Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Third-Party Submissions and Protests, 22939-22942 [2021-09037]

Download as PDF 22939 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices TABLE 3—FILING FEES—NON-HOUR COST BURDEN FOR RULES FOR PATENT MAINTENANCE FEES Item No. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 Item ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ Filing fee Burden $ (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5 Years (undiscounted entity) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5 Years (small entity) .............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5 Years (micro entity) ............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5 Years (undiscounted entity) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5 Years (small entity) .............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5 Years (micro entity) ............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 11.5 Years (undiscounted entity) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 11.5 Years (small entity) ............ For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 11.5 Years (micro entity) ........... Surcharge—3.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (undiscounted entity) ......................... Surcharge—3.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (small entity) ...................................... Surcharge—3.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (micro entity) ...................................... Surcharge—7.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (undiscounted entity) ......................... Surcharge—7.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (small entity) ...................................... Surcharge—7.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (micro entity) ...................................... Surcharge—11.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (undiscounted entity) ....................... Surcharge—11.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (small entity) .................................... Surcharge—11.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (micro entity) .................................... Petition for the Delayed Payment of the Fee for Maintaining a Patent in Force (undiscounted entity). Petition for the Delayed Payment of the Fee for Maintaining a Patent in Force (small entity) Petition for the Delayed Payment of the Fee for Maintaining a Patent in Force (micro entity) 220,200 49,000 4,500 134,500 26,600 1,500 63,800 9,200 600 3,600 6,450 1,200 2,550 3,550 450 1,450 1,500 250 650 $2,000 1,000 500 3,760 1,880 940 7,700 3,850 1,925 500 250 125 500 250 125 500 250 125 2,100 $440,400,000 49,000,000 2,250,000 505,720,000 50,008,000 1,410,000 491,260,000 35,420,000 1,155,000 1,800,000 1,612,500 150,000 1,275,000 887,500 56,250 725,000 375,000 31,250 1,365,000 1,500 300 1,050 525 1,575,000 157,500 Totals ............................................................................................................................................................................. ........................ ........................ 1,586,633,000 3 ............................ 3 ............................ The public may submit the forms and petitions in this information collection to the USPTO by mail through the United States Postal Service. The USPTO estimates that the average postage cost for a mailed submission, using a Priority Mail 2-day flat rate legal envelope, will be $8.05. The USPTO estimates approximately 129 submissions per year may be mailed to the USPTO, for a total postage cost of $1,038 per year. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits. IV. Request for Comments jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Responses The USPTO is soliciting public comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 All comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. USPTO will include or summarize each comment in the request to OMB to approve this information collection. Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information (PII) in a comment, be aware that the entire comment—including PII—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask in your comment to withhold PII from public view, USPTO cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. Kimberly Hardy, Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2021–09035 Filed 4–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Third-Party Submissions and Protests Notice of information collection; request for comment. ACTION: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651–0062 (Third-Party Submissions and Protests). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB. DATES: To ensure consideration, comments regarding this information collection must be received on or before June 29, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by any of the following methods. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. • Email: InformationCollection@ uspto.gov. Include ‘‘0651–0062 comment’’ in the subject line of the message. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313– 1450. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to Parikha Mehta, Patent Examination Policy Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450; by telephone at 571–272– 3248; or by email to Parikha.Mehta@ uspto.gov with ‘‘0651–0062 comment’’ in the subject line. Additional information about this information collection is also available at http:// E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 22940 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices www.reginfo.gov under ‘‘Information Collection Review.’’ SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is required by 35 U.S.C. 131 et seq. to examine an application for patent and, when appropriate, issue a patent. The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 122(c), 122(e), 131, and 151, as well as 37 CFR 1.290 and 1.291, limit the ability of a thirdparty to have information entered and considered in, or to protest, a patent application pending before the USPTO. 37 CFR 1.290 provides a mechanism for third parties to submit to the USPTO, for consideration and inclusion in the record of a patent application, any patents, published patent applications, or other printed publications of potential relevance to the examination of the application. A third-party submission under 37 CFR 1.290 may be made in any nonprovisional utility, design, and plant application, as well as in any continuing application. A third-party submission under 37 CFR 1.290 must include a concise description of the asserted relevance of each document submitted, and must be submitted within a certain statutorily specified time period. 