Waiver of Original Handwritten Signature Requirement Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, 17502 [2020-06186]

Download as PDF 17502 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 61 / Monday, March 30, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Signed in Washington, DC. Arthur F. Rosenfeld, Director, Office of Labor-Management Standards. [FR Doc. 2020–06079 Filed 3–27–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–86–C DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 1 [Docket No.: PTO–P–2020–0018] Waiver of Original Handwritten Signature Requirement Due to the COVID–19 Outbreak United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Waiver of regulations. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) considers the effects of the COVID–19 outbreak to be an extraordinary situation. Therefore, pursuant to the Office’s authority, the USPTO is waiving its only regulatory requirements for an original handwritten signature personally signed in permanent dark ink or its equivalent for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card. In both instances, the Office will accept copies of handwritten signatures. The USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures. DATES: March 30, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline: William Covey, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313– 1450; by telephone at (571) 272–4097 or by email at William.Covey@uspto.gov. For information concerning payments by credit cards: Matthew Lee, Office of Finance, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2051 Jamieson Avenue, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314; by telephone at (571) 272–6343 or by email at Matthew.Lee@uspto.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO considers the effects of the COVID–19 outbreak to be an ‘‘extraordinary situation’’ within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 and 37 CFR 2.146(a)(5) for affected persons doing business before the Office. Accordingly, the USPTO is sua sponte waiving the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) for an original handwritten signature lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Mar 27, 2020 Jkt 250001 personally signed in permanent dark ink or its equivalent for correspondence requiring a person’s signature and relating to (1) registration to practice before the USPTO in patent cases, enrollment and disciplinary investigations, or disciplinary proceedings; and (2) payments by credit cards where the payment is not being made via the Office’s electronic filing systems. The Office notes that the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) are the only USPTO requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures, and the USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures. The USPTO’s requirements concerning signature methods are set forth in 37 CFR 1.4 and 37 CFR 2.193. In light of the waiver of the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1), the Office of Enrollment and Discipline will accept the signature methods described in 37 CFR 1.4(d). In light of the waiver of the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(2), the Office of Finance will accept the signature methods described in 37 CFR 1.4(d). Persons providing such submissions to the Office are reminded that, pursuant to 37 CFR 1.4(d)(4), such submissions constitute a certification under 37 CFR 11.18(b) and that violations of 37 CFR 11.18(b) may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to 37 CFR 11.18(d). And, in circumstances where deemed appropriate, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and the Office of Finance may request that signatures be ratified/ confirmed pursuant to 37 CFR 1.4(h). The USPTO already permits persons to provide true copies of handwritten signatures or electronic signatures that meet the requirements of 37 CFR 2.193(c) on each piece of Trademark correspondence that requires a signature. 37 CFR 2.193(a). Likewise, the USPTO already permits persons to provide a direct or indirect copy of an original handwritten signature (37 CFR 1.4(d)(1)(ii)) or S-signatures that meet the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(d)(2) on each piece of Patent correspondence that requires a signature. 37 CFR 1.4(d)(1). This waiver is effective until further notice is provided by the Office. Such notice may take place by publication of a document in the Federal Register and the USPTO’s website. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2020–06186 Filed 3–27–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R06–OAR–2018–0786; FRL–10006– 43–Region 6] Air Plan Approval; Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Oklahoma for the 2015 Ozone (O3) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Oklahoma’s October 25, 2018, submittal addressed how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2015 O3 NAAQS (infrastructure SIP or i-SIP). The i-SIP ensures that the Oklahoma SIP is adequate to meet the state’s responsibilities under the CAA for this NAAQS. DATES: This rule is effective on April 29, 2020. ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA–R06–OAR–2018–0786. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through https://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 Office, 1201 Elm Street, Suite 500, Dallas, Texas 75270. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert M. Todd, EPA Region 6 Office, Infrastructure & Ozone Section, 1201 Elm Street, Suite 500, Dallas, TX 75270, 214–665–2156, todd.robert@epa.gov. To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Mr. Todd or Mr. Bill Deese at 214–665–7253. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ means the EPA. E:\FR\FM\30MRR1.SGM 30MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 61 (Monday, March 30, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 17502]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-06186]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office

37 CFR Part 1

[Docket No.: PTO-P-2020-0018]


Waiver of Original Handwritten Signature Requirement Due to the 
COVID-19 Outbreak

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of 
Commerce.

ACTION: Waiver of regulations.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or 
Office) considers the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to be an 
extraordinary situation. Therefore, pursuant to the Office's authority, 
the USPTO is waiving its only regulatory requirements for an original 
handwritten signature personally signed in permanent dark ink or its 
equivalent for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and 
Discipline and certain payments by credit card. In both instances, the 
Office will accept copies of handwritten signatures. The USPTO has no 
other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures.

DATES: March 30, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning 
correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline: William 
Covey, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, United States Patent and 
Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by 
telephone at (571) 272-4097 or by email at [email protected]. For 
information concerning payments by credit cards: Matthew Lee, Office of 
Finance, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2051 Jamieson 
Avenue, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314; by telephone at (571) 272-6343 
or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO considers the effects of the 
COVID-19 outbreak to be an ``extraordinary situation'' within the 
meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 and 37 CFR 2.146(a)(5) for affected persons 
doing business before the Office. Accordingly, the USPTO is sua sponte 
waiving the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) for an original 
handwritten signature personally signed in permanent dark ink or its 
equivalent for correspondence requiring a person's signature and 
relating to (1) registration to practice before the USPTO in patent 
cases, enrollment and disciplinary investigations, or disciplinary 
proceedings; and (2) payments by credit cards where the payment is not 
being made via the Office's electronic filing systems. The Office notes 
that the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) are the only USPTO 
requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures, and the USPTO 
has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures. The 
USPTO's requirements concerning signature methods are set forth in 37 
CFR 1.4 and 37 CFR 2.193.
    In light of the waiver of the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1), the 
Office of Enrollment and Discipline will accept the signature methods 
described in 37 CFR 1.4(d). In light of the waiver of the requirements 
of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(2), the Office of Finance will accept the signature 
methods described in 37 CFR 1.4(d). Persons providing such submissions 
to the Office are reminded that, pursuant to 37 CFR 1.4(d)(4), such 
submissions constitute a certification under 37 CFR 11.18(b) and that 
violations of 37 CFR 11.18(b) may be subject to disciplinary action 
pursuant to 37 CFR 11.18(d). And, in circumstances where deemed 
appropriate, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and the Office of 
Finance may request that signatures be ratified/confirmed pursuant to 
37 CFR 1.4(h).
    The USPTO already permits persons to provide true copies of 
handwritten signatures or electronic signatures that meet the 
requirements of 37 CFR 2.193(c) on each piece of Trademark 
correspondence that requires a signature. 37 CFR 2.193(a). Likewise, 
the USPTO already permits persons to provide a direct or indirect copy 
of an original handwritten signature (37 CFR 1.4(d)(1)(ii)) or S-
signatures that meet the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(d)(2) on each piece 
of Patent correspondence that requires a signature. 37 CFR 1.4(d)(1). 
This waiver is effective until further notice is provided by the 
Office. Such notice may take place by publication of a document in the 
Federal Register and the USPTO's website.

Andrei Iancu,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2020-06186 Filed 3-27-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-16-P