Changes To Facilitate Electronic Filing of Patent Correspondence
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is amending the rules of practice to support implementation of the Office's electronic filing system (EFS) for patent correspondence, and in particular, the Web-based electronic filing system (EFS-Web). EFS- Web permits most patent correspondence, that is, most patent applications and other patent related documents, to be submitted in a portable document file (``PDF'') format. The major changes that the Office is adopting are changes to provide patent users with a process for showing that correspondence submitted in an application which has entered national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 submitted via EFS-Web was actually received by the Office by relying on the acknowledgment receipt, and to treat certain correspondence as received, for timeliness purposes, as of the date submitted by applicant rather than the date received by the Office if the correspondence is filed via EFS- Web.
Changes to Implement Priority Document Exchange Between Intellectual Property Offices
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) has established a 21st Century Strategic Plan to transform the Office into a more quality-focused, highly productive, responsive organization supporting a market-driven intellectual property system. One goal of the 21st Century Strategic Plan is the electronic exchange of information and documents between intellectual property offices. Consistent with this goal, the Office is revising the rules of practice to provide for the electronic transfer of certified copies of applications for which priority is claimed under the Paris Convention (priority applications) from other intellectual property offices with which the Office has negotiated priority document exchange agreements. The Office is also revising the rules of practice to permit applicants to request that the Office permit other participating intellectual property offices to electronically retrieve certified copies of United States patent applications without payment of a fee. This electronic exchange of copies of priority documents will benefit applicants by reducing the cost of ordering paper certified copies of priority applications for filing in other participating intellectual property offices, and will benefit participating intellectual property offices by reducing the administrative costs associated with handling paper copies of priority documents and scanning them into their electronic image record management systems.
Secrecy and License To Export
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the extension of a currently approved collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).