[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 152 (Monday, August 10, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39916-39918]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-19027]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office


Patent Reexaminations

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.

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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 new 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 October 9, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include A0651-00XX Patent 
Reexaminations [email protected] in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 571-273-0112, marked to the attention of Susan K. 
Fawcett.
     Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the 
Chief Information Officer, Administrative Management Group, 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 Robert A. Clarke, Director, Office of Patent 
Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. 
Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7735; or 
by e-mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is required 
by 35 U.S.C. 131 and 151 to examine applications and, when appropriate, 
allow applications and issue them as patents.
    Chapter 30 of Title 35 U.S.C. provides that any person at any time 
may file a request for reexamination by the USPTO of any claim of a 
patent on the basis of prior art patents or printed publications. Once 
initiated, the reexamination proceedings under Chapter 30 are 
substantially ex parte and do not permit input from third parties. 
Chapter 31 of Title 35 U.S.C. provides for inter partes reexamination 
allowing third parties to participate throughout the reexamination 
proceeding. If a request for ex parte or inter partes reexamination is 
denied, the requester may petition the Director to review the 
examiner's refusal of reexamination. The rules outlining ex parte and 
inter partes reexaminations are found at 37 CFR 1.510-1.570 and 1.902-
1.997.
    Information requirements related to patent reexaminations are 
currently covered under OMB Control Number 0651-0033, along with other 
requirements related to patent issue fees and reissue applications. The 
USPTO is proposing to move the following items that are under 0651-0033 
into a new information collection for Patent Reexaminations: Request 
for Ex Parte Reexamination Transmittal Form; Request for Inter Partes 
Reexamination Transmittal Form; Petition to Review the Refusal to Grant 
Ex Parte Reexamination; Petition to Review the Refusal to Grant Inter 
Partes Reexamination; and Petition to Request Extension of Time in Ex 
Parte or Inter Partes Reexamination.
    The USPTO is also proposing to include additional items related to 
patent reexaminations in this new information collection: Request for 
Ex Parte Reexamination; Request for Inter Partes Reexamination; Patent 
Owner's 37 CFR 1.530 Statement; Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.535 
Reply; Amendment in Ex Parte or Inter Partes Reexamination; Third Party 
Requester's 37 CFR 1.947 Comments in Inter Partes Reexamination; 
Response to Final Rejection in Ex Parte Reexamination; Patent Owner's 
37 CFR 1.951 Response in Inter Partes Reexamination; and Third Party 
Requester's 37 CFR 1.951 Comments in Inter Partes Reexamination. These 
additional items are existing information requirements that previously 
were not fully covered by an information collection and are now being 
included in order to more accurately reflect the burden on the public 
for submitting requests related to patent reexaminations.
    The Requests for Ex Parte and Inter Partes Reexamination are 
distinct collections from the Request for Ex Parte Reexamination 
Transmittal Form and the Request for Inter Partes Reexamination 
Transmittal Form, respectively. Whereas the transmittal forms are used 
by a requester (patent owner or third party) as a checklist to ensure 
compliance with the requirements of the statutes and rules for ex parte 
and inter partes reexaminations, the newly added collections represent 
the substantive analysis undertaken by a requester of reexamination. 
Thus, the Requests for Ex Parte and Inter Partes Reexamination are not 
new requirements. The other items being included in this new

[[Page 39917]]

collection cover additional information that may be submitted by patent 
owners and third party requesters in relation to a reexamination 
proceeding. Likewise, these items are existing requirements that 
previously were not fully covered by an information collection.
    The public uses this information collection to request 
reexamination proceedings and to ensure that the associated fees and 
documentation are submitted to the USPTO.

II. Method of Collection

    By mail, facsimile, hand delivery, or electronically to the USPTO.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-00XX.
    Form Number(s): PTO/SB/57 and PTO/SB/58.
    Type of Review: New collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other 
for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 5,124 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public from 18 minutes (0.30 hours) to 90 hours to gather the 
necessary information, prepare the appropriate form or other documents, 
and submit the information to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 111,336 hours per 
year.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $34,514,160 per 
year. The USPTO expects that the information in this collection will be 
prepared by attorneys. Using the professional rate of $310 per hour for 
attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates that the respondent 
cost burden for this collection will be approximately $34,514,160 per 
year.

