United States Patent and Trademark Office March 5, 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Substantive Submissions Made During Prosecution of the Trademark Application
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 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 Continued Prosecution Application Practice
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) revised and streamlined the requirements for the inventor's oath or declaration. In implementing the AIA inventor's oath or declaration provisions, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) provided that an applicant may postpone the filing of the inventor's oath or declaration until allowance if the applicant provides an application data sheet indicating the name, residence, and mailing address of each inventor. The rules pertaining to continued prosecution applications (which are applicable only to design applications) require that the prior nonprovisional application of a continued prosecution application be complete, which requires that the prior nonprovisional application contain the inventor's oath or declaration. This interim rule revises the rules pertaining to continued prosecution applications to permit the filing of a continued prosecution application even if the prior nonprovisional application does not contain the inventor's oath or declaration if the continued prosecution application is filed on or after September 16, 2012, and the prior nonprovisional application contains an application data sheet indicating the name, residence, and mailing address of each inventor.
Changes to Permit Delayed Submission of Certain Requirements for Prioritized Examination
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act includes provisions for prioritized examination of patent applications (also referred to as ``Track I''), which have been implemented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) in previous rulemakings. This interim rule simplifies the Track I prioritized examination practice to reduce the number of requests for prioritized examination that must be dismissed. In order to enable rapid processing and examination of those applications, the previous rulemakings provided that an application having a request for Track I prioritized examination requires, upon filing of the application, an inventor's oath or declaration and all required fees, and contains no more than four independent claims, thirty total claims, and no multiple dependent claims. Accordingly, any request for Track I prioritized examination not meeting all of the requirements on filing must be dismissed. The Office has found that many such dismissals are due to the application as filed not including a properly executed inventor's oath or declaration, not including the excess claims fees or application size fee due, or improperly including a multiple dependent claim or claims in excess of the permitted number. The Office has determined that the time periods for meeting those requirements when filing a request for Track I prioritized examination could be expanded while maintaining the Office's ability to timely examine the patent application.