[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 49 (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)]
[Pages 14766-14767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5988]



United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patents for Humanity Program (Formerly Humanitarian Program)

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 revision of a currently approved 
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 May 14, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0066 Patents for Humanity Program comment'' in the subject line of the 
     Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the 
Chief Information Officer, 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: Edward Elliott, Expert Advisor, Office of Policy 
and External Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. 
Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-9300; or 
by email to [email protected].
    Additional information about this collection is also available at 
http://www.reginfo.gov under ``Information Collection Review.''


I. Abstract

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is conducting 
a voluntary pilot program to incentivize the distribution of patented 
technologies or products to address humanitarian needs. This pilot 
program is open to any patent owners or patent licensees, including 
inventors who have not assigned their ownership rights to others, 
assignees, and exclusive or non-exclusive licensees. The USPTO plans to 
collect information from applicants that describe what actions they 
have taken with their patented technology to address humanitarian needs 
among an impoverished population, or how they have furthered research 
by others on technologies for humanitarian purposes. Applications will 
be considered in four categories: Medical Technology, Food and 
Nutrition, Clean Technology, and Information Technology. It is expected 
that inventions from any field of technology will be eligible for the 
program, as long as they are applied to one of the four categories.
    This pilot program is a follow-up to the responses received from 
the agency's ``Request for Comments on Incentivizing Humanitarian 
Technologies and Licensing Through the Intellectual Property System'' 
published September 20, 2010. On February 8, 2012, the USPTO published 
a notice in the Federal Register announcing the pilot program and 
outlining the procedures for participation in it. The USPTO plans to 
review the results from this pilot program to determine whether it 
should be extended.
    In order to participate in this program, applicants must submit an 
application describing how their actions satisfy the competition 
criteria to address humanitarian issues. These applications may be up 
to five pages long and can be supplemented with additional supporting 
materials. The USPTO has developed two application forms that 
applicants can use to apply for participation in the Patents for 
Humanity Pilot Program--one application covers the humanitarian uses of 
technologies or products and the other application covers humanitarian 
research. There is also a form where applicants provide their contact 
information which the USPTO uses to notify applicants that they have 
been selected for an award. The applications must be submitted 
electronically through the http://patentsforhumanity.challenge.gov Web 
site. Submitted applications will be available on the public Web site 
after being screened for inappropriate material.
    The applications will be reviewed by independent judges. A 
selection committee composed of representatives from other federal 
agencies and laboratories will make recommendations for the awards 
based on the judges'reviews. Those applicants who are selected for an 
award will receive a certificate redeemable to accelerate select 
matters before the USPTO and public recognition for their efforts, 
including an awards ceremony at the USPTO. The certificates can be 
redeemed to accelerate one of the following matters: An ex parte 
reexamination proceeding, including one appeal to the Board of Patent 
Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) from that proceeding; a patent 
application, including one appeal to the BPAI from that application; or 
an appeal to the BPAI of a claim twice rejected in a patent application 
or reissue application or finally rejected in an ex parte 
reexamination, without accelerating the underlying matter which 
generated the appeal. The certificates cannot be transferred to other 
    The USPTO obtained an emergency clearance from OMB for this 
collection, which was approved on January 25, 2012. This approval 
expires on July 31, 2012l.

II. Method of Collection

    Electronically through the http://patentsforhumanity.challenge.gov 
Web site.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0066.
    Form Number(s): N/A.
    Type of Review: Revision of an existing collection.
    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits, non-profit 
institutions, and individuals.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,010 responses per year, with an 
estimated 33% (333) submitted by small entities.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public approximately four hours to complete the humanitarian 
program application and one hour to complete the petition to extend the 
redemption period, depending on the nature of the information. These 
estimated times include gathering the necessary information, preparing 
the application

[[Page 14767]]

and any supplemental supporting materials, and submitting the completed 
request to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 4,010 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $709,400. The USPTO 
estimates that both attorneys and paralegals will complete the 
information in this collection. Using the professional hourly rate of 
$340 for attorneys in private firms and a paraprofessional hourly rate 
of $122 for the paralegals, the USPTO estimates $709,400 per year for 
the respondent cost burden for this collection.

                                                                  Estimated time     Estimated       Estimated
                              Item                                 for response       annual      annual  burden
                                                                      (hours)        responses         hours
Humanitarian Program Application................................  ..............           1,000  ..............
     Attorney...........................................               1  ..............           1,000
     Paralegal..........................................               3  ..............           3,000
Petition to Extend the Redemption Period of the Humanitarian                   1              10              10
 Awards Certificate.............................................
    Totals......................................................  ..............           1,010           4,010

    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $0. This 
collection has no annual (non-hour) postage, operation or maintenance, 
or fee costs.

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: March 8, 2012.
Susan K. Fawcett,
Records Officer, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-5988 Filed 3-12-12; 8:45 am]