May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update, 27381-27382 [2016-10724]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 88 / Friday, May 6, 2016 / Proposed Rules Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS administering the Department’s programs and activities. Through this priority, working interpreters will receive training in a specialty area in order to better meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf, including consumers of VR. The training ultimately will improve the quality of VR services and the competitive integrated employment outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities. This priority would promote the efficient and effective use of Federal funds. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the Department provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: The public understands the Department’s collection instructions, respondents can provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents. This proposed priority contains information collection requirements that are approved by OMB under the National Interpreter Education program 1820–0018; this proposed regulation does not affect the currently approved data collection. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:57 May 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Dated: May 3, 2016. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 2016–10718 Filed 5–5–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 1 [Docket No.: PTO–P–2016–0003] May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Request for comments. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility (July 2015 Update) to provide further guidance to examiners in determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. The USPTO announced the July 2015 Update in the Federal Register, and sought public comment on the July 2015 Update. The USPTO has since issued a memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps titled ‘‘Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant’s Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection’’ in response to those public comments, which is available to the public on the USPTO’s Internet Web site. The memorandum seeks to improve examiner correspondence with regard to subject matter eligibility rejections. Further, additional life science examples to assist examiners in making eligibility determinations have been published and are available on the USPTO’s Internet Web site. The USPTO is now seeking public comment on subject matter eligibility on an on-going basis. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 27381 The comment period is openended, and comments will be accepted on an ongoing basis. DATES: Comments must be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to: 2014_interim_ guidance@uspto.gov. Electronic comments submitted in plain text are preferred, but also may be submitted in ADOBE® portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD® format. The comments will be available for viewing via the Office’s Internet Web site (http:// www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regarding the examiner memorandum, contact Matthew Sked, by telephone at 571–272–7627, or Carolyn Kosowski, by telephone at 571–272–7688, both at the Office of Patent Legal Administration. Regarding the life science examples, contact June Cohan, by telephone at 571–272–7744, Ali Salimi, by telephone at 571–272–0909, or Raul Tamayo, by telephone at 571–272–7728, all at the Office of Patent Legal Administration. On July 30, 2015, the USPTO issued the July 2015 Update to provide further guidance on subject matter eligibility in view of public comments received in response to the 2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility. An announcement was published in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the July 2015 Update. See July 2015 Update on Subject Matter Eligibility, 80 FR 45429 (July 30, 2015). In response, the USPTO received a total of thirty-seven submissions from the public, which have been carefully considered by the USPTO. The USPTO has issued a memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps titled ‘‘Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant’s Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection’’ to improve examiner correspondence regarding subject matter eligibility rejections. A copy of the memorandum is available on the USPTO’s Internet Web site, on the patent examination guidance and training materials Web page (http://www.uspto.gov/patent/ laws-and-regulations/examinationpolicy/examination-guidance-andtraining-materials). In particular, the memorandum provides guidance to examiners on (1) formulating a subject matter eligibility rejection; and (2) evaluating a response to a subject matter eligibility rejection. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\06MYP1.SGM 06MYP1 Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS 27382 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 88 / Friday, May 6, 2016 / Proposed Rules The USPTO’s guidance materials concerning the subject matter eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101, including the above-mentioned memorandum, do not constitute substantive rulemaking and do not have the force and effect of law. These guidance materials set out examination policy on rejections with respect to the Office’s interpretation of the subject matter eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit). The guidance materials were developed as a matter of internal Office management and are not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the Office. Rejections will continue to be based upon the substantive law, and it is these rejections that are appealable. Failure of Office personnel to follow the USPTO’s guidance materials is not, in itself, a proper basis for either an appeal or a petition. Additionally, the USPTO has produced new life science examples. A copy of the examples is available on the USPTO’s Internet Web site, again on the patent examination guidance and training materials Web page (http:// www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-andregulations/examination-policy/ examination-guidance-and-trainingmaterials). The examples provide exemplary subject matter eligibility analysis under 35 U.S.C. 101 of hypothetical claims and claims drawn from case law. The examples are intended as a teaching tool to assist examiners and the public in understanding how the Office would apply the eligibility guidance in certain fact-specific situations. The USPTO further solicited topics for study under the Topic Submission for Case Studies Pilot Program. See Request for Submission of Topics for USPTO Case Studies, 80 FR 79277 (Dec. 21, 2015). The case studies will include a review of consistency of the application of subject matter eligibility analyses under 35 U.S.C. 101 across the examining corps to determine the quality of the work product and indicate where improvements can be made to further improve consistency. The July 2015 Update included an Appendix 3 containing select eligibility decisions from the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. This chart of decisions assists examiners in identifying the types of subject matter courts have previously found to be ineligible. Appendix 3 will continue to be updated with Federal Circuit decisions having opinions (precedential VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:57 May 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 or non-precedential). While nonprecedential decisions are not binding precedent, the opinions provide guidance and persuasive reasoning as outlined in Fed. Cir. R. 32.1(d). Appendix 3 will also continue to be updated with Federal Circuit decisions without opinion (Fed. Cir. R. 36) on appeals originating from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Federal Circuit decisions affirming a district court decision without opinion (Fed. Cir. R. 36) will no longer be added to Appendix 3 because they provide little benefit to examiners or the public. As discussed previously, the memorandum and life science examples are available to the public on the USPTO’s Internet Web site. The USPTO is now seeking public comment. The comment period is open-ended, and comments will be accepted on an ongoing basis. When it is determined that the period will close, advance notification will be made on the public comment Web page. The USPTO is particularly interested in public comments addressing the progress the USPTO is making in the quality of correspondence regarding subject matter eligibility rejections. Dated: May 2, 2016. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2016–10724 Filed 5–5–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R06–OAR–2012–0022; FRL–9946–11– Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Permitting of Greenhouse Gases Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to partially approve and partially disapprove a revision to the Louisiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Louisiana on December 21, 2011. This revision outlines the State’s program to regulate and permit emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Louisiana Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. We are proposing to approve those provisions to the extent that they SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 address the GHG permitting requirements for sources already subject to PSD for pollutants other than GHGs. We are proposing to disapprove those provisions to the extent they require PSD permitting for sources that emit only GHGs above the thresholds triggering the requirement to obtain a PSD permit since that is no longer consistent with federal law. The EPA is proposing this action under section 110 and part C of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act). DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 6, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA–R06– OAR–2012–0022, at http:// www.regulations.gov or via email to wiley.adina@epa.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Ms. Adina Wiley, (214) 665– 2115, wiley.adina@epa.gov. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/ commenting-epa-dockets. Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adina Wiley, (214) 665–2115, wiley.adina@epa.gov. To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Wiley or Mr. Bill Deese at 214–665– 7253. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document wherever E:\FR\FM\06MYP1.SGM 06MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 88 (Friday, May 6, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27381-27382]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-10724]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

