United States Patent and Trademark Office 2010 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

National Medal of Technology and Innovation Call for 2011 Nominations
Document Number: 2010-32906
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-12-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The Department of Commerce (United States Patent and Trademark Office) is accepting nominations for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI). Since establishment by Congress in the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, the President of the United States has awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (initially known as the National Medal of Technology) annually to our nation's leading innovators. If you know of a candidate who has made an outstanding, lasting contribution to the economy through the promotion of technology or technological manpower, you may obtain a nomination form from: http://go.usa.gov/1dU.
Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan
Document Number: 2010-29360
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-11-22
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a basis (the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan) under which an applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined application. The Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan allows applicants having multiple applications currently pending before the USPTO to have greater control over the priority with which their applications are examined while also stimulating a reduction of the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. The USPTO is extending the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan until December 31, 2011.
Performance Review Board (PRB)
Document Number: 2010-25860
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
In conformance with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of its Performance Review Board.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 5,407,914; SURFAXIN® (Lucinactant)
Document Number: 2010-25768
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 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 second one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,407,914.
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 4,919,140; AndaraTM
Document Number: 2010-25767
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 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 third one-year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 4,919,140.
Inquiry on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Internet Economy
Document Number: 2010-24863
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-05
Agency: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce, Office of the Secretary, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force is conducting a comprehensive review of the relationship between the availability and protection of online copyrighted works and innovation in the Internet economy. The Department, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seek public comment from all interested stakeholders, including rights holders, Internet service providers, and consumers on the challenges of protecting copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyright law and innovation in the Internet economy. After analyzing the comments submitted in response to this Notice, the Internet Policy Task Force intends to issue a report that will contribute to the Administration's domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection and innovation.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-24354
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-09-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
Request for Comments on Incentivizing Humanitarian Technologies and Licensing Through the Intellectual Property System
Document Number: 2010-23395
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-09-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is considering pro-business strategies for incentivizing the development and widespread distribution of technologies that address humanitarian needs. One proposal being considered is a fast-track ex parte reexamination voucher pilot program to create incentives for technologies and licensing behavior that address humanitarian needs. Because patents under reexamination are often the most commercially significant patents, a fast-track reexamination proceeding would allow patent owners to more readily and less expensively affirm the validity of their patents. Therefore, the opportunity to utilize a voucher for a fast-track reexamination proceeding could provide a valuable incentive for entities to pursue humanitarian technologies or licensing. The USPTO is requesting comments from the public regarding this proposal as well as other incentive proposals set forth in this notice.
Patent Examiner Technical Training Program
Document Number: 2010-23006
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-09-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking public assistance in providing technical training to patent examiners within all technology centers. The Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) is intended to provide scientists and experts as lecturers to patent examiners in order to update them on technical developments, the state of the art, emerging trends, maturing technologies, and recent innovations in their fields. Such guest lecturers must have relevant technical knowledge, as well as familiarity with prior art and industry practices/standards in areas of technology where such lectures would be beneficial.
Streamlined Procedure for Appeal Brief Review in Inter Partes
Document Number: 2010-20340
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-08-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is streamlining the procedure for the review of appeal briefs filed in inter partes reexamination proceeding appeals to increase the efficiency of the appellate process and to reduce the pendency of appeals. The Chief Judge of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) or his designee (collectively, ``Chief Judge''), will have the sole responsibility for determining whether appeal briefs filed in inter partes reexamination proceedings (i.e., appellant's briefs, respondent's briefs, and rebuttal briefs) comply with the applicable regulations, and will complete the determination before the appeal brief is forwarded to the examiner for consideration. The examiner will no longer review appeal briefs for compliance with the applicable regulations. The USPTO expects to achieve a reduction in inter partes reexamination proceeding appeal pendency as measured from the filing of a notice of appeal to the BPAI's docketing of the appeal by eliminating duplicate reviews by the examiner and the BPAI. The USPTO expects further reduction in pendency because the streamlined procedure will increase consistency in the determination, and thereby reduce the number of notices of noncompliant appeal briefs and non- substantive returns from the BPAI that require parties to file corrected appeal briefs in inter partes reexamination proceeding appeals.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-19612
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-08-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Interim Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility for Process Claims in View of Bilski v. Kappos
Document Number: 2010-18424
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-07-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) has prepared Interim Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility for Process Claims in view of Bilski v. Kappos (Interim Bilski Guidance) for its personnel to use when determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court) in Bilski v. Kappos, No. 08-964 (June 28, 2010). It is intended to be used by Office personnel as a supplement to the previously issued Interim Examination Instructions for Evaluating Subject Matter Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. 101 dated August 24, 2009 (Interim Instructions) and the memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps on the Supreme Court Decision in Bilski v. Kappos dated June 28, 2010. This guidance supersedes previous guidance on subject matter eligibility that conflicts with the Interim Bilski Guidance. Any member of the public may submit written comments on the Interim Bilski Guidance. The Office is especially interested in receiving comments regarding the scope and extent of the holding in Bilski.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-17000
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-07-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-16975
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-07-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
United States Patent and Trademark Office Draft Strategic Plan for FY 2010-2015
Document Number: 2010-16597
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-07-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
This notice announces that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) draft strategic plan for fiscal years (FY) 2010-2015 is available for public review and comment. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires Federal agencies to establish a strategic plan covering not less than five years, and to solicit the views and suggestions of those entities potentially affected by or interested in the plan. This plan which identifies the strategic goals and priorities of the administration and leadership of the agency is a revision of the FY 2007-2012 strategic plan. The USPTO's current plan, the FY 2007-2012 strategic plan, may be viewed on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov as can the agency's draft plan for FY 2010-2015.
