United States Patent and Trademark Office – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
Document Number: 2013-06263
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is amending the system of records currently listed under ``COMMERCE/ PAT-TM-20 Customer Call Center, Assistance and Satisfaction Survey Records.'' This action is being taken to update the Privacy Act notice. We invite the public to comment on the amendments noted in this publication.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
Document Number: 2013-06256
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is amending the system of records currently listed under ``COMMERCE/ PAT-TM-5 Non-Registered Persons Rendering Assistance to Patent Applicants.'' This action is being taken to update the Privacy Act notice. We invite the public to comment on the amendments noted in this publication.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
Document Number: 2013-06255
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is amending the system of records currently listed under ``COMMERCE/ PAT-TM-2 Complaints, Investigations and Disciplinary Proceedings Relating to Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents.'' This action is being taken to update the Privacy Act notice. We invite the public to comment on the amendments noted in this publication.
Deposit of Biological Materials
Document Number: 2013-06046
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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)).
Extension of the Period for Comments on the Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents
Document Number: 2013-06014
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice announcing the formation of a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership), and a request for comments on the preparation of patent applications, seeking input on potential practices for preparing patent applications. The USPTO also conducted two roundtables to obtain public input from organizations and individuals on topics relating to the quality of software-related patents and the preparation of software-related patent applications including: establishing clear boundaries for claims that use functional language; identifying additional topics for future discussion by the Software Partnership; and 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. The USPTO has received several requests for additional time to submit comments in response to the notice. Accordingly, the USPTO is extending the comment period to provide interested members of the public with additional time to submit comments to the USPTO.
Extension of the Period for Comments on the Preparation of Patent Applications
Document Number: 2013-06013
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a request for comments on the preparation of patent applications, seeking input 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. The USPTO has received several requests for additional time to submit comments on the preparation of patent applications. Accordingly, the USPTO is extending the comment period to provide interested members of the public with additional time to submit comments to the USPTO.
Changes To Implement the First Inventor To File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act; Correction
Document Number: 2013-05815
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-03-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) published in the Federal Register of February 14, 2013, a final rule revising the rules of practice in patent cases for consistency with, and to address the examination issues raised by, the changes in the first inventor to file provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (First Inventor to File Final Rule). Due to a technical issue, the First Inventor to File Final Rule as published in the Federal Register is missing text in the provisions pertaining to claims for priority to a foreign application in an application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This document corrects the omission in the First Inventor to File Final Rule as published in the Federal Register.
Legal Processes
Document Number: 2013-04867
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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)).
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-04200
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Changes To Implement the First Inventor To File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Document Number: 2013-03453
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-02-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) amends the patent laws pertaining to the conditions of patentability to convert the U.S. patent system from a ``first to invent'' system to a ``first inventor to file'' system; treats U.S. patents and U.S. patent application publications as prior art as of their earliest effective U.S., foreign, or international filing date; eliminates the requirement that a prior public use or sale be ``in this country'' to be a prior art activity; and treats commonly owned or joint research agreement patents and patent application publications as being by the same inventive entity for purposes of novelty, as well as nonobviousness. The AIA also repeals the provisions pertaining to statutory invention registrations. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) is revising the rules of practice in patent cases for consistency with, and to address the examination issues raised by, the changes in section 3 of the AIA.
Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Comments on Matters Related to the Harmonization of Substantive Patent Law
Document Number: 2013-01966
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking stakeholder input on certain matters relating to international harmonization of substantive patent law, in particular, information and views on: (1) The grace period; (2) publication of applications; (3) the treatment of conflicting applications and (4) prior user rights. To assist in gathering this information, the USPTO is holding a public hearing at which interested members of the public are invited to testify on the issues outlined above. In addition, interested members of the public are encouraged to complete an electronic questionnaire relating to the above-identified issues. Separate written comments may be provided through electronic mail, though completion of the questionnaire is strongly preferred in lieu of separate comments. Additional details may be found in the supplementary information section of this notice. Public Hearing: A public hearing will be held on March 21, 2013, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and ending at 12:00 p.m. EDT. The public hearing will be held at the USPTO, Madison Auditorium, Concourse Level, Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Those wishing to present oral testimony at the hearing must request an opportunity to do so in writing by email to IP.Policy@uspto.gov no later than February 28, 2013. Requests to testify at the hearing must indicate the following information: (1) The name of the person desiring to testify; (2) the person's contact information (telephone number and electronic mail address); (3) the organization(s) the person represents, if any; and (4) a preliminary written copy of their testimony. The opportunity to testify will only be for those physically present. Based on the requests received, an agenda of scheduled testimony will be sent to testifying respondents, and posted on the USPTO Internet Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov/ ip/global/aia_harmonization.jsp). The number of participants testifying is limited to ensure that all who are speaking will have a meaningful chance to do so. Members of the public who wish solely to observe need not submit a request to attend. Speakers selected to provide testimony at the hearing should provide a final written copy of their testimony for inclusion in the record of the proceedings no later than February 28, 2013. In addition, any member of the public may submit written comments on issues raised at the public hearing or on any issue pertaining to harmonization. However, users are strongly encouraged to fill out the questionnaire before the roundtable event in lieu of providing separate written comments. The questionnaire will also close on February 28, 2013. The USPTO plans to make the public roundtable available via Webcast. Webcast information will be available on the USPTO's Internet Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/aia_ harmonization.jsp) before the public hearing. Written Comments: Written comments should be sent by email to IP.Policy@uspto.gov. Comments may also be submitted by postal mail addressed to: Mail Stop OPEA, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, ATTN: Bijou Mgbojikwe. Written comments should be identified in the subject line of the email or postal mailing as ``Harmonization Issues.'' Although comments may be submitted by postal mail, the USPTO prefers to receive comments via email. It is also strongly preferred that interested members of the public undertake the questionnaire in lieu of submitting written comments. The questionnaire will be available on the USPTO's Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/ global/patents/tegernsee_survey/index.jsp). However, for those wishing to submit supplemental written comments, the deadline for receipt of those written comments for consideration by the USPTO is February 28, 2013. Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments. It should be noted that the tenor of the questions posed in the questionnaire should not be perceived as an indication that the USPTO has taken a position on or is predisposed to any particular views. Availability of Hearing Transcript and Written Comments: A transcript of the events at the hearing and the written comments will be available for public inspection at the USPTO's Office of Policy and External Affairs in the Executive Library located in the Madison West Building, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Contact: Bijou Mgbojikwe at Bijou.Mgbojikwe@uspto.gov or 571-272-9300. In addition, the hearing transcript and the comments from the public will also be available via the USPTO Internet Web site (address: http:/ /www.uspto.gov). Contact: Bijou Mgbojikwe at Bijou.Mgbojikwe@uspto.gov or 571-272-9300.
Request for Comments on Preparation of Patent Applications
Document Number: 2013-00690
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-15
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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
Document Number: 2013-00336
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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
Document Number: 2012-31524
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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: http:// go.usa.gov/1dU.
Request for Comments on a Patent Small Claims Proceeding in the United States
Document Number: 2012-30483
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-12-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking comments as to whether the United States should develop a small claims proceeding for patent enforcement. Among the information of interest to the USPTO is whether there is a need and desire for this type of proceeding, in what circumstances is this proceeding needed if such a need exists, and what features this proceeding should possess. In particular the USPTO seeks information about core characteristics of a patent small claims proceeding including characteristics such as subject matter jurisdiction, venue, case management, appellate review, available remedies, and conformity with the U.S. constitutional framework (e.g. 7th Amendment). Additional details may be found in the supplementary information section of this notice.
Request for Comments on Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Practice
Document Number: 2012-29546
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-12-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) currently has a backlog of over 90,000 patent applications that have not been examined since the filing of a Request for Continued Examination (RCE). This backlog diverts resources away from the examination of new applications. The Office is continuing its efforts to reduce the RCE backlog. For example, the Office recently implemented a pair of pilot programsthe Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) pilot program and the After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP)designed to reduce the need to file an RCE. The Office is now soliciting public feedback in an effort to better understand the full spectrum of factors that impact the decision to file an RCE. The Office is providing three different avenues for the public to provide their feedback on RCE practice: (1) Through the submission of written comments by electronic mail message over the Internet or by postal mail; (2) through the submission of written comments using a Web-based collaboration tool called IdeaScale[supreg]; and (3) through a series of roundtables that the Office is planning to conduct. The Office plans to use the information it obtains to design additional programs and initiatives aimed at reducing RCE filings and the RCE backlog.
