Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable on USPTO Use of Crowdsourcing To Identify Relevant Prior Art, 67159-67161 [2014-26835]

Download as PDF TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 218 / Wednesday, November 12, 2014 / Notices First, from the date of this Order until December 16, 2023, Mohammad Hakim Hashemi, with a last known address of 29 The Cedars, Herons Lorde, London, England W138JF, and when acting for or on his behalf, his successors, assigns, employees, agents or representatives (the ‘‘Denied Person’’), may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology (hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘‘item’’) exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, including, but not limited to: A. Applying for, obtaining, or using any license, License Exception, or export control document; B. Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, or in any other activity subject to the Regulations; or C. Benefitting in any way from any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, or in any other activity subject to the Regulations. Second, no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following: A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of the Denied Person any item subject to the Regulations; B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by the Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby the Denied Person acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control; C. Take any action to acquire from or to facilitate the acquisition or attempted acquisition from the Denied Person of any item subject to the Regulations that has been exported from the United States; D. Obtain from the Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the Regulations with knowledge or reason to know that the item will be, or is intended to be, exported from the United States; or E. Engage in any transaction to service any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Nov 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, servicing means installation, maintenance, repair, modification or testing. Third, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in Section 766.23 of the Regulations, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to Hashemi by ownership, control, position of responsibility, affiliation, or other connection in the conduct of trade or business may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order in order to prevent evasion of this Order. Fourth, in accordance with Part 756 of the Regulations, Hashemi may file an appeal of this Order with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. The appeal must be filed within 45 days from the date of this Order and must comply with the provisions of Part 756 of the Regulations. Fifth, a copy of this Order shall be delivered to the Hashemi. This Order shall be published in the Federal Register. Sixth, this Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until December 16, 2023. Issued this 5th day of November, 2014. Karen H. Nies-Vogel, Director, Office of Exporter Services. [FR Doc. 2014–26701 Filed 11–10–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO–P–2014–0013] Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable on USPTO Use of Crowdsourcing To Identify Relevant Prior Art United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for comments. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is announcing a December 2, 2014 roundtable and requesting written comments on USPTO use of crowdsourcing to identify relevant prior art. Members of the public are invited to participate at the roundtable. On SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67159 February 20, 2014, the White House issued a series of executive actions including crowdsourcing prior art as a means to strengthen patent quality. The roundtable will address the executive action by exploring: (1) How the USPTO can utilize crowdsourcing tools to obtain relevant prior art in order to enhance the quality of examination and issued patents; and (2) ways the USPTO can leverage existing private sector solutions for the electronic receipt and hosting of crowdsourced materials as a means to provide prior art to examiners. DATES: Event Date: The roundtable will be held on December 2, 2014, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), and ending at 5 p.m. EST. Roundtable Registration Deadline: Registration to attend the roundtable in person or via webcast is required by November 25, 2014. Additionally, requests to participate in the roundtable as a speaker must be submitted in writing no later than November 18, 2014. See the ‘‘Event Registration Information’’ section of this notice for additional details on how to register and how to request to present as a speaker. Written Comment Submission Deadline: Any member of the public, whether attending the roundtable or not, may submit written comments on any of the issues identified in part II of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for consideration by the USPTO. Written comments must be received on or before December 9, 2014, to ensure consideration. ADDRESSES: Event Address: The roundtable will be held in the Moot Court Room, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 55 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003. Addresses for Written Comments: Written comments should be sent by electronic mail addressed to CrowdsourcingRoundtableNY@ uspto.gov. Comments also may be submitted by postal mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments—Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450, marked to the attention of Jack Harvey, Director, Technology Center 2800. Although comments may be submitted by postal mail, the Office prefers to receive comments by electronic mail. Comments will be available for public inspection via the USPTO’s Internet Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/ patents/init_events/crowdsourcing_ roundtable_20141202.jsp, and at the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, upon request. Because comments will be available for public inspection, E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 67160 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 218 / Wednesday, November 12, 2014 / Notices information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments. Event