[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 55 (Tuesday, March 22, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15891-15892]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-6660]



Patent and Trademark Office

37 CFR Chapter I

[Docket No. PTO-C-2011-0017]

Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for information.


SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'' or 
``Office'') is preparing a preliminary plan to review its existing 
significant regulations in response to the President's Executive Order 
13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review. The purpose of 
this regulatory review is to determine whether any of these regulations 
should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed in order to make 
the Office's regulatory program more effective and less burdensome. 
More effective and less burdensome regulations will help the Office in 
its mission to foster innovation and competitiveness through providing 
high quality and timely examination of patent and trademark 
applications, guiding domestic and international intellectual property 
policy, and delivering intellectual property information and education 
worldwide. The Office is asking the public to provide ideas and 
information about preparing such a review plan and to help the Office 
identify which regulations should be reviewed.

DATES: You must submit any comments on or before April 21, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically by e-mailing them directly to 
the Office at [email protected]. Comments may also 
be submitted by mail addressed to: Office of the General Counsel, 
United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, 
VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Nicolas Oettinger. Although 
comments may be submitted by mail, the Office prefers to receive 
comments via the Internet. Comments may also be submitted through the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. 
Additional instructions on providing comments through the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal are available at http://www.regulations.gov. All 
comments submitted directly to the Office or provided on the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal should include the docket number (PTO-P-2011-0017).

[[Page 15892]]

    All comments will be available for public inspection upon request 
at the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, located in Madison East, 
Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, and will be 
available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov. All comments 
submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal will be made publicly 
available on that Web site. Because comments will be made available for 
public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to 
make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included 
in the comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicolas Oettinger, Office of the 
General Counsel, by telephone at 571-272-7832, by e-mail at 
[email protected], or by mail addressed to Mail Stop 
Comments--Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, 
VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Nicolas Oettinger.

    On January 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, 
Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review. In the Executive Order, the 
President stated:

    Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, 
safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, 
innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. It must be based on 
the best available science. It must allow for public participation 
and an open exchange of ideas. It must promote predictability and 
reduce uncertainty. It must identify and use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory 
ends. It must take into account benefits and costs, both 
quantitative and qualitative. It must ensure that regulations are 
accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to 
understand. It must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results 
of regulatory requirements.

E.O. 13563, 76 FR 3281, at Section 1(a). The Executive Order directed 
agencies to develop and submit, within 120 days, preliminary plans for 
reviewing their existing ``significant regulations'' (as that term is 
defined in Executive Order 12866) and determining whether and how such 
regulations could be made more effective and less burdensome. The 
Executive Order also directed agencies to provide the public with an 
opportunity to participate in the regulatory process and to provide 
comments on the development of such a plan, and further directed that 
timely on-line access to the rule making docket be provided so that the 
public had the opportunity to comment on all pertinent parts of the 
rule making docket.
    As the Office begins work on a preliminary plan for reviewing its 
existing significant regulations, it is requesting that the public 
participate in that process. The Office is asking the public to provide 
comments on how such a plan should be developed, what such a plan 
should include, which significant regulations should be reviewed, and 
how those regulations might be improved. The Office recognizes that the 
intellectual property community and the public in general will have 
useful information and opinions about how USPTO regulations can be 
reviewed and improved in order to best achieve its mission of promoting 
innovation and competition. This request for comments will help the 
Office gather information that will inform its decisions about 
developing a plan for reviewing the Office's existing significant 
    The Office welcomes any comments that you think might be helpful in 
developing a plan for reviewing significant USPTO regulations. Some 
questions that may be helpful to consider in preparing such comments 
    1. What is the best way for the Office to identify which of its 
significant regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or 
repealed? What process should the Office use to select rules for review 
and how should it prioritize such review?
    2. What can the Office, relative to its regulation process, do to 
reduce burdens and maintain flexibility for the public while promoting 
its missions?
    3. How can the Office ensure that its significant regulations 
promote innovation and competition in the most effective and least 
burdensome way? How can these Office regulations be improved to 
accomplish this?
    4. Are there USPTO regulations that conflict with, or are 
duplicative of, regulations from other agencies? If so, please identify 
any such rules and provide any suggestions you might have for how this 
conflict or duplication can be resolved in order to help the Office 
achieve its mission more effectively.
    5. How can the Office best encourage public participation in its 
rule making process? How can the Office best provide a forum for the 
open exchange of ideas among the Office, the intellectual property 
community, and the public in general?

These questions are not intended to be an exhaustive list of topics for 
public comment. While the Office welcomes and values all comments from 
the public in response to this request, these comments do not bind the 
Office to any further actions related to the comments, and the Office 
may not respond to every comment that is submitted.

    Dated: March 15, 2011.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2011-6660 Filed 3-21-11; 8:45 am]