[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 180 (Tuesday, September 21, 2021)]
[Pages 52446-52447]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20340]



United States Patent and Trademark Office

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment 
Request; Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will submit 
the following information collection request to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, on or after the date of 
publication of this notice. The USPTO invites comment on this 
information collection renewal, which helps the USPTO assess the impact 
of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's 
burden. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal 
Register on April 30, 2021 during a 60-day comment period. This notice 
allows for an additional 30 days for public comments.
    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of 
    Title: Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees.
    OMB Control Number: 0651-0016.
    Form Numbers:
     PTO/SB/66 (Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed 
Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent)
     PTO/SB/47 (Fee Address Indication Form)
     PTO/AIA/47 (Fee Address Indication Form)
    Type of Review: Extension and revision of a currently approved 
information collection.
    Number of Respondents: 44,542 respondents per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it will take 
the public 0.08 hours (5 minutes) to 8 hours to complete the items in 
this information collection, depending on the instruments used, to 
gather the necessary information, create the document, and submit the 
completed item to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 6,864 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Non-Hour Cost Burden: $3,098,564.
    Needs and Uses:
    If a patent has expired due to nonpayment of a maintenance fee, the 
patentee may petition the Director to accept a delayed payment of the 
maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.378. The Director may accept the payment 
of a maintenance fee after the expiration of the patent if the 
petitioner shows to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in 
payment was unintentional. Petitions to accept unintentionally delayed 
payment must also be accompanied by the required maintenance fee and 
the petition fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(m). If the Director 
accepts the maintenance fee payment upon petition, then the patent is 
reinstated. If the USPTO denies a petition to accept delayed payment of 
a maintenance fee in an expired patent, the patentee may petition the 
Director to reconsider that decision under 37 CFR 1.378(d). The rules 
of practice (37 CFR 1.33(d) and 1.363) permit applicants, patentees, 
assignees, or their representatives of record to specify a ``fee 
address'' for correspondence related to maintenance fees that is 
separate from the correspondence address associated with a patent or 
application. A fee address must be an address that is associated

[[Page 52447]]

with a USPTO customer number. Customer numbers may be requested by 
using the Request for Customer Number Form (PTO/SB/125), which is 
covered under OMB control number 0651-0035. Maintaining a correct and 
updated address is necessary so that fee-related correspondence from 
the USPTO will be properly received by the applicant, patentee, 
assignee, or authorized representative. If a separate fee address is 
not specified for a patent or application, the USPTO will direct fee-
related correspondence to the correspondence address of record.
    The maintenance fees and transmittal forms that were previously a 
part of this information collection, and mentioned in the 60-day 
notice, have now been removed. These items are considered exempt from 
the PRA under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(10).
    Affected Public: Private sector, individuals or households.
    Frequency: On occasion.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.
    This information collection request may be viewed at 
www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of 
Commerce, USPTO information collections currently under review by OMB.
    Written comments and recommendations for this information 
collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of 
this notice on the following website 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 and entering either the title of the information collection or 
the OMB Control Number 0651-0016.
    Further information can be obtained by:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0016 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.

Kimberly Hardy,
Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2021-20340 Filed 9-20-21; 8:45 am]