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                                                                                   Estimated        Estimated
                     Item                        Estimated time for response         annual       annual burden
                                                                                   responses          hours
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Request for Ex Parte Reexamination             18 minutes.....................              845              254
 Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/57).
Request for Ex Parte Reexamination...........  40 hours.......................              845           33,800
Request for Inter Partes Reexamination         18 minutes.....................              380              114
 Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/58).
Request for Inter Partes Reexamination.......  90 hours.......................              380           34,200
Petition to Review Refusal to Grant Ex Parte   15 hours.......................               25              375
 Reexamination.
Petition to Review Refusal to Grant Inter      25 hours.......................                9              225
 Partes Reexamination.
Patent Owner's 37 CFR 1.530 Statement........  7 hours........................              105              735
Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.535 Reply...  7 hours........................               60              420
Amendment in Ex Parte or Inter Partes          20 hours.......................            1,165           23,300
 Reexamination.
Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.947 Comments  25 hours.......................              300            7,500
 in Inter Partes Reexamination.
Response to Final Rejection in Ex Parte        15 hours.......................              320            4,800
 Reexamination.
Patent Owner's 37 CFR 1.951 Response in Inter  25 hours.......................              120            3,000
 Partes Reexamination.
Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.951 Comments  25 hours.......................               95            2,375
 in Inter Partes Reexamination.
Petition to Request Extension of Time in Ex    30 minutes.....................              475              238
 Parte or Inter Partes Reexamination.
                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals.......................................  ...............................            5,124          111,336
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    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $5,577,265 
per year. There are no capital start-up or maintenance costs associated 
with this information collection. However, this collection does have 
annual (non-hour) costs in the form of filing fees, postage costs, and 
recordkeeping costs.
    There are filing fees associated with requests for reexamination 
and for the petition to request an extension of time in a 
reexamination. The total fees for this collection are calculated in the 
accompanying table. The USPTO estimates that the total fees associated 
with this collection will be approximately $5,568,400 per year.

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                                                                  Estimated
                             Item                                  annual        Fee Amount     Estimated annual
                                                                  responses                       filing costs
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Request for Ex Parte Reexamination Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/              845       $2,520.00      $2,129,400.00
 57).........................................................
Request for Ex Parte Reexamination...........................             845            0.00               0.00
Request for Inter Partes Reexamination Transmittal Form (PTO/             380        8,800.00       3,344,000.00
 SB/58)......................................................
Request for Inter Partes Reexamination.......................             380            0.00               0.00
Petition to Review Refusal to Grant Ex Parte Reexamination...              25            0.00               0.00
Petition to Review Refusal to Grant Inter Partes                            9            0.00               0.00
 Reexamination...............................................
Patent Owner's 37 CFR 1.530 Statement........................             105            0.00               0.00
Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.535 Reply...................              60            0.00               0.00
Amendment in Ex Parte or Inter Partes Reexamination..........           1,165            0.00               0.00
Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.947 Comments in Inter Partes             300            0.00               0.00
 Reexamination...............................................
Response to Final Rejection in Ex Parte Reexamination........             320            0.00               0.00
Patent Owner's 37 CFR 1.951 Response in Inter Partes                      120            0.00               0.00
 Reexamination...............................................
Third Party Requester's 37 CFR 1.951 Comments in Inter Partes              95            0.00               0.00
 Reexamination...............................................
Petition to Request Extension of Time in Ex Parte or Inter                475          200.00          95,000.00
 Partes Reexamination........................................
                                                              --------------------------------------------------
Totals.......................................................           5,124  ..............      $5,568,400.00
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[[Page 39918]]

    There may also be postage costs and recordkeeping costs associated 
with this collection. The USPTO expects that approximately 50 percent 
of the responses for this collection will be submitted by mail and 50 
percent will be submitted electronically. The USPTO estimates that the 
postage cost for a mailed submission will be from 44 cents to $4.95, 
depending on the size of the submission, and that approximately 2,558 
mailed submissions will be received per year, for a total postage cost 
of approximately $8,565 per year.
    When submitting the information in this collection to the USPTO 
electronically, the applicant is strongly urged to retain a copy of the 
acknowledgment receipt as evidence that the submission was received by 
the USPTO on the date noted. The USPTO estimates that it will take 5 
seconds (0.001 hours) to print and retain a copy of the acknowledgment 
receipt and that approximately 2,566 responses per year will be 
submitted electronically, for a total of approximately 3 hours per year 
for printing this receipt. Using the paraprofessional rate of $100 per 
hour, the USPTO estimates that the recordkeeping cost associated with 
this collection will be approximately $300 per year.
    The total non-hour respondent cost burden for this collection in 
the form of filing fees, postage costs, and recordkeeping costs is 
approximately $5,577,265 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: August 4, 2009.
Susan K. Fawcett,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer, 
Administrative Management Group.
[FR Doc. E9-19027 Filed 8-7-09; 8:45 am]
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