[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 26 (Tuesday, February 8, 2011)]
[Pages 6764-6765]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-2661]



United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2011-0002]

Notice of Roundtable and Request for Comments on How To More 
Effectively Use the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wants to 
increase transparency by making USPTO information and materials more 
publicly available. USPTO information is currently disseminated through 
a variety of means, including through the Patent and Trademark 
Depository Library Program (PTDLP). The PTDLP allows the USPTO, through 
public laws, to partner with state and municipal libraries around the 
United States to develop core expertise in patents and trademarks to 
ensure that potential filers have local resources to draw on for 
assistance and support. The USPTO has undertaken an overall 
revitalization of the PTDLP to reflect the new 21st Century electronic 
approach to customer service. As part of this initiative, the USPTO is 
conducting a public roundtable to obtain input from organizations and 
individuals on current use of the Patent and Trademark Depository 
Libraries (PTDLs) and how to more effectively use the PTDLP in the 

DATES: The first roundtable will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 
beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and ending at 3 p.m. 
    The deadline for receipt of written comments is March 17, 2011.

ADDRESSES: The roundtable will be held at the USPTO in the Madison 
Auditorium on the concourse level of the Madison Building, which is 
located at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
    Written comments should be sent by electronic mail message over the 
Internet addressed to [email protected]. Comments may also be 
submitted by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, 
Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, 
marked to the attention of Elizabeth L. Dougherty. Although comments 
may be submitted by mail, the USPTO prefers to receive comments via the 
    The written comments and list of the roundtable participants and 
their associations will be available for public inspection at the 
Office of the Commissioner for Patents, located in the Madison East 
Building, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, and 
will be available via the USPTO Internet Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for public 
inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, such as 
an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martha Sneed, Office of Public Search 
Services Division, by telephone at (703) 756-1236, or by electronic 
mail message at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PTDLP disseminates patent and trademark 
information and provides training and outreach support to a network of 
over 80 academic, public, state and special libraries, located in 45 
states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. PTDLs provide walk-
in, telephone, and Internet assistance for independent inventors, 
researchers, students, small- and medium-sized businesses and other 
members of the public across the United States.
    The PTDLP has changed dramatically over the years, from being 
strictly a ``depository'' program, where the USPTO provided paper 
copies of patents and trademarks and support materials, to an 
electronic program, where data and materials are provided on-line and 
in computer-readable media. In addition to the array of USPTO search 
tools now available on the Web, every PTDL provides public access to 
PubWEST (Web-based Examiner Search Tool), providing the public with one 
of the same powerful search tools that patent examiners have.
    Today's PTDLs provide free, personalized assistance to their 
communities on how to use the array of patent and trademark resources 
now available on the Web. As the USPTO has shifted to a paperless 
agency model, the PTDLP has assumed a greater role in the USPTO's 
overall outreach program. The PTDLP provides a ready-made network for 
USPTO policy makers and knowledgeable staff at those venues to help 
share information about USPTO and its many programs and initiatives. 
Today's PTDLs are no longer simply maintaining patent and trademark 
collections--i.e., they are no longer mere ``depositories'' of 
information--but are centers of innovation. Specially designated staff 
educate customers on how to perform preliminary prior art searches, 
provide classes in searching the USPTO Web site, show how to move their 
invention from inventive concept to the marketplace, show how to track 
down prior art disclosed in foreign patent publications and non-patent 
literature, and provide other individualized services.
    The shift to electronic resources has enabled the PTDLP to more 
effectively train PTDL staff and the public to better use the tools and 
data available to them. More specifically, the USPTO trains PTDL staff, 
who, in turn, provide assistance and training to public customers. As 
the PTDLP continues to move away from the physical distribution of 
hard-copy information, the USPTO is interested in what types of new and 
different services the PTDLP of the future should offer its customers. 
PTDLs are the face of USPTO in their local communities. For this 
reason, the USPTO is seeking recommendations from stakeholders on the 
role they envision the PTDLs playing in the USPTO's outreach efforts, 
and how the PTDLP can be used to provide more effective communication 
and transparent information to its customers.
    Toward that end, the USPTO is conducting a roundtable to obtain 
public input from organizations and individuals on the future character 
of the PTDLs. The number of participants in the roundtable is limited 
to ensure that all who are speaking will have a meaningful chance to do 
so. The USPTO plans to invite participants from patent user groups, 
practitioners, industry, independent inventor organizations, academia, 
and government. The roundtables are open to the public.
    The USPTO will provide an agenda, list of known participants, and 
preparatory materials (if any) to the participants prior to the 
roundtable in order to focus the discussion and enhance the efficiency 
of the proceedings. All such materials will be posted on the USPTO's 
Internet Web site. The USPTO plans to make the roundtable available via 
Web cast. Web cast information will be available before the roundtable 
on the USPTO's Internet Web site. Any slides or handouts

[[Page 6765]]

distributed at the roundtable and the list of the roundtable 
participants for the roundtable and their associations will also be 
posted on the USPTO's Internet Web site.

    Dated: January 28, 2011.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2011-2661 Filed 2-7-11; 8:45 am]