision on a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed maintenance fee payment. II. Method of Collection By mail, facsimile, hand delivery, or electronically to the USPTO. III. Data OMB Number: 0651–0016. Form Number(s): PTO/SB/45/47/65/ 66. Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection. Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other forprofits; and not-for-profit institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 573,161 responses per year. The USPTO estimates that approximately 21% of these responses will be from small entities. Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take the public approximately 20 seconds (0.006 hours) to 8 hours to submit the information in this collection, including the time to gather the necessary information, prepare the appropriate form or petition, and submit the completed request to the USPTO. Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 43,605 hours. Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $6,658,984. The USPTO expects that the petitions included in this collection will be prepared by attorneys and that the other items in this collection will be prepared by paraprofessionals. Using the professional rate of $340 per hour for attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates that the respondent cost burden for submitting the petitions will be $2,088,620 per year. Using the paraprofessional rate of $122 per hour, the USPTO estimates that the E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1 55366 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / Notices respondent cost burden for submitting the other items in this collection will be $4,570,364 per year, for a total annual respondent cost burden of $6,658,984. Item Maintenance Fee Transmittal Transactions (PTO/SB/45) .......................................................... Electronic Maintenance Fee Transactions .................................................................................. Petition to Accept Unavoidably Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/65) .............................................................................................. Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)) (PTO/SB/66) .............................................................................................. Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)) (PTO/SB/66)—EFS–Web .......................................................................... Petition to Review Refusal to Accept Payment of Maintenance Fee Prior to Expiration of Patent (37 CFR 1.377) .................................................................................................................. Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition Refusing to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(e)) .................................................... ‘‘Fee Address’’ Indication Form (PTO/SB/47) ............................................................................. Estimated annual responses Estimated time for response 5 minutes 20 seconds 255,414 109,543 20,433 657 8 hours 172 1,376 1 hour 2,351 2,351 1 hour 800 800 4 hours 54 216 8 hours 5 minutes 175 204,652 1,400 16,372 ........................ Totals .................................................................................................................................... Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $688,304,405. This information collection has annual (non-hour) cost burden in the form of fees and postage costs. This collection has fees in the form of patent maintenance fees, surcharges for late payment of maintenance fees, and petition fees. Under 37 CFR 1.20(e)–(g), the patent maintenance fees due at 31⁄2 years, 71⁄2 years, and 111⁄2 years after the date of grant are $980, $2,480, and $4,110 respectively (discounted to $490, 573,161 43,605 $1,240, and $2,055 for small entities). The surcharge under 37 CFR 1.20(h) for paying a maintenance fee during the sixmonth grace period following the above intervals is $130 ($65 for small entities). The surcharge under 37 CFR 1.20(i) for a petition to accept a maintenance fee after the six-month grace period for these intervals has expired is $700 where the delayed payment is shown to be unavoidable and $1,640 where the delayed payment is shown to be unintentional. The fee listed in 37 CFR 1.17(g) for a petition to review the refusal to accept the payment of a maintenance fee filed prior to the expiration of a patent is $200. The fee listed in 37 CFR 1.17(f) for a petition for reconsideration of the decision on a petition refusing to accept the delayed payment of a maintenance fee in an expired patent is $400. The USPTO estimates that the total fees associated with this collection will be $688,155,520 per year as calculated in the accompanying table. Estimated annual responses Fee or surcharge Estimated annual burden hours Amount of fee or surcharge Estimated annual filing costs 122,083 30,959 98,216 22,220 60,820 12,237 8,189 $980.00 490.00 2,480.00 1,240.00 4,110.00 2,055.00 130.00 $119,641,340.00 15,169,910.00 243,575,680.00 27,552,800.00 249,970,200.00 25,147,035.00 1,064,570.00 10,233 65.00 665,145.00 172 700.00 120,400.00 3,151 1,640.00 5,167,640.00 54 200.00 10,800.00 175 204,652 400.00 0.00 70,000.00 0.00 Totals ........................................................................................................................ emcdonald on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Patent maintenance fee at 3 1⁄2 years ............................................................................ Patent maintenance fee at 3 1⁄2 years (small entity) ....................................................... Patent maintenance fee at 7 1⁄2 years ............................................................................ Patent maintenance fee at 7 1⁄2 years (small entity) ....................................................... Patent maintenance fee at 11 1⁄2 years .......................................................................... Patent maintenance fee at 11 1⁄2 years (small entity) ..................................................... Surcharge for paying maintenance fee during the six-month grace period .................... Surcharge for paying maintenance fee during the six-month grace period (small entity) ................................................................................................................................. Petition to Accept Unavoidably Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/65) ...................................................................... Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)) (PTO/SB/66) ............................................................. Petition to Review Refusal to Accept Payment of Maintenance Fee Prior to Expiration of Patent (37 CFR 1.377) ............................................................................................ Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition Refusing to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(e)) ........................... ‘‘Fee Address’’ Indication Form (PTO/SB/47) ................................................................. 573,161 ........................ 688,155,520.00 The public may submit the forms and petitions in this collection to the USPTO by mail through the United States Postal Service. If the submission is sent by first-class mail, the public may also include a signed certification of the date of mailing in order to receive credit for timely filing. The USPTO VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Sep 06, 2011 Jkt 223001 estimates that the average first-class postage cost for a mailed submission will be 44 cents and that approximately 338,376 submissions per year may be mailed to the USPTO, for a total postage cost of $148,885 per year. The total (non-hour) respondent cost burden for this collection in the form of PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 fees and postage costs is estimated to be $688,304,405 per year. IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 173 / Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / Notices whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Dated: September 1, 2011. Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–22792 Filed 9–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request Corporation for National and Community Service. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Corporation for National and Community Service (hereinafter the ‘‘Corporation’’), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirement on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Corporation is soliciting comments concerning application instructions designed to be used for grant competitions which the Corporation sponsors from time to time. These competitions are designed and conducted, when appropriations are available, to address the Corporation’s strategic initiatives or other priorities. Applicants will respond to the questions included in these instructions in order to apply for funding in these Corporation competitions. emcdonald on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:37 Sep 06, 2011 Jkt 223001 Copies of the information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the individual and office listed in the ADDRESSES section by November 7, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection activity, by any of the following methods: (1) By mail sent to: Corporation for National and Community Service; Attention Amy Borgstrom, Associate Director for Policy, Room 9515; 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20525. (2) By hand delivery or by courier to: the Corporation’s mailroom at Room 8100 at the mail address given in paragraph (1) above, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. (3) By fax to: (202) 606–3476, Attention Amy Borgstrom, Associate Director for Policy. (4) Electronically through http:// www.regulations.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY–TDD) may call (202) 606– 3472 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Borgstrom, (202) 606–6930, or by e-mail at aborgstrom@cns.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corporation is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Corporation, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are expected to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses). Background These application instructions will be used by applicants for funding through Corporation competitions focusing on strategic initiatives or other priorities. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55367 The application is completed electronically using eGrants, the Corporation’s web-based grants management system, or submitted via email. This information collection instructs applicants to complete a three part narrative which includes program design, organizational capability, and budget. Current Action The Corporation seeks to renew the current information collection. The information collection will otherwise be used in the same manner as the existing application. The Corporation also seeks to continue using the current application until the revised application is approved by OMB. The current application is due to expire on 11/30/ 2011. Type of Review: Renewal. Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service. Title: CNCS Application Instructions. OMB Number: 3045–0129. Agency Number: None. Affected Public: Current/prospective recipients of Corporation funding. Total Respondents: 600. Frequency: Depending on the availability of appropriations. Average Time per Response: Averages 8 hours. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 4,800 hours. Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None. Total Burden Cost (operating/ maintenance): None. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record. Dated: August 31, 2011. Idara Nickelson, Chief of Program Operations. [FR Doc. 2011–22747 Filed 9–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050–$$–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Meeting of the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University Department of the Navy, DoD. Notice of Open Meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Board of Visitors of the Marine Corps University will meet to review, develop and provide recommendations on all aspects of the academic and administrative policies of the University; examine all aspects of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 173 (Wednesday, September 7, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55364-55367]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22792]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office


Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as part 
of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, 
invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this 
opportunity to comment on the continuing information collection, as 
required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 
U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before November 7, 
2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: InformationCollection@uspto.gov. Include ``0651-
0016 comment'' in the subject line of the message.

[[Page 55365]]

     Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the 
Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 
P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to Raul Tamayo, Legal Advisor, Office of Patent 
Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. 
Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7728; or 
by e-mail to Raul.Tamayo@uspto.gov. Additional information about this 
collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under 
``Information Collection Review.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    Under 35 U.S.C. 41 and 37 CFR 1.20(e)-(i) and 1.362-1.378, the 
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) charges fees for 
maintaining in force all utility patents based on applications filed on 
or after December 12, 1980. Payment of these maintenance fees is due at 
3\1/2\,
    7\1/2\, and 11\1/2\ years after the date the patent was granted. If 
the USPTO does not receive payment of the appropriate maintenance fee 
and any applicable surcharge within a grace period of six months 
following each of the above due dates (at 4, 8, or 12 years after the 
date of grant), the patent will expire at that time. After a patent 
expires, it is no longer enforceable. Maintenance fees are not required 
for design or plant patents, or for reissue patents if the patent being 
reissued did not require maintenance fees.
    Payments of maintenance fees that are submitted during the six-
month grace period before patent expiration must include the 
appropriate surcharge as indicated by 37 CFR 1.20(h). Submissions of 
maintenance fee payments and surcharges must include the relevant 
patent number and the corresponding United States application number in 
order to identify the correct patent and ensure proper crediting of the 
fee being paid.
    If the USPTO refuses to accept and record a maintenance fee payment 
that was submitted prior to the expiration of a patent, the patentee 
may petition the Director to accept and record the maintenance fee 
under 37 CFR 1.377. This petition must be accompanied by the fee 
indicated in 37 CFR 1.17(g), which may be refunded if it is determined 
that the refusal to accept the maintenance fee was due to an error by 
the USPTO.
    If a patent has expired due to nonpayment of a maintenance fee, the 
patentee may petition the Director to accept a delayed payment of the 
maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.378. The Director may accept the payment 
of a maintenance fee after the expiration of the patent if the 
petitioner shows to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in 
payment was unavoidable or unintentional. Petitions to accept 
unavoidably or unintentionally delayed payment must also be accompanied 
by the required maintenance fee and appropriate surcharge under 37 CFR 
1.20(i). If the Director accepts the maintenance fee payment upon 
petition, then the patent is reinstated. If the USPTO denies a petition 
to accept delayed payment of a maintenance fee in an expired patent, 
the patentee may petition the Director to reconsider that decision 
under 37 CFR 1.378(e). This petition must be accompanied by the fee 
indicated in 37 CFR 1.17(f), which may be refunded if it is determined 
that the refusal to accept the maintenance fee was due to an error by 
the USPTO.
    The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33(d) and 1.363) permit applicants, 
patentees, assignees, or their representatives of record to specify a 
``fee address'' for correspondence related to maintenance fees that is 
separate from the correspondence address associated with a patent or 
application. A fee address must be an address that is associated with a 
USPTO customer number. Customer numbers may be requested by using the 
Request for Customer Number form (PTO/SB/125), which is covered under 
OMB control number 0651-0035. Maintaining a correct and updated address 
is necessary so that fee-related correspondence from the USPTO will be 
properly received by the applicant, patentee, assignee, or authorized 
representative. If a separate fee address is not specified for a patent 
or application, the USPTO will direct fee-related correspondence to the 
correspondence address of record.
    The USPTO offers forms to assist the public with providing the 
information covered by this collection, including the information 
necessary to submit a patent maintenance fee payment (PTO/SB/45), to 
file a petition to accept an unavoidably or unintentionally delayed 
maintenance fee payment in an expired patent (PTO/SB/65 and PTO/SB/66), 
and to designate or change a fee address (PTO/SB/47). No forms are 
provided for the petitions under 37 CFR 1.377 and 1.378(e).
    Customers may submit maintenance fee payments and surcharges 
incurred during the six-month grace period before patent expiration by 
using the Maintenance Fee Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/45) or by paying 
online through the USPTO Web site. However, to pay a maintenance fee 
after patent expiration, the maintenance fee payment and the 
appropriate surcharge must be filed together with a petition to accept 
unavoidably or unintentionally delayed payment. The USPTO accepts 
online maintenance fee payments by credit card, deposit account, or 
electronic funds transfer (EFT). Otherwise, non-electronic payments may 
be made by check, credit card, or deposit account.
    Customers may submit the other forms and petitions in this 
collection electronically through EFS-Web, the USPTO's online filing 
system. The USPTO also offers a special EFS-Web version of Form PTO/SB/
66, which is used for the automatic processing and immediate rendering 
of a decision on a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed 
maintenance fee payment.

II. Method of Collection

    By mail, facsimile, hand delivery, or electronically to the USPTO.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0016.
    Form Number(s): PTO/SB/45/47/65/66.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other 
for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 573,161 responses per year. The 
USPTO estimates that approximately 21% of these responses will be from 
small entities.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public approximately 20 seconds (0.006 hours) to 8 hours to submit 
the information in this collection, including the time to gather the 
necessary information, prepare the appropriate form or petition, and 
submit the completed request to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 43,605 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $6,658,984. The 
USPTO expects that the petitions included in this collection will be 
prepared by attorneys and that the other items in this collection will 
be prepared by paraprofessionals. Using the professional rate of $340 
per hour for attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates that the 
respondent cost burden for submitting the petitions will be $2,088,620 
per year. Using the paraprofessional rate of $122 per hour, the USPTO 
estimates that the

