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Notice

Admittance To Practice and Roster of Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents Admitted To Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

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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, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted on or before August 28, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

E-mail: Susan.Brown@uspto.gov. Include “0651-0012 comment” in the subject line of the message.

Fax: 571-273-0112, marked to the attention of Susan Brown. Start Printed Page 36521

Mail: Susan K. Brown, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Architecture, Engineering and Technical Services, Data Architecture and Services Division, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be directed to the attention of Christine Nucker, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mail Stop OED, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-6071; or by e-mail at http://www.oed@uspto.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

This collection of information is required by 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(D), which permits the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to establish regulations governing the recognition and conduct of agents, attorneys or other persons representing applicants or other parties before the USPTO. This statute also permits the USPTO to require information from applicants that shows that they are of good moral character and reputation and have the necessary qualifications to assist applicants with the patent process and to represent them before the USPTO.

The USPTO administers the statute through 37 CFR 1.21, 10.14 and 11.5 to 11.11. These rules address the requirements to apply for the examination for registration and to demonstrate eligibility to be a registered attorney or agent before the USPTO, including the fee requirements. The Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) collects information to determine the qualifications of individuals entitled to represent applicants before the USPTO in the preparation and prosecution of applications for a patent. The OED also collects information to administer and maintain the roster of attorneys and agents registered to practice before the USPTO. Information concerning registered attorneys and agents is published by the OED in a public roster that can be accessed through the USPTO Web site.

The information in this collection is used by the USPTO to review applications for the examination for registration and to determine whether an applicant may be added to, or an existing practitioner may remain on, the Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents.

There are five forms associated with this information collection. Fourteen new requirements and three new forms are being introduced into this collection. The three new forms are Annual Practitioner Registration Fee (Form PTO-2126), Sponsor Application for USPTO CLE Course Approval (PTO-2149), and Certification of Attendance at USPTO Approved CLE Training (PTO-2150).

II. Method of Collection

By mail to the USPTO when the individual desires to participate in the information collection.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0651-0012.

Form Number(s): PTO-158, PTO-158A, PTO/275, PTO-107A and PTO-1209. New forms being introduced into the collection are PTO-2126, PTO-2149 and PTO-2150.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit; the Federal Government; and state, local or tribal governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 72,122 responses per year.

Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take the public approximately 5 minutes to 40 hours, depending upon the complexity of the situation, to gather, prepare, and submit the various documents in this information collection.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 89,475 hours per year.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: 20,707,900. The cost to respondents for taking the registration examination is estimated to be at the rate of 39 per hour, for a cost burden of 955,500. The USPTO estimates that the remaining items in this collection will be prepared by associate attorneys in private firms. Using the professional hourly rate of 304 per hour for associate attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates 19,752,400 per year in respondent cost burden associated with the remaining items in this information collection.

ItemEstimated time for responseEstimated annual responsesEstimated annual burden hours
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (includes both the computerized exam and the USPTO-administered exam): Form PTO-15830 minutes3,5001,750
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (former examiners; examination waived): Form PTO-15830 minutes10050
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (applicant does not take the exam): Form PTO-158A30 minutes10050
Registration Examination to Become a Registered Practitioner7 hours3,50024,500
Undertaking under 37 CFR 11.10(b): PTO/27520 minutes520172
Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (individuals passing the registration exam): PTO-107A10 minutes1,995339
Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (Foreign applicants): PTO-107A10 minutes10017
Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (former examiners seeking registration): PTO-107A10 minutes10017
Oath or Affirmation: PTO-12095 minutes2,195176
Reinstatement to the Register: PTO-107A10 minutes6010
Written Request for Reconsideration and Further Review of Disapproval Notice of Application90 minutes58
Petitions to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline45 minutes22
Petition for Reinstatement after Disciplinary Removal40 hours4160
Annual Practitioner Registration Fee: Form PTO-212610 minutes24,9204,236
Annual Fee, Limited Recognition: Form PTO-212610 minutes20034
Voluntary Inactive Status: Form PTO-212610 minutes2,000340
Request for Restoration to Active Status from Voluntary Inactive Status: Form PTO-212610 minutes700119
Balance Due on Restoration to Active Status from Voluntary Inactive Status: Form PTO-212610 minutes700119
Delinquency Fee: Form PTO-212610 minutes2,100357
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Reinstatement Fee: (fee required to be paid after the due date of the required annual fee): Form PTO-212610 minutes42071
Sponsor Application for USPTO Continuing Legal Education (CLE): Form PTO-21491 hour350350
Certification of Attendance at USPTO-approved CLE Training: Form PTO-21501 hour350350
Practitioner Request for Paper Version of CLE5 minutes1008
On-line Version of the Seminar CLE2 hours28,00056,000
Paper Version of the CLE2 hours100200
Practitioner's supporting documentation for a motion to hold in abeyance a disciplinary proceeding because of a current disability or addiction40 hours140
Total72,12289,475

Estimated Total Annual (non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: 3,940,412. There are no capital start-up or maintenance costs associated with this information collection. There are, however, non-hour costs due to record keeping requirements, filing fees, and postage costs.

