Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing; Correction, 68045-68046 [2019-26899]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 240 / Friday, December 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations within the designated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston (COTP) or a designated representative. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 2 The regulation in 33 CFR 100.701, Table to § 100.701, Item No. (g)(6) will be enforced from 4:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on December 14, 2019. DATES: [Docket No. PTO–T–2017–0004] RIN 0651–AD15 If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email LT Chad Ray, Sector Charleston Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (843) 740–3184, email Chad.L.Ray@ uscg.mil. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulation in 33 CFR 100.701, Item No. (g)(6), for the Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats from 4:00 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on December 14, 2019. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for marine events within the Seventh Coast Guard District § 100.701, Item No. (g)(6), specifies the location of the regulated area for the Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats, which encompasses a portion of the waterways during the parade transit from Charleston Harbor Anchorage A through Bennis Reach, Horse Reach, Hog Island Reach, Town Creek Lower Reach, Ashley River, and finishing at City Marina. During the enforcement periods, as reflected in § 100.701(c)(1), if you are the operator of a vessel in the regulated area you must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign. In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and onscene designated representatives. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: December 9, 2019. J.W. Reed, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Charleston. [FR Doc. 2019–26822 Filed 12–12–19; 8:45 am] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 9110–04–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Dec 12, 2019 Jkt 250001 Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing; Correction Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; correction. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2019 (delayed on October 2, 2019), a final rule amending its regulations to mandate electronic filing of trademark applications and all submissions associated with trademark applications and registrations, and to require the designation of an email address for receiving USPTO correspondence, with limited exceptions. This rulemaking clarifies the mandatory electronic filing regulation addressing the requirements for receiving a filing date, by amending it to remove the word ‘‘domicile.’’ This rulemaking also clarifies the mandatory electronic filing regulation addressing the requirements for a TEAS Plus application. SUMMARY: This correction is effective on December 21, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Cain, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, TMFRNotices@ uspto.gov, (571) 272–8946. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 31, 2019 (84 FR 37081), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published in the Federal Register a final rule amending the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases and the Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks to mandate electronic filing of trademark applications based on section 1 and/or section 44 of the Trademark Act (Act), 15 U.S.C. 1051, 1126, and all submissions associated with trademark applications and registrations, and to require the designation of an email address for receiving USPTO correspondence, with limited exceptions (Mandatory Electronic Filing Rule). The effective date of the July 31, 2019, rule was delayed until December 21, 2019 (84 FR 52363, October 2, 2019). In § 2.21, the Mandatory Electronic DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 68045 Filing Rule addressing the requirements for receiving a filing date were amended to require the ‘‘domicile address’’ of each applicant. Prior to the July 31, 2019, Mandatory Electronic Filing Rule, the regulations at § 2.21(a) required ‘‘[t]he name of the applicant’’ and ‘‘[a] name and address for correspondence.’’ 37 CFR 2.21(a)(1), (2). In the May 30, 2018 notice of proposed rulemaking, the USPTO proposed to amend § 2.21(a)(1) to require ‘‘[t]he name, postal address, and email address of each applicant’’ to receive a filing date and made a conforming amendment to § 2.32(a)(2) to require the same information for a complete application. In the July 31, 2019, final rule, the USPTO replaced the word ‘‘postal’’ with ‘‘domicile’’ in amended § 2.21(a)(1) and amended § 2.32(a)(2) to reconcile the final rule with the provisions of another final rule entitled ‘‘Requirement of U.S. Licensed Attorney for Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants’’ (84 FR 31498, July 2, 2019) (U.S. Counsel rule) that required provision of domicile addresses. The USPTO has determined that substituting the wording ‘‘domicile address’’ for ‘‘postal address’’ in the July 31, 2019, final rule might result in the unintended consequence of the loss of a filing date for some applicants who provide an address that is later determined not to be their domicile address. Therefore, the USPTO has determined that the better practice is to retain the existing requirement for an ‘‘address’’ as a filing-date requirement. The requirement for a ‘‘domicile address’’ remains a requirement for a complete application in amended § 2.32(a)(2). Thus, this rulemaking amends § 2.21(a)(1) in the July 31, 2019, final rule to remove the word ‘‘domicile.’’ In addition, in light of the amendment made to § 2.21(a)(1), the USPTO makes a conforming change to § 2.22(a)(1) in the July 31, 2019, final rule to reinsert the requirement for a domicile address. In the U.S. Counsel rule, the USPTO added the requirement for the applicant’s domicile address to the regulation addressing the requirements for a TEAS Plus application. 37 CFR 2.22(a)(1). Subsequently, in the July 31, 2019, Mandatory Electronic Filing Rule, the USPTO removed this requirement from § 2.22(a)(1) as duplicative because the domicile requirement added to § 2.21(a)(1) also applied to TEAS Plus applications. The amendment made to § 2.21(a)(1) in this rulemaking removes the requirement for a domicile address from § 2.21(a)(1), as discussed above, and requires the USPTO to reinsert it back in § 2.22(a)(1) so that it will E:\FR\FM\13DER1.SGM 13DER1 68046 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 240 / Friday, December 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES continue to apply to TEAS Plus applications as a requirement for receiving a reduced filing fee. Rulemaking Requirements Administrative Procedure Act: The changes in this rulemaking involve rules of agency practice and procedure, and/ or interpretive rules. See Perez v. Mortg. Bankers Ass’n, 135 S. Ct. 1199, 1204 (2015) (Interpretive rules ‘‘advise the public of the agency’s construction of the statutes and rules which it administers.’’ (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)); Nat’l Org. of Veterans’ Advocates v. Sec’y of Veterans Affairs, 260 F.3d 1365, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (Rule that clarifies interpretation of a statute is interpretive.); Bachow Commc’ns Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 690 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (Rules governing an application process are procedural under the Administrative Procedure Act.); Inova Alexandria Hosp. v. Shalala, 244 F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2001) (Rules for handling appeals were procedural where they did not change the substantive standard for reviewing claims.). Accordingly, prior notice and opportunity for public comment for the changes in this rulemaking are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or (c), or any other law. See Perez, 135 S. Ct. at 1206 (Notice-and-comment procedures are required neither when an agency ‘‘issue[s] an initial interpretive rule’’ nor ‘‘when it amends or repeals that interpretive rule.’’); Cooper Techs. Co. v. Dudas, 536 F.3d 1330, 1336–37 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (stating that 5 U.S.C. 553, and thus 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(B), does not require notice and comment rulemaking for ‘‘interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice’’ (quoting 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A))). In addition, good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3) to issue this rule without prior notice and opportunity for comment and the 30day delay in effectiveness, as it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This action amends § 2.21(a)(1) to avoid a possible unintended consequence (i.e., possible loss of a filing date for some applicants who provide an address that is later determined not to be their domicile address) that might result from substituting the wording ‘‘domicile address’’ for ‘‘postal address’’ in the July 31, 2019 final rule. Therefore, the USPTO has determined that the better practice is to retain the existing requirement for an ‘‘address’’ as a filingdate requirement. The requirement for a ‘‘domicile address’’ remains a VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Dec 12, 2019 Jkt 250001 requirement for a complete application in amended § 2.32(a)(2). Delay of this correction to allow for prior notice and opportunity for comment would result in the implementation of a requirement that may result in a loss of a filing date for some applicants as well as confusion among applicants regarding the requirements for a filing date. In addition, because the July 31, 2019 final rule is not effective until December 21, 2019, no party has been negatively impacted or affected by this rulemaking, which is being published prior to that effective date. Therefore, the USPTO waives the requirement for prior notice and opportunity for comment, and implements this correction on the effective date of this rule. Corrections In FR Doc. 2019–16259 appearing on page 37081 in the Federal Register of Wednesday, July 31, 2019, delayed at 84 FR 52363, October 2, 2019, the following corrections are made: § 2.21 [Corrected] 1. On page 37093, in the third column, in § 2.21, in paragraph (a)(1), ‘‘The name, domicile address, and email address of each applicant;’’ is corrected to read ‘‘The name, address, and email address of each applicant;’’ ■ 2. On page 37094, in the first and second columns, in § 2.22, paragraphs (a)(1) through (19) are redesignated as paragraphs (a)(2) through (20) and new paragraph (a)(1) is added to read as follows: ■ § 2.22 Requirements for a TEAS Plus application. (a) * * * (1) The applicant’s name and domicile address; * * * * * Dated: December 9, 2019. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2019–26899 Filed 12–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900–AQ01 Reimbursement of Qualifying Adoption Expenses for Certain Veterans Department of Veterans Affairs. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adopts as final, with changes based on subsequent statutory authority, an interim final rule providing for reimbursement of qualifying adoption expenses incurred by a veteran with a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment. Under the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act, VA may use funds appropriated or otherwise made available to VA for the ‘‘Medical Services’’ account to provide adoption reimbursement to these veterans. Under the law, reimbursement may be for the adoption-related expenses for an adoption that is finalized after the date of the enactment of this Act under the same terms as apply under the adoption reimbursement program of the Department of Defense (DoD), as authorized in DoD Instruction 1341.09, including the reimbursement limits and requirements set forth in such instruction. This rulemaking implements the new adoption reimbursement benefit for covered veterans. DATES: Effective date: This rule is effective on December 13, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia M. Hayes, Ph.D. Chief Consultant, Women’s Health Services, Patient Care Services, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–0373. (This is not a toll-free number.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Law 114–223, the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (the ‘‘2017 Act’’), section 260, allows VA to use appropriated funds available to VA for the Medical Services account to provide fertility counseling and treatment using assisted reproductive technology (ART) to a covered veteran or the spouse of a covered veteran, or adoption reimbursement to a covered veteran. On January 19, 2017, VA published an interim final rule at 82 FR 6275 addressing fertility counseling and treatment using ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) (which is a type of ART), for both covered veterans and spouses. On March 5, 2018, VA published an interim final rule to implement our authority to provide reimbursement of qualifying adoption SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13DER1.SGM 13DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 240 (Friday, December 13, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68045-68046]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26899]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office