Registration Information: To register to attend or request to present as a speaker, please send an email message to CrowdsourcingRoundtableNY@ uspto.gov and provide the following information: (1) Your name, title, company or organization (if applicable), address, phone number, and email address; (2) whether you wish to attend in person or via webcast; and (3) whether you wish to make an oral presentation at the roundtable and, if so, which topics identified in part II of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice will be addressed and the approximate desired length of your presentation. Each attendee, even if from the same organization, must register separately. Due to time constraints, the USPTO may not be able to accommodate all persons who wish to make a presentation. However, the USPTO will attempt to accommodate as many persons as possible who wish to make a presentation within the time constraints. After reviewing the speaker requests and the information regarding the presentations provided in the requests, the USPTO will contact each speaker prior to the event with the amount of time available and the approximate time that the speaker’s presentation is scheduled to begin. The amount of time available for each presentation may be limited to ensure that all persons selected to speak will have a meaningful opportunity to do so. Speakers who opt to employ slides as part of their presentation must send final electronic copies of the slides in Microsoft PowerPoint to CrowdsourcingRoundtableNY@ uspto.gov by November 25, 2014, so that the slides can be displayed at the roundtable. Additionally, the USPTO will provide an opportunity for persons in the audience not previously selected as speakers to speak at the roundtable without a formal presentation. For more information on the roundtable, including webcast access instructions, agenda and a list of speakers, please visit http:// www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/ crowdsourcing_roundtable_ 20141202.jsp. If special accommodations due to a disability are needed, please inform the contact person(s) identified below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to the attention of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Nov 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 Jack Harvey, Director, Technology Center 2800, by telephone at 571–272– 8004, or by email to jack.harvey@ uspto.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background On February 20, 2014, the White House issued a series of executive actions including crowdsourcing prior art as a means to strengthen patent quality. Information on the White House executive actions is available at http:// www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/ executive_actions.jsp. In response to the executive actions and feedback received in the context of the Software Partnership, the USPTO hosted a roundtable on April 10, 2014, focused on the use of crowdsourcing and thirdparty preissuance submissions to identify relevant prior art. See Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Event on the Use of Crowdsourcing and Third-Party Preissuance Submissions To Identify Relevant Prior Art, 79 FR 15319 (March 19, 2014). The roundtable featured both USPTO and public presentations, along with a question and answer session to solicit public input on the current third-party submission process and ways the USPTO can use crowdsourcing to enhance the quality of examination and issued patents. The USPTO also received written comments on the topics that were identified in the March 19, 2014 notice and discussed at the April 10, 2014 roundtable. Details about the roundtable, as well as the webcast recording and written comments received are available at http:// www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/ crowdsourcing_roundtable_04-2014.jsp. II. USPTO Use of Crowdsourcing Tools To Identify Relevant Prior Art Based on the feedback the USPTO received responsive to the March 19, 2014 notice and April 10, 2014 roundtable, the USPTO has decided to further explore the use of crowdsourcing tools to enhance the quality of patent examination and issued patents. To that end, the USPTO is seeking public input on the extent to which it can utilize crowdsourcing tools to obtain relevant prior art. Crowdsourcing involves leveraging the knowledge of a large group of people, such as from an online community, to obtain needed information. The USPTO recognizes that any use of crowdsourcing tools must comply with applicable patent laws, regulations and procedures. For example, any USPTO crowdsourcing activities would need to preserve the ex parte nature of patent PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 examination and be in accordance with the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 122(c). That statutory provision provides that ‘‘[t]he Director shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure that no protest or other form of pre-issuance opposition to the grant of a patent on an application may be initiated after publication of the application without the express written consent of the applicant.’’ The USPTO seeks input from the public at the roundtable and/or via written comments on the following issues: 1. In what ways can the USPTO utilize crowdsourcing to identify relevant prior art that would be available for use in the examination of published applications while maintaining the ex parte nature of patent examination? Some examples of how the public traditionally uses crowdsourcing include: passively monitoring discussions (thread) between parties on crowdsourcing Web sites, and posting a question on a crowdsourcing Web site and viewing responses to the posted question. 2. If the USPTO were to post a question relating to the technology of a published application on a crowdsourcing Web site, what follow-up communications, if any, could someone from the USPTO have with parties on the Web site? Some examples of how the public traditionally engages in follow-up communications on crowdsourcing Web sites include: A conversation on the thread with a particular party who responded to the posted question to clarify information the party provided, and a conversation on the thread with a particular party who responded to the initial posting to request additional information. 