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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

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AGENCY:

United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of amendment of Privacy Act system of records.

SUMMARY:

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-7 Patent Application Files.” This action is being taken to update the Privacy Act notice. We invite the public to comment on the amendments noted in this publication.

DATES:

Written comments must be received no later than April 29, 2013. The amendments will become effective as proposed on April 29, 2013, unless the USPTO receives comments that would result in a contrary determination.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

  • Email: Raul.Tamayo@uspto.gov. Include “Privacy Act PAT-TM-7 comment” in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (571) 273-7728, marked to the attention of Raul Tamayo.
  • Mail: Raul Tamayo, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
  • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

All comments received will be available for public inspection at the Federal rulemaking portal located at www.regulations.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Raul Tamayo, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, (571) 272-7728.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is giving notice of an amendment to a system of records that is subject to the Privacy Act of 1974. This system of records maintains information on patent applicants and their authorized representatives. The Privacy Act notice is being updated with the current address and departmental information for the system location and system manager. The routine uses of records maintained in the system have been updated to include use in law enforcement, audits and oversight activities, and distribution to contractors, all uses commonly published in other agency system of records notices. The descriptions of storage, retrievability, and safeguards have been revised to reflect current database practices. The rule references for the notification procedure, contesting record procedures, and exemptions have been updated to correspond to the current statutes and rules for those items as related to the USPTO.

The amended Privacy Act system of records notice, “COMMERCE/PAT-TM-7 Patent Application Files,” is published in its entirety below.

COMMERCE/PAT-TM-7

System name:

Patent Application Files. (Note: This notice is broken down, where indicated, into three subsystems relating to the status of the files: a. Pending; b. Abandoned; and c. Patented.)

Security classification:

Unclassified.

System location:

a. United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; b. Franconia Warehouse—Files Repository, 6808 Loisdale Road, Springfield, VA 22150; and United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; c. Franconia Warehouse—Files Repository, 6808 Loisdale Road, Springfield, VA 22150; and United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

Applicants for patent, including inventors, legal representatives for deceased or incapacitated inventors, and other persons authorized by law to make applications for patent.

Categories of records in the system:

Oath or declaration of applicant including name, citizenship, residence, post office address and other information pertaining to the applicant's activities in connection with the invention for which a patent is sought. Statements containing various kinds of information with respect to inventors who are deceased or incapacitated, or who are unavailable or unwilling to make application for patent.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

35 U.S.C. 1, 6, and 115; 5 U.S.C. 301.

Purpose(s):

To carry out the duties of the USPTO to grant and issue patents, including the collection of the inventor's oath or declaration under 35 U.S.C. 115.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

(1) a. Information concerning these records is provided outside the Office only upon authorization of the applicant or owner of the application or when necessary to carry out the provisions of any act of Congress or in such special circumstances as may be determined by the Commissioner, e.g. files referred for secrecy order determination under 35 U.S.C. 181. b. Same as a., except where application is referred to in a U.S. Patent, in which case the record is open to public inspection. c. Records are open to public inspection.

(2) Routine uses will include disclosure for law enforcement purposes to the appropriate agency or other authority, whether federal, state, local, foreign, international or tribal, charged with the responsibility of enforcing, investigating, or prosecuting a violation of any law, rule, regulation, or order in any case in which there is an indication of a violation or potential violation of law (civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature).

(3) Routine uses will include disclosure to an agency, organization, or individual for the purpose of performing audit or oversight operations as authorized by law, but only such information as is necessary and relevant to such audit or oversight function.

(4) Routine uses will include disclosure to contractors and their agents, grantees, experts, consultants, and others performing or working on a Start Printed Page 19244contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or other work assignment for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. Individuals provided information under this routine use are subject to the same Privacy Act requirements and limitations on disclosure as are applicable to the United States Patent and Trademark Office employees.

(5) Routine uses for all three subsystems will also include the Prefatory Statement of General Routine Uses Nos. 1-5 and 8-13, as found at 46 FR 63501-63502 (December 31, 1981).

Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies:

Not applicable.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage:

Paper records in file folders, microfilm, and electronic storage media.

Retrievability:

Subsystems a. and b. filed by serial number, cross-indexed to name of applicant; or stored in searchable database and retrievable by application number. Subsystem c. filed by patent number, cross-indexed to name of applicant; or stored in searchable database and retrievable by patent number.

Safeguards:

Buildings employ security guards. Records are maintained in areas accessible only to authorized personnel who are properly screened, cleared, and trained. Where information is retrievable by computer, it is stored in databases protected by passwords.

Retention and disposal:

Records retention and disposal is in accordance with the series records schedules.

System manager(s) and address:

a. Commissioner for Patents, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; b. Director, Office of Administrative Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; c. Director, Office of Administrative Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Notification procedure:

Information about the records contained in this system may be obtained by sending a request in writing, signed, to the system manager at the address above or to the address provided in 37 CFR 102 subpart B for making inquiries about records covered by the Privacy Act. Requesters should provide their name, address, and record sought (including Serial Number or Patent Number, if known) in accordance with the procedures for making inquiries appearing in 37 CFR 102 subpart B.

Record access procedures:

Requests from individuals should be addressed as stated in the notification section above.

Contesting record procedures:

The general provisions for access, contesting contents, and appealing initial determinations by the individual concerned appear in 37 CFR 102 subpart B. Requests from individuals should be addressed as stated in the notification section above.

Record source categories:

The inventors or other persons who submit applications for patent and the patent attorneys or agents authorized by such inventor or other persons to represent them.

Exemptions claimed for the system:

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), Patent Applications, to the extent that they are subject to a secrecy order pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 181 or are otherwise subject to security classification pursuant to E.O. 12065 or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 are exempted from the notification, access and content requirements of the agency procedures (under 5 U.S.C. 552((c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f)). This exemption is made to prevent disclosure of information which might be detrimental to national security and in accordance with agency rules, which appear in 37 CFR 102 subpart B.

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Dated: March 26, 2013.

Susan K. Fawcett,

Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2013-07341 Filed 3-28-13; 8:45 am]

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