[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 51 (Friday, March 15, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Page 16474]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06014]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2012-0052]


Extension of the Period for Comments on the Enhancement of 
Quality of Software-Related Patents

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for comments; extension of the comment period.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 
published a notice announcing the formation of a partnership with the 
software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents 
(Software Partnership), and a request for comments on the preparation 
of patent applications, seeking input on potential practices for 
preparing patent applications. The USPTO also conducted two roundtables 
to obtain public input from organizations and individuals on topics 
relating to the quality of software-related patents and the preparation 
of software-related patent applications including: establishing clear 
boundaries for claims that use functional language; identifying 
additional topics for future discussion by the Software Partnership; 
and potential practices that applicants can employ at the drafting 
stage of a patent application in order to facilitate examination and 
bring more certainty to the scope of issued patents. The USPTO has 
received several requests for additional time to submit comments in 
response to the notice. Accordingly, the USPTO is extending the comment 
period to provide interested members of the public with additional time 
to submit comments to the USPTO.

DATES: Comment Deadline Date: To be assured of consideration, written 
comments must be received on or before April 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent by electronic mail addressed 
to SoftwareRoundtable2013@uspto.gov. Comments may also be submitted by 
mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, Commissioner for 
Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the 
attention of Seema Rao, Director, Technology Center 2100. Although 
comments may be submitted by postal mail, the USPTO prefers to receive 
comments via electronic mail because sharing comments with the public 
is more easily accomplished.
    The comments will be available for public inspection on the USPTO's 
Web site at http://www.uspto.gov, and will also be available at the 
Office of the Commissioner for Patents, currently located in Madison 
East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Because 
comments will be made available for public inspection, information that 
the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or 
phone number, should not be included in the comments. Parties who would 
like to rely on confidential information to illustrate a point are 
requested to summarize or otherwise submit the information in a way 
that will permit its public disclosure.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Seema Rao, Director, Technology Center 
2100, by telephone at 571-272-5253, or by electronic mail message at 
seema.rao@uspto.gov; or Matthew J. Sked, Legal Advisor, by telephone at 
(571) 272-7627, or by electronic mail message at 
matthew.sked@uspto.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 3, 2013, the USPTO published a 
notice announcing the Software Partnership, which is a cooperative 
effort between the USPTO and the software community to explore ways to 
enhance the quality of software-related patents. See Request for 
Comments and Notice of Roundtable Events for Partnership for 
Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents, 78 FR 292 (January 
3, 2013). The Software Partnership commenced with two bi-coastal 
roundtable events held in Silicon Valley on February 12, 2013, and in 
New York City on February 27, 2013, during which multiple speakers from 
the software community and the public offered oral comments on 
functional claim language, topics for future discussion by the Software 
Partnership, and the preparation of patent applications. The notice 
also invited the public to submit written comments on or before March 
15, 2013. The USPTO has received several requests for additional time 
to submit comments, and is now extending the period for submission of 
public comments until April 15, 2013.

    Dated: March 11, 2013.
Teresa Stanek Rea,
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2013-06014 Filed 3-14-13; 8:45 am]
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