Correspondence With the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Document Number: 2010-15469
Type: Rule
Date: 2010-06-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is
Clarification on the Procedure for Seeking Review of a Finding of a Substantial New Question of Patentability in Ex Parte
Document Number: 2010-15468
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-06-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is clarifying the procedure for seeking review of a determination that a substantial new question of patentability (SNQ) has been raised in an ex parte reexamination proceeding. This notice clarifies that while issues related to a SNQ determination are procedural, the Chief Judge of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) has been delegated the authority to review issues related to the examiner's determination that a reference raises a SNQ in an ex parte reexamination proceeding. The Chief Judge of the BPAI may further delegate that authority to the panel of Administrative Patent Judges who are deciding the appeal in an ex parte reexamination proceeding. This clarification of procedure will facilitate more efficient resolution of SNQ issues.
Expansion and Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan
Document Number: 2010-15306
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-06-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register providing an additional temporary basis (the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan) under which a small entity applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined application. The Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan allows small entity applicants having multiple applications currently pending before the USPTO to have greater control over the priority with which their applications are examined while also stimulating a reduction of the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. The USPTO is expanding the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan to permit all applicants to participate by eliminating the small entity status requirement and adding a few new requirements in view of the expansion. The program is also being extended until December 31, 2010, or the date that 10,000 applications have been accorded special status for examination under the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan, whichever occurs earlier. These changes allow more applicants to take advantage of the program.
Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendments
Document Number: 2010-15305
Type: Rule
Date: 2010-06-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') is amending the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases to implement the Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendment Act of 2010. The rule changes harmonize the framework for submitting trademark registration maintenance filings to the USPTO by permitting holders of international registrations with an extension of protection to the United States under the Madrid Protocol (``Madrid Protocol registrants'') to file Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse at intervals identical to those for nationally issued registrations. The changes additionally allow all trademark owners to cure deficiencies in their maintenance filings, including when the affidavit or declaration is not filed in the name of the owner of the registration.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration; Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Information Economy
Document Number: 2010-14143
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-06-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce (Department), will hold a public meeting on July 1, 2010, to discuss the relationship of copyright policy, creativity, and innovation in the Internet economy.
Request for Comments on Proposed Changes to Restriction Practice in Patent Applications
Document Number: 2010-14136
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-06-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
In situations in which two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in a single patent application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is authorized by the patent laws and implementing regulations to require the applicant to restrict the application to one invention. The practice for requiring an applicant to restrict an application to one invention in such situations is known as restriction practice. The Office is considering changes to restriction practice to improve the quality and consistency of restriction requirements made by Office personnel.
Enhanced Examination Timing Control Initiative; Notice of Public Meeting
Document Number: 2010-13244
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-06-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
This notice announces a public meeting to solicit public opinions on an initiative being considered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to provide applicants with greater control over when their applications are examined and to enhance work sharing between intellectual property offices. Under the initiative, for applications filed in the USPTO that are not based on a prior foreign- filed application (e.g., that do not claim foreign priority benefit), applicant would be able to: (1) Request prioritized examination (Track I); (2) for non-continuing applications, request a delay lasting up to 30 months in docketing for examination (Track III); or (3) obtain processing under the current procedure (Track II) by not requesting either (1) or (2). For applications filed in the USPTO that are based on a prior foreign-filed application, no action would be taken by the USPTO until the USPTO receives a copy of the search report, if any, and first office action from the foreign office and an appropriate reply to the foreign office action as if the foreign office action was made in the application filed in the USPTO. Following or concurrent with the submission of the foreign office action and reply, applicant may request prioritized examination or obtain processing under the current procedure.
Extension of Period for Nominations to the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee
Document Number: 2010-12400
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-05-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Department of Commerce (United States Patent and Trademark Office) previously published a notice in the Federal Register requesting nominations of individuals to serve on the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee. The USPTO is extending the deadline until August 1, 2010. The United States Patent and Trademark Office will consider nominations received in response to the original notice as published on February 1, 2010, as well as from this notice of extension and from other sources. The SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice provides committee and membership criteria.