There are record keeping costs as a result of the Oath which includes a notary public requirement. The average fee for having a document notarized is 2. The USPTO estimates that it will receive 2,195 responses to this information collection per year as a result of this notary requirement, for a total cost of 4,390 per year.

There are also filing fees associated with this collection. The application fees for registration to practice before the USPTO vary depending on whether the applicant is a current applicant, a former examiner, or a foreign resident. The fee for administration of the computerized examination to become a registered patent practitioner also varies depending on how the examination is administered. The total annual non-hour cost burden associated with filing fees is 3,919,900.

ItemResponsesFiling fee ($)Total non-hour cost burden (a) × (b)
(a)(b)(c)
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office3,500$40.00$140,000.00
Registration examination fee for administration of computerized examination to become a registered patent practitioner administered by the USPTO (USPTO-administered exam)25450.0011,250.00
Registration examination fee for administration of computerized examination to become a registered patent practitioner administered by a commercial entity (Computer exam)3,475200.00695,000.00
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as applicable when used for registration fees only (former examiners; examination waived)10040.004,000.00
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (examination waived)10040.004,000.00
Undertaking under 37 CFR 11.10(b)52000.00
Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (includes applicants that passed the examination, former examiners, and foreign applicants)2,195100.00219,500.00
Oath or Affirmation2,19500.00
Reinstatement to the Register6040.002,400.00
Written Request for Reconsideration and further review of Disapproval Notice of Application5130.00650.00
Petition to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline2130.00260.00
Petition for Reinstatement after Disciplinary Removal41,600.006,400.00
Annual Practitioner Registration Fee24,920100.002,492,000.00
Annual Fee, Limited Recognition200100.0020,000.00
Voluntary Inactive Status2,00025.0050,000.00
Request for Restoration to Active from Voluntary Inactive Status70050.0035,000.00
Balance Due on Restoration to Active from Voluntary Inactive Status70075.0052,500.00
Delinquency Fee (fee paid after the due date and for CLE)2,10050.00105,000.00
Reinstatement Fee (required to be paid after the due date of the required annual fee or CLE)420100.0042,000.00
Sponsor Application for USPTO CLE35060.0021,000.00
Certification of Attendance at USPTO-approved CLE Training35000.00
Practitioner request for paper version of CLE program and furnished narrative10075.007,500.00
Online version of the Seminar CLE28,00000.00
Paper version of the CLE10000.00
Practitioner's supporting documentation for a motion to hold in abeyance a disciplinary proceeding because of a current disability or addiction111,440.0011,440.00
Total72,1223,919,900.00

The General Requirements Bulletin for Admission to the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases before the USPTO states that all business with the USPTO should be transacted in writing. The actions of the OED will be based exclusively on the written record in the USPTO (37 CFR 1.2). Personal attendance is Start Printed Page 36523unnecessary. All documents may be submitted to the USPTO by first-class mail through the United States Postal Service. Mailed submissions should include a certificate of mailing for each piece of correspondence enclosed, stating the date of deposit or transmission to the USPTO. The USPTO estimates that the average first-class postage cost for responses to this collection will vary from 39 cents for one ounce to $4.05, depending on the individual submission. The total annual non-hour cost burden associated with postage costs is $16,122.

ItemResponsesPostage cost ($)Total non-hour cost burden (a) × (b)
(a)(b)(c)
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (includes both the computerized exam and the USPTO-administered exam)3,500$0.63$2,205.00
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (former examiners; examination waived)1000.6363.00
Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (applicant does not take the exam)1000.3939.00
Registration Examination to become a Registered Practitioner3,50000.00
Undertaking under 37 CFR 11.10(b)52000.00
Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (includes applicants that passed the examination, former examiners, and foreign applicants)2,1950.39856.00
Oath or Affirmation2,19500.00
Reinstatement to the Register600.3923.00
Written Request for Reconsideration and further review of Disapproval Notice of Application50.633.00
Petition to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline21.593.00
Petition for Reinstatement after Disciplinary Removal40.873.00
Annual Practitioner Registration Fee24,9200.399,719.00
Annual Fee, Limited Recognition2000.3978.00
Voluntary Inactive Status2,0000.39780.00
Request for Restoration to Active from Voluntary Inactive Status7000.39273.00
Balance Due on Restoration to Active from Voluntary Inactive Status7000.39273.00
Delinquency Fee (fee paid after the due date and for CLE)2,1000.39819.00
Reinstatement Fee (required to be paid after the due date of the required annual fee or CLE)4200.39164.00
Sponsor Application for USPTO CLE3501.59557.00
Certification of Attendance at USPTO Approved CLE Training3500.63221.00
Practitioner request for paper version of CLE program and furnished narrative1000.3939.00
On-line version of the Seminar CLE28,00000.00
Paper version of the CLE10000.00
Practitioner's supporting documentation for a motion to hold in abeyance a disciplinary proceeding because of a current disability or addiction14.054.00
Total72,12216,122.00

The USPTO estimates that the total (non-hour) respondent cost burden for this collection in the form of record keeping costs, filing fees, and postage costs is $3,940,412.

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, including through 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 will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: June 20, 2006.

Susan K. Brown,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-10085 Filed 6-26-06; 8:45 am]

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