United States Patent and Trademark Office December 24, 2015 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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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 12-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, 2016, to allow for the USPTO to seek public comment, via a subsequent notice to be published in the middle of 2016, on whether the Extended Missing Parts Program offers sufficient benefits to the patent community for it to be made permanent. The requirements of the program have not changed.
International Trademark Classification Changes
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') issues a final rule to incorporate classification changes adopted by the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Agreement). These changes are effective January 1, 2016, and are listed in the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (10th ed., ver. 2016), which is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In addition, the USPTO is making a change that appeared in an earlier revision of the Nice Agreement and minor revisions to punctuation and grammar to conform to what appears in the Nice Agreement.