Elimination of Classification Requirement in the Green Technology Pilot Program
Document Number: 2010-12328
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-05-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented the Green Technology Pilot Program on December 8, 2009, which permits patent applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources, and greenhouse gas emission reduction to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier (accorded special status). The program is designed to promote the development of green technologies. However, the pilot program was limited to only applications classified in a number of U.S. classifications to assist the USPTO to balance the workload and gauge resources needed for the program. The USPTO has determined that the classification requirement is unnecessary because the workload has been balanced with other mechanism, and this requirement was causing the denial of petitions for applications that are drawn to green technologies. The USPTO is hereby eliminating the classification requirement for any petitions that are decided on or after the publication date of this notice. This will permit more applications to qualify for the program, thereby allowing more inventions related to green technologies to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-12215
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-05-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-12214
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-05-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
Electronic Filing System-Web (EFS-Web) Contingency Option
Document Number: 2010-11906
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-05-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is increasing the availability of its patent electronic filing system, Electronic Filing SystemWeb (EFS-Web) by providing a new contingency option when the primary portal to EFS-Web has an unscheduled outage. Previously, the entire EFS-Web system is not available to the users during such an outage. The contingency option in EFS-Web will permit users to sign-on as unregistered EFS-Web users to file new applications, national stage submissions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) submitted with the basic national fee necessary to enter the national stage, requests for reexamination, and certain petitions, during an unscheduled outage of the primary portal to EFS-Web.
Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program
Document Number: 2010-7577
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-04-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments on a proposed procedure for a Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program. The majority of the written comments from the patent community were positive and supported the implementation of such a program. After considering the written comments, the USPTO has decided to implement the Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program as set forth in this notice for a period of one year. The Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program is intended to provide patent applicants, attorneys and agents with assistance with application- processing issues regarding concerns with advancement of prosecution (e.g., stalled applications). The Patents Ombudsman Pilot Program is not intended to circumvent normal communication between pro se applicants or applicants' representatives and examiners or Supervisory Patent Examiners, and it is not intended to supersede the authority of the examiners or Supervisory Patent Examiners. After the one-year period, the USPTO may extend the pilot program with appropriate modifications based on the feedback from the participants, the effectiveness of the pilot program and the availability of resources.
Streamlined Procedure for Appeal Brief Review
Document Number: 2010-7034
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-03-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is streamlining the procedure for the review of appeal briefs to increase the efficiency of the appeal process and reduce pendency of appeals. The Chief Judge of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) or his designee (collectively, ``Chief Judge''), will have the sole responsibility for determining whether appeal briefs filed in patent applications comply with the applicable regulations, and will complete the determination before the appeal brief is forwarded to the examiner for consideration. The Patent Appeal Center and the examiner will no longer review appeal briefs for compliance with the applicable regulations. The USPTO expects to achieve a reduction in appeal pendency as measured from the filing of a notice of appeal to docketing of the appeal by eliminating duplicate reviews by the examiner, Patent Appeal Center, and the BPAI. We are expecting further reduction in pendency because the streamlined procedure will increase consistency in the determination, and thereby reduce the number of notices of noncompliant appeal brief and non-substantive returns from the BPAI that require appellants to file corrected appeal briefs.
Public Advisory Committees
Document Number: 2010-6900
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-03-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (the ``Act''), Public Law 106-113, 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 with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters (now codified at 35 U.S.C. 5). The USPTO is requesting nominations for three (3) members to each Public Advisory Committee for terms of three years that begin from date of appointment.
Request for Comments on Methodology for Conducting an Independent Study of the Burden of Patent-Related Paperwork
Document Number: 2010-3882
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-02-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) retained ICF International (ICF) to perform an independent study of the burden of patent-related paperwork, beginning with a report describing the methodologies for performing such a study (Methodology Report). ICF has now provided the USPTO with its Methodology Report, in which ICF
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee
Document Number: 2010-3398
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-02-23
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The Department of Commerce (United States Patent and Trademark Office) is requesting nominations of individuals to serve on the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee. The United States Patent and Trademark Office will consider nominations received in response to this notice as well as from other sources. The SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice provides committee and membership criteria.
Rules of Practice Before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in Ex Parte Appeals; Extension of Comment Period on Potential Modifications to Final Rule
Document Number: 2010-2029
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2010-02-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) published an advance notice of proposed rule making, with request for comments, considering potential modifications to rules governing practice before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) in ex parte patent appeals. The USPTO is extending the period for public comment on the potential modifications to the final rule until February 26, 2010.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Call for 2010 Nominations
Document Number: 2010-980
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-01-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Office
The Department of Commerce (United States Patent and Trademark Office) is accepting nominations for its National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI).