Request for Comments on Proposed Change To Missing Parts Practice
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in response to a number of requests to reduce the costs due one year after filing a provisional application, is considering a change that would effectively provide a 12-month extension to the 12-month provisional application period (creating a net 24-month period). This change would be implemented through the missing parts practice in nonprovisional applications. Currently the missing parts practice permits an applicant on payment of a surcharge to pay the up-front filing fees and submit an executed oath or declaration after the filing of a nonprovisional application within a two-month time period set by the USPTO that is extendable on payment of extension of time fees for an additional five months. Under the proposal, applicants would be permitted to file a nonprovisional application with at least one claim within the 12-month statutory period after the provisional application was filed, pay the basic filing fee, and submit an executed oath or declaration. In addition, the nonprovisional application would need to be in condition for publication and applicant would not be able to file a nonpublication request. Applicants would be given a 12-month period to decide whether the nonprovisional application should be completed by paying the required surcharge and the search, examination and any excess claim fees due within that 12-month period. The proposal would benefit applicants by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be sought at a relatively low cost and by permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this period. The proposal would benefit the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO's workload those nonprovisional applications for which the applicants have decided not to pursue examination. Importantly, the extended missing parts period would not affect the 12-month priority period provided by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and, thus, any foreign filings would still need to be made within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional application if applicant wishes to rely on the provisional application in the foreign- filed application.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Bumphead Parrotfish as Threatened or Endangered and Designate Critical Habitat Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
We (NMFS) announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) as threatened or endangered and designate critical habitat under the ESA. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, we initiate a status review of the bumphead parrotfish to determine if listing under the ESA is warranted. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, we solicit scientific and commercial information regarding this species.
Final Voluntary Product Standard; DOC PS 20-10 “American Softwood Lumber Standard”
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announces voluntary product standard DOC PS 20-10 ``American Softwood Lumber Standard'' which will supersede DOC PS 20-05. The Standard establishes standard sizes and requirements for developing and coordinating the lumber grades of the various species of softwood lumber, the assignment of design values, and the preparation of grading rules applicable to each species. Its provisions include implementation of the Standard through an accreditation and certification program; establishment of principal trade classifications and lumber sizes for yard, structural, factory/shop use: Classification, measurement, grading and grade-marking of lumber; Definitions of terms and procedures to provide a basis for the use of uniform methods in the grading, inspection, measurement and description of softwood lumber; commercial names of the principal softwood species: Definitions of terms used in describing standard grades in lumber; and commonly used industry abbreviations. The Standard also includes the organization and functions of the American Lumber Standard Committee, the Board of Review, and the National Grading Rule Committee.
Endangered and Threatened Species; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to Delist Coho Salmon South of San Francisco Bay
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are accepting a 2003 petition to delist coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in coastal counties south of the ocean entrance to San Francisco Bay, California, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. Coho salmon populations in this region are currently listed under the ESA as part of the Central California Coast (CCC) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU). This action is being taken in response to a February 8, 2010, U.S. District Court decision that our previous rejection of the petition in 2006 was arbitrary and capricious. To ensure a comprehensive review, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information relevant to the status of coho salmon in the coastal counties south of San Francisco Bay. We will publish the results of that review and will make a finding as to whether the petitioned action is or is not warranted on or before February 8, 2011.
Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for a Proposed Rule to Revise Marine Mammal Special Exception Permit Requirements
On March 10, 2010, NMFS announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the potential environmental impacts of a proposed rule to revise federal regulations implementing the Section 104 permit provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) with written comments due by May 10, 2010. NMFS has decided to allow additional time for submission of public comments on this action.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
Notice is hereby given that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has submitted a Fishery Management and Evaluation Plan (FMEP) pursuant to the protective regulations promulgated for Snake River steelhead, Snake River spring/summer Chinook, and Snake River fall Chinook salmon under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The FMEP specifies the future management of freshwater inland recreational fisheries potentially affecting basin steelhead and Chinook salmon in portions of the Snake River basin within the State of Washington. This document serves to notify the public of the availability of the FMEP and associated draft environmental assessment (EA) for comment prior to a decision by NMFS whether to approve the proposed fisheries. All comments received will become part of the public record and will be available for review pursuant to the ESA.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Proposed 2010 Specifications for the Spiny Dogfish Fishery
NMFS proposes specifications for the spiny dogfish fishery for the 2010 fishing year (FY) (May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011). The implementing regulations for the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) require NMFS to publish specifications for up to a period of 5 years and to provide an opportunity for public comment. This specification setting will apply to FY 2010 only. The intent of this rulemaking is to specify the commercial quota and other management measures, and to rebuild the spiny dogfish resource. NMFS proposes that the annual quota be set at 12 million lb (5,443.11 mt), and that the possession limit for dogfish remain set at 3,000 lb (1.36 mt). These proposed specifications and management measures are consistent with the FMP and promote the utilization and conservation of the spiny dogfish resource.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Conducting Precision Strike Weapons Testing and Training by Eglin Air Force Base in the Gulf of Mexico
In accordance with provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, notification is hereby given that a letter of authorization (LOA) to take four species of marine mammals incidental to testing and training during Precision Strike Weapons (PSW) tests in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), a military readiness activity, has been issued to Eglin Air Force Base (AFB).
EDA Participation in the Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative
EDA announces its participation in the Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative (Initiative), the first pilot project of the Interagency Regional Innovation Clusters Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce has been charged with developing a replicable and sustainable model for coordinated Federal and regional efforts that foster and use regional innovation clusters to: Develop and demonstrate sustainable and efficient models for attaining national strategic objectives; create and retain Good Jobs (defined below); eliminate gaps between the supply and demand for workers in specialized fields through training and education; increase regional gross domestic product (GDP); promote innovation in science and technology; and enhance the economic, technological, and commercial competitiveness of the United States on the global stage. The Taskforce has selected Energy Efficient Building Systems Design as the topical focus for its first pilot project. The pilot project will be anchored around a Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Energy Innovation Hub and will incorporate elements funded by each of EDA, SBA, and NIST/MEP. Capitalized terms used in this notice and request for applications have the meanings ascribed to them under the heading SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Questionnaire Pretesting Research
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee; Public Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Committee) in Charleston, South Carolina.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Louisiana Coastal Management Program and the Great Bay (New Hampshire) National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Coastal Zone Management Program evaluation will be conducted pursuant to section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (CZMA) and regulations at 15 CFR part 923, subpart L. The CZMA requires continuing review of the performance of states with respect to coastal program implementation. Evaluation of a Coastal Management Program requires findings concerning the extent to which a state has met the national objectives, adhered to its Coastal Management Program document approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA.
Federal Geospatial Summit To Provide Information on Upcoming Improvements To the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), Including the Replacement of the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88)
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will host a Federal Geospatial Summit to discuss the impact updating the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) will have on federal government agencies by replacing the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83), the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), and other state and territorial island vertical datums. The proposed changes will affect the surveying, mapping, charting, and Geographic Information System (GIS) programs of federal government agencies, as well as those tribal, state, county, and municipal governments that have adopted the NSRS.