[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 81 (Monday, April 27, 2020)]
[Pages 23328-23329]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08893]



Patent and Trademark Office

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; ``Pro Bono Survey''

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will submit 
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the 
following proposal for a collection of information under the provisions 
of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of 
    Title: Pro Bono Survey.
    OMB Control Number: 0651-0082.
    Form Number(s):
     Pro Bono Survey, PTO Form 450.
     Client Intake Form, PTO Form 451.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information 
    Number of Respondents: 1,048 respondents. The USPTO estimates that 
22 regional hub administrators will report metrics once per quarter. 
The reminder of the 1,026 estimated

[[Page 23329]]

respondents will be completed by applicants to the Pro Bono regional 
    Average Hours per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the 
regional hub administrators approximately 120 minutes (2 hours) to 
complete the pro bono survey, including time needed to gather the 
necessary information, enter it into the information collection 
instrument, and submit it. The USPTO estimates that it will take 
approximately 1 minute for applicants to complete the Client Intake 
    Burden Hours: 193 hours.
    Hourly Cost Burden: $13,676.
    Annual (non-hour) Cost: $0.
    Needs and Uses: The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), Public 
Law 112-29 Sec.  32 (2011) directs the USPTO to work with and support 
intellectual property law associations across the country in the 
establishment of pro bono programs (also referred to as ``hubs'') 
designed to assist financially under-resourced independent inventors 
and small businesses. To support this, the USPTO has worked with and 
supported various non-profit organizations to establish a series of 
autonomous regional hubs that endeavor to match low-income inventors 
with volunteer patent practitioners across the United States. The 
regional hubs comprise law school intellectual property clinics, bar 
associations, innovation/entrepreneurial organizations, and arts-
focused lawyer referral services that are strategically located to 
provide access to patent pro bono services across all fifty states and 
the District of Columbia. Additionally, the Study of Underrepresented 
Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act (SUCCESS Act), 
Public Law 115-273 (2018) directs the agency to provide recommendations 
on how to increase the number of women, minorities, and veterans who 
apply for and obtain patents.
    To support the purposes described above, the Pro Bono Survey will 
continue to collect information regarding the activity of the regional 
hubs. The USPTO has worked with the Pro Bono Advisory Council (PBAC) to 
determine what information is necessary to determine the effectiveness 
of each regional pro bono hub's operations. The PBAC is a well-
established group of patent practitioners and thought leaders in 
intellectual property who have committed to provide support and 
guidance to patent pro bono hubs across the country. The data 
previously gathered, and which continues to be gathered, provides the 
USPTO with valuable information, including the number of inventor 
inquiries, referral sources, number of pro bono applicants successfully 
matched with patent practitioners, and types of patent filings. The 
USPTO, PBAC, and the regional hubs, are responsible for the quarterly 
collection of this information. The information, at its highest level, 
will allow the PBAC and the USPTO to determine whether the regional 
hubs are matching qualified low-income inventors with volunteer patent 
practitioners and help estimate the total economic benefit derived by 
low-income inventors in the form of donated legal services. This 
information also helps the USPTO determine which regional hubs are 
effectively serving low-income inventors and which hubs need additional 
    The USPTO is proposing to revise the existing information 
collection to gather additional information regarding gender, 
ethnicity, race, and veteran status. Each regional hub will be 
voluntarily requesting demographic information from those seeking 
assistance that will be self-identified by the applicant. This 
requested standardized demographic information will be a voluntary part 
of the overall application materials that each independent inventor 
fills out when seeking pro bono assistance. This voluntary information 
will be kept confidential by the regional hubs and only aggregate 
information is shared with the USPTO. This aggregate information will 
also be used to help determine the extent to which women, minorities, 
and veterans engage the Patent Pro Bono Program.
    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; individuals and 
    Frequency: The Pro Bono Survey is completed quarterly; the Client 
Intake Form is completed on occasion.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits.
    Once submitted, the request will be publically available in 
electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view 
the Department of Commerce information collections currently under 
review by OMB.
    Further information can be obtained by:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0082 information request'' in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, 
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information 
collection should be sent on or before May 27, 2020 to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by 
selecting ``Currently under 30-day Review--Open for Public Comments'' 
or by using the search function to view Department of Commerce 
information collections currently under review by OMB.

Kimberly Hardy,
Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2020-08893 Filed 4-24-20; 8:45 am]