Patent and Trademark Office 2020 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Deferred-Fee Provisional Patent Application Pilot Program and Collaboration Database To Encourage Inventions Related To COVID-19
Document Number: 2020-20443
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Patents and published patent applications provide a key source of free-flowing technical information among the world's brightest minds, thus promoting further innovation. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) recognizes that its charge to issue high-quality patents to inventors goes hand-in-hand with dissemination of this important information. Such information flow is now more important than ever in view of the urgent challenges posed by COVID-19. Therefore, the USPTO is implementing a deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program (the program) to promote the expedited exchange of information about inventions designed to combat COVID-19. Under this program, the USPTO will permit applicants to defer payment of the provisional application filing fee until the filing of a corresponding nonprovisional application. In turn, applicants must agree that the technical subject matter disclosed in their provisional applications will be made available to the public via a searchable collaboration database maintained on the USPTO's website. To qualify for the program, the subject matter disclosed in the provisional application must concern a product or process related to COVID-19, and such product or process must be subject to an applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use, whether such approval has been obtained, is pending, or will be sought prior to marketing the subject matter for COVID-19.
Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2020
Document Number: 2020-16559
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-03
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) sets or adjusts patent fees as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act or AIA), as amended by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018 (SUCCESS Act). The USPTO is a business-like operation where the demand for patent products and services and the cost of operations are affected by external factors, such as the economy, legislation, court decisions, and increases in the costs of supplies and contract services, as well as internal factors, such as changes in patent examination processes and procedures. The fee adjustments are needed to provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover the aggregate cost of patent operations in future years (based on assumptions and estimates found in the FY 2021 Congressional Justification (FY 2021 Budget)) and to allow the Office to continue progress toward achieving its strategic goals.
Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Document Number: 2020-12210
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-07-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes to amend the Rules of Practice in Patent Cases and the rules regarding Representation of Others before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This rulemaking proposes to align the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct more closely with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; to improve clarity in existing regulations to facilitate the public's compliance, including revising various deadlines, the procedures concerning the registration exam, provisions related to the revocation of an individual's registration or limited recognition in limited circumstances, and provisions for reinstatement; and to make non-substantive changes, increasing the readability of various provisions.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Responses to Office Action and Voluntary Amendment Forms
Document Number: 2020-16447
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-07-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651-0050 (Responses to Office Action and Voluntary Amendment Forms). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, Ninth Edition, Revision of June 2020
Document Number: 2020-14931
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-07-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) issued a revision of the ninth edition of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), published in June 2020, to provide updated information on patent examination policy and procedure (June 2020 revision). The MPEP provides patent examiners and the public with a reference work on the practices and procedures relative to the prosecution of patent applications and other proceedings before the USPTO. The MPEP contains instructions to examiners, as well as other material on the nature of information and interpretation, and outlines the current procedures that examiners are required or authorized to follow in the normal examination of patent applications and during other Office proceedings.
Extension of the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program
Document Number: 2020-14841
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-07-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
On June 29, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, which permits patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier (accorded special status). To date, over 500 petitions requesting participation in the pilot program have been filed, and 167 patents have been granted under the pilot program. In view of the continued interest in the program, the USPTO is extending it until June 30, 2022. All parameters will remain the same as in the original pilot.
Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program
Document Number: 2020-14244
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-07-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program to provide for the advancement of applications out of turn in ex parte appeals before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). An appellant who has filed an ex parte appeal and received a notice that the appeal has been docketed may file a petition, accompanied by a petition fee, to expedite the review of his or her appeal. The Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program sets a target of reaching a decision on the ex parte appeal within six months from the date an appeal is entered into the Pilot Program.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) Surveys
Document Number: 2020-13292
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-06-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651-0065 (Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) Surveys). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Trademark Fee Adjustment
Document Number: 2020-13262
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-06-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) proposes to set or adjust certain trademark fees, as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), as amended by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018 (SUCCESS Act). The proposed fees are intended to recover the prospective aggregate costs of future strategic and operational trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) goals (based on workload projections included in the USPTO fiscal year (FY) 2021 Congressional Justification), including associated administrative costs. The proposed fees will further USPTO strategic objectives by: Better aligning fees with costs, protecting the integrity of the trademark register, improving the efficiency of agency processes, and ensuring financial sustainability to facilitate effective trademark operations. Before a final rule is issued, the USPTO will consider the state of the U.S. economy, the operational needs of the agency, and public comments submitted pursuant to this rulemaking. The USPTO will make adjustments as necessary to the substance and timing of any final rule based on all of these considerations.
Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees
Document Number: 2020-13043
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-06-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (``1999 Act''), which, among other things, established two Public Advisory Committees to review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters (now codified in the United States Code). The America Invents Act Technical Corrections Act made several amendments to the 1999 Act, including the requirement that the terms of the USPTO Public Advisory Committee members be realigned by 2014 so that December 1 would be used as the start and end date, with terms staggered so that each year, three existing terms expire and three new terms begin on December 1. With this notice, the USPTO is requesting nominations for up to three members of the Patent Public Advisory Committee and for up to three members of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, for terms of three years beginning on December 1, 2020.
