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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Patent Processing

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 60975

AGENCY:

United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of information collection; request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651-0031 (Patent Processing). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.

DATES:

To ensure consideration, comments regarding this information collection must be received on or before November 30, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by any of the following methods. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

  • Email: InformationCollection@uspto.gov. Include “0651-0031 comment” in the subject line of the message.
  • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
  • Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be directed to Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7728; or by email to raul.tamayo@uspto.gov with “0651-0031 comment” in the subject line. Additional information about this information collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under “Information Collection Review.”

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is required by 35 U.S.C. 131 to examine an application for patent and, when appropriate, issue a patent. The USPTO is also required to publish patent applications, with certain exceptions, promptly after the expiration of a period of 18 months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is sought under Title 35, United States Code (“eighteen-month publication”). This information collection covers certain situations that may arise which require that additional information be supplied in order for the USPTO to further process the patent or application.

The information in this collection is used by the USPTO to continue the processing of the patent or application to ensure that applicants are complying with the patent regulations and to aid in the prosecution of the application. In addition, this renewal proposes to remove three items related to patent appeals and associate all submissions of those items to an existing information collection (0651-0063, Patent Trial and Appeal Board Appeals). These three items are: Notice of Appeal, Amendment to Cancel Claims During an Appeal, and Request for Oral Hearing.

II. Method of Collection

Items in this information collection may be submitted via online electronic submissions. In limited circumstances, applicants may be permitted to submit the information in paper form by mail, fax, or hand delivery.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0651-0031.

Form Number(s): (AIA = American Invents; SB = Specimen Book; PTOL = Patent and Trademark Office Legal)

  • PTO/SB/08a/08b (Information Disclosure Statements)
  • PTO/SB/21 (Transmittal Form)
  • PTO/SB/22 and PTO/AIA/22 (Petitions for Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a))
  • PTO/SB/24 and PTO/AIA/24 (Express Abandonment under 37 CFR 1.138)
  • PTO/SB/25/26/43/63 (Statutory Disclaimers)
  • PTO/SB/27 (Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Application)
  • PTO/SB/61/64 (Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned Unintentionally)
  • PTO/SB/64a (Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned for Failure to Notify the Office of a Foreign or International Filing)
  • PTO/SB/67/68 (Requests to Access, Inspect, and Copy)
  • PTO/SB/91 (Deposit Account Order Form)
  • PTO/SB/92 (Certificates of Mailing or Transmission)
  • PTO/SB/96 and PTO/AIA/96 (Statement under 37 CFR 3.73(b))
  • PTO/SB/35 (Non-Publication Request)
  • PTO/SB/36 (Rescission of Previous Non-Publication Request (35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(ii) and, if applicable, Notice of Foreign Filing (35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii))
  • PTO-2053-A/B, PTO-2054-A/B, and PTO-2055-A/B (Copy of the Applicant or Patentee's Record of the Application (including copies of the correspondence, list of the correspondence, and statements verifying whether the record is complete or not))
  • PTO/SB/30 (Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal)
  • PTO/SB/37 (Request for Suspension of Action or Deferral of Examination under 37 CFR 1.103(b), (c), or (d))
  • PTOL/413A (Applicant-Initiated Interview Request Form)
  • PTO/SB/17i (Processing Fee under 37 CFR 1.17(i) Transmittal)
  • PTO/SB/38 (Request to Retrieve Electronic Priority Application(s) under 37 CFR 1.55(d))
  • PTO/SB/39 (Authorization or Rescission of Authorization to Permit Access to Application-as-filed by Participating Offices under 37 CFR 1.14(h))
  • PTO/SB/24B and PTO/AIA/24B (Petition for Express Abandonment to Obtain a Refund)
  • PTO/SB/33 and PTO/AIA/33 (Pre-Appeal Brief Request for Review)
  • PTOL-413C (Request for First-Action Interview (Pilot Program))
  • PTO/SB/130 (Petition to Make Special Based on Age for Advancement of Examination under 37 CFR 1.102(c)(1))

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

Affected Public: Private sector; individuals or households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,669,397 respondents per year.

Estimated Number of Responses: 3,669,397 responses per year.

Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take respondents between 2 minutes (.03 hours) and 8 hours to submit an item in this information collection depending on the instrument used, including the time to gather the necessary information, prepare the appropriate form or petition, and submit the completed request to the USPTO.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 3,187,341 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $842,416,575.Start Printed Page 60976

Table 1—Total Hourly Burden For Private Sector Respondents

Item No.ItemEstimated annual respondentsEstimated annual responses (year)Estimated time for response (hours)Estimated annual burden (hour/year)Rate 1 ($/hour)Estimated annual burden
(a)(b)(a) × (b) = c(d)(c) × (d) = e
1Information Disclosure Statements that require the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(p)624,824624,82421,249,648$400$499,859,200
2Transmittal Form663,023663,02321,326,046145192,276,670
3Petition for Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a)252,184252,184.3 (18 minutes)75,65514510,969,975
4Express Abandonment under 37 CFR 1.1381,8381,838.25 (15 minutes)46014566,700
5Statutory Disclaimers (including terminal disclaimers)57,89157,891.25 (15 minutes)14,4734005,789,200
6Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Application1,0341,034.25 (15 minutes)259400103,600
7Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned Unintentionally7,6667,66617,6664003,066,400
8Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned for Failure to Notify the Office of a Foreign or International Filing140140114040056,000
9Requests to Access, Inspect and Copy824,500824,500.25 (15 minutes)206,12514529,888,125
10Deposit Account Order Form64,46064,460.25 (15 minutes)16,1151452,336,675
11Certificates of Mailing or Transmission582,000582,000.03 (2 minutes)17,4601452,531,700
12Statement Under 37 CFR 3.73(c)172,469172,469.25 (15 minutes)43,11740017,246,900
13Non-publication Request21,34021,340.25 (15 minutes)5,3354002,134,000
14Rescission of Previous Non-publication Request (35 U.S.C. § 122(b)(2)(B)(ii) and, if applicable, Notice of Foreign Filing (35 U.S.C. § 122(b)(2)(B)(iii)2,1342,134.25 (15 minutes)534400213,600
15Electronic Filing System (EFS) Copy of Application for Publication112.53145435
16Copy of File Content Showing Redactions11444001,600
17Copy of the Applicant or Patentee's Record of the Application (including copies of the correspondence, list of the correspondence, and statements verifying whether the record is complete or not)662121451,740
18Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal154,766154,766.3 (18 minutes)46,43040018,572,000
19Request for Suspension of Action or Deferral of Examination Under 37 CFR 1.103(b), (c), or (d)832832.2 (12 minutes)16640066,400
20Request for Voluntary Publication or Republication (includes publication fee for republication)134134.2 (12 minutes)271453,915
21Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form30,55730,557.4 (24 minutes)12,2234004,889,200
22Processing Fee Under 37 CFR 1.17(i) Transmittal119119.08 (5 minutes)104004,000
23Request to Retrieve Electronic Priority Application (s) Under 37 CFR 1.55(h)5,8585,858.25 (15 minutes)1,465400585,600
24Authorization or Rescission of Authorization to Permit Access to Application-as-filed by Participating Offices Under 37 CFR 1.14(h)7,7477,747.25 (15 minutes)1,937400774,800
25Petition for Express Abandonment to Obtain a Refund1,8271,827.2 (12 minutes)365400146,000
26Pre-Appeal Brief Request for Review7,7607,760538,80040015,520,000
27Request for Corrected Filing Receipt42,08942,089.08 (5 minutes)3,367145488,215
28Request for First Action Interview (Pilot Program) (Electronic only)2,0262,0262.55,0654002,026,000
29Petition to Make Special Based on Age for Advancement of Examination under 37 CFR 1.102(c)(1) (EFS-Web only)1,4711,47122,9424001,176,800
30Filing a submission after final rejection (see 37 CFR 1.129(a))93938744400297,600
31Correction of inventorship after first office action on the merits2,9102,910.75 (45 minutes)2,183400873,200
32Request for correction in a patent application relating to inventorship or an inventor name, or order of names, other than in a reissue application (37 CFR 1.48)14,21614,216.75 (45 minutes)10,6624004,264,800
Start Printed Page 60977
33Request to correct or update the name of the applicant under 37 CFR 1.46(c)(1), or change the applicant under 37 CFR 1.46(c)(2)11,39811,398.2 (12 minutes)2,280400912,000
Total3,559,3143,559,3143,091,718817,143,050
1 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/​detail/​journal-issue/​2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms which is $400 per hour. The hourly rate for paraprofessional/paralegals is estimated at $145 from data published in the 2018 Utilization and Compensation Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Table 2—Total Hourly Burden for Individuals and Households Respondents