37 CFR 1.291 permits a member of the public to file a protest against a pending application. Protests pursuant to 37 CFR 1.291 are supported by a separated statutory provision from third-party submissions under 37 CFR 1.290. As a result, there are several differences between protests and third-party submissions, as explained in the table below. TABLE 1—COMPARISON OF THIRD-PARTY SUBMISSION AND PROTESTS Comparison Third-party submission Protest Statute/Regulation ................ Content ................................. 35 U.S.C. 122(e), 37 CFR 1.290 .................................... Printed publications ......................................................... Remarks ............................... Concise description of relevance (limited to a concise description of each document’s relevance). Prior to Allowance and prior to later of: 6 months after Pre-Grant Publication or first rejection of any claim. 35 U.S.C. 122(c), 37 CFR 1.291. Printing publications and any facts or information adverse to patentability. Concise explanation of the relevance (allows for arguments against patentability). Prior to Allowance and prior to Pre-Grant Publication OR Prior to Allowance and after and after Pre-Grant Publication with application consent. Timing .................................. This information collection covers the items needed to provide the public the means to submit information and protests regarding patent applications to the USPTO. This information collection is necessary so that the public may contribute to the quality of issued patents. The USPTO will use this information, as appropriate, to assist in evaluating the patent application as it moves through the patent examination process. II. Method of Collection OMB Control Number: 0651–0062. Form Number: • PTO/SB/429 (Third-Party Submission Under 37 CFR 1.290) Type of Review: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection. Affected Public: Private sector; individuals or households. Estimated Number of Respondents: 880 per year. Estimated Number of Responses: 880 per year. Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the public approximately 10 hours to complete this information, depending upon the application. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, prepare and maintain the documents, and submit the items to the USPTO. Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 8,800 hours. Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Hourly): $3,520,000. TABLE 2—BURDEN HOUR/BURDEN COST TO RESPONDENTS FOR PRIVATE SECTOR Item No. Estimated annual respondents Item 1 ............................ 2 ............................ Total .............. Estimated annual responses (year) Estimated time for response (hours) Estimated annual burden (hour/year) Rate 1 ($/hour) Estimated annual respondent cost burden (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) Third-Party Submissions in Nonissued Applications. Protests by the Public Against Pending Applications Under 37 CFR 1.291. 800 800 10 8,000 $400 $3,200,000 19 19 10 190 400 76,000 ................................................................ 819 819 ........................ 8,190 ........................ 3,276,000 1 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms which is $400 per hour. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES TABLE 3—BURDEN HOUR/BURDEN COST TO RESPONDENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS OR HOUSEHOLDS Item No. 1 ............................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 Estimated annual respondents Item Third-Party Submissions in Nonissued Applications. 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Estimated annual responses (year) Estimated time for response (hours) Estimated annual burden (hour/year) Rate 2 ($/hour) Estimated annual respondent cost burden (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 60 Fmt 4703 60 Sfmt 4703 10 E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 600 30APN1 $400 $240,000 22941 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices TABLE 3—BURDEN HOUR/BURDEN COST TO RESPONDENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS OR HOUSEHOLDS—Continued Item No. Estimated annual respondents Item Estimated annual responses (year) Estimated time for response (hours) Estimated annual burden (hour/year) Rate 2 ($/hour) Estimated annual respondent cost burden (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 2 ............................ Protests by the Public Against Pending Applications Under 37 CFR 1.291. 1 1 10 10 400 4,000 Total .............. ................................................................ 61 61 ........................ 610 ........................ 244,000 2 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms which is $400 per hour. Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: $80,456. This information collection has no capital start-up, maintenance, or operating fees. However, there are postage costs and filing fees. The total non-hour respondent cost burden for this information collection in the form of filing fees ($80,335) and postage costs ($121) is approximately $80,456. In particular, 37 CFR 1.290 requires payment of the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(o) for every ten documents, or fraction thereof, listed in each thirdparty submission. The USPTO provides an exemption from the 1.17(o) fee requirement where a third-party submission listing three or fewer total documents is the first thirdparty submission submitted in an application by the third-party, or a party in privity with the third-party. The effect of this is that the first three documents submitted by a third-party are exempt from the fee requirement. However, the submission of four or more documents by a third-party triggers the collection of the fee. There is no fee for filing protests under 37 CFR 1.291 unless the filed protest is the second or subsequent protest by the same real party in interest, in which case the 37 CFR 1.17(i) fee must be included. The USPTO estimates that only 1 out of every 10 protests filed per year will require this fee. TABLE 4—FILING FEES Item No. Item 1 ........................ 1 ........................ 2 ........................ 2 ........................ 2 ........................ jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Total ........... Filing fee ($) Total non-hour cost burden ($) (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) Third-Party Submissions in Nonissued Applications (undiscounted entities). Third-Party Submissions in Nonissued Applications (small and micro entities). Protests by the Public Against Pending Applications Under 37 CFR 1.291—second or subsequent protest by the same real party in interest (undiscounted entities). Protests by the Public Against Pending Applications Under 37 CFR 1.291—second or subsequent protest by the same real party in interest (small entities). Protests by the Public Against Pending Applications Under 37 CFR 1.291—second or subsequent protest by the same real party in interest (micro entities). 