[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 32 (Friday, February 17, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11017-11019]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-03195]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office


Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Actions

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as 
required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(2)(A)), invites comments on a proposed extension of an existing 
information collection: Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Actions.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 18, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0063 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 Linda Horner, Administrative Patent Judge, Patent 
Trial and Appeal Board, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. 
Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-9797; or 
by email to [email protected]. Additional information about this 
collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under 
``Information Collection Review.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) is established by 
statute under 35 U.S.C. 6. This statute directs, in relevant part, that 
PTAB shall ``on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse 
decisions of examiners upon applications for patents pursuant to 
section 134(a).'' PTAB has the authority, under 35 U.S.C. 134 and 306 
to decide appeals in applications and ex parte reexamination 
proceedings, and under pre-AIA sections of the Patent Act, i.e., 35 
U.S.C. 134 and 315, to decide appeals in inter partes reexamination 
proceedings. In addition, 35 U.S.C. 6 establishes the membership of 
PTAB as the Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for 
Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the Administrative Patent 
Judges. Each appeal is decided by a merits panel of at least three 
members of the Board.
    The Board's responsibilities under the statute include the review 
of ex parte appeals from adverse decisions of examiners in those 
situations where a written appeal is taken by a dissatisfied applicant 
or patent owner. In inter partes reexamination appeals, PTAB reviews 
examiner's decisions adverse to a patent owner or a third-party 
requester. PTAB's opinions and decisions for publicly available files 
are published on the USPTO Web site.
    There are no forms associated with these items. However, they are 
governed by rules in Part 41. Failure to comply with the appropriate 
rule may result in dismissal of the appeal or denial of entry of the 
paper.

II. Method of Collection

    By mail, hand delivery, or facsimile when an applicant files a 
brief, petition, amendment, or request. These papers can also be filed 
as attachments through EFS-Web.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0063.
    Form Number(s): None.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households, businesses or other for 
profits, non-profit institutions, and the Federal Government.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 23,660 responses per year. The 
USPTO estimates that approximately 25% (5,915) of these responses will 
be from small entities and approximately 5% (1,183) of these responses 
will be from micro entities. The USPTO also estimates that 
approximately 93% (22,004) of the briefs, requests, petitions, and 
amendments will be filed electronically.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the 
public approximately 2 to 32 hours to complete this information, 
depending on the complexity of the request. This includes the time to 
gather the necessary information, prepare the brief, petition, and 
other papers, and submit the completed request to the USPTO. The USPTO 
calculates that, on balance, it takes the same amount of time to gather 
the necessary information, prepare the brief, petition, and other 
papers, and submit it to the USPTO, whether the applicant submits it in 
paper form or electronically.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 555,098 hours per 
year.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $227,590,180 per 
year. The USPTO expects that all of the information in this collection 
will be prepared by an attorney. Using the professional hourly rate of 
$410 for attorneys in private firms, the USPTO estimates that the total 
respondent cost burden for this collection is $227,590,180 per year.