37 CFR Part 2

[Docket No. PTO-T-2017-0004]
RIN 0651-AD15


Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic 
Filing; Correction

AGENCY: Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule; correction.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office published in the 
Federal Register on July 31, 2019 (delayed on October 2, 2019), a final 
rule amending its regulations to mandate electronic filing of trademark 
applications and all submissions associated with trademark applications 
and registrations, and to require the designation of an email address 
for receiving USPTO correspondence, with limited exceptions. This 
rulemaking clarifies the mandatory electronic filing regulation 
addressing the requirements for receiving a filing date, by amending it 
to remove the word ``domicile.'' This rulemaking also clarifies the 
mandatory electronic filing regulation addressing the requirements for 
a TEAS Plus application.

DATES: This correction is effective on December 21, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Cain, Office of the Deputy 
Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, [email protected], 
(571) 272-8946.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 31, 2019 (84 FR 37081), the United 
States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published in the Federal 
Register a final rule amending the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases 
and the Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating 
to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of 
Marks to mandate electronic filing of trademark applications based on 
section 1 and/or section 44 of the Trademark Act (Act), 15 U.S.C. 1051, 
1126, and all submissions associated with trademark applications and 
registrations, and to require the designation of an email address for 
receiving USPTO correspondence, with limited exceptions (Mandatory 
Electronic Filing Rule). The effective date of the July 31, 2019, rule 
was delayed until December 21, 2019 (84 FR 52363, October 2, 2019). In 
Sec.  2.21, the Mandatory Electronic Filing Rule addressing the 
requirements for receiving a filing date were amended to require the 
``domicile address'' of each applicant. Prior to the July 31, 2019, 
Mandatory Electronic Filing Rule, the regulations at Sec.  2.21(a) 
required ``[t]he name of the applicant'' and ``[a] name and address for 
correspondence.'' 37 CFR 2.21(a)(1), (2). In the May 30, 2018 notice of 
proposed rulemaking, the USPTO proposed to amend Sec.  2.21(a)(1) to 
require ``[t]he name, postal address, and email address of each 
applicant'' to receive a filing date and made a conforming amendment to 
Sec.  2.32(a)(2) to require the same information for a complete 
application. In the July 31, 2019, final rule, the USPTO replaced the 
word ``postal'' with ``domicile'' in amended Sec.  2.21(a)(1) and 
amended Sec.  2.32(a)(2) to reconcile the final rule with the 
provisions of another final rule entitled ``Requirement of U.S. 
Licensed Attorney for Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants'' 
(84 FR 31498, July 2, 2019) (U.S. Counsel rule) that required provision 
of domicile addresses. The USPTO has determined that substituting the 
wording ``domicile address'' for ``postal address'' in the July 31, 
2019, final rule might result in the unintended consequence of the loss 
of a filing date for some applicants who provide an address that is 
later determined not to be their domicile address. Therefore, the USPTO 
has determined that the better practice is to retain the existing 
requirement for an ``address'' as a filing-date requirement. The 
requirement for a ``domicile address'' remains a requirement for a 
complete application in amended Sec.  2.32(a)(2). Thus, this rulemaking 
amends Sec.  2.21(a)(1) in the July 31, 2019, final rule to remove the 
word ``domicile.''
    In addition, in light of the amendment made to Sec.  2.21(a)(1), 
the USPTO makes a conforming change to Sec.  2.22(a)(1) in the July 31, 
2019, final rule to reinsert the requirement for a domicile address. In 
the U.S. Counsel rule, the USPTO added the requirement for the 
applicant's domicile address to the regulation addressing the 
requirements for a TEAS Plus application. 37 CFR 2.22(a)(1). 
Subsequently, in the July 31, 2019, Mandatory Electronic Filing Rule, 
the USPTO removed this requirement from Sec.  2.22(a)(1) as duplicative 
because the domicile requirement added to Sec.  2.21(a)(1) also applied 
to TEAS Plus applications. The amendment made to Sec.  2.21(a)(1) in 
this rulemaking removes the requirement for a domicile address from 
Sec.  2.21(a)(1), as discussed above, and requires the USPTO to 
reinsert it back in Sec.  2.22(a)(1) so that it will

