Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 1624-1627 [2015-00372]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1624 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 8 / Tuesday, January 13, 2015 / Notices metrics determination. Several demographic questions and coverage probes are included in this test to combine with results from other recent testing opportunities to achieve optimal coverage for decennial censuses and surveys. The specific goal for the Non-ID Processing research is to continue evaluating enhancements to the Census Bureau’s process to collect address information needed for real-time matching and geocoding of Non-ID responses. Testing enhancements to Non-ID processing will inform planning for the 2020 Census design, as well as the infrastructure required to support large scale, real-time processing of electronic Non-ID response data submitted via the Internet or a Censusprovided questionnaire application designed for mobile devices. The goal of the advertising and outreach component of the Savannah site Test is twofold; first, we are supporting the entire OSR test by educating respondents and motivating self-response in an effort increase response rates. Secondarily, this is our first opportunity to evaluate the effects of new advertising media on response rates. Specifically we are interested in assessing digital and targeted digital advertising, mediums the Census Bureau did not employ in the 2010 Census but that are now available due to the evolution of technology. Results of this test will inform additional tests and will help the Census Bureau begin planning for the 2020 Census communications campaign. The data collected from households and individuals during the 2015 Census Test will be used to research and evaluate new methodologies and systems to plan the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau will not publish any tabulations or population estimates using the results from this test. However, methodological papers may be written that include summary tallies of response characteristics or problems identified, and responses may be used to inform future research studies building upon the results of these tests. The Census Bureau plans to make the evaluation results of this study available to the general public. In the Maricopa County site, where the Census Bureau will conduct NRFU, the 2015 Census Test is designed to collect information to: • Research the cost and quality impacts of differing approaches to removing workload from the NRFU universe through the use of administrative records information. • Research the cost and quality impacts of new NRFU contact strategies VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Jan 12, 2015 Jkt 235001 that make use of adaptive design and a re-engineered management structure employing an Area Operations Support Center housed at the Regional Office, automated payroll, automated training, and minimal face-to-face contact between enumerators and supervisors. For these experimental panels enumerators also provide work-time availability in advance, and the system assigns them the optimal number of cases to attempt each day, as well as the routing they should employ. We are continuing our research on differing approaches to removing workload from the NRFU universe. In one approach we will remove all cases (both occupied and vacant) from the NRFU workload when we have administrative records data for the address. In a second approach we will make one contact attempt (for those cases considered occupied based on administrative records) before removing them from NRFU. The goal is to determine how these approaches vary regarding costs and quality measures. Results from both of these alternative strategies will be compared to a control panel that will conduct NRFU operations similar to how it was done in the 2010 Census. The testing will also obtain detailed data on when and how enumerators use proxy respondents. The Census Bureau will conduct an additional NRFU data collection activity in the Maricopa site with enumeratorowned commercially provided mobile devices. The use of employee owned equipment/services is commonly referred to as ‘‘Bring Your Own Device’’ or BYOD. After selecting enumerators for this study, a sample of up to 5,000 households will be contacted at the end of the NRFU field operation using this methodology. These will be additional households not included in the other test activities (e.g., the self-response phase). The objectives of this component of the test are to: • Design, develop, deploy, and support secure software solutions that can be installed on employee’s personally owned commercially available mobile devices; • Conduct interviews of respondents using these employee owned mobile devices; and • Capture lessons learned for future operations, including: focus groups with a sub-set of the respondents, questionnaires for the enumerators, and collecting feedback from the local census office. Focus groups also will be conducted in the Maricopa site to ask respondents about their experiences with the 2015 Census Test. Respondents will be recruited into groups with regard to PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 their treatment and demographic characteristics (e.g., age, education). For example, respondents will be recruited into one of the groups of 8–12 participants by age and education as well as whether they were NRFU respondents or non-respondents. Participants also will be asked about their general concerns with government collection and protection of confidential data. For the Nonresponse Follow-up groups only, we will ask participants their reactions to enumerators using personal devices when conducting Census interviews. At the end of the focus groups, we will be asking participants for whom we have acquired additional data to verify whether this information is accurate. All focus groups will be tape-recorded to facilitate a summary of the results. Participants will be asked to sign consent forms and give permission to be recorded. All participants will be informed that their response is voluntary and that the information they provide is confidential. Respondents will receive a $75 stipend after the focus group concludes. Affected Public: Individuals or households. Frequency: One time. Respondent’s Obligation: Mandatory. Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193. This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to OIRA_Submission@ omb.eop.gov or fax to (202)395–5806. Dated: January 8, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2015–00321 Filed 1–12–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–07–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO–P–2014–0064] Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented a pilot program (Extended SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 8 / Tuesday, January 13, 2015 / Notices Missing Parts Pilot Program) in which an applicant, under certain conditions, can request a 12-month time period to pay the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge (for the late submission of the search fee and the examination fee) in a nonprovisional application. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits applicants by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be sought—at a relatively low cost—and by permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this period. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO’s workload those nonprovisional applications for which applicants later decide not to pursue examination. The USPTO is extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 31, 2015, to better gauge whether the Extended Missing Parts Program offers sufficient benefits to the patent community for it to be made permanent. The requirements of the program have not changed. DATES: Duration: The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program will run through December 31, 2015. Therefore, any certification and request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program must be filed before December 31, 2015. The USPTO may further extend the pilot program (with or without modifications) depending on the feedback received and the continued effectiveness of the pilot program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eugenia A. Jones, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at (571) 272–7727, or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments—Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450, marked to the attention of Eugenia A. Jones. Inquiries regarding this notice may be directed to the Office of Patent Legal Administration, by telephone at (571) 272–7701, or by electronic mail at PatentPractice@uspto.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 8, 2010, after considering written comments from the public, the USPTO changed the missing parts examination procedures in certain nonprovisional applications by implementing a pilot program (i.e., Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program). See Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice to File VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Jan 12, 2015 Jkt 235001 Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44 (Jan. 4, 2011). The USPTO has previously extended the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program. See Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 76 FR 78246 (Dec. 16, 2011), 1374 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 113 (Jan. 10, 2012); Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 78 FR 2256 (Jan. 10, 2013), 1387 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 46 (Feb. 5, 2013); Extension of Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 79 FR 642 (Jan. 6, 2014), 1398 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 197 (Jan. 28, 2014). The USPTO is further extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 31, 2015. The USPTO may further extend the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, or may discontinue the pilot program after December 31, 2015, depending on the results of the program. The requirements of the program, which have not been modified, are reiterated below. Applicants are strongly cautioned to review the pilot program requirements before making a request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program. The USPTO cautions all applicants that, in order to claim the benefit of a prior provisional application, the statute requires a nonprovisional application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) to be filed within 12 months after the date on which the corresponding provisional application was filed. See 35 U.S.C. 119(e). It is essential that applicants understand that the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program cannot and does not change this statutory requirement. Title II of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA) amended the provisions of title 35, United States Code, including 35 U.S.C. 119(e), to implement the Patent Law Treaty (PLT). See Public Law 112–211, §§ 20–203, 126 Stat. 1527, 1533–37 (2012). In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that an applicant may file a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(b) to restore the benefit of a provisional application filed up to fourteen months earlier. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62368– 69 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). Any petition to restore the benefit of a provisional application must include the benefit claim, the petition fee, and a statement that the delay in filing the subsequent application was unintentional. This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed before, on, or after December 18, 2013. However, if a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(b) to restore PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1625 the benefit claim of a prior provisional application is required, the application is not eligible for participation in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program. I. Requirements In order for an applicant to be provided a 12-month (non-extendable) time period to pay the search and examination fees and any required excess claims fees in response to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application under the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, the applicant must satisfy the following conditions: (1) The applicant must submit a certification and request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program with the nonprovisional application on filing, preferably by using Form PTO/AIA/421, titled ‘‘Certification and Request for Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program’’; (2) the application must be an original (i.e., not a Reissue) nonprovisional utility or plant application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) within the duration of the pilot program; (3) the nonprovisional application must directly claim the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and 37 CFR 1.78 of a prior provisional application filed within the previous 12 months, and the specific reference to the provisional application must be in an application data sheet under 37 CFR 1.76 (see 37 CFR 1.78(a)(3)); and (4) the applicant must not have filed a nonpublication request. As required for all nonprovisional applications, the applicant will need to satisfy filing date requirements and publication requirements. In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that an application (other than an application for a design patent) filed on or after December 18, 2013, is not required to include a claim to be entitled to a filing date. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62638 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 on or after December 18, 2013. However, if an application is filed without any claims, the Office of Patent Application Processing will issue a notice giving the applicant a two-month (extendable) time period within which to submit at least one claim in order to avoid abandonment (see 37 CFR 1.53(f)). The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program does not change this time period. In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 122(b), the USPTO will publish the application promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date for which benefit is sought. Therefore, the E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1626 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 8 / Tuesday, January 13, 2015 / Notices nonprovisional application should also be in condition for publication as provided in 37 CFR 1.211(c). The following are required in order for the nonprovisional application to be in condition for publication: (1) The basic filing fee; (2) the executed inventor’s oath or declaration in compliance with 37 CFR 1.63 or an application data sheet containing the information specified in 37 CFR 1.63(b); (3) a specification in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52; (4) an abstract in compliance with 37 CFR 1.72(b); (5) drawings in compliance with 37 CFR 1.84 (if applicable); (6) any application size fee required under 37 CFR 1.16(s); (7) any English translation required by 37 CFR 1.52(d); and (8) a sequence listing in compliance with 37 CFR 1.821–1.825 (if applicable). The USPTO also requires any compact disc requirements to be satisfied and an English translation of the provisional application to be filed in the provisional application if the provisional application was filed in a non-English language and a translation has not yet been filed. If the requirements for publication are not met, the applicant will need to satisfy the publication requirements within a two-month extendable time period. As noted above, applicants should request participation in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program by using Form PTO/AIA/421. For utility patent applications, the applicant may file the application and the certification and request electronically using the USPTO electronic filing system, EFS-Web, and selecting the document description of ‘‘Certification and Request for Missing Parts Pilot’’ for the certification and request on the EFS-Web screen. Form PTO/AIA/421 is available on the USPTO Web site at http:// www.uspto.gov/forms/aia0421.pdf. Information regarding EFS-Web is available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/ebc/ index.jsp. The utility application including the certification and request to participate in the pilot program may also be handcarried to the USPTO or filed by mail, for example, by Priority Mail Express® in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10. However, applicants are advised that, effective November 15, 2011, as provided in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a new additional fee of $400.00 for a non-small entity ($200.00 for a small entity) is due for any nonprovisional utility patent application that is not filed by EFS-Web. See Public Law 112–29, § 10(h), 125 Stat. 283, 319 (2011). This nonelectronic filing fee is due on filing of the utility application or within the two- VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Jan 12, 2015 Jkt 235001 month (extendable) time period to reply to the Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application. Applicants will not be given the 12-month time period to pay the non-electronic filing fee. Therefore, utility applicants are strongly encouraged to file their utility applications via EFS-Web to avoid this additional fee. For plant patent applications, the applicant must file the application including the certification and request to participate in the pilot program by mail or hand-carried to the USPTO since plant patent applications cannot be filed electronically using EFS-Web. See Legal Framework for Electronic Filing System—Web (EFS-Web), 74 FR 55200 (Oct. 27, 2009), 1348 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 394 (Nov. 24, 2009). II. Processing of Requests If the applicant satisfies the requirements (discussed above) on filing of the nonprovisional application and the application is in condition for publication, the USPTO will send the applicant a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application that sets a 12-month (non-extendable) time period to submit the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claims fees (under 37 CFR 1.16(h)–(j)), and the surcharge under 37 CFR 1.16(f) (for the late submission of the search fee and examination fee). The 12-month time period will run from the mailing date, or notification date for e-Office Action participants, of the Notice to File Missing Parts. For information on the eOffice Action program, see Electronic Office Action, 1343 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 45 (June 2, 2009), and http://www.uspto. gov/patents/process/status/e-Office_ Action.jsp. After an applicant files a timely reply to the Notice to File Missing Parts within the 12-month time period and the nonprovisional application is completed, the nonprovisional application will be placed in the examination queue based on the actual filing date of the nonprovisional application. For a detailed discussion regarding treatment of applications that are not in condition for publication, processing of improper requests to participate in the program, and treatment of authorizations to charge fees, see Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401, 76403–04 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44, 47–49 (Jan. 4, 2011). III. Important Reminders Applicants are reminded that the disclosure of an invention in a PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 provisional application should be as complete as possible because the claimed subject matter in the later-filed nonprovisional application must have support in the provisional application in order for the applicant to obtain the benefit of the filing date of the provisional application. Furthermore, the nonprovisional application as originally filed must have a complete disclosure that complies with 35 U.S.C. 112(a) and is sufficient to support the claims submitted on filing and any claims submitted later during prosecution. New matter cannot be added to an application after the filing date of the application. See 35 U.S.C. 132(a). In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that, in order to be accorded a filing date, a nonprovisional application (other than an application for a design patent) must include a specification with or without claims. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62369 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 on or after December 18, 2013. Although a claim is not required in a nonprovisional application (other than an application for a design patent) for filing date purposes and the applicant may file an amendment adding additional claims as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112 and drawings as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 113 later during prosecution, the applicant should consider the benefits of submitting a complete set of claims and any necessary drawings on filing of the nonprovisional application. This would reduce the likelihood that any claims and/or drawings added later during prosecution might be found to contain new matter. Also, if a patent is granted and the patentee is successful in litigation against an infringer, provisional rights to a reasonable royalty under 35 U.S.C. 154(d) may be available only if the claims that are published in the patent application publication are substantially identical to the patented claims that are infringed, assuming timely actual notice is provided. Thus, the importance of the claims that are included in the patent application publication should not be overlooked. Applicants are also advised that the extended missing parts period does not affect the 12-month priority period provided by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Convention). Accordingly, any foreign filings must, in most cases, still be made within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional application if the E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 8 / Tuesday, January 13, 2015 / Notices applicant wishes to rely on the provisional application in the foreignfiled application or if protection is desired in a country requiring filing within 12 months of the earliest application for which rights are left outstanding in order to be entitled to priority. For additional reminders, see Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401, 76405 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44, 50 (Jan. 4, 2011). Dated: January 7, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2015–00372 Filed 1–12–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD–2014–OS–0084] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION: Notice. The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 12, 2015. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Licari, 571–372–0493. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Joint Services Support (JSS) System; OMB Control Number 0704– XXXX. Type of Request: New Collection. Number of Respondents: 12,000. Responses per Respondent: 1. Annual Responses: 12,000. Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes. Annual Burden Hours: 2,000. Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for the National Guard Bureau and its participating programs (Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (Guard and Reserve Component-wide), Family Program, Employer Support Program, financial Management Awareness Program, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, Psychological Health Program, and Warrior Support Program) to ensure key activities may be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Jan 12, 2015 Jkt 235001 associated with system-registrants for program management, accountability, reporting and support purposes. Examples of use of such information include: Validating event registration and attendance, enabling users to login to system to facilitate outreach and communication activities, enabling leadership across the participating programs, with oversight and reporting. In addition, JSS plans on collecting Civilian Employer Information (CE) from Service members. Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) will be ceasing its CEI Web site as of October 1, 2012. The service components as a result have been tasked to take over the collection of CEI prior to this date. JSS in particular helps the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and (in the future) also help Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, reporting program activities, as required by a congressional mandate. Affected Public: Individuals or Households; Federal Government; State, Locale or Tribal Government. Frequency: On occasion. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra. Written comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be sent to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra at the Office of Management and Budget, Desk Officer for DoD, Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503. You may also submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by the following method: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari. Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350–3100. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1627 Dated: January 8, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2015–00308 Filed 1–12–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD–2014–HA–0162] Proposed Collection; Comment Request Correction In notice document 2014–30753 appearing on pages 34–35 in the issue of January 2, 2015, make the following correction: On page 34, in the second column, under the DATES heading, in the second line, ‘‘March 3, 2014’’ should read ‘‘March 3, 2015’’. [FR Doc. C1–2014–30753 Filed 1–12–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505–01–D DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Defense Acquisition University, DoD. ACTION: Meeting notice. AGENCY: The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce a Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors. This meeting will be open to the public. DATES: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: DAU Headquarters, 9820 Belvoir Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caren Hergenroeder, Protocol Director, DAU. Phone: 703–805–5134. Fax: 703– 805–5940. Email: caren.hergenroeder@ dau.mil. SUMMARY: 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. Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of this meeting is to report back to the Board of Visitors on continuing items of interest. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 8 (Tuesday, January 13, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1624-1627]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-00372]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

 Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No.: PTO-P-2014-0064]


Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 
implemented a pilot program (Extended

[[Page 1625]]

Missing Parts Pilot Program) in which an applicant, under certain 
conditions, can request a 12-month time period to pay the search fee, 
the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge (for the 
late submission of the search fee and the examination fee) in a 
nonprovisional application. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program 
benefits applicants by permitting additional time to determine if 
patent protection should be sought--at a relatively low cost--and by 
permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this 
period. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits the USPTO and 
the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by 
removing from the USPTO's workload those nonprovisional applications 
for which applicants later decide not to pursue examination. The USPTO 
is extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 
31, 2015, to better gauge whether the Extended Missing Parts Program 
offers sufficient benefits to the patent community for it to be made 
permanent. The requirements of the program have not changed.

DATES: Duration: The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program will run 
through December 31, 2015. Therefore, any certification and request to 
participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program must be filed 
before December 31, 2015. The USPTO may further extend the pilot 
program (with or without modifications) depending on the feedback 
received and the continued effectiveness of the pilot program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eugenia A. Jones, Senior Legal 
Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy 
Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at (571) 272-
7727, or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, 
Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, 
marked to the attention of Eugenia A. Jones.
    Inquiries regarding this notice may be directed to the Office of 
Patent Legal Administration, by telephone at (571) 272-7701, or by 
electronic mail at PatentPractice@uspto.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 8, 2010, after considering 
written comments from the public, the USPTO changed the missing parts 
examination procedures in certain nonprovisional applications by 
implementing a pilot program (i.e., Extended Missing Parts Pilot 
Program). See Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a 
Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401 
(Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44 (Jan. 4, 2011). The USPTO 
has previously extended the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program. See 
Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 76 FR 78246 
(Dec. 16, 2011), 1374 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 113 (Jan. 10, 2012); 
Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 78 FR 2256 (Jan. 
10, 2013), 1387 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 46 (Feb. 5, 2013); Extension of 
Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 79 FR 642 (Jan. 6, 2014), 1398 
Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 197 (Jan. 28, 2014).
    The USPTO is further extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot 
Program until December 31, 2015. The USPTO may further extend the 
Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, or may discontinue the pilot 
program after December 31, 2015, depending on the results of the 
program. The requirements of the program, which have not been modified, 
are reiterated below. Applicants are strongly cautioned to review the 
pilot program requirements before making a request to participate in 
the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program.
    The USPTO cautions all applicants that, in order to claim the 
benefit of a prior provisional application, the statute requires a 
nonprovisional application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) to be filed 
within 12 months after the date on which the corresponding provisional 
application was filed. See 35 U.S.C. 119(e). It is essential that 
applicants understand that the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program 
cannot and does not change this statutory requirement. Title II of the 
Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA) amended the 
provisions of title 35, United States Code, including 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 
to implement the Patent Law Treaty (PLT). See Public Law 112-211, 
Sec. Sec.  20-203, 126 Stat. 1527, 1533-37 (2012). In the rulemaking to 
implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that 
an applicant may file a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(b) to restore the 
benefit of a provisional application filed up to fourteen months 
earlier. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 
62368-69 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). Any petition to restore the 
benefit of a provisional application must include the benefit claim, 
the petition fee, and a statement that the delay in filing the 
subsequent application was unintentional. This change was effective on 
December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed before, on, or 
after December 18, 2013. However, if a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(b) to 
restore the benefit claim of a prior provisional application is 
required, the application is not eligible for participation in the 
Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program.

