[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 51 (Monday, March 16, 2020)]
[Pages 14926-14928]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-05312]



Patent and Trademark Office

Native American Tribal Insignia Database

ACTION: Notice of an extension of a currently approved information 
collection; request for comment.


SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as 
required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on 
the renewal of a currently approved information collection: 0651-0048 
(Native American Tribal Insignia Database).

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before May 15, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0048 comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative 
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 Catherine Cain, Attorney Advisor, Office of the 
Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, P.O. Box 1451, 
Alexandria, VA 22313-1451; by telephone at 571-272-8946; or by email to 
[email protected]. Additional information about this information 
collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under 
``Information Collection Review.''


I. Abstract

    The Trademark Law Treaty Implementation Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-
330, Sec.  302, 112 Stat. 3071) required the United States Patent and 
Trademark Office (USPTO) to study issues surrounding the protection of 
the official insignia of federally and state-recognized Native American 
tribes under trademark law. The USPTO conducted the study and presented 
a report to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on November 30, 
1999. One

[[Page 14927]]

of the recommendations made in the report was that the USPTO create and 
maintain an accurate and comprehensive database containing the official 
insignia of all federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. 
In accordance with this recommendation, the Senate Committee on 
Appropriations directed the USPTO to create this database. The USPTO 
has established a database to record the official insignia of federally 
and state-recognized Native American tribes. This database is available 
at the USPTO's website, as part of the Trademark Electronic Search 
System (TESS). This information collection includes the information 
needed by the USPTO to enter an official insignia for a federally or 
state-recognized Native American tribe into this database of such 
    The USPTO database of official tribal insignias provides evidence 
of what a federally or state-recognized Native American tribe considers 
to be its official insignia. This information thereby assists trademark 
examining attorneys in their examination of applications for trademark 
registration by serving as a reference for determining the 
registrability of a mark that may falsely suggest a connection to the 
official insignia of a Native American tribe. The database, included 
within TESS,\1\ is available to the public, on the USPTO website, and 
includes an online help program for using the system. More information 
about the program is available on the website at https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/native-american-tribal-insignia.

    \1\ Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4801:whlqra.1.1.

    Tribes are not required to request that their official insignia be 
included in the database. The entry of an official insignia into the 
Trademark systems does not confer any rights to the tribe that 
submitted the insignia, and entry is not the legal equivalent of 
registering the insignia as a trademark under 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq. 
The inclusion of an official tribal insignia in the database does not 
create any legal presumption of validity or priority, does not carry 
any of the benefits of federal trademark registration, and is not a 
determination as to whether a particular insignia would be refused 
registration as a trademark pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.
    Requests from federally recognized tribes to enter an official 
insignia into the database must be submitted in writing and include: 
(1) A depiction of the insignia, including the name of the tribe and 
the address for correspondence; (2) a copy of the tribal resolution 
adopting the insignia in question as the official insignia of the 
tribe; and (3) a statement, signed by an official with authority to 
bind the tribe, confirming that the insignia included with the request 
is identical to the official insignia adopted by the tribal resolution.
    Requests from state-recognized tribes must also be in writing and 
include each of the three items described above that are submitted by 
federally recognized tribes. Additionally, requests from state-
recognized tribes must include either: (1) A document issued by a state 
official that evidences the state's determination that the entity is a 
Native American tribe; or (2) a citation to a state statute designating 
the entity as a Native American tribe.
    The USPTO enters insignia that have been properly submitted by 
federally or state-recognized Native American tribes into the database 
and does not investigate whether the insignia is actually the official 
insignia of the tribe making the request.

II. Method of Collection

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

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0048.
    Form Number(s): None.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved information 
    Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal governments.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 5 respondents per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour to complete a request to record 
an official insignia, including time to prepare the appropriate 
documents and submit the information to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 5 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $332. The 
USPTO expects that the activity in this information collection will be 
prepared by the tribal counsel. According to data from the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics program, the mean 
hourly earnings for local government (excluding schools and hospitals) 
lawyers (occupational code 23-1011 \2\) is $51.02. USPTO estimates a 
fully burdened rate of $66.32 (salary plus 30% for estimated overhead 
and benefits).

    \2\ https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_999300.htm#23-0000.

                                       time for    Estimated  Estimated annual   Rate ($/
      IC No.              Item         response     annual      burden hours        hr)          Total costs
                                        (hour)     responses
                                             (a)         (b)  (a) x (b) / 60 =         (d)           (c) x (d) =
                                                                           (c)              (hourly cost burden)
1................  Request to Record           1           4                 4      $66.32               $265.28
                    an Official
                    Insignia of a
                    Recognized Tribe.
2................  Request to Record           1           1                 1       66.32                 66.32
                    an Official
                    Insignia of a
Totals...........  .................  ..........           5                 5  ..........                   332

    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $38.25. 
There are no capital start-up, maintenance, or recordkeeping costs 
associated with this information collection. There are also no filing 
fees for submitting a tribal insignia for recording. However, this 
information collection does have annual (non-hour) cost burden in the 
form of postage costs.

IV. Request for Comments

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will 
become a matter of public record.

[[Page 14928]]

    USPTO invites public comments on:
    (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the 
proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether 
the information will have practical utility;
    (b) 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, e.g., including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses.

Kimberly Hardy,
Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2020-05312 Filed 3-13-20; 8:45 am]