390 $180 $70,200 110 90 9,900 1 130 130 1 70 70 1 35 35 ....................................................................................................................... ........................ ........................ 80,335 Although the USPTO prefers that the items in this information collection be submitted electronically, responses may be submitted by mail through the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPTO estimates that the average postage cost for a mailed submission, using a Priority Mail 2-day flat rate legal envelope, will be $8.05. The USPTO estimates that 15 submissions may be mailed to the USPTO, for a total postage cost of $121 per year. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits. VerDate Sep<11>2014 Estimated annual responses 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 IV. Request for Comments The USPTO is soliciting public comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. All comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. USPTO will include or summarize each comment in the request to OMB to approve this information E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 22942 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices collection. Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information (PII) in a comment, be aware that the entire comment—including PII—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask in your comment to withhold PII from public view, USPTO cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. Kimberly Hardy, Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2021–09037 Filed 4–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Proposed Additions to and Deletions from the Procurement List. AGENCY: The Committee is proposing to add product(s) to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes product(s) previously furnished by such agencies. DATES: Comments must be received on or before: May 30, 2021. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202–4149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or to submit comments contact: Michael R. Jurkowski, Telephone: (703) 603–2117, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@AbilityOne.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503 (a)(2) and 41 CFR 51–2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions. SUMMARY: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Additions If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the product(s) listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. The following product(s) are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Product(s) NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 1194— Cleaning Cloth, DuraFresh, 2 Pack Designated Source of Supply: Alphapointe, Kansas City, MO Contracting Activity: Military Resale-Defense Commissary Agency NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 1095–01–577– 1801—Knife, Combat, Tanto Point, Automatic, 3.6’’ Blade Designated Source of Supply: DePaul Industries, Portland, OR Contracting Activity: DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY, DLA LAND AND MARITIME Deletions COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED VerDate Sep<11>2014 production by the nonprofit agencies listed: Jkt 253001 The following product(s) are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List: Product(s) NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8530–00–080– 7630—Toothbrush, Child Contracting Activity: DLA TROOP SUPPORT, PHILADELPHIA, PA NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8530–01–293–1388—Toothbrush, Child’s (Multituft) 8520–01–303–6438—Toothpaste, 1.4 oz., Non-Fluoride Contracting Activity: GSA/FSS GREATER SOUTHWEST ACQUISITI, FORT WORTH, TX Michael R. Jurkowski, Deputy Director, Business & PL Operations. [FR Doc. 2021–09087 Filed 4–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353–01–P COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions and Deletions Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Additions to and Deletions from the Procurement List. AGENCY: This action adds service(s) to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes product(s) and service(s) from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies. DATES: Date added to and deleted from the Procurement List: May 30, 2021. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202–4149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael R. Jurkowski, Telephone: (703) SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 603–2117, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@AbilityOne.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions On 11/27/2020 and 3/5/2021, the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed additions to the Procurement List. This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503 (a)(2) and 41 CFR 51–2.3. After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the service(s) and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the service(s) listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501–8506 and 41 CFR 51–2.4. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were: 1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the service(s) to the Government. 2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the service(s) to the Government. 3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-WagnerO’Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501–8506) in connection with the service(s) proposed for addition to the Procurement List. End of Certification Accordingly, the following service(s) are added to the Procurement List: Service(s) Service Type: Contractor Operated Civil Engineer Supply Store Mandatory for: US Air Force, Whiteman AFB, MO Designated Source of Supply: South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, Corpus Christi, TX Contracting Activity: DEPT OF THE AIR FORCE, FA4625 509 CONS CC One (1) public comment was received in response to the Federal Register notice of November 27, 2020 (85 FR 229) regarding the proposed addition to the Procurement List of the requirement to operate a Contractor Operated Civil Engineer Supply Store (COCESS) for the U.S. Air Force at Whiteman AFB, MO. The commenter stated that the proposed service was not suitable for performance under the AbilityOne Program. The E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 82 (Friday, April 30, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22939-22942]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09037]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office


Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment 
Request; Third-Party Submissions and Protests

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments 
on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 
0651-0062 (Third-Party Submissions and Protests). The purpose of this 
notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of 
the information collection to OMB.

DATES: To ensure consideration, comments regarding this information 
collection must be received on or before June 29, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by 
any of the following methods. Do not submit Confidential Business 
Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0062 comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, 
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to Parikha Mehta, Patent Examination Policy Advisor, 
Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and 
Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by 
telephone at 571-272-3248; or by email to [email protected] with 
``0651-0062 comment'' in the subject line. Additional information about 
this information collection is also available at http://

[[Page 22940]]

www.reginfo.gov under ``Information Collection Review.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is required 
by 35 U.S.C. 131 et seq. to examine an application for patent and, when 
appropriate, issue a patent. The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 122(c), 
122(e), 131, and 151, as well as 37 CFR 1.290 and 1.291, limit the 
ability of a third-party to have information entered and considered in, 
or to protest, a patent application pending before the USPTO.
    37 CFR 1.290 provides a mechanism for third parties to submit to 
the USPTO, for consideration and inclusion in the record of a patent 
application, any patents, published patent applications, or other 
printed publications of potential relevance to the examination of the 
application.
    A third-party submission under 37 CFR 1.290 may be made in any 
nonprovisional utility, design, and plant application, as well as in 
any continuing application. A third-party submission under 37 CFR 1.290 
must include a concise description of the asserted relevance of each 
document submitted, and must be submitted within a certain statutorily 
specified time period.
    37 CFR 1.291 permits a member of the public to file a protest 
against a pending application. Protests pursuant to 37 CFR 1.291 are 
supported by a separated statutory provision from third-party 
submissions under 37 CFR 1.290. As a result, there are several 
differences between protests and third-party submissions, as explained 
in the table below.

       Table 1--Comparison of Third-Party Submission and Protests
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Third-party
         Comparison                submission              Protest
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Statute/Regulation..........  35 U.S.C. 122(e), 37  35 U.S.C. 122(c), 37
                               CFR 1.290.            CFR 1.291.
Content.....................  Printed publications  Printing
                                                     publications and
                                                     any facts or
                                                     information adverse
                                                     to patentability.
Remarks.....................  Concise description   Concise explanation
                               of relevance          of the relevance
                               (limited to a         (allows for
                               concise description   arguments against
                               of each document's    patentability).
                               relevance).
Timing......................  Prior to Allowance    Prior to Allowance
                               and prior to later    and prior to Pre-
                               of: 6 months after    Grant Publication
                               Pre-Grant             OR Prior to
                               Publication or        Allowance and after
                               first rejection of    and after Pre-Grant
                               any claim.            Publication with
                                                     application
                                                     consent.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This information collection covers the items needed to provide the 
public the means to submit information and protests regarding patent 
applications to the USPTO. This information collection is necessary so 
that the public may contribute to the quality of issued patents. The 
USPTO will use this information, as appropriate, to assist in 
evaluating the patent application as it moves through the patent 
examination process.

II. Method of Collection

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0062.
    Form Number:

 PTO/SB/429 (Third-Party Submission Under 37 CFR 1.290)

    Type of Review: Extension and revision of a currently approved 
information collection.
    Affected Public: Private sector; individuals or households.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 880 per year.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 880 per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the 
public approximately 10 hours to complete this information, depending 
upon the application. This includes the time to gather the necessary 
information, prepare and maintain the documents, and submit the items 
to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 8,800 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Hourly): $3,520,000.

                                           Table 2--Burden Hour/Burden Cost to Respondents for Private Sector
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Estimated                                                       Estimated
                                                             Estimated        annual      Estimated time     Estimated     Rate \1\ ($/       annual
           Item No.                       Item                annual         responses     for response    annual burden       hour)        respondent
                                                            respondents       (year)          (hours)       (hour/year)                     cost burden
                                                                                     (a)             (b)     (a) x (b) =             (d)     (c) x (d) =
                                                                                                                     (c)                             (e)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.............................  Third-Party Submissions              800             800              10           8,000            $400      $3,200,000
                                 in Nonissued
                                 Applications.
2.............................  Protests by the Public                19              19              10             190             400          76,000
                                 Against Pending
                                 Applications Under 37
                                 CFR 1.291.
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................  ........................             819             819  ..............           8,190  ..............       3,276,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association
  (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms
  which is $400 per hour.