Notice of Public Roundtable on Genetic Diagnostic Testing
Document Number: 2012-28890
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-11-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') is interested in gathering additional information on independent second opinion genetic diagnostic testing for purposes of preparing a report on the subject as required by the America Invents Act (``AIA'' or ``Act''). To assist in gathering this information, the USPTO invites the public to attend a roundtable focused on genetic diagnostic testing. Public Roundtable: The USPTO will hold a public roundtable in support of the genetic testing study. The roundtable will be held on Thursday, January 10, 2013, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and ending at 4:00 p.m. (EST) in Alexandria, Virginia. Those wishing to share commentary at the roundtable must request an opportunity to do so in writing no later than December 20, 2012. The request must include the following: (1) The name of the person wishing to share commentary; (2) the person's contact information (telephone number and email address); (3) the organization(s) the person represents, if any; and (4) an indication of the amount of time requested for the commentary. Requests to share commentary must be submitted by email to Saurabh Vishnubhakat at saurabh.vishnubhakat@uspto.gov. Based upon the requests received, an agenda will be sent to all requesters and posted on the USPTO Internet Web site (address: www.uspto.gov/americainventsact). Speakers sharing commentary at the roundtable must submit a document explaining their position for inclusion in the record of the proceedings no later than thirty days after the roundtable. Written commentary should not exceed 25 pages using at least 12-point and double-spaced font. Because written commentary will be made available for public inspection, information that a speaker does not desire to be made public, such as a telephone number, should not be included in the written comments. The public roundtable will be available via Web cast. Information about how to access the Web cast will be posted on the USPTO's Internet Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov/americainventsact) before the public roundtable. A transcript of the roundtable will be available on the USPTO Internet Web site (address: www.uspto.gov/americainventsact) shortly after the roundtable.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-27224
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-11-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Document Number: 2012-25355
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-10-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) proposes to align the USPTO's professional responsibility rules with those of most other U.S. jurisdictions by replacing the current Patent and Trademark Office Code of Professional Responsibility, adopted in 1985, based on the 1980 version of the Model Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (``ABA''), with new USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, which are based on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the ABA, which were published in 1983, substantially revised in 2003 and updated through 2011. Changes approved by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2012 have not been incorporated in these proposed rules. The Office also proposes to revise the existing procedural rules governing disciplinary investigations and proceedings.
Changes and Examination Guidelines To Implement the First-Inventor-to-File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act; Reopening of the Period for Comments
Document Number: 2012-25042
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-10-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice of proposed rulemaking and a notice of proposed examination guidelines to implement the first-inventor-to-file (FITF) provisions the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The USPTO also conducted a roundtable to obtain public input from organizations and individuals on issues relating to the USPTO's proposed implementation of the FITF provisions of the AIA. The Office has received several requests for additional time to submit comments on the USPTO's implementation of the FITF provisions of the AIA. The USPTO is reopening the comment period to provide interested members of the public with an additional opportunity to submit comments to the USPTO.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-25020
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Grant of Interim Extension of the Term of U.S. Patent No. 5,454,779; ResQPump®/ResQPOD® ITD
Document Number: 2012-24856
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order granting interim extension under 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(5) for a one- year interim extension of the term of U.S. Patent No. 5,454,779.
Request To Make Special Program for the Law School Clinic Certification Patent Pilot Program
Document Number: 2012-24113
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-01
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing a pilot program in which a law school clinic participating in the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program may file an application for a pro bono client of the law school clinic and that applicant's application may be advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination. Each school participating in the patent pilot program would be allotted up to two applications to be examined out of turn per semester. The total number of applications to be examined out of turn by law school clinics participating in the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program is limited to sixty-four per year.
