[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 200 (Wednesday, October 18, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48489-48491]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-22618]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office


Representative and Address Provisions

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 comment on a proposed extension of an existing 
information collection: 0651-0035 (Representative and Address 
Provisions).

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

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.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance 
Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology 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 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 1.31-1.32, power of attorney may be 
granted to one or more joint inventors or a person who is registered to 
practice before the USPTO to act in an application or a patent. In 
particular, for an application filed before September 16, 2012, or for 
a patent which issued from an application filed before September 16, 
2012, power of attorney may be granted by the applicant for patent (as 
set forth in 37 CFR 1.41(b) (pre-AIA)) or the assignee of the entire 
interest of the applicant. 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, power of attorney may be granted 
by the applicant for patent (as set forth in 37 CFR 1.42) or the patent 
owner.
    The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33) also provide for a 
correspondence address and daytime telephone number to be supplied for 
receiving notices, official letters, and other communications from the 
USPTO. For an application filed before September 16, 2012, the address 
and number may be supplied by a practitioner of record, all of the 
applicants, or an assignee. In addition, a practitioner not of record 
may supply the address and number for an application filed before 
September 16, 2012, if the practitioner is 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. For an 
application filed on or after September 16, 2012, the address and 
number may be supplied by a practitioner of record or the applicant. A 
practitioner not of record who acts in a representative capacity may 
supply the address and number for an application filed on or after 
September 16, 2012, if the practitioner is named in the application 
transmittal papers and if any power of attorney has yet to be 
appointed.
    37 CFR 1.36 provides for the revocation of a power of attorney at 
any stage in the proceedings of a case. 37 CFR 1.36 also provides a 
path by which a registered patent attorney or patent agent who has been 
given a power of attorney may withdraw as attorney or agent of record.
    The USPTO's Customer Number practice permits applicants, patent 
owners, assignees, and practitioners of record, or the representatives 
of record for a number of applications or patents, to change the 
correspondence address of a patent application or patent 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 list 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 also is 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 
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.

[[Page 48490]]

II. Method of Collection

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

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0035.
    Form Numbers: PTO/AIA/80, PTO/AIA/81, PTO/AIA/81B, PTO/AIA/82A, 
PTO/AIA/82B, PTO/AIA/122, PTO/AIA/123, PTO/SB/80, PTO/SB/81, PTO/SB/
81A, PTO/SB/81B, PTO/SB/81C, PTO/SB/83, PTO/SB/84, PTO/SB/124, PTO/SB/
124, and PTO-2248.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-
profits; and not-for-profits institutions.
    Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 501,905 responses per year. 
Estimates for numbers of responses are based on previous respondent 
numbers and the anticipated participation trends over the next three 
years.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that the response 
time for activities related to Representative Address Provisions will 
take the public between 0.05 hours (3 minutes) to 1.5 hours (90 
minutes) to complete (See Table 1). This includes the time to gather 
the necessary information, create the document, and submit the 
completed request to the USPTO. The USPTO calculates that, on balance, 
it takes the same amount of time to do this, regardless of whether the 
public is submitting the information in paper form or electronically.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 28,479.25 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $4,369,751.25. 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. The professional hourly rate for attorneys is $438 
and the professional hourly rate for paraprofessionals is $145. These 
rates are established by estimates in the 2017 Report on the Economic 
Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of 
the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Using this hourly 
rate, the USPTO estimates that the total respondent cost burden for 
this collection is $4,369,751.25 per year.

