Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearings on Genetic Diagnostic Testing
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') is interested in gathering information on the genetic diagnostic testing for purposes of preparing a report on the subject as required by the America Invents Act (AIA or Act). To assist in gathering this information, the USPTO invites the public to provide comments and to attend public hearings addressing genetic diagnostic testing. Public Hearings: The USPTO will hold two public hearings in support of the genetic testing study. The first public hearing will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2012, beginning at 9 a.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST), and ending at 4 p.m., EST, in Alexandria, Virginia. The second public hearing will be held on Friday, March 9, 2012, beginning at 9 a.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST), and ending at 4 p.m., PST, in San Diego, California. Those wishing to present oral testimony at either hearing must request an opportunity to do so in writing no later than February 8, 2012. Requests to testify should indicate the following: (1) The name of the person wishing to testify; (2) the person's contact information (telephone number and email address); (3) the organization(s) the person represents, if any; (4) an indication of the amount of time needed for the testimony; and (5) a preliminary written copy of the testimony. The USPTO asks for a preliminary written copy of the testimony in order to better prepare for pre-scheduled witness testimony. Requests to testify must be submitted by email to Saurabh Vishnubhakat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Based upon the requests received, an agenda for witness testimony will be sent to testifying requesters and posted on the USPTO Internet Web site (address: www.uspto.gov/americainventsact). Speakers providing testimony at the hearings should submit a written copy of their testimony for inclusion in the record of the proceedings no later than March 26, 2012. The public hearings will be available via Web cast. Information about the Web cast will be posted on the USPTO's Internet Web site (address: https://www.uspto.gov/americainventsact) before the public hearing. Transcripts of the hearings will be available on the USPTO Internet Web site (address: www.uspto.gov/americainventsact) shortly after the hearings. Written Comments: Written comments should be sent by email to email@example.com. Comments may also be submitted by postal mail addressed to Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Attorney Advisor, Office of Chief Economist, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Mail Stop External Affairs, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450. Although comments may be submitted by postal mail, the USPTO prefers to receive comments via email. The deadline for receipt of written comments is March 26, 2012. Written comments should be identified in the subject line of the email or postal mailing as ``Genetic Testing Study.'' Because written comments and testimony will be made available for public inspection, information that a respondent does not desire to be made public, such as a phone number, should not be included in the testimony or written comments.
Changes To Implement the Supplemental Examination Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and To Revise Reexamination Fees
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the supplemental examination provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. The supplemental examination provisions permit a patent owner to request supplemental examination of a patent by the Office to consider, reconsider, or correct information believed to be relevant to the patent. These provisions could assist the patent owner in addressing certain challenges to the enforceability of the patent during litigation. The Office is also proposing to adjust the fee for filing a request for ex parte reexamination and to set a fee for petitions filed in ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings to more accurately reflect the cost of these processes.
Establishment of a One-Year Retention Period for Trademark-Related Papers That Have Been Scanned Into the Trademark Initial Capture Registration System
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is establishing a one-year retention period that began on September 26, 2011, for papers scanned into the Trademark Initial Capture Registration System (TICRS) prior to September 26, 2011, or began or begins on a paper's submission date, for papers scanned into TICRS on or after September 26, 2011. After the expiration of the one-year retention period, the USPTO will dispose of the paper documents unless, within sufficient time prior to disposal, the relevant trademark applicant or owner files a request to correct the electronic record in TICRS, and the request remains outstanding at the time disposal would otherwise have occurred. The one-year retention period for papers scanned into TICRS will reduce the costs currently associated with indefinitely warehousing paper documents, while permitting sufficient time for the review and rarely needed correction of the scanning of such paper documents. The USPTO received no comments to the notice published September 23, 2011 on this proposal.