[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 69 (Friday, April 10, 2015)]
[Pages 19286-19287]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08262]



 Patent and Trademark Office

Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency 
Service Delivery

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 comment on the 
Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service 
Delivery, 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 June 9, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
New: Generic Clearance comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to 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; by 
telephone at 571-272-8123; or by email to [email protected] with 
``Paperwork'' in the subject line.
    Additional information about this collection can be found at http://www.reginfo.gov under ``Information Collection Review.''


I. Abstract

    Executive Order 12862 (http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/pdf/12862.pdf) directs Federal agencies to provide 
services to the public that matches or exceeds the best services 
available in the private sector. In order to work continuously to 
ensure that its programs are effective and meet its customers' needs, 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office (hereafter ``USPTO'' or 
``the Agency'') seeks to obtain OMB approval of a generic clearance to 
collect qualitative feedback on its service delivery. Qualitative 
feedback refers to information that provides useful insights on 
perceptions and opinions, but is not in the form of statistical surveys 
which yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the 
population of study.
    Collecting feedback will allow for the Agency to have a pulse on 
customer satisfaction and adjust where necessary to meet and exceed 
expectations. This feedback collection will provide for ongoing, 
collaborative, and actionable communication between the Agency and its 
customers and stakeholders. It also will enable the Agency to garner 
customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient and timely manner, in 
accordance with the USPTO's commitment to improving services. The 
information collected from Agency customers and stakeholders will help 
ensure users have an opportunity to convey their experience with USPTO 
programs. This collection will also provide insights into customer or 
stakeholder perceptions, experiences, and expectations, which will 
allow the Agency to focus attention on areas where communication, 
training, or changes in operations may be necessary.
    Improving Agency programs requires ongoing assessment. The Agency 
will collect, analyze, and interpret information gathered to identify 
strengths and weaknesses of current services. Based on feedback 
received, the Agency will identify operational changes needed to 
improve programs and services. The solicitation of feedback will target 
areas such as: timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, 
courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with 
service delivery. The Agency is committed to hearing feedback from its 
customers. Responses will be assessed to identify service areas in need 
of improvement. If this information is not collected, then the Agency 
will miss opportunities to obtain vital feedback from its customers and 
stakeholders on ways to improve their program and services.
    The Agency will only submit a collection for approval under this 
generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:
     The collection is voluntary;
     The collection is low-burden for respondents (based on 
considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or 
burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents 
and the Federal Government;
     The collection is noncontroversial and does not raise 
issues of concern to other Federal agencies;
     Any collection is targeted to the solicitation of opinions 
from respondents who have experience with the program or may have 
experience with the program in the near future;
     Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected 
only to the extent necessary and is not retained;
     Information gathered will only be used internally for 
general program and service improvement as well as program

[[Page 19287]]

administrative purposes, and is not intended for release outside the 
     Information gathered will not be used for the purpose of 
substantially informing influential policy decisions; and
     Information gathered will yield qualitative information; 
the collections are not designed or expected to yield statistically 
reliable results nor used as though the results are generalizable to 
the population of study.
    As a general matter, these information collections will not result 
in any new system of records containing privacy information and will 
not ask questions of a sensitive nature.

II. Method of Collection

    The USPTO uses surveys, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, 
and usability testing to collect feedback from its customers. These may 
be conducted via telephone, through electronic means, or in person. The 
USPTO expects customers will respond to the questionnaires and surveys 
primarily through electronic means, and to the focus groups, 
interviews, and usability testing primarily in person.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651--New.
    IC Instruments and Forms: The individual instruments in this 
collection, as well as their associated forms, are listed in the table 
    Type of Review: New.
    Affected Public: Individuals and households; businesses or other 
for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 27,900 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: Between 5 minutes (0.08 hours) and 120 
minutes (2 hours), depending on the instruments used and the item being 
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 5,059 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: 
$917,348.47. The USPTO expects that attorneys, paralegals and pro se 
applicants will complete these applications. The professional hourly 
rate for attorneys is $389, and the hourly rates for paralegals and pro 
se applicants are $125 and $30, respectively. The average of the 
combined respondent rate is $181.33. Using this blended hourly rate, 
the USPTO estimates that the total respondent cost burden for this 
collection is $917,348.47 per year.

                                                          Estimated time   Estimated      Estimated
             IC Number                   Information        for response     annual    annual  burden  Rate  (S/
                                       collection item       (minutes)     responses        hours         hr)
                                                                     (a)          (b)     (a) x (b) =
1.................................  Customer Surveys....               5       20,000           1,667    $181.33
2.................................  Questionnaires/                    5          300              25     181.33
                                     Customer Comment
3.................................  Focus Groups/                     15        6,000           1,500     181.33
4.................................  Small Discussion                 120          600           1,200     181.33
5.................................  Usability Tests (In-              40        1,000             667     181.33
                                     person observation
                                     (i.e., Website/
    Total (Three -Year Period)....  ....................  ..............       27,900           5,059  .........
                                                                             (83,700)        (15,177)

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: There are 
no capital start-up, maintenance, postage, or recordkeeping costs 
associated with this information collection.

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: April 1, 2015.
Marcie Lovett,
Records Management Division Director, USPTO, Office of the Chief 
Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2015-08262 Filed 4-9-15; 8:45 am]