[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 206 (Thursday, October 23, 2008)]
[Pages 63134-63135]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-25280]



Patent and Trademark Office

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Certificate Action Form

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 December 22, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include ``0651-0045 
comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 571-273-0112, marked to the attention of Susan 
     Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the 
Chief Information Officer, Customer Information Services Group, Public 
Information Services Division, United States Patent and Trademark 
Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to Katherine Queen, Information Technology Security 
Program Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 
1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-8993; or by e-
mail at [email protected].


I. Abstract

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses Public 
Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to support electronic commerce 
between the USPTO and its customers. PKI is a set of hardware, 
software, policies, and procedures that provide important security 
services for the electronic business activities of the USPTO, including 
protecting the confidentiality of unpublished patent applications in 
accordance with 35 U.S.C. 122 and 37 CFR 1.14, as well as protecting 
international patent applications in accordance with Article 30 of the 
Patent Cooperation Treaty.
    In order to provide the necessary security for its electronic 
commerce systems, the USPTO uses PKI technology to protect the 
integrity and confidentiality of information submitted to the USPTO. 
PKI employs public and private encryption keys to authenticate the 
customer's identity and support secure electronic communication between 
the customer and the USPTO. Customers may submit a request to the USPTO 
for a digital certificate, which enables the customer to create the 
encryption keys necessary for electronic identity verification and 
secure transactions with the USPTO. This digital certificate is 
required in order to access secure online systems that are provided by 
the USPTO for transactions such as electronic filing of patent 
applications and viewing confidential

[[Page 63135]]

information about unpublished patent applications.
    This information collection includes the Certificate Action Form 
(PTO-2042), which is used by the public to request a new digital 
certificate, the revocation of a current certificate, or the recovery 
of a lost or corrupted certificate. Customers may also change the name 
listed on the certificate or associate the certificate with one or more 
previously assigned Customer Numbers. A certificate request must 
include a notarized signature in order to verify the identity of the 
applicant. The Certificate Action Form also has an accompanying 
subscriber agreement to ensure that customers understand their 
obligations regarding the use of the digital certificates and 
cryptographic software. When generating a new certificate, customers 
may provide additional information for a set of security questions and 
answers that will enable customers to recover a lost certificate online 
without having to contact USPTO support staff.

II. Method of Collection

    The Certificate Action Form must be notarized and may be mailed or 
hand delivered to the USPTO. The Certificate Self-Recovery Form is 
submitted online through the USPTO Web site.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0045.
    Form Number(s): PTO-2042.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other 
for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,126 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public approximately 30 minutes (0.5 hours) to read the 
instructions and subscriber agreement, gather the necessary 
information, prepare the Certificate Action Form, and submit the 
completed request. The USPTO estimates that it will take the public 
approximately 10 minutes (0.17 hours) to complete and electronically 
submit the information required for Certificate Self-Recovery.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 1,383 hours per 
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $167,343 per year. 
The USPTO expects that 70% of the submissions for this collection will 
be prepared by paraprofessionals, 15% by attorneys, and 15% by 
independent inventors. Using those proportions and the estimated rates 
of $100 per hour for paraprofessionals, $310 per hour for associate 
attorneys in private firms, and $30 per hour for independent inventors, 
the USPTO estimates that the average rate for those respondents will be 
approximately $121 per hour. Therefore, the estimated total respondent 
cost burden for this collection will be $167,343 per year.

                                                                  Estimated time     Estimated       Estimated
                              Item                                 for response       annual      annual  burden
                                                                     (minutes)       responses         hours
Certificate Action Form (including Subscriber Agreement) (PTO-                30           2,063           1,032
Certificate Self-Recovery Form..................................              10           2,063             351
    Totals......................................................  ..............           4,126           1,383

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: $4,992. 
There are no capital start-up costs, maintenance costs, or filing fees 
associated with this information collection. However, this collection 
does have annual (non-hour) cost burden in the form of recordkeeping 
costs and postage costs associated with the Certificate Action Form.
    This collection has recordkeeping costs due to the notarization 
requirement for authenticating the signatures on the Certificate Action 
Form. The USPTO estimates that the average fee for having a signature 
notarized is $2 and that 2,063 responses for these forms will be 
submitted annually, for a total recordkeeping cost of $4,126 per year.
    This collection also has postage costs for submitting the 
Certificate Action Form to the USPTO by mail. The form cannot be faxed 
or submitted electronically because it requires an original notarized 
signature for identity verification. The USPTO estimates that the 
first-class postage cost for these forms will be 42 cents and that it 
will receive 2,063 mailed responses annually, for a total postage cost 
of approximately $866 per year.
    The total (non-hour) respondent cost burden for this collection in 
the form of recordkeeping costs and postage costs is estimated to be 
$4,992 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.

    Dated: October 16, 2008.
Susan K. Fawcett,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer, 
Customer Information Services Group, Public Information Services 
[FR Doc. E8-25280 Filed 10-22-08; 8:45 am]