                                      Table 3--Burden Hour/Burden Cost to Respondents for Individuals or Households
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Estimated                                                       Estimated
                                                             Estimated        annual      Estimated time     Estimated     Rate \2\ ($/       annual
           Item No.                       Item                annual         responses     for response    annual burden       hour)        respondent
                                                            respondents       (year)          (hours)       (hour/year)                     cost burden
                                                                                     (a)             (b)     (a) x (b) =             (d)     (c) x (d) =
                                                                                                                     (c)                             (e)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.............................  Third-Party Submissions               60              60              10             600            $400        $240,000
                                 in Nonissued
                                 Applications.

[[Page 22941]]

 
2.............................  Protests by the Public                 1               1              10              10             400           4,000
                                 Against Pending
                                 Applications Under 37
                                 CFR 1.291.
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................  ........................              61              61  ..............             610  ..............         244,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\2\ 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association
  (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms
  which is $400 per hour.

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: $80,456. 
This information collection has no capital start-up, maintenance, or 
operating fees. However, there are postage costs and filing fees. The 
total non-hour respondent cost burden for this information collection 
in the form of filing fees ($80,335) and postage costs ($121) is 
approximately $80,456.
    In particular, 37 CFR 1.290 requires payment of the fee set forth 
in 37 CFR 1.17(o) for every ten documents, or fraction thereof, listed 
in each third-party submission.
    The USPTO provides an exemption from the 1.17(o) fee requirement 
where a third-party submission listing three or fewer total documents 
is the first third-party submission submitted in an application by the 
third-party, or a party in privity with the third-party. The effect of 
this is that the first three documents submitted by a third-party are 
exempt from the fee requirement. However, the submission of four or 
more documents by a third-party triggers the collection of the fee.
    There is no fee for filing protests under 37 CFR 1.291 unless the 
filed protest is the second or subsequent protest by the same real 
party in interest, in which case the 37 CFR 1.17(i) fee must be 
included. The USPTO estimates that only 1 out of every 10 protests 
filed per year will require this fee.

                                              Table 4--Filing Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Estimated                    Total non-hour
             Item No.                           Item                  annual      Filing fee ($)    cost burden
                                                                     responses                          ($)
                                                                             (a)             (b)     (a) x (b) =
                                                                                                             (c)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.................................  Third-Party Submissions in               390            $180         $70,200
                                     Nonissued Applications
                                     (undiscounted entities).
1.................................  Third-Party Submissions in               110              90           9,900
                                     Nonissued Applications
                                     (small and micro entities).
2.................................  Protests by the Public                     1             130             130
                                     Against Pending
                                     Applications Under 37 CFR
                                     1.291--second or subsequent
                                     protest by the same real
                                     party in interest
                                     (undiscounted entities).
2.................................  Protests by the Public                     1              70              70
                                     Against Pending
                                     Applications Under 37 CFR
                                     1.291--second or subsequent
                                     protest by the same real
                                     party in interest (small
                                     entities).
2.................................  Protests by the Public                     1              35              35
                                     Against Pending
                                     Applications Under 37 CFR
                                     1.291--second or subsequent
                                     protest by the same real
                                     party in interest (micro
                                     entities).
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.........................  ............................  ..............  ..............          80,335
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although the USPTO prefers that the items in this information 
collection be submitted electronically, responses may be submitted by 
mail through the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPTO 
estimates that the average postage cost for a mailed submission, using 
a Priority Mail 2-day flat rate legal envelope, will be $8.05. The 
USPTO estimates that 15 submissions may be mailed to the USPTO, for a 
total postage cost of $121 per year.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

IV. Request for Comments

    The USPTO is soliciting public comments to:
    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. USPTO will include or summarize each comment in the 
request to OMB to approve this information

[[Page 22942]]

collection. Before including an address, phone number, email address, 
or other personal identifying information (PII) in a comment, be aware 
that the entire comment--including PII--may be made publicly available 
at any time. While you may ask in your comment to withhold PII from 
public view, USPTO cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

Kimberly Hardy,
Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2021-09037 Filed 4-29-21; 8:45 am]
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