Patent and Trademark Office – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Expanded Collaborative Search Pilot Program-New Combined Petition Option for Participation
Document Number: 2022-06602
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-03-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in partnership with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), have collaborated on a new petition option for participation in the Expanded Collaborative Search Pilot (CSP) program. The new petition option, which has several enhancements compared to the current petition form and process, permits an applicant to file a combined petition in one of the partner intellectual property (IP) offices rather than separate petitions in both partner IP offices. Enhancements include a more user-friendly layout, addition of multilingual text, and a foundation for data collection that both satisfies the petition requirements and streamlines the process for partaking in the Expanded CSP program.
Third Extension of the Modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for Patent Applications
Document Number: 2022-06294
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-03-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is extending the modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program, which provides prioritized examination of certain patent applications. Requests that are compliant with the pilot program's requirements and are filed on or before June 30, 2022, will be accepted. The USPTO will evaluate whether to terminate or further extend the program during this extension period.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Patents External Quality Survey
Document Number: 2022-05472
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0057 (Patents External Quality Survey). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 6,953,476; Reducer®
Document Number: 2022-04970
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-03-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 6,953,476.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 8,858,612; Reducer®
Document Number: 2022-04969
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-03-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,858,612.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee Charter Renewal
Document Number: 2022-03443
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-02-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The Acting Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration, with the concurrence of the General Services Administration, renewed the Charter for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee (NMTI Committee) on February 9, 2022.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Practitioner Conduct and Discipline
Document Number: 2022-02607
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-02-08
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0017 (Practitioner Conduct and Discipline). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Deferred Subject Matter Eligibility Response Pilot Program
Document Number: 2021-28473
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-01-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is implementing a pilot program to evaluate the effects of permitting applicants to defer responding to subject matter eligibility (SME) rejections in certain patent applications. Under this pilot program, applicants may receive invitations to participate if their applications meet the criteria for the program as specified in this notice, including a criterion that the claims in the application necessitate rejections on SME and other patentability-related grounds. An applicant who accepts the invitation to participate in this pilot program must still file a reply to every Office action mailed in the application, but is permitted to defer responding to SME rejections until the earlier of final disposition of the application, or the withdrawal or obviation of all other outstanding rejections. This notice outlines the conditions, eligibility requirements, and guidelines of the pilot program.
Trademarks Administrative Sanctions Process
Document Number: 2021-28536
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-01-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
As part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO or Office) continuing efforts to protect the integrity of the U.S. trademark register, the Commissioner for Trademarks (Commissioner) has established an administrative process for investigating submissions filed with the USPTO in trademark matters that appear to violate the Trademark Rules of Practice, including the rules concerning signatures, certificates, and representation of others in trademark matters before the USPTO (collectively, the USPTO rules), and/or the USPTO website's Terms of Use; and imposing sanctions, as appropriate.
Extension of the Modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program
Document Number: 2021-28359
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is extending the modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. Requests that are compliant with the pilot program's requirements and are filed on or before March 31, 2022, will be accepted. The USPTO will evaluate whether to terminate or further extend the program during this extension period.
Electronic Submission of a Sequence Listing, a Large Table, or a Computer Program Listing Appendix in Patent Applications
Document Number: 2021-28128
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-12-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) makes corrections to a final rule published on October 14, 2021, that amended the rules of practice to permit higher-capacity physical media to be submitted to the USPTO. This rule fixes typographical errors.
USPTO To Begin Issuing Electronic Trademark Registration Certificates
Document Number: C1-2021-27116
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-12-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
New Implementation Date for Voluntary Continuing Legal Education Certification
Document Number: 2021-27221
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-12-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is delaying indefinitely the implementation of the voluntary continuing legal education (CLE) certification. The USPTO anticipates providing at least 120 days' notice prior to any implementation of the voluntary CLE certification.
Electronic Patent Issuance
Document Number: 2021-27117
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2021-12-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proposing to implement electronic patent issuance. Under the proposed change, the USPTO would issue patents electronically through its patent document viewing systems (i.e., Patent Center and Patent Application Image Retrieval (PAIR)). Patents would no longer be issued on paper, and as a result, they would no longer be mailed to the correspondence address of record as part of the patent issuance process. The elimination of these steps would allow issued patents to be available weeks sooner in electronic form, and the patentee would be able to view and print the complete issued patent via the USPTO's patent document viewing systems immediately upon issue. Patentees would continue to have the option of ordering an unlimited number of paper presentation copies and certified copies of patents.
