Patent Public Advisory Committee Public Hearings on the Proposed Patent Fee Schedule
Under Section 10 of the America Invents Act (AIA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may set or adjust by rule any patent or trademark fee established, authorized, or charged under Title 35 of the United States Code or the Trademark Act of 1946, respectively. The USPTO currently is planning to set or adjust patent fees pursuant to its Section 10 fee setting authority. As part of the rulemaking process to set or adjust patent fees, the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) is required under Section 10 of the AIA to hold a public hearing about any proposed patent fees, and the USPTO is required to assist PPAC in carrying out that hearing. To that end, the USPTO will make its proposed patent fees available as set forth in the Supplementary Information section of this Notice before any PPAC hearing and will help the PPAC to notify the public about the hearing. Accordingly, this document announces the dates and logistics for two PPAC public hearings regarding USPTO proposed patent fees. Interested members of the public are invited to testify at the hearing and/or submit written comments about the proposed patent fees and the questions posed on PPAC's Web site about the proposed fees.
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
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.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Call for 2012 Nominations
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 annual National Medal of Technology and Innovation (initially known as the National Medal of Technology) 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.
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 continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
Changes To Implement the Inventor's Oath or Declaration Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) proposes changes to the existing rules of practice to implement the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. The Office proposes to revise and clarify the rules of practice relating to the inventor's oath or declaration, including reissue oaths or declarations, assignments containing oath or declaration statements from inventors, and oaths or declarations signed by parties other than the inventors. In order to better facilitate processing of patent applications, the Office further proposes to revise and clarify the rules of practice for power of attorney and prosecution of an application by an assignee.
Implementation of Statute of Limitations Provisions for Office Disciplinary Proceedings
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) requires that disciplinary proceedings be commenced not later than the earlier of the date that is 10 years after the date on which the misconduct forming the basis of the proceeding occurred, or one year from the date on which the misconduct forming the basis of the proceeding was made known to an officer or employee of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO), as prescribed in the regulations governing disciplinary proceedings. The Office initiates disciplinary proceedings via three types of disciplinary complaints: complaints predicated on the receipt of a probable cause determination from the Committee on Discipline; complaints seeking reciprocal discipline; and complaints seeking interim suspension based on a serious crime conviction. This notice proposes that the one-year statute of limitations commences, with respect to complaints predicated on the receipt of a probable cause determination from the Committee on Discipline, the date on which the Director, Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED Director) receives from the practitioner a complete, written response to a request for information and evidence; with respect to complaints based on reciprocal discipline, the date on which the OED Director receives a certified copy of the record or order regarding the practitioner being publicly censured, publicly reprimanded, subjected to probation, disbarred, suspended, or disciplinarily disqualified; and, with respect to complaints for interim suspension based on a serious crime conviction, the date on which the OED Director receives a certified copy of the record, docket entry, or judgment demonstrating that the practitioner has been convicted of a serious crime.
Changes To Implement Miscellaneous Post Patent Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act expands the scope of information that any party may cite in a patent file, to include written statements made by a patent owner before a Federal court or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) regarding the scope of any claim of the patent, and it provides for how such information may be considered in ex parte reexamination, inter partes review, and post grant review. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act also provides for an estoppel that may attach with respect to ex parte reexamination based on an inter partes review or post grant review proceeding. The Office is revising the rules of practice to implement these post-patent provisions, as well as other miscellaneous provisions of the Leahy- Smith America Invents Act.
Changes To Implement the Preissuance Submissions by Third Parties Provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing changes to the rules of patent practice to implement the preissuance submissions by third parties provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This provision provides a mechanism for third parties to contribute to the quality of issued patents by submitting to the Office, for consideration and inclusion in the record of patent applications, any patents, published patent applications, or other printed publications of potential relevance to the examination of the applications. A preissuance submission may be made in any non- provisional utility, design, and plant application, as well as in any continuing or reissue application. A third-party preissuance submission must include a concise description of the asserted relevance of each document submitted and be submitted within a certain statutorily specified time period. The third party must submit a fee as prescribed by the Director and a statement that the submission complies with all of the statutory requirements. The third-party preissuance submission provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act is effective on September 16, 2012, and applies to any application filed before, on, or after September 16, 2012. Comment Deadline: Written comments must be received on or before March 5, 2012.
Matters Related to Patent Appeals
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 this new information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).