I. Requirements

    In order for an applicant to be provided a 12-month (non-
extendable) time period to pay the search and examination fees and any 
required excess claims fees in response to a Notice to File Missing 
Parts of Nonprovisional Application under the Extended Missing Parts 
Pilot Program, the applicant must satisfy the following conditions: (1) 
The applicant must submit a certification and request to participate in 
the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program with the nonprovisional 
application on filing, preferably by using Form PTO/AIA/421, titled 
``Certification and Request for Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program''; 
(2) the application must be an original (i.e., not a Reissue) 
nonprovisional utility or plant application filed under 35 U.S.C. 
111(a) within the duration of the pilot program; (3) the nonprovisional 
application must directly claim the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and 
37 CFR 1.78 of a prior provisional application filed within the 
previous 12 months, and the specific reference to the provisional 
application must be in an application data sheet under 37 CFR 1.76 (see 
37 CFR 1.78(a)(3)); and (4) the applicant must not have filed a 
nonpublication request.
    As required for all nonprovisional applications, the applicant will 
need to satisfy filing date requirements and publication requirements. 
In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the 
Office provided that an application (other than an application for a 
design patent) filed on or after December 18, 2013, is not required to 
include a claim to be entitled to a filing date. See Changes To 
Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62638 (Oct. 21, 2013) 
(final rule). This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and 
applies to any application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 on or after 
December 18, 2013. However, if an application is filed without any 
claims, the Office of Patent Application Processing will issue a notice 
giving the applicant a two-month (extendable) time period within which 
to submit at least one claim in order to avoid abandonment (see 37 CFR 
1.53(f)). The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program does not change this 
time period. In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 122(b), the USPTO will 
publish the application promptly after the expiration of 18 months from 
the earliest filing date for which benefit is sought. Therefore, the

[[Page 1626]]

nonprovisional application should also be in condition for publication 
as provided in 37 CFR 1.211(c). The following are required in order for 
the nonprovisional application to be in condition for publication: (1) 
The basic filing fee; (2) the executed inventor's oath or declaration 
in compliance with 37 CFR 1.63 or an application data sheet containing 
the information specified in 37 CFR 1.63(b); (3) a specification in 
compliance with 37 CFR 1.52; (4) an abstract in compliance with 37 CFR 
1.72(b); (5) drawings in compliance with 37 CFR 1.84 (if applicable); 
(6) any application size fee required under 37 CFR 1.16(s); (7) any 
English translation required by 37 CFR 1.52(d); and (8) a sequence 
listing in compliance with 37 CFR 1.821-1.825 (if applicable). The 
USPTO also requires any compact disc requirements to be satisfied and 
an English translation of the provisional application to be filed in 
the provisional application if the provisional application was filed in 
a non-English language and a translation has not yet been filed. If the 
requirements for publication are not met, the applicant will need to 
satisfy the publication requirements within a two-month extendable time 
period.
    As noted above, applicants should request participation in the 
Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program by using Form PTO/AIA/421. For 
utility patent applications, the applicant may file the application and 
the certification and request electronically using the USPTO electronic 
filing system, EFS-Web, and selecting the document description of 
``Certification and Request for Missing Parts Pilot'' for the 
certification and request on the EFS-Web screen. Form PTO/AIA/421 is 
available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/forms/aia0421.pdf. Information regarding EFS-Web is available on the USPTO 
Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/ebc/index.jsp.
    The utility application including the certification and request to 
participate in the pilot program may also be hand-carried to the USPTO 
or filed by mail, for example, by Priority Mail Express[supreg] in 
accordance with 37 CFR 1.10. However, applicants are advised that, 
effective November 15, 2011, as provided in the Leahy-Smith America 
Invents Act, a new additional fee of $400.00 for a non-small entity 
($200.00 for a small entity) is due for any nonprovisional utility 
patent application that is not filed by EFS-Web. See Public Law 112-29, 
Sec.  10(h), 125 Stat. 283, 319 (2011). This non-electronic filing fee 
is due on filing of the utility application or within the two-month 
(extendable) time period to reply to the Notice to File Missing Parts 
of Nonprovisional Application. Applicants will not be given the 12-
month time period to pay the non-electronic filing fee. Therefore, 
utility applicants are strongly encouraged to file their utility 
applications via EFS-Web to avoid this additional fee.
    For plant patent applications, the applicant must file the 
application including the certification and request to participate in 
the pilot program by mail or hand-carried to the USPTO since plant 
patent applications cannot be filed electronically using EFS-Web. See 
Legal Framework for Electronic Filing System--Web (EFS-Web), 74 FR 
55200 (Oct. 27, 2009), 1348 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 394 (Nov. 24, 2009).

