The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will submit 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: 43,605 hours annually.
Number of Respondents: 573,161 responses per year.
Avg. Hours per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take the public approximately 20 seconds (0.006 hours) to 8 hours to submit the information in this collection, including the time to gather the necessary information, prepare the appropriate form or petition, and submit the completed request to the USPTO.
Needs and Uses: Under 35 U.S.C. 41 and 37 CFR 1.20(e)-(i) and 1.362-1.378, the USPTO charges fees for maintaining in force all utility patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980. Payment of these maintenance fees is due at 31/2, 71/2, and 111/2 years after the date the patent was granted. If the USPTO does not receive payment of the appropriate maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge within a grace period of six months following each of the above due dates (at 4, 8, or 12 years after the date of grant), the patent will expire at that time. After a patent expires, it is no longer enforceable. The public uses this collection to submit patent maintenance fee payments, to file petitions regarding delayed or refused payments, and to designate an address to be used for fee-related correspondence.
Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
Frequency: On occasion and three times at four-year intervals following the grant of the patent.
Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.
OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov.
Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through the Information Collection Review page at www.reginfo.gov.
Paper copies can be obtained by:
InformationCollection@uspto.gov. Include “0651-0016 copy request” in the subject line of the message.
Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before April 26, 2012 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.
Dated: March 22, 2012.
Susan K. Fawcett,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-7284 Filed 3-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P