[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 171 (Thursday, September 4, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52634-52636]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21039]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office


Proposed Collection; Comment Request

ACTION: Notice.

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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 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 November 3, 
2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0035 comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records Management Division Director, 
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 Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of 
Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 
P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7728; 
or by email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

    This information collection includes the information necessary to 
submit a request to grant or revoke power of attorney for an 
application, patent, or reexamination proceeding, and for a registered 
practitioner to withdraw as attorney or agent of record. This 
collection also includes the information necessary to change the 
correspondence address for an application, patent, or reexamination 
proceeding, to request a Customer Number and manage the correspondence 
address and list of practitioners associated with a Customer Number, 
and to designate or change the correspondence address or fee address 
for one or more patents or applications by using a Customer Number.
    Under 35 U.S.C. 2 and 37 CFR 1.31-1.36, the applicant for patent or 
the assignee of the entire interest of the applicant (for an 
application filed before September 16, 2012, or for a patent which 
issued from an application filed before September 16, 2012), or the 
applicant for patent or the patent owner (for an application filed on 
or after September 16, 2012, or for a patent which issued from an 
application filed on or after September 16, 2012), may grant power of 
attorney to one or more joint inventors or a person who is registered 
to practice before the USPTO to act for them in an application or a 
patent. A power of attorney may also be revoked, and a registered 
practitioner may also withdraw as attorney or agent of record under 37 
CFR 1.36. The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33) also provide for a 
practitioner of record (a practitioner not of record may do so if named 
in the transmittal papers accompanying the original application and if 
an oath or declaration by any of the inventors has yet to be filed), 
all of the applicants, or an assignee (for an application filed before 
September 16, 2012), or a practitioner of record (a practitioner not of 
record who acts in a representative capacity may do so if named in the 
application transmittal papers and if any power of attorney has yet to 
be appointed) or the applicant (for an application filed on or after 
September 16, 2012), to supply a correspondence address and daytime 
telephone number for receiving notices, official letters, and other 
communications from the USPTO. The USPTO's Customer Number practice 
permits applicants, patent owners, assignees, and practitioners of 
record to change the correspondence address of a patent application or 
patent, or the representatives of record for a number of patents or 
applications with one change request instead of filing separate 
requests for each patent or application. Customers may request a 
Customer Number from the USPTO and associate this Customer Number with 
a correspondence address or a list of registered practitioners. Any 
changes to the address or practitioner information associated with a 
Customer Number will be applied to all patents and applications 
associated with said Customer Number.
    The Customer Number practice is optional, in that changes of 
correspondence address or power of attorney may be filed separately for 
each patent or application without using a Customer Number. However, a 
Customer Number associated with the correspondence address for a patent 
application is required in order to access private information about 
the application using the Patent Application Information Retrieval 
(PAIR) system, which is available through the USPTO Web site. The PAIR 
system gives authorized individuals secure online access to application 
status information, but only for patent applications that are linked to 
a Customer Number. Customer Numbers may be associated with U.S. patent 
applications as well as international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 
applications. The use of a Customer Number is also required in order to 
grant power of attorney to more than ten practitioners or to establish 
a separate ``fee address'' for maintenance fee purposes that is 
different from the correspondence address for a patent or application.
    Customers may use a Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet to designate 
or change the correspondence address or fee address for a list of 
patents or applications by associating them with a Customer Number. The

[[Page 52635]]

Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet may not be used to change the power 
of attorney for patents or applications. Customers may download a 
Microsoft Excel template with instructions from the USPTO Web site to 
assist them in preparing the spreadsheet in the proper format.

