[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 19 (Monday, January 29, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4039-4041]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-01608]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office


Recording Assignments

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 
proposed and/or continuing information collections, 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 March 30, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by any of the following 
methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0027 Recording Assignments'' 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 Joyce R. Johnson, Manager, Assignment Division, 
Mail Stop 1450, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 
1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 703-756-1265; or by 
email to [email protected] with ``Paperwork'' in the subject 
line. Additional information about this collection is also available at 
http://www.reginfo.gov under ``Information Collection Review.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    This collection of information is required by 35 U.S.C. 261 and 262 
for patents and 15 U.S.C. 1057 and 1060 for trademarks. These statutes 
authorize the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to 
record patent and trademark assignment documents, including transfers 
of properties (i.e., patents and trademarks), liens, licenses, 
assignments of interest, security interests, mergers, and explanations 
of transactions or other documents that record the transfer of 
ownership of a particular patent or trademark property from one party 
to another. Assignments are recorded for applications, patents, and 
trademark registrations.
    The USPTO administers these statutes through 37 CFR 2.146, 2.171, 
and 37 CFR part 3. These rules permit the public, corporations, other 
federal agencies, and Government-owned or Government-controlled 
corporations to submit patent and trademark assignment documents and 
other documents related to title transfers to the USPTO to be recorded. 
In accordance with 37 CFR 3.54, the recording of an assignment document 
by the USPTO is an administrative action and not a determination of the 
validity of the document or of the effect that the document has on the 
title to an application, patent, or trademark.
    Once the assignment documents are recorded, they are available for 
public inspection. The only exceptions are those documents that are 
sealed under secrecy orders according to 37 CFR 3.58 or related to 
unpublished patent applications maintained in confidence under 35 
U.S.C. 122 and 37 CFR 1.14. The public uses these records to conduct 
ownership and chain-of-title searches. The public may view these 
records either at the USPTO Public Search Facility or at the National 
Archives and Records Administration, depending on the date they were 
recorded. The public may also search patent and trademark assignment 
information online through the USPTO website.
    In order to record an assignment document, the respondent must 
submit an appropriate cover sheet along with copies of the assignment 
document to be recorded. The USPTO provides two paper forms for this 
purpose, the Patent Recordation Form Cover Sheet (PTO-1595) and the 
Trademark Recordation Form Cover Sheet (PTO-1594), which capture all of 
the necessary data for accurately recording various assignment 
documents. These forms may be downloaded in PDF format from the USPTO 
website (https://www.uspto.gov/forms/pto1595.pdf and https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/pto1594.pdf, respectively).
    Customers may also submit assignments online by using the 
Electronic Patent Assignment System (EPAS) and the Electronic Trademark

[[Page 4040]]

Assignment System (ETAS), which are available through the USPTO 
website. These systems allow customers to fill out the required cover 
sheet information online using web-based forms and then attach the 
electronic assignment documents to be submitted for recordation.

II. Method of Collection

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

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0027.
    IC Instruments: PTO-1594 and 1595, Trademark and Patent Recordation 
Form Cover Sheets.
    Type of Review: Extension of a Previously Existing Information 
Collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other 
for-profits; not-for-profit institutions; the Federal Government; and 
state, local or tribal governments.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 596,527 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that the response 
time for activities related to the recording assignment process will 
take approximately 30 minutes (0.5 hours) to complete. This includes 
the time to gather the necessary information, create the document, and 
submit the completed request to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 298,263.50 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Hourly): $86,943,810.25 per 
year. The USPTO expects that the information in this collection will be 
prepared by both attorneys and paralegals. 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 and the 2017 National Utilization and Compensation Survey 
published by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). The 
USPTO estimates that the combined rate for respondents will be 
approximately $291.50 per hour. Therefore, the estimated total 
respondent cost burden for this collection will be approximately 
$86,943,810.25 per year.

                                                               Table 1-- Respondent Costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                             Estimated
                                                                          Estimated time     Estimated       Estimated                     total annual
                IC No.                 Information collection instrument    for response      annual       annual burden   Rate  ($/hr)     hourly cost
                                                                             (minutes)       responses         hours                          burden
                                                                                     (a)             (b)     (c) = (a) x             (d)     (e) = (c) x
                                                                                                                     (b)                             (d)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1....................................  Patent Recordation Form Cover                  30           2,498           1,249         $291.50     $364,083.50
                                        Sheet (PTO-1595).
2....................................  Trademark Recordation Form Cover               30             816             408          291.50      118,932.00
                                        Sheet (PTO-1594).
3....................................  Electronic Patent Assignment                   30         546,884         273,442          291.50   79,708,343.00
                                        System (EPAS) (PTO-1595).
4....................................  Electronic Trademark Assignment                30          46,329       23,164.50          291.50    6,752,451.75
                                        System (ETAS) (PTO-1594).
                                                                         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total............................  .................................  ..............         596,527         262,150  ..............   86,943,810.25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Non-Hourly): $3,267,181.32. 
This information collection has annual (non-hour) costs in the form of 
filing fees and postage costs.
    This collection has filing fees associated with submitting patent 
and trademark assignment documents to be recorded. The filing fees for 
recording patent and trademark assignments are the same for both paper 
and electronic submissions. However, the filing cost for recording 
patent or trademark assignments varies according to the number of 
properties involved in each submission.

Filing Fees

    The filing fee for submitting a patent assignment as indicated by 
37 CFR 1.21(h) is $40 per property for recording each document, while 
the filing fee for submitting a trademark assignment as indicated by 37 
CFR 2.6(b)(6) is $40 for recording the first property in a document and 
$25 for each additional property in the same document. The USPTO 
estimates that the average fee for a patent assignment recordation 
request is approximately $80 and that the average fee for a trademark 
assignment recordation request is approximately $65. Therefore, this 
collection has an estimated total of $2,950,395 in filing fees per 
year.

                                              Table 2--Filing Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Estimated                       Estimated
              IC No.                   Information collection         annual        Filing fee    total non-hour
                                             instrument              responses          ($)         cost burden
                                                                             (a)             (b)     (a) x (b) =
                                                                                                             (c)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1................................  Patent Recordation Form Cover           2,498          $80.00     $199,840.00
                                    Sheet (PTO-1595).
2................................  Trademark Recordation Form                816           65.00       53,040.00
                                    Cover Sheet (PTO-1594).
4................................  Electronic Trademark                   46,329           65.00    3,011,385.00
                                    Assignment System (ETAS)
                                    (PTO-1594).
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total........................  .............................          49,643  ..............    3,264,265.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 4041]]

Postage Costs

    Customers may incur postage costs when submitting a patent or 
trademark assignment request to the USPTO by mail. The Patent and 
Trademark Recordation Cover Sheets will be submitted by mail, for a 
total of 3,314 mailed submissions. The average postage cost for a 
mailed Patent or Trademark Recordation Form Cover Sheet submission is 
88 cents, resulting in a total postage cost of $2,916.32 per year for 
this collection.
    The total (non-hour) respondent cost burden for this collection in 
the form of filing fees and postage costs is estimated to be 
$3,267,181.32 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, 
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.

Marcie Lovett,
Records Management Division Director, USPTO, Office of the Chief 
Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2018-01608 Filed 1-26-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-16-P