USPTO To Begin Issuing Electronic Trademark Registration Certificates
Document Number: 2021-27116
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-12-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking comments on its plan to begin issuing electronic trademark registration certificates in the spring of 2022. Upon issuance, the electronic registration certificate will be the official registration certificate. After the USPTO begins issuing electronic registration certificates, trademark owners will have the option to order paper ``presentation'' copies for a fee. They will also continue to be able to order certified copies of their trademark registrations. This notice outlines the USPTO's plan and requests comments from U.S. trademark owners, practitioners, and other interested parties regarding their views about this plan.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; International Work Sharing Program
Document Number: 2021-26960
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-12-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0079 (International Work Sharing Program). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Date of Receipt of Electronic Submissions of Patent Correspondence
Document Number: 2021-26502
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2021-12-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The USPTO proposes to amend the patent rules of practice to provide that the receipt date of correspondence officially submitted electronically by way of the Office electronic filing system is the date in the Eastern time zone of the United States (Eastern Time) when the USPTO received the correspondence, rather than the date on which the correspondence is received at the correspondence address in Alexandria, Virginia. This is because the USPTO is expecting to provide physical servers for receiving electronic submissions in locations that are separate from the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. This proposed change will ensure consistency and predictability with respect to correspondence receipt dates as the date of receipt accorded to correspondence submitted electronically will not depend upon the location of USPTO servers. The USPTO is also proposing to amend the patent rules of practice to make other clarifying changes regarding the receipt of electronic submissions, including providing a definition for Eastern Time. These changes will harmonize the patent rules with the trademark rules and provide clarity regarding the date of receipt of electronic submissions.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings
Document Number: 2021-26441
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-12-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0069 (Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Patents for Humanity Program
Document Number: 2021-25995
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-11-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0066 (Patents for Humanity Program). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2020
Document Number: 2021-25368
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-11-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) published a final rule in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020, that includes a fee for patent applications that are not filed in DOCX format, except for design, plant, or provisional applications. This new fee was scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2022. Through this final rule, the USPTO is delaying the effective date of this fee until January 1, 2023.
Changes To Implement Provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020
Document Number: 2021-24926
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-11-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the rules of practice in trademark cases to implement provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA). This rule establishes ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings for cancellation of a registration when the required use in commerce of the registered mark has not been made; provides for a new nonuse ground for cancellation before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board); establishes flexible Office action response periods; and amends the existing letter-of-protest rule to indicate that letter-of-protest determinations are final and non-reviewable. The rule also sets fees for petitions requesting institution of ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings, and for requests to extend Office action response deadlines. The rules governing the suspension of USPTO proceedings and attorney recognition in trademark matters are also amended. Finally, a new rule is added to address procedures regarding court orders cancelling or affecting registrations.
Electronic Submission of a Sequence Listing, a Large Table, or a Computer Program Listing Appendix in Patent Applications
Document Number: 2021-22217
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-10-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is amending the rules of practice to permit higher-capacity physical media to be submitted to the USPTO. Patent applications for certain inventions require significant data in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) plain text format to be submitted to the USPTO in order to determine whether the invention described in the patent application is patentable. When submission of such data exceeds the USPTO's patent electronic filing system capacity, submission of large data submission in ASCII plain text format can be made on physical media. To that end, the rules of practice are amended to provide applicants with the ability to use physical media larger than compact discs (CDs) for submission of data in ASCII plain text format, such as an electronic version of amino acid and nucleotide sequence information, information compiled in a large table, or information related to a computer program listing. Additionally, extraction of compressed data files, which had not been permitted in the past for certain submissions, will be permitted if the compressed data files are compliant with the requirements of the rules. Other rules related to certain obsolete and non-secure methods of presenting data are eliminated.
International Trademark Classification Changes
Document Number: 2021-21495
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-10-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues this final rule to incorporate classification changes adopted by the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Agreement). These changes are listed in the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), which is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and will become effective on January 1, 2022.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Matters Related to First Inventor To File
Document Number: 2021-21724
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-10-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0071 (Matters Relating to First Inventor to File). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 7,199,162; GRAFAPEXTM
Document Number: 2021-21472
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-10-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 7,199,162 (`162 patent).
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 6,406,699; ECI® (ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy)
Document Number: 2021-21471
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-10-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 6,406,699 (`699 patent).
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 7,524,879; Vernakalant Hydrochloride
Document Number: 2021-20765
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 7,524,879 (`879 patent).
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 7,259,184; Vernakalant Hydrochloride
Document Number: 2021-20764
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 7,259,184 (`184 patent).
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 7,057,053; Vernakalant Hydrochloride
Document Number: 2021-20761
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 7,057,053 (`053 patent).
