United States Patent and Trademark Office January 24, 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Changes To Require Identification of Attributable Owner
Document Number: 2014-01195
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-01-24
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing changes to the rules of practice to facilitate the examination of patent applications and to provide greater transparency concerning the ownership of patent applications and patents. This initiative is one of a number of executive actions issued by the Administration that are designed to ensure the highest-quality patents, enhance competition by providing the public with more complete information about the competitive environment in which innovators operate, enhance technology transfer and reduce the costs of transactions for patent rights by making patent ownership information more readily and easily available, reduce abusive patent litigation by helping the public defend itself against frivolous litigation, and level the playing field for innovators. The Office is proposing in this document to require that the attributable owner, including the ultimate parent entity, be identified during the pendency of a patent application and at specified times during the life of a patent. The Office is specifically proposing that the attributable owner be identified on filing of an application (or shortly thereafter), when there is a change in the attributable owner during the pendency of an application, at the time of issue fee and maintenance fee payments, and when a patent is involved in supplemental examination, ex parte reexamination, or a trial proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The Office is also seeking comments on whether the Office should enable patent applicants and owners to voluntarily report licensing offers and related information to the Office, which the Office will then make available to the public in an accessible online format.
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