The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has Start Printed Page 53145submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).
Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Title: Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees.
Form Number(s): PTO/SB/45/47/65/66.
Agency Approval Number: 0651-0016.
Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.
Burden: 30,735 hours annually.
Number of Respondents: 348,140 responses per year.
Avg. Hours Per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take the public approximately 5 minutes (0.08 hours) to 8 hours to gather the necessary information, prepare the form or petition, and submit the completed request. The USPTO estimates that it will take the public approximately 20 seconds (0.006 hours) to submit the Electronic Maintenance Fee Form.
Needs and Uses: In order to keep utility patents in force, patentees must pay maintenance fees at 31/2, 71/2, and 111/2 years after the date of grant. The public uses this collection to submit a patent maintenance fee payment, to file a petition to accept an unavoidably or unintentionally delayed maintenance fee payment, to file a petition to request acceptance of a maintenance fee payment that was submitted prior to patent expiration but refused by the USPTO, and to designate or change an address to be used for fee-related correspondence with the USPTO. The USPTO uses the information collected from the public to process and record maintenance fee payments, to consider petitions regarding delayed maintenance fee payments or payments that were refused by the USPTO, and to send fee-related correspondence to the correct address. The USPTO is submitting this collection in support of a proposed rulemaking, “Changes to Support Implementation of the USPTO 21st Century Strategic Plan” (RIN 0651-AB64), which would support the use of electronic signatures on documents and increase the filing fees for two petitions under this collection. The Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition Refusing to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(e)) is being added to this collection, but no forms are provided for this petition.
Affected Public: Individuals or households, businesses or other for-profits, not-for-profit institutions, and the Federal Government.
Frequency: On occasion and 3 times at 4-year intervals following the grant of the patent.
Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.
OMB Desk Officer: David Rostker, (202) 395-3897.
Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by calling or writing Susan K. Brown, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Data Architecture and Services, Data Administration Division, 703-308-7400, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313, Attn: CPK 3 Suite 310; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before October 9, 2003, to David Rostker, OMB Desk Officer, Room 10202, New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.Start Signature
Dated: September 2, 2003.
Susan K. Brown,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Data Architecture and Services, Data Administration Division.
[FR Doc. 03-22884 Filed 9-8-03; 8:45 am]
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