[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 91 (Tuesday, May 12, 2015)]
[Pages 27148-27150]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-11433]



United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patents for Humanity Program

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.


[[Page 27149]]

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 
proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before July 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by any of the following 
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0066 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 Edward Elliott, Attorney Advisor, Office of 
Policy and International 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] with ``0651-0066 
comment'' in the subject line. Additional information about this 
collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under 
``Information Collection Review.''


I. Abstract

    In 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 
conducted a voluntary pilot program to incentivize the distribution of 
patented technologies or products for the purpose of addressing 
humanitarian needs. The pilot program, notice of which was published in 
the Federal Register (77 FRN 6544) in February 2012, was 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--and was 
open to any patent owners or patent licensees, including inventors who 
had not assigned their ownership rights to others, assignees, and 
exclusive or non-exclusive licensees. The USPTO collected information 
from applicants that described what actions they had taken with their 
patented technology to address humanitarian needs among impoverished 
populations, or how they furthered research by others on technologies 
for humanitarian purposes. After reviewing the results of the pilot, 
the program was renewed as an annual program in April 2014. Currently, 
there are five categories in which applications can be categorized: 
Medicine, Nutrition, Sanitation, Household Energy, and Living 
    To participate in this program, applicants must submit an 
application describing how their actions satisfy the competition 
criteria to address humanitarian issues. The USPTO has developed two 
application forms that applicants can use to apply for participation in 
the Patents for Humanity Program--one application covers the 
humanitarian uses of technologies or products and the other application 
covers humanitarian research. Applicants may optionally provide contact 
information for the public to reach them with any inquiries. 
Additionally, applicants may provide non-public contact information by 
email to the USPTO in order to be notified about their award status. 
Applications must be submitted electronically as described at http://www.uspto.gov/patentsforhumanity. Complete submitted applications will 
be available on the public Web site after being screened for 
inappropriate material.
    The applications are 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 of 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 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) from 
that proceeding; a patent application, including one appeal to the PTAB 
from that application; or an appeal to the PTAB 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 parties.

II. Method of Collection

    Electronically through the http://www.uspto.gov/patentsforhumanity 
Web site. In the past, USPTO has used challenge.gov and skild.com as 
platforms to host the applications.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0066.
    IC Instruments: The individual instruments in this collection, as 
well as their associated forms, are listed in the table below.
    Type of Review: Revision of an existing collection.
    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits, non-profit 
institutions, and individuals.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 110 responses per year, with an 
estimated 33 percent (36) submitted by small entities. Of this total, 
the USPTO expects that 100 percent of responses will be submitted 
electronically through the Patents for Humanity Web site.
    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 
acceleration certificate redemption period beyond 12 months, if needed, 
depending on the nature of the information. These estimated times 
include gathering the necessary information, preparing the application 
and any supplemental supporting materials, and submitting the completed 
request to the USPTO.
    The time per response, estimated annual responses, and estimated 
annual hour burden associated with each instrument in this information 
collection is shown in the table below.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 410 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $80,290. 
The USPTO expects that attorneys will complete the Petition to Extend 
the Redemption Period of the Humanitarian Awards Certificate, and that 
both attorneys and paralegals will complete the Humanitarian Program 
Application forms. Using the professional hourly rate of $389 for 
attorneys in private firms and a paraprofessional hourly rate of $125 
for the paralegals, the USPTO estimates $80,290 per year for the 
respondent cost burden for this collection. However, it should be noted 
that attorneys are not necessary to fill out the form, and many 
applicants--including previous winners--have filled out the application 

[[Page 27150]]

                                                 Estimated time
     IC No.          Information collection      for  response    Estimated annual  Estimated annual   Rate ($/
                           instrument              (minutes)          responses       burden hours        hr)
                                               (a)..............               (b)    (a) x (b)/60 =
1...............  Humanitarian Program         60 minutes                       85               340       * 191
                   Application (Humanitarian    (attorney).
                   Use); PTO/PFH/001.          180 minutes
1...............  Humanitarian Program         60 minutes                       15                60       * 191
                   Application (Humanitarian    (attorney).
                   Research); PTO/PFH/002.     180 minutes
2...............  Petition to Extend the       60 minutes.......                10                10         389
                   Redemption Period of the
                   Humanitarian Awards
                   Certificate; PTO/SB/431.
    Total.......  ...........................  .................               110               410  ..........
* (Blended).

    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, including 
the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    (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, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting 
electronic submission of responses.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or 
included in the request for OMB approval of this information 
collection; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: May 4, 2015.
Marcie Lovett,
Records Management Division Director, USPTO, Office of the Chief 
Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2015-11433 Filed 5-11-15; 8:45 am]