Performance Review Board (PRB)
In conformance with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(4), the United States Patent and Trademark Office announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of its Performance Review Board.
Business Size Standard for Purposes of United States Patent and Trademark Office Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Patent-Related Regulations
The Regulatory Flexibility Act permits an agency head to establish, for purposes of Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis and certification, one or more definitions of ``small business concern'' that are appropriate to the activities of the agency. Pursuant to this authority, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is establishing the Small Business Administration (SBA) business size standard for the purpose of paying reduced patent fees as the size standard for conducting an analysis or making a certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act for patent-related regulations.
No FEAR Act Notice
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is providing notice to its employees, former employees, and applicants for employment of rights and remedies available under the Federal antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws as required by the Notification and Federal Employees Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act), and the regulations of the Office of Personnel Management found at 5 CFR part 724.
Changes To Eliminate the Disclosure Document Program
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) implemented the Disclosure Document Program in 1969 in order to provide an alternative form of evidence of conception of an invention to, for example, a ``self-addressed envelope'' containing a disclosure of an invention. It appears, however, that few, if any, inventors obtain any actual benefit from a disclosure document, and some inventors who use the Disclosure Document Program erroneously believe that they are actually filing an application for a patent. In addition, a provisional application for patent affords better benefits and protection to inventors than a disclosure document and could be used for the same purposes as a disclosure document if necessary. Therefore, the Office is eliminating the Disclosure Document Program.