Sunset of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan and a Limited Extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program, 77979-77980 [2011-32115]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 241 / Thursday, December 15, 2011 / Notices 77979 PROPOSED TIMETABLE—Continued Date Location Activity Monday, April 16—Day 3 ......................... Riyadh-Dhahran .... Tuesday, April 17—Day 4 ........................ Dhahran ................. Wednesday, April 18—Day 5 ................... Dhahran-USA ........ KA–CARE visit and policy roundtable. Call on Minister of Water and Electricity. Discussion panels on: (1) Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Saudi Arabia; (2) Financing Projects/Sales. Evening: Fly to Dhahran. Morning: Visit to Saudi Aramco, with briefing on renewable energy projects. One-on-one matchmaking meetings. Evening: Networking reception. Optional morning site visit to Jubail Industrial City. Departure for the U.S. (NB: The precise schedule will depend on the availability of local government officials and business managers, and the specific goals of mission participants.) Participation Requirements All parties interested in participating in the trade mission must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the DOC. All applicants will be evaluated, on a rolling basis, on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 15 and maximum of 25 companies will be selected to participate in the mission from the applicant pool. U.S. companies already doing business with Saudi Arabia as well as U.S. companies seeking to enter to the Saudi Arabian market for the first time may apply. company’s products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce receives an incomplete application, the Department may reject the application, request additional information, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the applications. Each applicant must also certify that the products or services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51 percent U.S. content of the value of the finished product or service. Fees and Expenses After a company or organization has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. The participation fee for the Trade Mission will be $3,020.00 for a small or medium-sized firm (SME),1 and $3,502.00 for large firms. The fee for each additional firm representative (large firm or SME/trade organization) is $500. Expenses for travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant. Delegation members will be able to take advantage of U.S. Embassy rates for hotel rooms. Selection Criteria for Participation Selection will be based on the following criteria: • Suitability of the company’s products or services to the market • Applicant’s potential for business in Saudi Arabia and in the region, including likelihood of exports resulting from the mission • Consistency of the applicant’s goals and objectives with the stated scope of the mission Diversity of company size and location may also be considered during the review process. Referrals from political organizations and any documents containing references to partisan political activities (including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant’s submission and not considered during the selection process. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Conditions for Participation An applicant must submit a completed mission application signed by a company officer, together with supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the 1 An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations (see https:// www.sba.gov/services/contracting opportunities/ sizestandardstopics/). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service’s user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see https:// www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/ initiatives.html for additional information). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:49 Dec 14, 2011 Jkt 226001 Timeframe for Recruitment and Applications Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department trade mission calendar (https://export.gov/ trademissions) and other Internet Web sites (including the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Exporters Portal at PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 www.export.gov/reee), press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows. Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than March 1, 2012. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis beginning February 1, 2012. Applications received after March 1, 2012 will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit. Contacts Jennifer Derstine, Manufacturing and Services, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, Washington, DC, Tel: (202) 482 3889, Email: Jennifer.Derstine@trade.gov. Elnora Moye, Trade Program Assistant. [FR Doc. 2011–32131 Filed 12–14–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–FP–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO–P–2011–0078] Sunset of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan and a Limited Extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) has provided two procedures under which an applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination. The Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan is available if the applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15DEN1.SGM 15DEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 77980 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 241 / Thursday, December 15, 2011 / Notices application. The Green Technology Pilot Program is available to patent applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources, and greenhouse gas emission reduction. In view of the trend in filings under the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, this plan has fulfilled its purpose and will not be extended. In view of the success of the Green Technology Pilot Program, this plan will be extended until 500 additional applications have been accorded special status under this program or until March 30, 2012, whichever occurs earlier. Following the expiration of this extension, the program will be eliminated, and applicants may instead use the newly enacted Prioritized Examination (Track I) program. The Track I program not only provides advancement of examination, but sets a target of reaching final disposition within 12 months from the time advancement is initiated. Furthermore, the advancement in the Track I program is available to all technologies and is not restricted to certain categories of invention as in the Pilot Program. DATES: Effective Date: December 15, 2011. The Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan became effective on November 27, 2009, was modified on June 24, 2010, and was extended on November 22, 2010. The Green Technology Pilot Program became effective on December 8, 2009, was modified to eliminate the classification requirement on May 21, 2010, and was extended on November 10, 2010. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer or Michael Cygan, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at (571) 272–7726 or (571) 272–7700; or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 27, 2009, the USPTO published a notice in the Federal Register providing an additional temporary basis (the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan) under which a small entity applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined application. See Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 74 FR 62285 (Nov. 27, 2009), 1349 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 304 (Dec. 22, 2009) (notice). The USPTO indicated that the plan would last for VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:49 Dec 14, 2011 Jkt 226001 the period ending on February 28, 2010, but may be extended for an additional time period thereafter. See Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 74 FR at 62287, 1349 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office at 306. The USPTO extended the plan for an additional four months to June 30, 2010. See Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 75 FR 5041 (Feb. 1, 2010), 1351 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 202 (Feb. 23, 2010). Subsequently, the USPTO expanded the plan to eliminate the small entity requirement and further extended its duration to expire at the earlier of the December 31, 2010 date, or the date that 10,000 applications have been accorded special status under this plan. See Expansion and Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 75 FR 36063 (June 24, 2010), 1356 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 173 (July 20, 2010). The USPTO further extended the plan to expire at the earlier of December 31, 2011, or the date that 10,000 applications have been accorded special status under this plan. See Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 75 FR 71072 (Nov. 22, 2010), 1361 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 230 (Dec. 28, 2010). Filings under this plan reached a peak in late 2010 and have since steadily decreased. Accordingly, as those desiring the benefits of this plan have taken advantage of its provisions, the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan has run its course and will not be further extended beyond December 31, 2011. On December 8, 2009, the USPTO published a notice for the implementation of the Green Technology Pilot Program. See Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction, 74 FR 64666 (December 8, 2009), 1349 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 362 (December 29, 2009) (Green Technology Notice). The Green Technology Notice indicated that an applicant may have an application advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination, if the application pertained to green technologies and met other requirements specified in the Green Technology Notice. The USPTO published a notice eliminating the classification requirement of the Green Technology Pilot Program on May 21, 2010. See Elimination of the Classification Requirement in the Green Technology Pilot Program, 75 FR 28554 (May 10, 2010), 1355 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 188 (June 15, 2010). The USPTO further extended the program to expire at the earlier of December 31, 2011, or the date that 3,000 applications have PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 been accorded special status under this program. See Expansion and Extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program, 75 FR 69049 (Nov. 10, 2010), 1361 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 50 (Dec. 7, 2010). In view of the success of the Green Technology Pilot Program in the designated technology areas, the Green Technology Pilot Program will be extended until an additional 500 applications have been accorded special status under this program (for a total of 3,500 applications) or March 30, 2012, whichever occurs earlier. Following the expiration of this extension, the program will be eliminated, and applicants may instead seek to use the newly enacted Prioritized Examination (Track I) program. The Prioritized Examination (Track I) program permits an applicant to have an application advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination under 37 CFR 1.102(e), if the application contains, upon filing, a request for prioritized (Track I) examination accompanied by the appropriate fees. See Changes to Implement the Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) of the Enhanced Examination Timing Control Procedures Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 76 FR 59050 (September 23, 2011), 1371 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 151 (October 18, 2011) (Track I Notice). The Track I Program provides prioritized examination having a more aggressive time frame for examination than the Green Technology Pilot Program, with an aggregate goal of reaching final disposition within 12 months and maintains an enhanced special status of the application throughout prosecution until final disposition. Additionally, the Track I Program does not have the restrictions of the Green Technology Pilot Program on the types of inventions for which special status may be sought, as the Track I Program does not require a connection to any particular technology. In view of the ability of any applicant to request prioritized examination with the filing of an application under the procedure set forth in the Track I Notice, the Green Technology Pilot Program will not be extended past the earlier of March 30, 2012, or the date that 3,500 applications have been accorded special status under this program. Dated: December 7, 2011. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2011–32115 Filed 12–14–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P E:\FR\FM\15DEN1.SGM 15DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 241 (Thursday, December 15, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 77979-77980]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-32115]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2011-0078]