Performance Review Board (PRB)
Document Number: 2012-23385
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-09-21
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
In conformance with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of its Performance Review Board.
Extension of Comment Period for Request for Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse
Document Number: 2012-23117
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-09-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'' or ``Office'') is extending until November 5, 2012, the period for public comment regarding a potential legislative change to amend the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act. The change would require Congress to amend the Trademark Act, and the USPTO is interested in receiving public input on whether and why such an amendment is or is not favored.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-22854
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-09-18
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees
Document Number: 2012-21698
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-09-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) proposes to set or adjust patent fees as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act or AIA). The proposed fees will provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover its aggregate cost of patent operations, while helping the Office implement a sustainable funding model, reduce the current patent application backlog, decrease patent pendency, improve patent quality, and upgrade the Office's patent business information technology (IT) capability and infrastructure. The Office also proposes to reduce fees for micro entities under section 10(b) of the Act (75 percent discount). The proposed fees also will further key policy considerations. For example, the proposal includes multipart and staged fees for requests for continued examination and appeals, both of which aim to increase patent prosecution options for applicants.
September 15, 2012 Deadline to File Requests for Inter Partes Reexamination Proceedings and Modification of Notice of Failure to Comply Form
Document Number: 2012-21224
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-08-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Pursuant to section 6(c)(3) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), the authority to file inter partes reexamination requests terminates effective September 16, 2012. Accordingly, any original or corrected/replacement request for an inter partes reexamination submitted on or after September 16, 2012, will not be accorded a filing date, and any such request will not be granted. This notice provides guidance to inter partes reexamination requesters with respect to timely filing requests prior to September 16, 2012, i.e., by the September 15, 2012, last day for filing of an inter partes reexamination request.
Extension of the Application Deadline for Humanitarian Awards Pilot Program
Document Number: 2012-20242
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-08-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
In February 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the Humanitarian Awards Pilot Program, which recognizes patent holders who use their technology for humanitarian purposes. In response to stakeholder feedback, the USPTO is extending the deadline for applications to the Humanitarian Awards Pilot Program by two months until October 31, 2012, to allow potential applicants more time to complete their applications.
Notice of Roundtable on the Implementation of the First Inventor to File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Document Number: 2012-20239
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-08-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice of proposed rulemaking and a notice of proposed examination guidelines to implement the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The USPTO plans to conduct a roundtable to obtain public input from organizations and individuals on issues relating to the USPTO's proposed implementation of the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the AIA. The USPTO plans to invite a number of roundtable participants from among patent user groups, practitioners, industry, independent inventor organizations, academia, and government. The roundtable also is open for any member of the public to provide input.
Request for Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse
Document Number: 2012-20130
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-08-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
To further ensure the accuracy of the trademark register, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') is seeking public comment on a potential legislative change to amend the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act from between the fifth and sixth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows, to between the third and fourth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows. The change would require Congress to amend the Trademark Act, and the USPTO is interested in receiving public input on whether and why such an amendment is or is not favored.
Invention Promoters/Promotion Firms Complaints
Document Number: 2012-19625
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-08-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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 Miscellaneous Post Patent Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Document Number: 2012-18530
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-08-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) expands the scope of information that any party may cite in a patent file to include written statements of a patent owner filed in a proceeding before a Federal court or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) regarding the scope of any claim of the patent, and provides for how such information may be considered in ex parte reexamination, inter partes review, and post grant review. The AIA also provides for an estoppel that may attach with respect to the filing of an ex parte reexamination request subsequent to a final written decision in 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 AIA.
Implementation of Statute of Limitations Provisions for Office Disciplinary Proceedings
Document Number: 2012-18554
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-31
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) requires that disciplinary proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) be commenced not later than the earlier of either 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 Office, as prescribed in the regulations governing disciplinary proceedings. The Office is adopting procedural rules which: Specify that a disciplinary complaint shall be filed within one year after the date on which the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) Director receives a grievance forming the basis of the complaint, and in no event more than ten years after the date on which the misconduct forming the basis for the proceeding occurred; define grievance as a written submission from any source received by the OED Director that presents possible grounds for discipline of a specified practitioner; and clarify that the one-year time frame for filing a complaint may be tolled by written agreement. The Office will evaluate these procedures in the future to determine their effectiveness. If the new one-year time frame proves to be administratively unworkable or impedes the effectiveness of the disciplinary process, the Office may issue a new notice of proposed rulemaking.