[[Page 55366]]

respondent cost burden for submitting the other items in this 
collection will be $4,570,364 per year, for a total annual respondent 
cost burden of $6,658,984.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Estimated       Estimated
                              Item                                Estimated time      annual       annual burden
                                                                   for response      responses         hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maintenance Fee Transmittal Transactions (PTO/SB/45)...........       5 minutes          255,414          20,433
Electronic Maintenance Fee Transactions........................      20 seconds          109,543             657
Petition to Accept Unavoidably Delayed Payment of Maintenance           8 hours              172           1,376
 Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/65)........
Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of                    1 hour            2,351           2,351
 Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)) (PTO/SB/
 66)...........................................................
Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of                    1 hour              800             800
 Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)) (PTO/SB/
 66)--EFS-Web..................................................
Petition to Review Refusal to Accept Payment of Maintenance Fee         4 hours               54             216
 Prior to Expiration of Patent (37 CFR 1.377)..................
Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition Refusing           8 hours              175           1,400
 to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired
 Patent (37 CFR 1.378(e))......................................
 ``Fee Address'' Indication Form (PTO/SB/47)...................       5 minutes          204,652          16,372
                                                                ------------------------------------------------
    Totals.....................................................  ...............         573,161          43,605
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: 
$688,304,405. This information collection has annual (non-hour) cost 
burden in the form of fees and postage costs.
    This collection has fees in the form of patent maintenance fees, 
surcharges for late payment of maintenance fees, and petition fees. 
Under 37 CFR 1.20(e)-(g), the patent maintenance fees due at 3\1/2\ 
years, 7\1/2\ years, and 11\1/2\ years after the date of grant are 
$980, $2,480, and $4,110 respectively (discounted to $490, $1,240, and 
$2,055 for small entities). The surcharge under 37 CFR 1.20(h) for 
paying a maintenance fee during the six-month grace period following 
the above intervals is $130 ($65 for small entities). The surcharge 
under 37 CFR 1.20(i) for a petition to accept a maintenance fee after 
the six-month grace period for these intervals has expired is $700 
where the delayed payment is shown to be unavoidable and $1,640 where 
the delayed payment is shown to be unintentional. The fee listed in 37 
CFR 1.17(g) for a petition to review the refusal to accept the payment 
of a maintenance fee filed prior to the expiration of a patent is $200. 
The fee listed in 37 CFR 1.17(f) for a petition for reconsideration of 
the decision on a petition refusing to accept the delayed payment of a 
maintenance fee in an expired patent is $400. The USPTO estimates that 
the total fees associated with this collection will be $688,155,520 per 
year as calculated in the accompanying table.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Estimated
                     Fee or surcharge                           annual       Amount of fee    Estimated annual
                                                               responses     or surcharge       filing costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patent maintenance fee at 3 \1/2\ years...................         122,083         $980.00       $119,641,340.00
Patent maintenance fee at 3 \1/2\ years (small entity)....          30,959          490.00         15,169,910.00
Patent maintenance fee at 7 \1/2\ years...................          98,216        2,480.00        243,575,680.00
Patent maintenance fee at 7 \1/2\ years (small entity)....          22,220        1,240.00         27,552,800.00
Patent maintenance fee at 11 \1/2\ years..................          60,820        4,110.00        249,970,200.00
Patent maintenance fee at 11 \1/2\ years (small entity)...          12,237        2,055.00         25,147,035.00
Surcharge for paying maintenance fee during the six-month            8,189          130.00          1,064,570.00
 grace period.............................................
Surcharge for paying maintenance fee during the six-month           10,233           65.00            665,145.00
 grace period (small entity)..............................
Petition to Accept Unavoidably Delayed Payment of                      172          700.00            120,400.00
 Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b))
 (PTO/SB/65)..............................................
Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of                3,151        1,640.00          5,167,640.00
 Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c))
 (PTO/SB/66)..............................................
Petition to Review Refusal to Accept Payment of                         54          200.00             10,800.00
 Maintenance Fee Prior to Expiration of Patent (37 CFR
 1.377)...................................................
Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition                   175          400.00             70,000.00
 Refusing to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in
 an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(e))......................
``Fee Address'' Indication Form (PTO/SB/47)...............         204,652            0.00                  0.00
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
    Totals................................................         573,161  ..............        688,155,520.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The public may submit the forms and petitions in this collection to 
the USPTO by mail through the United States Postal Service. If the 
submission is sent by first-class mail, the public may also include a 
signed certification of the date of mailing in order to receive credit 
for timely filing. The USPTO estimates that the average first-class 
postage cost for a mailed submission will be 44 cents and that 
approximately 338,376 submissions per year may be mailed to the USPTO, 
for a total postage cost of $148,885 per year.
    The total (non-hour) respondent cost burden for this collection in 
the form of fees and postage costs is estimated to be $688,304,405 per 
year.

IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including

[[Page 55367]]

whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy 
of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of 
the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the 
quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and 
(d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or 
included in the request for OMB approval of this information 
collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: September 1, 2011.
Susan K. Fawcett,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2011-22792 Filed 9-6-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P