Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the Rules of Practice in Patent Cases and the rules regarding Representation of Others before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This rulemaking aligns the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct more closely with the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct. It also improves 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. It makes non-substantive changes to improve the readability of various provisions as well.
Electronic Submission of a Sequence Listing, a Large Table, or a Computer Program Listing Appendix in Patent Applications
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes to amend 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) 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, direct submission would not be possible for a large data submission in ASCII text format. To that end, the rules of practice are proposed to be amended to provide applicants with the ability to use physical media larger than compact discs (CDs) for submission of an electronic version of amino acid and nucleotide sequence information, information compiled in a large table, and information relating to a computer program listing. Additionally, changes regarding extraction of compressed data files, which had not been permitted in the past for certain submissions, would be permitted if compliant with the requirements of the proposed rules. Other rules relating to certain obsolete and non-secure methods of presenting data would be eliminated.
Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees
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 (PPAC), and trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC), and to advise the Director of the USPTO 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 will 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 current notice, the USPTO is requesting nominations for up to three members of the PPAC and up to three members of the TPAC, for terms of three years that will begin on December 1, 2021.
Changes To Implement Provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes to amend the rules of practice in trademark cases to implement provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020. The proposed 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; 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 USPTO also proposes to set fees for petitions requesting institution of ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings, and for requests to extend Office action response deadlines. Amendments are also proposed for the rules concerning the suspension of USPTO proceedings and the rules governing attorney recognition in trademark matters. Finally, a new rule is proposed to address procedures regarding court orders cancelling or affecting registrations.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Trademark Post Registration
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- 0055 (Trademark Post Registration). 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. 9,364,354; Reducer®
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.