[[Page 11018]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Estimated time     Estimated       Estimated
            IC #                     Item          for response       annual       annual burden    Rate ($/hr)
                                                      (hours)        responses         hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..........................  Amendment..........               2              19              38            $410
1..........................  Electronic                        2             248             496             410
                              Amendment.
2..........................  Appeal Brief.......              32           1,135          36,320             410
2..........................  Electronic Appeal                32          15,077         482,464             410
                              Brief.
3..........................  Reply Brief........               5             463           2,315             410
3..........................  Electronic Reply                  5           6,151          30,755             410
                              Brief.
4..........................  Request for                       5              31             155             410
                              Rehearing Before
                              the PTAB.
4..........................  Electronic Request                5             411           2,055             410
                              for Rehearing
                              Before the PTAB.
5..........................  Petitions to the                  4               9              36             410
                              Chief
                              Administrative
                              Patent Judge Under
                              37 CFR 41.3.
5..........................  Electronic                        4             116             464             410
                              Petitions to the
                              Chief
                              Administrative
                              Patent Judge Under
                              37 CFR 41.3.
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..................  ...................  ..............          23,660         555,098  ..............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Total Annual Non-Hour Respondent Cost Burden: 
$46,049,937.65 per year ($46,039,250 in fees and $10,687.50 in postage 
costs). There are no maintenance, operation, capital start-up, or 
recordkeeping costs associated with this information collection. 
However, this collection does have annual (non-hour) costs in the form 
of postage costs and fees, which are listed in the tables below.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Annual
                IC #                             Item                estimated        Fee ($)     Total cost ($)
                                                                     responses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..................................  Filing a Brief in Support            16,202           $0.00           $0.00
                                      of an Appeal in an
                                      Application or Ex Parte
                                      Reexamination Proceeding
                                      to the Board.
2..................................  Filing a brief in support                10        2,000.00       20,000.00
                                      of an appeal in an inter
                                      partes reexamination
                                      proceeding (large).
2..................................  Filing a brief in support                 1        1,000.00        1,000.00
                                      of an appeal in an inter
                                      partes reexamination
                                      proceeding (small).
2..................................  Filing a brief in support                 1          500.00          500.00
                                      of an appeal in an inter
                                      partes reexamination
                                      proceeding (micro).
3..................................  Forwarding an Appeal in an           11,341        2,000.00   22,682,000.00
                                      Application or Ex Parte
                                      Reexamination Proceeding
                                      to the Board (large).
3..................................  Forwarding an Appeal in an            4,051       $1,000.00    4,051,000.00
                                      Application or Ex Parte
                                      Reexamination Proceeding
                                      to the Board (small).
3..................................  Forwarding an Appeal in an              810          500.00      405,000.00
                                      Application or Ex Parte
                                      Reexamination Proceeding
                                      to the Board (micro).
4..................................  Notice of appeal (large)...          18,900          800.00   15,120,000.00
4..................................  Notice of appeal (small)...           6,750          400.00    2,700,000.00
4..................................  Notice of appeal (micro)...           1,350          200.00      270,000.00
5..................................  Request for oral hearing                508        1,300.00      660,400.00
                                      (large).
5..................................  Request for oral hearing                181          650.00      117,650.00
                                      (small).
5..................................  Request for oral hearing                 36          325.00       11,700.00
                                      (micro).
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total..........................  ...........................          60,139  ..............   46,039,250.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The briefs, petitions, and other papers may be submitted by mail 
through the United States Postal Service. The USPTO expects the items 
in this collection to be mailed by Express Mail using the flat rate 
envelope, which can accommodate both the varying submission weights of 
these submissions and the various postal zones. Using the Express Mail 
flat rate cost for mailing envelopes, the USPTO estimates that the 
average cost for sending these submissions by Express Mail will be 
$6.45 and that approximately 1,657 will be mailed to the USPTO. The 
USPTO estimates that the total postage cost for this collection will be 
$10,687.65 per year.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Postage costs   Total Postage
                IC #                             Item                Responses          ($)          cost ($)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..................................  Amendment..................              19           $6.45         $122.55
2..................................  Appeal Brief...............           1,135            6.45        7,320.75
3..................................  Reply Brief................             463            6.45        2,986.35
4..................................  Request for Rehearing                    31            6.45          199.95
                                      Before the PTAB.
5..................................  Petitions to the Chief                    9            6.45           58.05
                                      Administrative Patent
                                      Judge Under 37 CFR 41.3.
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total Postage Costs............  ...........................           1,657  ..............       10,687.65
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[[Page 11019]]

IV. Request for Comments

    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.
    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.

    Dated: February 13, 2017.
Rhonda Foltz,
Office of Information Management Services, OCIO, United States Patent 
and Trademark Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2017-03195 Filed 2-16-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-16-P