[[Page 68046]]

continue to apply to TEAS Plus applications as a requirement for 
receiving a reduced filing fee.

Rulemaking Requirements

    Administrative Procedure Act: The changes in this rulemaking 
involve rules of agency practice and procedure, and/or interpretive 
rules. See Perez v. Mortg. Bankers Ass'n, 135 S. Ct. 1199, 1204 (2015) 
(Interpretive rules ``advise the public of the agency's construction of 
the statutes and rules which it administers.'' (citation and internal 
quotation marks omitted)); Nat'l Org. of Veterans' Advocates v. Sec'y 
of Veterans Affairs, 260 F.3d 1365, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (Rule that 
clarifies interpretation of a statute is interpretive.); Bachow 
Commc'ns Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 690 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (Rules 
governing an application process are procedural under the 
Administrative Procedure Act.); Inova Alexandria Hosp. v. Shalala, 244 
F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2001) (Rules for handling appeals were 
procedural where they did not change the substantive standard for 
reviewing claims.).
    Accordingly, prior notice and opportunity for public comment for 
the changes in this rulemaking are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b) or (c), or any other law. See Perez, 135 S. Ct. at 1206 (Notice-
and-comment procedures are required neither when an agency ``issue[s] 
an initial interpretive rule'' nor ``when it amends or repeals that 
interpretive rule.''); Cooper Techs. Co. v. Dudas, 536 F.3d 1330, 1336-
37 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (stating that 5 U.S.C. 553, and thus 35 U.S.C. 
2(b)(2)(B), does not require notice and comment rulemaking for 
``interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of 
agency organization, procedure, or practice'' (quoting 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(A))).
    In addition, good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3) 
to issue this rule without prior notice and opportunity for comment and 
the 30-day delay in effectiveness, as it would be impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. This action amends Sec.  2.21(a)(1) to 
avoid a possible unintended consequence (i.e., possible loss of a 
filing date for some applicants who provide an address that is later 
determined not to be their domicile address) that might result from 
substituting the wording ``domicile address'' for ``postal address'' in 
the July 31, 2019 final rule. Therefore, the USPTO has determined that 
the better practice is to retain the existing requirement for an 
``address'' as a filing-date requirement. The requirement for a 
``domicile address'' remains a requirement for a complete application 
in amended Sec.  2.32(a)(2). Delay of this correction to allow for 
prior notice and opportunity for comment would result in the 
implementation of a requirement that may result in a loss of a filing 
date for some applicants as well as confusion among applicants 
regarding the requirements for a filing date. In addition, because the 
July 31, 2019 final rule is not effective until December 21, 2019, no 
party has been negatively impacted or affected by this rulemaking, 
which is being published prior to that effective date. Therefore, the 
USPTO waives the requirement for prior notice and opportunity for 
comment, and implements this correction on the effective date of this 
rule.

Corrections

    In FR Doc. 2019-16259 appearing on page 37081 in the Federal 
Register of Wednesday, July 31, 2019, delayed at 84 FR 52363, October 
2, 2019, the following corrections are made:


Sec.  2.21  [Corrected]

0
1. On page 37093, in the third column, in Sec.  2.21, in paragraph 
(a)(1), ``The name, domicile address, and email address of each 
applicant;'' is corrected to read ``The name, address, and email 
address of each applicant;''

0
2. On page 37094, in the first and second columns, in Sec.  2.22, 
paragraphs (a)(1) through (19) are redesignated as paragraphs (a)(2) 
through (20) and new paragraph (a)(1) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  2.22  Requirements for a TEAS Plus application.

    (a) * * *
    (1) The applicant's name and domicile address;
* * * * *

    Dated: December 9, 2019.
Andrei Iancu,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2019-26899 Filed 12-12-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P