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                                                                                                 Estimated
         IC No.                       Items               Estimated time for response (hours)      annual       Estimated      Rate ($)      Estimated
                                                                                                 responses    annual burden                 hourly cost
                                                        (a)...................................          (b)     (c) = (a) x          (d)     (e) = (c) x
                                                                                                                        (b)                          (d)
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1.......................  Power of Attorney to          0.05 (3 minutes)......................        4,000          200.00       145.00      $29,000.00
                           Prosecute Applications
                           Before the USPTO.
2.......................  Power of Attorney or          0.05 (3 minutes)......................      350,000       17,500.00       145.00    2,537,500.00
                           Revocation of Power of
                           Attorney with a New Power
                           of Attorney and Change of
                           Correspondence.
3.......................  Patent--Power of Attorney or  0.05 (3 minutes)......................          300           15.00       145.00        2,175.00
                           Revocation of Power of
                           Attorney with a New Power
                           of Attorney and Change of
                           Correspondence Address.
4.......................  Reexamination--Patent Owner   0.05 (3 minutes)......................          100            5.00       145.00          725.00
                           Power of Attorney or
                           Revocation of Power of
                           Attorney with a New Power
                           of Attorney and Change of
                           Correspondence Address.
5.......................  Reexamination--Third Party    0.05 (3 minutes)......................           70            3.50       145.00          507.50
                           Requester Power of Attorney
                           or Revocation of Power of
                           Attorney with a New Power
                           of Attorney and Change of
                           Correspondence Address.
6.......................  Request for Withdrawal as     0.20 (12 minutes).....................        4,000          800.00       438.00      350,400.00
                           Attorney or Agent and
                           Change of Correspondence
                           Address.
7.......................  Authorization to Act in a     0.05 (3 minutes)......................          750           37.50       145.00        5,437.50
                           Representative Capacity.
8.......................  Petition Under 37 CFR         1.00 (60 minutes).....................           10           10.00       438.00        4,380.00
                           1.36(a) to Revoke Power of
                           Attorney by Fewer than All
                           the Applicants.
9.......................  Petition to Waive 37 CFR      1.00 (60 minutes).....................           10           10.00       438.00        4,380.00
                           1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power
                           of Attorney by Fewer than
                           All the Applicants.
10......................  Change of Correspondence      0.05 (3 minutes)......................      130,000        6,500.00       145.00      942,500.00
                           Address for Application or
                           Patent.
11......................  Patent Owner Change of        0.05 (3 minutes)......................           25            1.25       145.00           18.25
                           Correspondence Address--
                           Reexamination Proceeding.
12......................  Third Party Requester Change  0.05 (3 minutes)......................           40            2.00       145.00          290.00
                           of Correspondence Address--
                           Reexamination Proceeding.
13......................  Request for Customer Number   0.20 (12 minutes).....................        1,600          320.00       145.00       46,400.00
                           Data Change.
14......................  Request for Customer Number.  0.20 (12 minutes).....................        8,500        1,700.00       145.00      246,500.00
15......................  Customer Number Upload        1.50 (90 minutes).....................          600          900.00       145.00      130,500.00
                           Spreadsheet.
16......................  Request to Update a PCT       0.25 (15 minutes).....................        1,900          475.00       145.00       68,875.00
                           Application with a Customer
                           Number.
                                                                                               ---------------------------------------------------------
    Totals..............  ............................  ......................................      501,905       28,479.25  ...........    4,369,751.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $13,950.74. 
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 and 
postage costs.

Filing Fees

    The two petitions in this collection have associated filing fees 
under 37 CFR 1.17(f), resulting in $8,000 in filing fees.

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                                                                     Estimated
           IC No.                            Item                     annual      Filing fee ($)  Total non-hour
                                                                     responses                      cost burden
                                                                             (a)             (b)     (c) = (a) x
                                                                                                             (b)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8..........................  Petitions Under 37 CFR 1.36(a) to                10          400.00       $4,000.00
                              Revoke Power of Attorney by Fewer
                              than All the Applicants.

[[Page 48491]]

 
9..........................  Petitions to Waive 37 CFR                        10          400.00        4,000.00
                              1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power of
                              Attorney by Fewer than All the
                              Applicants.
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total..................  ...................................              20  ..............        8,000.00
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Postage Costs

    Although the USPTO prefers that the items in this collection be 
submitted electronically, responses may be submitted by mail through 
the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPTO estimates that 2% of 
the 501,305 items will be submitted in the mail and that all 600 of the 
customer number upload spreadsheets will be submitted by mail. The 
existing first-class postage costs are $0.49 per submission. In 
addition, the customer number uploaded spreadsheets are submitted to 
the USPTO by mail, with a postage rate of $1.73 per submission.
    There is a total of $5,950.74 in postage costs associated with this 
collection.

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                                                                                                   Total postage
                              Item                                   Responses     Postage cost        costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-electronic Responses........................................          10,026            0.49        4,912.74
Customer Number Upload Spreadsheets.............................             600            1.73        1,038.00
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................................          10,626  ..............        5,950.74
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    Therefore, the USPTO estimates that the total annual (non-hour) 
cost burden for this collection, in the forms of filing fees ($8,000) 
and postage costs ($5,950.74), is $13,950.74 per year.

IV. Request for Comments

    Comments submitted in response to this 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 required 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 costs) 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.

Marcie Lovett,
Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO, United 
States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2017-22618 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-16-P