3. What appropriate precautions, if any, could the USPTO employ to ensure that the use of crowdsourcing tools does not encourage a protest or other form of preissuance opposition to the grant of a patent? (See 35 U.S.C. 122(c).) 4. If the USPTO cites in an application prior art obtained via crowdsourcing tools, to what extent, if any, should the USPTO document the crowdsourcing activities used to identify the prior art? 5. For each published patent application, if the USPTO gave the patent applicant the option to opt-in or opt-out of the USPTO’s use of crowdsourcing, would applicants choose to participate in the crowdsourcing program? What considerations would inform the applicant’s decision? E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 218 / Wednesday, November 12, 2014 / Notices III. Request for Information on Electronic Receipt and Hosting of Crowdsourced Prior Art Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meetings. ACTION: The USPTO wants to ensure that the best prior art is available to the examiner during examination. Because this information often resides with the technical and scientific community, crowdsourcing may be a promising way to uncover hard-to-find prior art, especially non-patent literature. A growing number of organizations from a wide range of industries have expressed a willingness to help the USPTO with its crowdsourcing efforts by pledging to provide public product documentation, educational materials, and other forms of non-patent literature. Accordingly, the USPTO issued a Request for Information (RFI) titled ‘‘Crowdsourced Non-Patent Literature Hosting’’ (Solicitation Number: PTOHMB201501), on October 9, 2014, seeking information from qualified firms capable of electronically receiving and potentially hosting the materials that have been pledged to the USPTO through the above-described crowdsourcing effort. Detailed information on the RFI is available at http://www.uspto.gov/about/vendor_ info/current_acquisitions/index.jsp. At the roundtable, the USPTO seeks to build on information received in response to the RFI to further explore ways the USPTO can leverage existing private sector solutions for the electronic receipt and hosting of crowdsourced materials as a means to provide prior art to examiners. Any formal responses to the RFI must be submitted in writing in accordance with the instructions set forth therein and not as written comments in response to this notice. After the close of the RFI comment period, information about the roundtable discussion on the RFI will be made available at http://www.uspto.gov/ patents/init_events/crowdsourcing_ roundtable_20141202.jsp. Dated: November 6, 2014. Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2014–26835 Filed 11–10–14; 8:45 am] TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Science Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meetings AGENCY: Department of Defense. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Nov 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 The Defense Science Board will meet in closed session on December 10 and 11, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pentagon, Room 3E863, Washington, DC. DATES: December 10 and 11, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: The Pentagon, Room 3E863, Washington, DC. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Debra Rose, Executive Officer, Defense Science Board, 3140 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B888A, Washington, DC 20301– 3140, via email at debra.a.rose20.civ@ mail.mil, or via phone at (703) 571– 0084. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102–3.150. The mission of the Defense Science Board is to advise the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics on scientific and technical matters as they affect the perceived needs of the Department of Defense. At this meeting, the Board will discuss interim findings and recommendations resulting from ongoing Task Force activities. The Board will also discuss plans for future consideration of scientific and technical aspects of specific strategies, tactics, and policies as they may affect the U.S. national defense posture and homeland security. In accordance with section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92–463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and 41 CFR 102–3.155, the Department of Defense has determined that the Defense Science Board meeting for December 10 and 11, 2014, will be closed to the public. Specifically, the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), in consultation with the DoD Office of General Counsel, has determined in writing that all sessions of meeting for December 10 and 11, 2014, will be closed to the public because it will consider matters covered by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1) and (4). In accordance with 41 CFR 102–3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, interested persons may submit a written statement for consideration by the Defense Science Board. Individuals submitting a written statement must submit their statement to the Designated Federal Official at the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67161 address detailed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT; at any point, however, if a written statement is not received at least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting, which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the Defense Science Board. The Designated Federal Official will review all timely submissions with the Defense Science Board Chairperson, and ensure they are provided to members of the Defense Science Board before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. Dated: November 5, 2014. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2014–26678 Filed 11–10–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2014–ICCD–0122] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Consolidated State Application Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 12, 2014. ADDRESSES: Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED–2014–ICCD–0122 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 218 (Wednesday, November 12, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67159-67161]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-26835]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2014-0013]


Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable on USPTO Use of 
Crowdsourcing To Identify Relevant Prior Art

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is 
announcing a December 2, 2014 roundtable and requesting written 
comments on USPTO use of crowdsourcing to identify relevant prior art. 
Members of the public are invited to participate at the roundtable. On 
February 20, 2014, the White House issued a series of executive actions 
including crowdsourcing prior art as a means to strengthen patent 
quality. The roundtable will address the executive action by exploring: 
(1) How the USPTO can utilize crowdsourcing tools to obtain relevant 
prior art in order to enhance the quality of examination and issued 
patents; and (2) ways the USPTO can leverage existing private sector 
solutions for the electronic receipt and hosting of crowdsourced 
materials as a means to provide prior art to examiners.

DATES: Event Date: The roundtable will be held on December 2, 2014, 
beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), and ending at 5 p.m. 
EST.
    Roundtable Registration Deadline: Registration to attend the 
roundtable in person or via webcast is required by November 25, 2014. 
Additionally, requests to participate in the roundtable as a speaker 
must be submitted in writing no later than November 18, 2014. See the 
``Event Registration Information'' section of this notice for 
additional details on how to register and how to request to present as 
a speaker.
    Written Comment Submission Deadline: Any member of the public, 
whether attending the roundtable or not, may submit written comments on 
any of the issues identified in part II of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this notice for consideration by the USPTO. 
Written comments must be received on or before December 9, 2014, to 
ensure consideration.

ADDRESSES: Event Address: The roundtable will be held in the Moot Court 
Room, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 55 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 
10003.
    Addresses for Written Comments: Written comments should be sent by 
electronic mail addressed to CrowdsourcingRoundtableNY@uspto.gov. 
Comments also may be submitted by postal mail addressed to: Mail Stop 
Comments--Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, 
VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Jack Harvey, Director, 
Technology Center 2800. Although comments may be submitted by postal 
mail, the Office prefers to receive comments by electronic mail.
    Comments will be available for public inspection via the USPTO's 
Internet Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/crowdsourcing_roundtable_20141202.jsp, and at the Office of the 
Commissioner for Patents, located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 
Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, upon request. Because comments 
will be available for public inspection,

[[Page 67160]]

information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address 
or phone number, should not be included in the comments.
    Event Registration Information: To register to attend or request to 
present as a speaker, please send an email message to 
CrowdsourcingRoundtableNY@uspto.gov and provide the following 
information: (1) Your name, title, company or organization (if 
applicable), address, phone number, and email address; (2) whether you 
wish to attend in person or via webcast; and (3) whether you wish to 
make an oral presentation at the roundtable and, if so, which topics 
identified in part II of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this 
notice will be addressed and the approximate desired length of your 
presentation. Each attendee, even if from the same organization, must 
register separately.
    Due to time constraints, the USPTO may not be able to accommodate 
all persons who wish to make a presentation. However, the USPTO will 
attempt to accommodate as many persons as possible who wish to make a 
presentation within the time constraints. After reviewing the speaker 
requests and the information regarding the presentations provided in 
the requests, the USPTO will contact each speaker prior to the event 
with the amount of time available and the approximate time that the 
speaker's presentation is scheduled to begin. The amount of time 
available for each presentation may be limited to ensure that all 
persons selected to speak will have a meaningful opportunity to do so. 
Speakers who opt to employ slides as part of their presentation must 
send final electronic copies of the slides in Microsoft PowerPoint to 
CrowdsourcingRoundtableNY@uspto.gov by November 25, 2014, so that the 
slides can be displayed at the roundtable. Additionally, the USPTO will 
provide an opportunity for persons in the audience not previously 
selected as speakers to speak at the roundtable without a formal 
presentation.
    For more information on the roundtable, including webcast access 
instructions, agenda and a list of speakers, please visit http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/crowdsourcing_roundtable_20141202.jsp.
    If special accommodations due to a disability are needed, please 
inform the contact person(s) identified below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to the attention of Jack Harvey, Director, 
Technology Center 2800, by telephone at 571-272-8004, or by email to 
jack.harvey@uspto.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    On February 20, 2014, the White House issued a series of executive 
actions including crowdsourcing prior art as a means to strengthen 
patent quality. Information on the White House executive actions is 
available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/executive_actions.jsp. In response to the executive actions and 
feedback received in the context of the Software Partnership, the USPTO 
hosted a roundtable on April 10, 2014, focused on the use of 
crowdsourcing and third-party preissuance submissions to identify 
relevant prior art. See Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable 
Event on the Use of Crowdsourcing and Third-Party Preissuance 
Submissions To Identify Relevant Prior Art, 79 FR 15319 (March 19, 
2014).
    The roundtable featured both USPTO and public presentations, along 
with a question and answer session to solicit public input on the 
current third-party submission process and ways the USPTO can use 
crowdsourcing to enhance the quality of examination and issued patents. 
The USPTO also received written comments on the topics that were 
identified in the March 19, 2014 notice and discussed at the April 10, 
2014 roundtable. Details about the roundtable, as well as the webcast 
recording and written comments received are available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/crowdsourcing_roundtable_04-2014.jsp.

