Submission for OMB Review
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Title: Submissions Regarding Correspondence and Regarding Attorney Representation (Trademarks). Form Number(s): PTO Forms 2196 and 2201. Agency Approval Number: 0651-0056. Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection. Burden: 10,540 hours annually. Number of Respondents: 108,940 responses per year. Of this total, the USPTO estimates that 103,751 responses will be submitted through TEAS. Avg. Hours per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the public approximately 5 to 30 minutes (0.084 to 0.50 hours) to complete this information, depending on the document being submitted. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, prepare the requests, and submit them to the USPTO. The time estimates shown for the electronic forms in this collection are based on the average amount of time needed to complete and electronically file the associated form. Needs and Uses: The public uses the information in this collection to appoint attorneys and domestic representatives to act on their behalf in the prosecution of their applications, to revoke those same appointments, to request permission to withdraw as the attorney of record or domestic representative, and to request replacement of the attorney of record with another already-appointed attorney. The USPTO uses the collected information to process the requests. Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations. Frequency: On occasion. Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits. OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: Nicholas_A._ Fraser@omb.eop.gov. Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through the Information Collection Review page at www.reginfo.gov. Paper copies can be obtained by: Email: InformationCollection@uspto.gov. Include ``0651- 0056 copy request'' in the subject line of the message. Mail: Margaret McElrath, Deputy Director, Office of Information Management Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before August 28, 2014 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to Nicholas_A._ Fraser@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.
Changes To Facilitate Applicant's Authorization of Access to Unpublished U.S. Patent Applications by Foreign Intellectual Property Offices
The electronic sharing of information and documents between intellectual property (IP) offices is critical for increasing the efficiency and quality of patent examination worldwide. Current examples of this sharing include the priority document exchange (PDX) program and the program by which U.S. search results are delivered to the European Patent Office (EPO). In support of electronic file sharing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to amend its rules of practice to include a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an unpublished U.S. patent application in order to satisfy a requirement for information imposed on a counterpart application filed with the foreign intellectual property office. Currently, for unpublished U.S. patent applications, applicants follow one regulatory provision to provide the Office with authorization for a foreign IP office to access an application-as-filed via a PDX program and follow another regulatory provision to provide the Office with authorization to share the file contents with a foreign IP office. The proposed changes to the rules will consolidate the specific provisions of the regulations by which applicants give the Office authority to provide a foreign IP office with access to an application in order to satisfy a requirement for information of the foreign IP office. Additionally, along with changes to the application data sheet (ADS) form, the proposed rule changes will simplify the process for how applicants provide the Office with the required authorization, thereby reducing the resources applicants must expend to comply with these foreign IP office requirements, and enhance the quality of patent examination.