Patent Term Adjustment Reductions in View of the Federal Circuit Decision in Supernus Pharm., Inc. v. Iancu.
Document Number: 2020-11786
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-06-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is revising the rules of practice pertaining to patent term adjustment in view of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) in Supernus Pharm., Inc. v. Iancu (Supernus). The Federal Circuit in Supernus held that a reduction of patent term adjustment must be equal to the period of time during which the applicant failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution of the application. The USPTO is revising the provisions pertaining to reduction of patent term adjustment for alignment with the Federal Circuit decision in Supernus.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 9,364,354; Reducer®
Document Number: 2020-11626
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-05-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension for a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 9,364,354.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Actions
Document Number: 2020-11248
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-05-26
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 of an existing information collection: 0651-0040 (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Actions).
COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program
Document Number: C1-2020-10372
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-05-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program
Document Number: 2020-10372
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-05-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is implementing a pilot program to provide prioritized examination of certain patent applications. To qualify, the claim(s) of an application must cover a product or process related to COVID-19, and such product or process must be subject to an applicable FDA approval for COVID-19 use. Under this pilot program, the USPTO will grant qualified requests for prioritized examination without payment of certain fees associated with prioritized examination for applicants that qualify for small or micro entity status. The goal of prioritized examination is to provide a final disposition within 12 months, on average, from the date the prioritized status has been granted. Furthermore, the USPTO believes it can achieve final disposition in six months if applicants provide more timely responses to notices and actions from the USPTO, as compared to those required by prioritized examination. This notice outlines the conditions, eligibility requirements, and guidelines of the pilot program.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee Charter Renewal
Document Number: 2020-08896
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The 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 on February 12, 2020.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Pro Bono Survey”
Document Number: 2020-08893
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Appeals
Document Number: 2020-08344
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-20
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 renewal and revision of an existing information collection: 0651- 0063 (Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Appeals).
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 7,534,790; Vernakalant Hydrochloride
Document Number: 2020-07190
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension for a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 7,534,790.
Waiver of Original Handwritten Signature Requirement Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak
Document Number: 2020-06186
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) considers the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to be an extraordinary situation. Therefore, pursuant to the Office's authority, the USPTO is waiving its only regulatory requirements for an original handwritten signature personally signed in permanent dark ink or its equivalent for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card. In both instances, the Office will accept copies of handwritten signatures. The USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 8,858,612; Reducer®
Document Number: 2020-06447
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension for a one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 8,858,612.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 6,953,476; Reducer®
Document Number: 2020-06445
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) for a one- year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 6,953,476.
Native American Tribal Insignia Database
Document Number: 2020-05312
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-16
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 renewal of a currently approved information collection: 0651-0048 (Native American Tribal Insignia Database).
Clarification of the Practice for Requiring Additional Information in Petitions Filed in Patent Applications and Patents Based on Unintentional Delay
Document Number: 2020-03715
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-03-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is clarifying its practice as to situations that will require additional information about whether a delay in seeking the revival of an abandoned application, acceptance of a delayed maintenance fee payment, or acceptance of a delayed priority or benefit claim was unintentional.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Law School Clinic Certification Program
Document Number: 2020-04135
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-02-28
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
Document Number: 2020-03068
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-02-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-108, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hereby gives notice it has established a new system of records titled COMMERCE/USPTO-26, Trademark Application and Registration Records. The USPTO proposes to establish this system of records to manage trademark application and registration records.
Small Entity Government Use License Exception
Document Number: 2020-01687
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-02-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to clarify and expand exceptions to the rule pertaining to government use licenses and their effect on small entity status for purposes of paying reduced patent fees so as to support independent inventors, small business concerns and nonprofit organizations in filing patent applications. The proposed rule change is designed to encourage persons, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate with the Federal Government by providing an opportunity to qualify for the small entity patent fees discount for inventions made during the course of federally-funded or federally-supported research.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Deposit of Biological Materials
Document Number: 2020-01852
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-01-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Post Allowance and Refiling
Document Number: 2020-01851
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-01-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Patent Law Treaty
Document Number: 2020-01850
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-01-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Patent Term Extension
Document Number: 2020-01849
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-01-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Facilitating the Use of WIPO's ePCT System To Prepare International Applications for Filing With the United States Receiving Office
Document Number: 2020-01765
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-01-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is proposing to amend the foreign filing license rules to facilitate use of ePCT (a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) online web-based service) to prepare an international application for filing with the USPTO in its capacity as a Receiving Office under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). ePCT offers many benefits to users, including real time up-to-date validation features to help users properly complete the PCT Request. ePCT resides on WIPO's servers abroad and is accessed via an internet browser on the user's system. While the current foreign filing license rules would authorize the export of technical data to ePCT for purposes of preparing an international application for filing in a foreign PCT Receiving Office, the current rules do not authorize the export of technical data to ePCT for purposes of preparing an international application for filing with the USPTO as a Receiving Office. The USPTO is thus proposing to amend the foreign filing license rules to provide that a foreign filing license from the USPTO would authorize the export of technical data abroad for purposes relating to the use of ePCT to prepare an international application for filing with the USPTO in its capacity as a Receiving Office under the PCT.