II. USPTO Use of Crowdsourcing Tools To Identify Relevant Prior Art

    Based on the feedback the USPTO received responsive to the March 
19, 2014 notice and April 10, 2014 roundtable, the USPTO has decided to 
further explore the use of crowdsourcing tools to enhance the quality 
of patent examination and issued patents. To that end, the USPTO is 
seeking public input on the extent to which it can utilize 
crowdsourcing tools to obtain relevant prior art. Crowdsourcing 
involves leveraging the knowledge of a large group of people, such as 
from an online community, to obtain needed information.
    The USPTO recognizes that any use of crowdsourcing tools must 
comply with applicable patent laws, regulations and procedures. For 
example, any USPTO crowdsourcing activities would need to preserve the 
ex parte nature of patent examination and be in accordance with the 
provisions of 35 U.S.C. 122(c). That statutory provision provides that 
``[t]he Director shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure that 
no protest or other form of pre-issuance opposition to the grant of a 
patent on an application may be initiated after publication of the 
application without the express written consent of the applicant.''
    The USPTO seeks input from the public at the roundtable and/or via 
written comments on the following issues:
    1. In what ways can the USPTO utilize crowdsourcing to identify 
relevant prior art that would be available for use in the examination 
of published applications while maintaining the ex parte nature of 
patent examination? Some examples of how the public traditionally uses 
crowdsourcing include: passively monitoring discussions (thread) 
between parties on crowdsourcing Web sites, and posting a question on a 
crowdsourcing Web site and viewing responses to the posted question.
    2. If the USPTO were to post a question relating to the technology 
of a published application on a crowdsourcing Web site, what follow-up 
communications, if any, could someone from the USPTO have with parties 
on the Web site? Some examples of how the public traditionally engages 
in follow-up communications on crowdsourcing Web sites include: A 
conversation on the thread with a particular party who responded to the 
posted question to clarify information the party provided, and a 
conversation on the thread with a particular party who responded to the 
initial posting to request additional information.
    3. What appropriate precautions, if any, could the USPTO employ to 
ensure that the use of crowdsourcing tools does not encourage a protest 
or other form of preissuance opposition to the grant of a patent? (See 
35 U.S.C. 122(c).)
    4. If the USPTO cites in an application prior art obtained via 
crowdsourcing tools, to what extent, if any, should the USPTO document 
the crowdsourcing activities used to identify the prior art?
    5. For each published patent application, if the USPTO gave the 
patent applicant the option to opt-in or opt-out of the USPTO's use of 
crowdsourcing, would applicants choose to participate in the 
crowdsourcing program? What considerations would inform the applicant's 
decision?

[[Page 67161]]

III. Request for Information on Electronic Receipt and Hosting of 
Crowdsourced Prior Art

    The USPTO wants to ensure that the best prior art is available to 
the examiner during examination. Because this information often resides 
with the technical and scientific community, crowdsourcing may be a 
promising way to uncover hard-to-find prior art, especially non-patent 
literature. A growing number of organizations from a wide range of 
industries have expressed a willingness to help the USPTO with its 
crowdsourcing efforts by pledging to provide public product 
documentation, educational materials, and other forms of non-patent 
literature.
    Accordingly, the USPTO issued a Request for Information (RFI) 
titled ``Crowdsourced Non-Patent Literature Hosting'' (Solicitation 
Number: PTOHMB201501), on October 9, 2014, seeking information from 
qualified firms capable of electronically receiving and potentially 
hosting the materials that have been pledged to the USPTO through the 
above-described crowdsourcing effort. Detailed information on the RFI 
is available at http://www.uspto.gov/about/vendor_info/current_acquisitions/index.jsp.
    At the roundtable, the USPTO seeks to build on information received 
in response to the RFI to further explore ways the USPTO can leverage 
existing private sector solutions for the electronic receipt and 
hosting of crowdsourced materials as a means to provide prior art to 
examiners. Any formal responses to the RFI must be submitted in writing 
in accordance with the instructions set forth therein and not as 
written comments in response to this notice. After the close of the RFI 
comment period, information about the roundtable discussion on the RFI 
will be made available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/crowdsourcing_roundtable_20141202.jsp.

    Dated: November 6, 2014.
Michelle K. Lee,
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-26835 Filed 11-10-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P