37 CFR Part 1

[Docket No.: PTO-P-2016-0003]


May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued 
the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility (July 2015 Update) to 
provide further guidance to examiners in determining subject matter 
eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. The USPTO announced the July 2015 
Update in the Federal Register, and sought public comment on the July 
2015 Update. The USPTO has since issued a memorandum to the Patent 
Examining Corps titled ``Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility 
Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant's Response to a Subject Matter 
Eligibility Rejection'' in response to those public comments, which is 
available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The 
memorandum seeks to improve examiner correspondence with regard to 
subject matter eligibility rejections. Further, additional life science 
examples to assist examiners in making eligibility determinations have 
been published and are available on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The 
USPTO is now seeking public comment on subject matter eligibility on an 
on-going basis.

DATES: The comment period is open-ended, and comments will be accepted 
on an ongoing basis.

ADDRESSES: Comments must be sent by electronic mail message over the 
Internet addressed to: 2014_interim_guidance@uspto.gov. Electronic 
comments submitted in plain text are preferred, but also may be 
submitted in ADOBE[supreg] portable document format or MICROSOFT 
WORD[supreg] format. The comments will be available for viewing via the 
Office's Internet Web site (http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments 
will be made available for public inspection, information that the 
submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone 
number, should not be included in the comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regarding the examiner memorandum, 
contact Matthew Sked, by telephone at 571-272-7627, or Carolyn 
Kosowski, by telephone at 571-272-7688, both at the Office of Patent 
Legal Administration. Regarding the life science examples, contact June 
Cohan, by telephone at 571-272-7744, Ali Salimi, by telephone at 571-
272-0909, or Raul Tamayo, by telephone at 571-272-7728, all at the 
Office of Patent Legal Administration.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 30, 2015, the USPTO issued the July 
2015 Update to provide further guidance on subject matter eligibility 
in view of public comments received in response to the 2014 Interim 
Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility. An announcement was 
published in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the July 
2015 Update. See July 2015 Update on Subject Matter Eligibility, 80 FR 
45429 (July 30, 2015).
    In response, the USPTO received a total of thirty-seven submissions 
from the public, which have been carefully considered by the USPTO. The 
USPTO has issued a memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps titled 
``Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the 
Applicant's Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection'' to 
improve examiner correspondence regarding subject matter eligibility 
rejections. A copy of the memorandum is available on the USPTO's 
Internet Web site, on the patent examination guidance and training 
materials Web page (http://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/examination-policy/examination-guidance-and-training-materials). In 
particular, the memorandum provides guidance to examiners on (1) 
formulating a subject matter eligibility rejection; and (2) evaluating 
a response to a subject matter eligibility rejection.

[[Page 27382]]

    The USPTO's guidance materials concerning the subject matter 
eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101, including the above-
mentioned memorandum, do not constitute substantive rulemaking and do 
not have the force and effect of law. These guidance materials set out 
examination policy on rejections with respect to the Office's 
interpretation of the subject matter eligibility requirements of 35 
U.S.C. 101 in view of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit). The 
guidance materials were developed as a matter of internal Office 
management and are not intended to create any right or benefit, 
substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the Office. 
Rejections will continue to be based upon the substantive law, and it 
is these rejections that are appealable. Failure of Office personnel to 
follow the USPTO's guidance materials is not, in itself, a proper basis 
for either an appeal or a petition.
    Additionally, the USPTO has produced new life science examples. A 
copy of the examples is available on the USPTO's Internet Web site, 
again on the patent examination guidance and training materials Web 
page (http://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/examination-policy/examination-guidance-and-training-materials). The examples 
provide exemplary subject matter eligibility analysis under 35 U.S.C. 
101 of hypothetical claims and claims drawn from case law. The examples 
are intended as a teaching tool to assist examiners and the public in 
understanding how the Office would apply the eligibility guidance in 
certain fact-specific situations.
    The USPTO further solicited topics for study under the Topic 
Submission for Case Studies Pilot Program. See Request for Submission 
of Topics for USPTO Case Studies, 80 FR 79277 (Dec. 21, 2015). The case 
studies will include a review of consistency of the application of 
subject matter eligibility analyses under 35 U.S.C. 101 across the 
examining corps to determine the quality of the work product and 
indicate where improvements can be made to further improve consistency.
    The July 2015 Update included an Appendix 3 containing select 
eligibility decisions from the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. 
This chart of decisions assists examiners in identifying the types of 
subject matter courts have previously found to be ineligible. Appendix 
3 will continue to be updated with Federal Circuit decisions having 
opinions (precedential or non-precedential). While non-precedential 
decisions are not binding precedent, the opinions provide guidance and 
persuasive reasoning as outlined in Fed. Cir. R. 32.1(d). Appendix 3 
will also continue to be updated with Federal Circuit decisions without 
opinion (Fed. Cir. R. 36) on appeals originating from the Patent Trial 
and Appeal Board. Federal Circuit decisions affirming a district court 
decision without opinion (Fed. Cir. R. 36) will no longer be added to 
Appendix 3 because they provide little benefit to examiners or the 
public.
    As discussed previously, the memorandum and life science examples 
are available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The USPTO 
is now seeking public comment. The comment period is open-ended, and 
comments will be accepted on an ongoing basis. When it is determined 
that the period will close, advance notification will be made on the 
public comment Web page. The USPTO is particularly interested in public 
comments addressing the progress the USPTO is making in the quality of 
correspondence regarding subject matter eligibility rejections.

    Dated: May 2, 2016.
Michelle K. Lee,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2016-10724 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-16-P