[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 205 (Monday, October 26, 2009)]
[Pages 54955-54956]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-25723]



Patent and Trademark Office

Customer Input: United States Patent and Trademark Office 
Customer Surveys

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 this extension of a 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 28, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include ``0651-0038 
Customer Input: United States Patent and Trademark Office Customer 
Surveys comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 571-273-0112, marked to the attention of Susan K. 
     Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the 
Chief Information Officer, Information Management Services, Data 
Management Division, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, 
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to the attention of Martin Rater, Management 
Analyst, Office of Patent Quality Assurance, United States Patent and 
Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by 
telephone at 571-272-5966; or by e-mail at [email protected] with 
``Paperwork'' in the subject line.


I. Abstract

    This is a generic clearance for an undefined number of voluntary 
surveys that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may 
conduct over the next three years. The USPTO uses telephone surveys, 
questionnaires, and customer surveys to collect feedback from their 
    With the exception of the telephone surveys, the surveys are mailed 
to the USPTO's customers. The USPTO provides the option for customers 
to respond to the questionnaires and surveys electronically. Although 
the USPTO is moving to an electronic environment and would prefer to 
administer the questionnaires and customer surveys wholly via the Web 
to coincide with other e-government initiatives, the USPTO's customers 
have requested that the surveys be made available in paper format as 
well since many of them only find the time to complete the surveys 
during their commutes, on planes, etc., where they do not have Internet 
access. Consequently, the surveys are primarily answered in the paper 
    Customers either access the survey in question through the USPTO's 
Web site or through the Web sites of the USPTO's survey contractors. 
Instructions for using the online surveys are provided in the cover 
letter that accompanies the survey. The cover letter also contains the 
username and password required to enter the survey site and the access 
code to activate the survey. The electronic version of the survey 
mirrors the paper version.
    The surveys in this collection are designed to obtain customer 
feedback regarding products, services, and related service standards of 
the USPTO. At this time, the USPTO is unable to state precisely which 
survey vehicles will be used during the renewal period. As the USPTO's 
survey needs are determined, the USPTO will submit the specific survey 
instrument for approval.

II. Method of Collection

    These surveys will either be conducted by telephone, mailed to the 
USPTO in a pre-addressed, self-stamped envelope, or completed 
electronically. A random sample is used to collect the data. 
Statistical methods will be followed.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0038.
    Form Number(s): N/A.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Business or other for profits.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,900 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public approximately 15 minutes (0.25 hours) to complete the 
telephone surveys and 5 minutes (.08 hours) to complete the 
questionnaires and customer surveys, whether they are mailed to the 
USPTO or submitted electronically. This includes the time to gather the 
necessary information, complete the surveys, and submit them to the 
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 220 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $57,420. The USPTO 
believes that both professionals and paraprofessionals will complete 
these surveys, at a rate of 76% of the current professional rate of 
$310 ($236) per hour and 25% of the paraprofessional rate of $100 ($25) 
per hour. Using a combination of these rates, the USPTO is using an 
hourly rate of $261 to calculate the respondent costs. The USPTO 
estimates that the respondent cost burden for this collection will be 
$57,420 per year.

[[Page 54956]]

                                                                                     Estimated       Estimated
                     Item                          Estimated time for response        annual      annual  burden
                                                                                     responses         hours
Telephone Surveys.............................  15 minutes......................             400             100
Questionnaires and Customer Surveys...........  5 minutes.......................             750              60
Electronic Questionnaires and Customer Surveys  5 minutes.......................             750              60
    Total.....................................  ................................           1,900             220
Note: The burden figures shown in the table above are estimates based on the surveys that the USPTO may conduct
  during the next three years. At this time, the USPTO cannot predict which or how many surveys will be
  conducted. Depending on the number of surveys that the USPTO actually conducts, it is possible that the burden
  hours could decrease or even increase from the totals shown in the table.

    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $0. There 
are no capital start-up, maintenance, operation, or recordkeeping 
costs, nor are there any filing fees associated with this information 
collection. Although the USPTO conducts mail surveys, self-addressed 
and stamped envelopes are provided with them. Respondents incur no 
postage costs resulting from these surveys.

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, including through the use of 
automated collection techniques or other forms of information 
    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 20, 2009.
Susan K. Fawcett,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer, 
Information Management Services, Data Management Division.
[FR Doc. E9-25723 Filed 10-23-09; 8:45 am]