United States Patent and Trademark Office January 25, 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Establishment of a One-Year Retention Period for Patent-Related Papers That Have Been Scanned Into the Image File Wrapper System or the Supplemental Complex Repository for Examiners
Document Number: 2012-1404
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-01-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice on August 29, 2011 requesting comments on a proposal to establish a retention period of one year for patent-related papers that have been scanned into the Image File Wrapper system (IFW) or the Supplemental Complex Repository for Examiners (SCORE). The USPTO has considered the comment and is establishing a one-year retention period that: (1) Began on September 1, 2011, for papers scanned into IFW or SCORE prior to September 1, 2011; or (2) began or begins on a paper's submission date, for papers scanned into IFW or SCORE on or after September 1, 2011. After the expiration of the one-year retention period (after September 1, 2012, or later), the USPTO will dispose of the paper unless, within sufficient time prior to disposal of the paper, the relevant patent applicant, patent owner, or reexamination party files a bona fide request to correct the electronic record of the paper in IFW or SCORE, and the request remains outstanding at the time disposal of the paper would have otherwise occurred. The one-year retention period for papers scanned into IFW or SCORE replaces the USPTO's past practice of indefinitely retaining the papers, which has been rendered unnecessary and not cost-effective by improvements in scanning and indexing.