Item No.ItemEstimated annual respondentsEstimated annual responses (year)Estimated time for response (hours)Estimated annual burden (hour/year)Rate 2 ($/hour)Estimated annual burden
(a)(b)(a) × (b) = c(d)(c) × (d) = e
1Information Disclosure Statements that require the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(p)19,32419,324238,648$400$15,459,200
2Transmittal Form20,50620,506241,0121455,946,740
3Petition for Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a)7,8007,800.3 (18 minutes)2,340145339,300
4Express Abandonment under 37 CFR 1.1385757.25 (15 minutes)141452,030
5Statutory Disclaimers (including terminal disclaimers)1,7901,790.25 (15 minutes)448400179,200
6Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Application3232.25 (15 minutes)84003,200
7Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned Unintentionally237237123740094,800
8Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned for Failure to Notify the Office of a Foreign or International Filing44144001,600
9Requests to Access, Inspect and Copy25,50025,500.25 (15 minutes)6,375145924,375
10Deposit Account Order Form1,9941,994.25 (15 minutes)49914572,355
11Certificates of Mailing or Transmission18,00018,000.03 (2 minutes)54014578,300
12Statement Under 37 CFR 3.73(c)5,3345,334.25 (15 minutes)1,334400533,600
13Non-publication Request660660.25 (15 minutes)16540066,000
14Rescission of Previous Non-publication Request (35 U.S.C. § 122(b)(2)(B)(ii) and, if applicable, Notice of Foreign Filing (35 U.S.C. § 122(b)(2)(B)(iii)6666.25 (15 minutes)174006,800
18Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal4,7874,787.3 (18 minutes)1,436400574,400
19Request for Suspension of Action or Deferral of Examination Under 37 CFR 1.103(b), (c), or (d)2626.2 (12 minutes)54002,000
20Request for Voluntary Publication or Republication (includes publication fee for republication)44.2 (12 minutes)1145145
21Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form945945.4 (24 minutes)378400151,200
22Processing Fee Under 37 CFR 1.17(i) Transmittal44.08 (5 minutes)1400400
23Request to Retrieve Electronic Priority Application (s) Under 37 CFR 1.55(h)181181.25 (15 minutes)4540018,000
24Authorization or Rescission of Authorization to Permit Access to Application-as-filed by Participating Offices Under 37 CFR 1.14(h)240240.25 (15 minutes)6040024,000
25Petition for Express Abandonment to Obtain a Refund5656.2 (12 minutes)114004,400
26Pre-Appeal Brief Request for Review24024051,200400480,000
27Request for Corrected Filing Receipt1,3021,302.08 (5 minutes)10414515,080
28Request for First Action Interview (Pilot Program) (Electronic only)63632.515840063,200
29Petition to Make Special Based on Age for Advancement of Examination under 37 CFR 1.102(c)(1) (EFS-Web only)454529040036,000
Start Printed Page 60978
30Filing a submission after final rejection (see 37 CFR 1.129(a))338244009,600
31Correction of inventorship after first office action on the merits9090.75 (45 minutes)6840027,200
32Request for correction in a patent application relating to inventorship or an inventor name, or order of names, other than in a reissue application (37 CFR 1.48)440440.75 (45 minutes)330400132,000
33Request to correct or update the name of the applicant under 37 CFR 1.46(c)(1), or change the applicant under 37 CFR 1.46(c)(2)353353.2 (12 minutes)7140028,400
Total110,083110,08395,62325,273,525
2 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/​detail/​journal-issue/​2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms which is $400 per hour. The hourly rate for paraprofessional/paralegals is estimated at $145 from data published in the 2018 Utilization and Compensation Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Estimated Total Annual Non-Hour Respondent Cost Burden: $408,845,999.

There are no recordkeeping, maintenance, or capital start-up costs associated with this information collection. However, this information collection has annual non-hour costs in the form of filing fees, as estimated in Table 3, and postage costs. The public may submit the paper forms and petitions in this information collection to the USPTO by mail through the United States Postal Service. If the submission is sent by first-class mail, the public may also include a signed certification of the date of mailing in order to receive credit for timely filing. The USPTO estimates that approximately 166,111 submissions per year may be mailed. The USPTO estimates that the average submission will be mailed in a legal flat-rate Priority Mail envelope at a cost of $8.05; resulting in a total postage cost of $1,377,194.

