[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 210 (Wednesday, October 30, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64925-64926]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-25685]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2013-0011]


Request for Comments on Proposed Elimination of Patents Search 
Templates

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The USPTO is proposing to eliminate the Patents Search 
Templates from the USPTO Web site. In 2006, the United States Patent 
and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented Patents Search Templates, 
which are United States Patent Classification (USPC) indexed search 
templates that were created to better identify the field of search, 
search tools, and search methodologies which should be considered each 
time an invention related to a particular USPC is searched. There are 
over 1200 search templates covering more than 600 USPC classes and 
subclasses. Historically, usage of the search templates by the public 
has been extremely low. Additionally, various aspects of the search 
templates, such as references to commercial database vendor 
information, are in need of updating. Further, the USPTO launched a new 
classification system, the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) 
system, in January 2013 that is based on the International Patent 
Classification (IPC) system. The CPC, a joint patent classification 
system developed by the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO), 
incorporates the best classification practices of both the U.S. and 
European systems. Since CPC is a detailed, collaborative, and dynamic 
system that will enable patent examiners and the public to efficiently 
conduct thorough patent searches, the search templates will become 
obsolete. Before eliminating the search templates from the USPTO Web 
site, the Office is requesting comments from the public.

DATES: Comment Deadline Date: Written comments must be received on or 
before November 29, 2013 to ensure consideration. No public hearing 
will be held.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent by electronic mail message over the 
Internet addressed to: SearchTemplatesRFC@uspto.gov. Comments may also 
be submitted by postal mail addressed to: United States Patent and 
Trademark Office, Mail Stop Comments--Patents, Office of Commissioner 
for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the 
attention of Pinchus M. Laufer. Although comments may be submitted by 
postal mail, the Office prefers to receive comments by electronic mail 
message over the Internet in order to facilitate posting on the 
Office's Internet Web site.
    The comments will be available for public inspection at the Office 
of the Commissioner for Patents, located at Madison Building East, 
Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Comments also 
will be available for viewing via the Office's Internet Web site 
(http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for 
public inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, 
such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the 
comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer, Senior Legal

[[Page 64926]]

Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy 
Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at 571-272-
7726; or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, 
Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO published a notice for a request 
for comments on the search templates on May 16, 2006. See Request for 
Comments on Patents Search Templates, 94 FR 28309 (May 16, 2006). The 
search templates were created to better identify the field of search, 
search tools, and search methodologies which should be considered each 
time an invention related to a particular USPC is searched.
    The USPTO is proposing to remove the search templates from its Web 
site. The search templates are currently out-of-date since they 
include, for example, outdated commercial database vendor information 
that could be misleading for external stakeholders. Also, the search 
templates are indexed under USPC, which will no longer be used. 
Updating the search templates, which would require the editing of over 
1200 pages, would not be an efficient use of USPTO resources since the 
templates are rarely used by the public. Additionally, CPC, the new 
internationally compatible classification system, was launched in 
January 2013. CPC is a detailed, dynamic classification system that is 
based on the IPC and enables patent examiners and the public to 
efficiently conduct thorough patent searches. As a result of the 
implementation of the CPC, the search templates will become obsolete. 
CPC has been jointly developed with the EPO and incorporates the best 
classification practices of both the U.S. and European systems. The 
USPTO and the EPO also believe that CPC will enhance efficiency and 
support work sharing initiatives with a view to reducing unnecessary 
duplication of work, thereby leading to enhanced patent quality and 
timelier examination of pending applications. Initial feedback from 
stakeholders confirms that the transition to CPC is a positive 
development. More information about CPC can be found at http://www.cooperativepatentclassification.org.
    Due to the factors discussed above, the Office is proposing the 
removal of the search templates from the USPTO Web site. Notice and 
opportunity for public comment are not required prior to removal of the 
search templates. The Office, however, is publishing this notice for 
comment as it seeks the benefit of the public's views on the Office's 
proposed removal of the search templates. If, after consideration of 
the comments, the Office goes forward with the elimination of the 
search templates, a notice to that effect will be published, and any 
references to the search templates in USPTO documentation (for example, 
in the Accelerated Examination FAQs) will be updated.

    Dated: October 23, 2013.
Teresa Stanek Rea,
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2013-25685 Filed 10-29-13; 8:45 am]
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