Sunset of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan 
and a Limited Extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) has 
provided two procedures under which an applicant may have an 
application accorded special status for examination. The Patent 
Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan is available if the 
applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined

[[Page 77980]]

application. The Green Technology Pilot Program is available to patent 
applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, 
development of renewable energy resources, and greenhouse gas emission 
reduction. In view of the trend in filings under the Patent Application 
Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, this plan has fulfilled its purpose 
and will not be extended. In view of the success of the Green 
Technology Pilot Program, this plan will be extended until 500 
additional applications have been accorded special status under this 
program or until March 30, 2012, whichever occurs earlier. Following 
the expiration of this extension, the program will be eliminated, and 
applicants may instead use the newly enacted Prioritized Examination 
(Track I) program. The Track I program not only provides advancement of 
examination, but sets a target of reaching final disposition within 12 
months from the time advancement is initiated. Furthermore, the 
advancement in the Track I program is available to all technologies and 
is not restricted to certain categories of invention as in the Pilot 
Program.

DATES: Effective Date: December 15, 2011. The Patent Application 
Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan became effective on November 27, 2009, 
was modified on June 24, 2010, and was extended on November 22, 2010. 
The Green Technology Pilot Program became effective on December 8, 
2009, was modified to eliminate the classification requirement on May 
21, 2010, and was extended on November 10, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer or Michael Cygan, 
Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Associate 
Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at (571) 272-
7726 or (571) 272-7700; or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments 
Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-
1450.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 27, 2009, the USPTO published a 
notice in the Federal Register providing an additional temporary basis 
(the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan) under which a 
small entity applicant may have an application accorded special status 
for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another copending 
unexamined application. See Patent Application Backlog Reduction 
Stimulus Plan, 74 FR 62285 (Nov. 27, 2009), 1349 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 
304 (Dec. 22, 2009) (notice). The USPTO indicated that the plan would 
last for the period ending on February 28, 2010, but may be extended 
for an additional time period thereafter. See Patent Application 
Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 74 FR at 62287, 1349 Off. Gaz. Pat. 
Office at 306. The USPTO extended the plan for an additional four 
months to June 30, 2010. See Extension of the Patent Application 
Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 75 FR 5041 (Feb. 1, 2010), 1351 Off. 
Gaz. Pat. Office 202 (Feb. 23, 2010). Subsequently, the USPTO expanded 
the plan to eliminate the small entity requirement and further extended 
its duration to expire at the earlier of the December 31, 2010 date, or 
the date that 10,000 applications have been accorded special status 
under this plan. See Expansion and Extension of the Patent Application 
Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, 75 FR 36063 (June 24, 2010), 1356 Off. 
Gaz. Pat. Office 173 (July 20, 2010). The USPTO further extended the 
plan to expire at the earlier of December 31, 2011, or the date that 
10,000 applications have been accorded special status under this plan. 
See Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus 
Plan, 75 FR 71072 (Nov. 22, 2010), 1361 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 230 (Dec. 
28, 2010). Filings under this plan reached a peak in late 2010 and have 
since steadily decreased. Accordingly, as those desiring the benefits 
of this plan have taken advantage of its provisions, the Patent 
Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan has run its course and will 
not be further extended beyond December 31, 2011.
    On December 8, 2009, the USPTO published a notice for the 
implementation of the Green Technology Pilot Program. See Pilot Program 
for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction, 74 FR 64666 
(December 8, 2009), 1349 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 362 (December 29, 2009) 
(Green Technology Notice). The Green Technology Notice indicated that 
an applicant may have an application advanced out of turn (accorded 
special status) for examination, if the application pertained to green 
technologies and met other requirements specified in the Green 
Technology Notice. The USPTO published a notice eliminating the 
classification requirement of the Green Technology Pilot Program on May 
21, 2010. See Elimination of the Classification Requirement in the 
Green Technology Pilot Program, 75 FR 28554 (May 10, 2010), 1355 Off. 
Gaz. Pat. Office 188 (June 15, 2010). The USPTO further extended the 
program to expire at the earlier of December 31, 2011, or the date that 
3,000 applications have been accorded special status under this 
program. See Expansion and Extension of the Green Technology Pilot 
Program, 75 FR 69049 (Nov. 10, 2010), 1361 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 50 
(Dec. 7, 2010). In view of the success of the Green Technology Pilot 
Program in the designated technology areas, the Green Technology Pilot 
Program will be extended until an additional 500 applications have been 
accorded special status under this program (for a total of 3,500 
applications) or March 30, 2012, whichever occurs earlier. Following 
the expiration of this extension, the program will be eliminated, and 
applicants may instead seek to use the newly enacted Prioritized 
Examination (Track I) program.
    The Prioritized Examination (Track I) program permits an applicant 
to have an application advanced out of turn (accorded special status) 
for examination under 37 CFR 1.102(e), if the application contains, 
upon filing, a request for prioritized (Track I) examination 
accompanied by the appropriate fees. See Changes to Implement the 
Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) of the Enhanced Examination 
Timing Control Procedures Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 76 
FR 59050 (September 23, 2011), 1371 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 151 (October 
18, 2011) (Track I Notice).
    The Track I Program provides prioritized examination having a more 
aggressive time frame for examination than the Green Technology Pilot 
Program, with an aggregate goal of reaching final disposition within 12 
months and maintains an enhanced special status of the application 
throughout prosecution until final disposition. Additionally, the Track 
I Program does not have the restrictions of the Green Technology Pilot 
Program on the types of inventions for which special status may be 
sought, as the Track I Program does not require a connection to any 
particular technology.
    In view of the ability of any applicant to request prioritized 
examination with the filing of an application under the procedure set 
forth in the Track I Notice, the Green Technology Pilot Program will 
not be extended past the earlier of March 30, 2012, or the date that 
3,500 applications have been accorded special status under this 
program.

    Dated: December 7, 2011.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2011-32115 Filed 12-14-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P