II. Processing of Requests

    If the applicant satisfies the requirements (discussed above) on 
filing of the nonprovisional application and the application is in 
condition for publication, the USPTO will send the applicant a Notice 
to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application that sets a 12-
month (non-extendable) time period to submit the search fee, the 
examination fee, any excess claims fees (under 37 CFR 1.16(h)-(j)), and 
the surcharge under 37 CFR 1.16(f) (for the late submission of the 
search fee and examination fee). The 12-month time period will run from 
the mailing date, or notification date for e-Office Action 
participants, of the Notice to File Missing Parts. For information on 
the e-Office Action program, see Electronic Office Action, 1343 Off. 
Gaz. Pat. Office 45 (June 2, 2009), and http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/status/e-Office_Action.jsp. After an applicant files a timely 
reply to the Notice to File Missing Parts within the 12-month time 
period and the nonprovisional application is completed, the 
nonprovisional application will be placed in the examination queue 
based on the actual filing date of the nonprovisional application.
    For a detailed discussion regarding treatment of applications that 
are not in condition for publication, processing of improper requests 
to participate in the program, and treatment of authorizations to 
charge fees, see Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a 
Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 
76401, 76403-04 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44, 47-49 
(Jan. 4, 2011).

III. Important Reminders

    Applicants are reminded that the disclosure of an invention in a 
provisional application should be as complete as possible because the 
claimed subject matter in the later-filed nonprovisional application 
must have support in the provisional application in order for the 
applicant to obtain the benefit of the filing date of the provisional 
application.
    Furthermore, the nonprovisional application as originally filed 
must have a complete disclosure that complies with 35 U.S.C. 112(a) and 
is sufficient to support the claims submitted on filing and any claims 
submitted later during prosecution. New matter cannot be added to an 
application after the filing date of the application. See 35 U.S.C. 
132(a). In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the 
PLTIA, the Office provided that, in order to be accorded a filing date, 
a nonprovisional application (other than an application for a design 
patent) must include a specification with or without claims. See 
Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62369 (Oct. 
21, 2013) (final rule). This change was effective on December 18, 2013, 
and applies to any application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 on or after 
December 18, 2013. Although a claim is not required in a nonprovisional 
application (other than an application for a design patent) for filing 
date purposes and the applicant may file an amendment adding additional 
claims as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112 and drawings as prescribed by 35 
U.S.C. 113 later during prosecution, the applicant should consider the 
benefits of submitting a complete set of claims and any necessary 
drawings on filing of the nonprovisional application. This would reduce 
the likelihood that any claims and/or drawings added later during 
prosecution might be found to contain new matter. Also, if a patent is 
granted and the patentee is successful in litigation against an 
infringer, provisional rights to a reasonable royalty under 35 U.S.C. 
154(d) may be available only if the claims that are published in the 
patent application publication are substantially identical to the 
patented claims that are infringed, assuming timely actual notice is 
provided. Thus, the importance of the claims that are included in the 
patent application publication should not be overlooked.
    Applicants are also advised that the extended missing parts period 
does not affect the 12-month priority period provided by the Paris 
Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris 
Convention). Accordingly, any foreign filings must, in most cases, 
still be made within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional 
application if the

[[Page 1627]]

applicant wishes to rely on the provisional application in the foreign-
filed application or if protection is desired in a country requiring 
filing within 12 months of the earliest application for which rights 
are left outstanding in order to be entitled to priority.
    For additional reminders, see Pilot Program for Extended Time 
Period To Reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional 
Application, 75 FR 76401, 76405 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. 
Office 44, 50 (Jan. 4, 2011).

    Dated: January 7, 2015.
Michelle K. Lee,
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2015-00372 Filed 1-12-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P