[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 29 (Tuesday, February 12, 2019)]
[Pages 3417-3418]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-01948]



Patent and Trademark Office

Invention Promoters/Promotion Firms Complaints

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.


SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as 
required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on a 
proposed extension of an existing information collection: 0651-0044 
(Invention Promoters/Promotion Firms Complaints).

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 15, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
    Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-0044 
comment'' in the subject line of the message.
    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    Mail: NaThanya Ferguson, Supervisory Innovation and Development 
Program Specialist, Inventor Education and Outreach, 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 NaThanya Ferguson, Supervisory Innovation and 
Development Program Specialist, Inventor Education and Outreach, United 
States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 
22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-5517; or by email at 
[email protected] with ``0651-0044 comment'' in the subject 
line. Additional information about this collection is also available at 
http://www.reginfo.gov under ``Information Collection Review.''


I. Abstract

    Pursuant to the Inventors' Rights Act of 1999, 35 U.S.C. 297, and 
implementing regulations at 37 CFR part 4, the United States Patent and 
Trademark Office (USPTO) is required to provide a forum for the 
publication of complaints concerning invention promoters and responses 
from the invention promoters. Upon receipt of a complaint, the USPTO 
will forward it to the inventor promoter for a response. The USPTO does 
not investigate these complaints or participate in any legal 
proceedings against invention promoters or promotion firms. Under the 
Act, USPTO is responsible for making complaints and responses available 
to the public on the USPTO's website.
    A complaint submitted to the USPTO must be clearly marked, or 
otherwise identified, as a complaint. The complaint must include: (1) 
The name and address of the complaint; (2) the name and address of the 
invention promoter; (3) the name of the customer; (4) the invention 
promotion services offered or performed by the invention promoter; (5) 
the name of the mass media in which the invention promoter advertised 
providing such services; (6) and example of the relationship between 
the customer and the invention promoter; and (7) a signature of the 
complainant. Identifying information is necessary so that the USPTO can 
both forward the complaint to the invention promoter or promotion firm 
as well as notify the complainant that the complaint has been 
forwarded. Complainants should understand that the complaints will be 
forwarded to the invention promoter for response and that the complaint 
and response will be made available to the public as required by the 
Inventors' Rights Act. If the USPTO does not receive a response from 
the invention promoter, the complaint will be published without a 
response. The USPTO does not accept under this program complaints that 
request confidentiality.
    This information collection contains one form, Complaint Regarding 
Invention Promoter (PTO/SB/2048A), which is used by the public to 
submit a complaint under this program. This form is available for 
download from the USPTO website. Use of this form is not mandatory, and 
the complainant may submit his or her complaint without the form via 
any of the approved methods of collection as long as the complainant 
includes the necessary information and the submission is clearly marked 
as a complaint filed under the Inventors' Rights Act. There is no 
associated form for submitting responses to the complaints.

II. Method of Collection

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

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0044.
    IC Instruments and Forms: PTO/SB/2048.
    Type of Review: Extension of an existing information collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other 
for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 22 responses per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the pubic approximately between 15 minutes (0.25 hours) and 30 minutes 
(0.50 hours) to gather the necessary information, prepare either the 
form or a response to a complaint, and submit the materials to the 
    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 8 hours per year.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $2,481.96 
per year.
    The USPTO expects that paraprofessionals and independent inventors 
will be filing the complaints. The USPTO estimates that this group has 
an average hourly rate of $97.32. The professional hourly rate for 
paraprofessionals is $145 per hour, as listed in the 2016 National 
Utilization and Compensation Survey Report published by the National 
Association of Legal Assistants. The hourly rates for independent 
inventors is $49.64, which is the average of the mean rates for 
Engineers ($47.74) and Scientists ($51.53). The rates for Engineers 
(BLS 17-2199) and Scientists (BLS 19-2099) are based on the 2017 Bureau 
of Labor Statistics (BLS) National Occupation

[[Page 3418]]

and Employment and Wage Estimates. As a result, the USPTO estimates 
that the average hourly rate for independent inventors ($49.64) and 
paraprofessionals ($145) is $97.32.
    The USPTO also expects that the responses to the complaints will be 
prepared by attorneys or invention promoters. The professional hourly 
rate for intellectual property attorneys in private firms is $438. The 
rate is established in 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.

          IC No.                          Item                          Hours                Responses        Burden           Rate         Total cost
                            ...............................  (a)........................             (b)     (c) = (a) x             (d)     (e) = (c) x
                                                                                                                     (b)                             (d)
1.........................  Complaint Regarding Invention    0.25 (15 minutes)..........              12               3          $97.32         $291.96
                             Promoter (PTO/SB/2048).
2.........................  Responses to the Complaints....  0.50 (30 minutes)..........              10               5          438.00           2,190
    Totals................  ...............................  ...........................              22               8  ..............        2,481.96

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-Hourly) Cost Burden: $245.50.
    There are no capital startup, maintenance, or operating fees 
associated with this collection, nor are there filing or processing 
fees. There is a non-hourly cost associated with this collection in the 
form of postage costs.
    For this collection, it is estimated that 12 complaints will be 
received by mail. The USPTO estimates that the first-class postage cost 
for a mailed complaint will be $0.50, for a total of $6 for mailed 
complaints. The USPTO estimates that it will receive 10 responses to 
complaints. Promotion firms may choose to send responses to complaints 
using overnight mail service costs at an estimated cost of $23.95 per 
response, for a total of $239.50 for mailed responses to complaints. 
The total postage cost associated with this collection will be $245.50. 
Therefore, the USPTO estimates that the total annual (non-hour) cost 
burden for this collection, in the forms of postage costs, is $245.50.

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.

Marcie Lovett,
Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCAO, United 
States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2019-01948 Filed 2-11-19; 8:45 am]