Table 3—Filing Fees

Item No.ItemEstimated annual responsesEstimated costEstimated non-hour cost burden
(a)(b)(a) × (b)
1Information Disclosure Statements (IDS) that require the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(p) (large entity)$108,938$260$28,323,880
1IDS that require the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(p) (small entity)27,1981303,535,740
1IDS that require the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(p) (micro entity)7706550,050
3One-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (large entity)84,42822018,574,160
3One-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (small entity)34,5641103,802,040
3One-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (micro entity)4,03555221,925
3Two-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (large entity)36,16564023,145,600
3Two-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (small entity)19,7283206,312,960
3Two-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (micro entity)2,346160375,360
3Three-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (large entity)30,668148045,388,640
3Three-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (small entity)30,44274022,527,080
3Three-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (micro entity)3,2273701,193,990
3Four-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (large entity)1,86023204,315,200
3Four-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (small entity)2,36611602,744,560
3Four-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (micro entity)294580170,520
3Five-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (large entity)2,03831606,440,080
3Five-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (small entity)2,25715803,566,060
3Five-month Extension of Time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) (micro entity)182790143,780
5Statutory Disclaimer (including terminal disclaimer) (large entity)44,6251707,586,250
5Statutory Disclaimer (including terminal disclaimer) (small entity)14,3651702,442,050
5Statutory Disclaimer (including terminal disclaimer) (micro entity)691170117,470
6Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Application (large entity)3811600609,600
6Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Application (small entity)468800374,400
6Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Application (micro entity)21840087,200
8Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned Unintentionally (large entity)3,00621006,312,600
8Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned Unintentionally (small entity)3,73010503,916,500
Start Printed Page 60979
8Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned Unintentionally (micro entity)1,167525612,675
9Petition for revival of an application for patent abandoned for failure to notify the office of a foreign or international filing (large entity)1082100226,800
9Petition for revival of an application for patent abandoned for failure to notify the office of a foreign or international filing (small entity)22105023,100
9Petition for revival of an application for patent abandoned for failure to notify the office of a foreign or international filing (micro entity)145257,350
17Copy of File Content Showing Redactions1140140
19Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal (First Request) (large entity)74,4581360101,262,880
19Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal (First Request) (small entity)26,59268018,082,560
19Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal (First Request) (micro entity)5,3183401,808,120
19Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal (Second and Subsequent Requests) (large entity)37,076200074,152,000
19Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal (Second and Subsequent Requests) (small entity)13,241100013,241,000
19Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Transmittal (Second and Subsequent Requests) (micro entity)2,6485001,324,000
21Request for Suspension of Action or Deferral of Examination Under 37 CFR 1.103(b), (c), or (d) (large entity)601220132,220
21Request for Suspension of Action or Deferral of Examination Under 37 CFR 1.103(b), (c), or (d) (small entity)21511023,650
21Request for Suspension of Action or Deferral of Examination Under 37 CFR 1.103(b), (c), or (d) (micro entity)42552,310
22Request for Voluntary Publication or Republication (includes publication fee for republication)13814019,320
24Processing Fee Under 37 CFR 1.17(i) Transmittal12314017,220
32Filing a submission after final rejection (see 37 CFR 1.129(a)) (large entity)4688040,480
32Filing a submission after final rejection (see 37 CFR 1.129(a)) (small entity)4444019,360
32Filing a submission after final rejection (see 37 CFR 1.129(a)) (micro entity)52201,100
33Correction of inventorship after first office action on the merits (large entity)1156640739,840
33Correction of inventorship after first office action on the merits (small entity)793320253,760
33Correction of inventorship after first office action on the merits (micro entity)621609,920
34Request for correction in a patent application relating to inventorship or an inventor name, or order of names, other than in a reissue application (37 CFR 1.48) (large entity)10,2592602,667,340
34Request for correction in a patent application relating to inventorship or an inventor name, or order of names, other than in a reissue application (37 CFR 1.48) (small entity)3,664130476,320
34Request for correction in a patent application relating to inventorship or an inventor name, or order of names, other than in a reissue application (37 CFR 1.48) (micro entity)7336547,645
Total407,468,805

Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

IV. Request for Comments

The USPTO is soliciting public comments to:

(a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(b) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

All comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. USPTO will include or summarize each comment in the request to OMB to approve this information collection. Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in a comment, be aware that the entire comment— including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask in your comment to withhold personal identifying information from public view, USPTO Start Printed Page 60980cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

Start Signature

Kimberly Hardy,

Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-21517 Filed 9-28-20; 8:45 am]

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