United States Patent and Trademark Office January 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Request for Comments on Preparation of Patent Applications
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking to improve the quality of issued patents. In this notice, the USPTO is focusing on potential practices that applicants can employ at the drafting stage of a patent application in order to facilitate examination and bring more certainty to the scope of issued patents. To that end, the USPTO is requesting input from interested members of the public on the specific practices set forth in the ``Topics for Public Comment'' section below. While this notice is directed to potential practices that applicants can employ, the USPTO also plans to issue a separate notice building on internal initiatives and further identifying potential practices the Office can employ to also facilitate examination and bring more certainty to the scope of issued patents. The USPTO intends to publish the separate notice subsequent to its review of comments received responsive to the present notice. On January 3, 2013, the USPTO published a notice announcing the formation of a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership). See Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Events for Partnership for Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents, 78 FR 292 (Jan. 3, 2013). The Software Partnership notice seeks public comment on specific topics related to enhancing the quality of software-related patents, and announces two roundtable events, which will not only offer participants an opportunity to provide oral comments on the topics presented in the Software Partnership notice but also on the topics set forth in the present notice, to the extent they apply to software- related patents. Comment Deadline: To be assured of consideration, written comments must be received on or before March 15, 2013. No public hearing will be held.
Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented a pilot program (Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program) in which an applicant, under certain conditions, can request a twelve- month time period to pay the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge (for the late submission of the search fee and the examination fee) in a nonprovisional application. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits applicants by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be soughtat a relatively low costand by permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this period. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO's workload those nonprovisional applications for which applicants later decide not to pursue examination. The USPTO is extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 31, 2013, to better gauge whether the Extended Missing Parts Program offers sufficient benefits to the patent community for it to be made permanent.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Call for 2013 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 NMTI (initially known as the National Medal of Technology) to our nation's leading innovators. Those wishing to nominate a candidate who has made an outstanding, lasting contribution to the economy may obtain a nomination form from: https:// go.usa.gov/1dU.