II. Method of Collection

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

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0035.
    Form Number(s): PTO/AIA/80/81/81B/82A/82B/122/123, PTO/SB/80/81/
81A/81B/81C/83/84/124/125, and PTO-2248.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other 
for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 560,595 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public approximately 3 minutes (0.05 hours) to 1.5 hours to submit 
the information in this collection, including the time to gather the 
necessary information, prepare the appropriate form or document, and 
submit the completed request to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 31,509 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $3,986,114.75. The 
USPTO expects that Requests for Withdrawal as Attorney or Agent and the 
two petitions in this collection will be prepared by attorneys, while 
the other items in this collection will be prepared by 
paraprofessionals. Using the professional rate of $389 per hour for 
attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates that the respondent 
cost burden for submitting the withdrawal requests and the petitions 
will be $70,020 per year. Using the paraprofessional rate of $125 per 
hour, the USPTO estimates that the respondent cost burden for 
submitting the other items in this collection will be $3,916,094 per 
year.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Estimated time     Estimated       Estimated
                              Item                                 for response       annual       annual burden
                                                                     (minutes)       responses         hours
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1. Power of Attorney to Prosecute Applications Before the USPTO                3           4,000             200
 (PTO/AIA/80 and PTO/SB/80).....................................
2. Power of Attorney or Revocation of Power of Attorney with a                 3         400,000          20,000
 New Power of Attorney and Change of Correspondence Address (PTO/
 AIA/81/82A/82B and PTO/SB/81)..................................
3. Patent--Power of Attorney or Revocation of Power of Attorney                3           1,000              50
 with a New Power of Attorney and Change of Correspondence
 Address (PTO/SB/81A)...........................................
4. Reexamination--Patent Owner Power of Attorney or Revocation                 3             300              15
 of Power of Attorney with a New Power of Attorney and Change of
 Correspondence Address (PTO/AIA/81B and PTO/SB/81B)............
5. Reexamination--Third Party Requester Power of Attorney or                   3              75            3.75
 Revocation of Power of Attorney with a New Power of Attorney
 and Change of Correspondence Address (PTO/SB/81C)..............
6. Request for Withdrawal as Attorney or Agent and Change of                  12             800             160
 Correspondence Address (PTO/SB/83).............................
7. Authorization to Act in a Representative Capacity (PTO/SB/84)               3           1,000              50
8. Petition Under 37 CFR 1.36(a) to Revoke Power of Attorney by               60              10              10
 Fewer than All the Applicants..................................
9. Petition to Waive 37 CFR 1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power of                     60              10              10
 Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants......................
10. Change of Correspondence Address for Application or Patent                 3         140,000           7,000
 (PTO/AIA/122/123 and PTO/SB/122/123)...........................
11. Patent Owner Change of Correspondence Address--Reexamination               3             100               5
 Proceeding (PTO/SB/123A).......................................
12. Third Party Requester Change of Correspondence Address--                   3             100               5
 Reexamination Proceeding (PTO/SB/123B).........................
13. Request for Customer Number Data Change (PTO/SB/124)........              12           2,000             400
14. Request for Customer Number (PTO/SB/125)....................              12           9,000           1,800
15. Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet..........................              90           1,000           1,500
16. Request to Update a PCT Application with a Customer Number                15           1,200             300
 (PTO-2248).....................................................
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................................  ..............         560,595          31,509
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    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $26,094.04. 
There are no capital start-up, maintenance, or recordkeeping costs 
associated with this information collection. However, this collection 
does have annual (non-hour) cost burden in the form of filing fees (for 
the two petitions in the collection) and postage costs.
    Specifically, the only items in this collection with associated 
filing fees are the following two petitions:
     Petition Under 37 CFR 1.36(a) to Revoke Power of Attorney 
by Fewer than All the Applicants.
     Petition to Waive 37 CFR 1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power of 
Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants.
    37 CFR 1.17(f) proscribes the filing fees for these items as $400 
for large entity, $200 for small entity, and $100 for micro entity. The 
USPTO estimates that 25% of all fees are paid by small entities and 
that 25% of all small entities are micro entities. As the USPTO 
estimates 10 responses for the Petition Under 37 CFR 1.36(a) to Revoke 
Power of Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants the overall yearly 
cost is calculated at $3,437.50. Additionally, the USPTO estimates 10 
responses for the Petition to Waive 37 CFR 1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power 
of Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants (37 CFR 1.17(f), a yearly 
cost calculated at $3,437.50. The USPTO estimates that the total filing 
fees for this collection will be $6,875 per year.
    The public may incur postage costs when submitting the information 
in this

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collection to the USPTO by mail. The USPTO estimates that approximately 
3% (16,818 items) of the 560,615 items will be submitted to the USPTO 
by mail. Due to the unique materials, including a diskette or CD and 
cover letter, required for Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet 
submissions, the USPTO estimates that the average first-class postage 
cost for the 1,000 spreadsheet submissions will be $2.73; at a total 
cost of $2,730. The reminder of the mailed items (15,818) will be sent 
by first-class postage at a rate of $1.42 with an estimated cost of 
$22,461. Therefore, the total estimated postage cost for this 
collection is approximately $25,191 per year.
    The total (non-hour) respondent cost burden for this collection in 
the form of filing fees and postage costs is estimated to be $32,066 
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 27, 2014.
Marcie Lovett,
Records Management Division Director, USPTO, Office of the Chief 
Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-21039 Filed 9-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P