2021 Increase of the Annual Limit on Accepted Requests for Track One Prioritized Examination
Document Number: 2021-20530
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-09-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (America Invents Act) includes provisions for prioritized examination of patent applications that have been implemented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) in previous rulemakings. The America Invents Act provides that the Office may not accept more than 10,000 requests for prioritization in any fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) until regulations setting another limit are prescribed. The Office published an interim rule in 2019 expanding the availability of prioritized examination by increasing the limit on the number of prioritized examination requests that may be accepted in a fiscal year to 12,000. The current interim rule further expands the availability of prioritized examination by increasing the limit on the number of prioritized examination requests that may be accepted in a fiscal year to 15,000.
Administrative Updates to the General Requirements Bulletin for Admission to the Examination for Registration To Practice in Patent Cases Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Document Number: 2021-20378
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) previously published a notice requesting comments on the implementation of certain administrative updates to the General Requirements Bulletin for Admission to the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (GRB). The USPTO has considered the comments and, based on the support for the proposals, is implementing the updates to the GRB. There are three categories of technical and scientific qualifications that may typically make applicants eligible to sit for the registration examination: Category A for specified bachelor's degrees, Category B for other bachelor's degrees with technical and scientific training, and Category C for practical engineering or scientific experience, which may be demonstrated by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering test. Based on the USPTO's evaluation and comments received, the USPTO is changing the criteria to: Add common Category B degrees to Category A, accept advanced degrees (i.e., master's and doctor of philosophy degrees) under Category A, and accept a combination of core sciences under Category B, Options 2 and 4, so long as one of the core science courses has a lab component.
Extension of the Motion To Amend Pilot Program in Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
Document Number: 2021-20037
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the Motion to Amend (MTA) Pilot Program, which was initiated on March 15, 2019, and provides additional options for a patent owner who files an MTA before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In particular, the MTA Pilot Program provides a patent owner who files an MTA with options to request preliminary guidance from the PTAB on the MTA and to file a revised MTA. The program also provides timelines for briefing to accommodate these options.
Modification of COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program
Document Number: 2021-19114
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is modifying the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program to accept applications until December 31, 2021. Requests that are compliant with the pilot program's requirements and are filed on or before December 31, 2021, will be accepted, even if more than 500 requests have already been approved. The USPTO will evaluate whether to terminate or further extend the program during this extension.
Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence Study
Document Number: 2021-19112
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
On July 9, 2021, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a request for public input on a study it is conducting on the current state of patent eligibility jurisprudence in the United States and on how that jurisprudence has impacted investment and innovation. Through this notice, the USPTO is extending the period for public comment until October 15, 2021.
Performance Review Board
Document Number: 2021-18893
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-09-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
In conformance with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of its Performance Review Board (PRB). This is an update to the recently published Federal Register notice (published on August 4, 2021), to reflect the changes made to the board members serving in the Chair and Acting General Counsel positions due to the departure of Coke Stewart, who was Performing the Functions and Duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Fee Deficiency Submissions
Document Number: 2021-18231
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-08-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0070 (Fee Deficiency Submissions). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Performance Review Board (PRB)
Document Number: 2021-16586
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-08-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
In conformance with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of its Performance Review Board.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Patent Reexaminations, Supplemental Examinations, and Post Patent Submissions
Document Number: 2021-15875
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-07-26
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0064 (Patent Reexaminations, Supplemental Examinations, and Post Patent Submissions). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence Study
Document Number: 2021-15010
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-07-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a document in the Federal Register of July 9, 2021 requesting public comments on the current state of patent eligibility jurisprudence in the United States. This notice corrects the section of the document that identifies the individual who may be contacted for information regarding the request.
Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence Study
Document Number: 2021-14628
Type: Notice
Date: 2021-07-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
At the request of Senators Tillis, Hirono, Cotton, and Coons, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is undertaking a study on the current state of patent eligibility jurisprudence in the United States, and how the current jurisprudence has impacted investment and innovation, particularly in critical technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, precision medicine, diagnostic methods, and pharmaceutical treatments. The USPTO seeks public input on these matters to assist in preparing the study.
Standard for Presentation of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listings Using XML (eXtensible Markup Language) in Patent Applications To Implement WIPO Standard ST.26; Incorporation by Reference
Document Number: 2021-14325
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2021-07-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is proposing to revise the rules of practice for submitting biological sequence data associated with disclosures of nucleotide and amino acid sequences in patent applications by incorporating by reference the provisions of Standard ST.26 into the USPTO rules. Other conforming changes to accommodate for proposed new rules of practice based on the new standard are also included. These proposed amendments would apply to international and national applications filed on or after January 1, 2022. In addition to simplifying the process for applicants filing in multiple countries, a requirement to submit a single sequence listing in eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) format will result in better preservation, accessibility, and sorting of the submitted sequence data for the public.
Removal of Certain Rules of Patent Practice
Document Number: 2021-14036
Type: Rule
Date: 2021-07-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) revises the rules of practice in patent cases to eliminate the requirement for original handwritten signatures on certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) and certain payments made to the USPTO by credit card.