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Notice

Legal Processes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Proposed collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

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, Pub. L. 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted on or before January 5, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to 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; by e-mail at susan.brown@uspto.gov; or by facsimile at 703-308-7407.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be directed to the Office of General Counsel, USPTO, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; or by telephone at 703-308-2000.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The purpose of this collection is to cover information requirements related to civil actions and claims involving both current and former employees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The rules for these legal processes may be found under 37 CFR part 104, which outlines procedures for service of process, employee testimony and production of documents in legal proceedings, employee indemnification, and filing claims against the USPTO under the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2672) and the corresponding Department of Justice regulations (28 CFR art 14). The public may also petition the Office of General Counsel under 37 CFR 104.3 to waive or suspend these rules in extraordinary cases.

The procedures under 37 CFR part 104 ensure that service of process intended for current and former employees of the USPTO is handled properly. The public uses this collection to submit information required by USPTO regulations covering legal processes, including service of process, employee testimony and production of documents in legal proceedings, employee indemnification, and claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act. There are no forms provided by the USPTO for this collection. For filing tort claims, the public may use Standard Form 95 “Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death,” which is provided by the Department of Justice and approved by Start Printed Page 62565the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 1105-0008.

This information collection was previously approved by OMB in March 2001 in conjunction with a proposed rulemaking by the USPTO entitled “Legal Processes,” published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2000 (Vol. 65, No. 247). The final rule notice was published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2001 (Vol. 66, No. 177).

II. Method of Collection

By mail or hand delivery to the USPTO.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0651-0046.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profits; not-for-profit institutions; farms; the Federal Government; and State, local or tribal governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 157 responses per year.

Estimated Time Per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take the public from 5 minutes (0.08 hours) to 1 hour to gather the necessary information, prepare the appropriate documents, and submit the information required for the legal processes in this collection.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 29 hours per year.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $8,054 per year. The USPTO expects that the information in this collection will be prepared by attorneys and former employees, except for the requests for employee indemnification, which generally come from professional and supervisory staff. Since many of the former employees affected by this collection are attorneys, the attorney rate will be used for former employees as well. Using the professional rate of $286 per hour for associate attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates that the respondent cost burden for attorneys and former employees submitting the information in this collection will be $8,008 per year. Using the estimate of $45.99 per hour for professional and supervisory staff, the USPTO expects that the respondent cost burden for submitting requests for employee indemnification will be $46 per year. Therefore, the respondent cost burden for this collection will be $8,054 per year.

ItemEstimated time for responseEstimated annual responsesEstimated annual burden hours
Petition to Waive Rules30 minutes53
Service of Process5 minutes12010
Forwarding Service10 minutes51
Employee Testimony and Production of Documents in Legal Proceedings30 minutes158
Forwarding Demands10 minutes51
Report of Unauthorized Testimony30 minutes11
Report of Possible Indemnification Cases30 minutes32
Employee Indemnification30 minutes11
Tort Claims1 hour22
Total15729

Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $727 per year. There are no capital start-up, maintenance, or recordkeeping costs associated with this information collection. However, this collection does have annual (non-hour) costs in the form of filing fees and postage costs.

This collection has filing fees associated with the petition to waive or suspend the legal process rules under 37 CFR 104.3. The filing fee for this petition is $130. There are no other filing fees associated with this information collection. The USPTO estimates that the total filing costs associated with this collection will be $650 per year.

Customers may incur postage costs when submitting the information in this collection to the USPTO by mail. The USPTO estimates that the average first-class postage cost for a mailed submission will be 49 cents and that up to 157 submissions will be mailed to the USPTO per year. The total estimated postage cost for this collection is $77 per year.

The total non-hour respondent cost burden for this collection in the form of filing fees and postage costs is $727 per year.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: October 30, 2003.

Susan K. Brown,

Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Data Architecture and Services, Data Administration Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-27793 Filed 11-4-03; 8:45 am]

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