Changes To Implement the Preissuance Submissions by Third Parties Provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Document Number: 2012-16710
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-17
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is revising the rules of patent practice to implement the preissuance submissions by third parties provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). 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 a patent application, any patents, published patent applications, or other printed publications of potential relevance to the examination of the application. A preissuance submission may be made in any non- provisional utility, design, and plant application, as well as in any continuing application. A third-party preissuance submission must include a concise description of the asserted relevance of each document submitted, and must 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 the statutory provision. The Office has also revised the rules of patent practice to make related aspects of the existing protest rule more consistent with the new rule implementing the preissuance submissions by third parties provision. Further, the Office is eliminating the provision providing for public use proceedings.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-16091
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-02
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Changes to Implement Micro Entity Status for Paying Patent Fees
Document Number: 2012-12971
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-05-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the micro entity provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Certain patent fees set or adjusted under the fee setting authority in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act will be reduced by seventy-five percent for micro entities. The Office is proposing changes to the rules of practice to set out the procedures pertaining to claiming micro entity status, paying patent fees as a micro entity, notification of loss of micro entity status, and correction of payments of patent fees paid erroneously in the micro entity amount. In a separate rulemaking, the Office is in the process of proposing to set or adjust patent fees under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, including setting fees for micro entities with a seventy-five percent reduction.
CPI Adjustment of Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 2013
Document Number: 2012-11649
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-05-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to adjust certain patent fee amounts for fiscal year 2013 to reflect fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The patent statute provides for the annual CPI adjustment of patent fees set by statute to recover the higher costs associated with doing business as reflected by the CPI.
Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) Pilot Program
Document Number: 2012-11222
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-05-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing a pilot program intended to reduce pendency and applicant costs when an information disclosure statement (IDS) is filed after payment of the issue fee. This pilot program will permit an examiner to consider an IDS after payment of the issue fee without the need to reopen prosecution, effectively obviating the need to pursue a request for continued examination (RCE). Where the examiner determines that no item of information in the IDS necessitates reopening prosecution, the Office will issue a corrected notice of allowability. In addition to reducing pendency, this pilot program will promote efficiency in the examination process. There will be no fee required to use this program, beyond existing fees, e.g., fees for IDS submission.
Public Advisory Committees
Document Number: 2012-10737
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-05-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (the ``Act''), Public Law 106-113, which, among other things, established two Public Advisory Committees to review the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters (now codified at 35 U.S.C. 5). The USPTO is requesting nominations for three (3) members to the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and two (2) members to the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, for terms of three years that begin on expiration of the predecessors' terms.
Notice of Request for Comments on the Feasibility of Placing Economically Significant Patents Under a Secrecy Order and the Need To Review Criteria Used in Determining Secrecy Orders Related to National Security
Document Number: 2012-9503
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-04-20
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Pursuant to a request from Congress, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking comments as to whether the United States should identify and bar from publication and issuance certain patent applications as detrimental to the nation's economic security. The USPTO is also seeking comments on the desirability of changes to the existing procedures for reviewing applications that might be detrimental to national security.
Patents External Quality Survey (formerly Customer Panel Quality Survey)
Document Number: 2012-8485
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-04-09
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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 extension of a continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-7284
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-27
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee Charter Renewal
Document Number: 2012-6527
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-19
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
The Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration, with the concurrence of the General Services Administration, renewed the Charter for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee on March 1, 2012.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-5989
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Patents for Humanity Program (Formerly Humanitarian Program)
Document Number: 2012-5988
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-13
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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 revision of a currently approved collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-3617
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-02-16
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-3392
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-02-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
Patent Public Advisory Committee Public Hearings on the Proposed Patent Fee Schedule
Document Number: 2012-1939
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-01-30
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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
Document Number: 2012-1404
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-01-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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.