[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 48 (Wednesday, March 12, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13962-13963]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-05281]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office

37 CFR Part 1

[Docket No.: PTO-P-2014-0004]


Extension of Deadline for Requesting To Testify at the Public 
Hearings on the Proposed Changes To Require Identification of 
Attributable Owner

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public hearings and extension of period for 
requesting to testify.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) 
published a notice on January 24, 2014, proposing changes to the rules 
of practice to require that the attributable owner, including the 
ultimate parent entity, be identified during the pendency of a patent 
application and at specified times during the life of a patent, and 
seeking written comments on the proposed changes. This initiative is 
one of a number of executive actions issued by the Administration that 
are designed to ensure issuance of the highest-quality patents, enhance 
competition by providing the public with more complete information 
about the competitive environment in which innovators operate, improve 
market efficiency for patent rights by making patent ownership 
information more readily and easily available, reduce abusive patent 
litigation by helping the public defend itself against frivolous 
litigation, and level the playing field for innovators. The Office 
published a notice on February 20, 2014 indicating that it was 
conducting two public hearings to introduce the proposed changes and 
directly receive feedback from the public. The notice published on 
February 20, 2014 also extended the period for comment on the proposed 
rules until April 24, 2014. The Office is now extending the deadline 
for requesting to testify at either public hearing until March 12, 
2014.

DATES: Public Hearing Dates: The first public hearing will take place 
on March 13, 2014, from 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) until 4 p.m. 
EDT, in Alexandria, Virginia.
    The second public hearing will take place on March 26, 2014, from 9 
a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) until noon PDT, in San Francisco, 
California.
    Requests To Provide Oral Testimony: Those wishing to provide oral 
testimony must submit a request to do so in writing no later than March 
12, 2014. Members of the public who wish to attend solely to observe 
need not submit a request to attend.

ADDRESSES: Public Hearings: The first public hearing will take place 
at: Madison Auditorium North, Concourse Level, United States Patent and 
Trademark Office Headquarters, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 
22314.
    The second public hearing will take place at: The University of 
California Hastings College of the Law, Louis B. Mayer Lounge, 198 
McAllister Street, San Francisco, California 94102.
    Requests To Provide Oral Testimony: Requests to provide oral 
testimony at either public hearing must be sent by electronic mail 
message over the Internet addressed to: aohearingrequest@uspto.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Engel, Senior Legal Advisor 
(571) 272-7725), or Erin M. Harriman, Legal Advisor (571) 272-7747), 
Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy 
Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office recently published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking proposing to require the disclosure of ownership 
information about patents and applications and requesting comments 
about the voluntary reporting of licensing offers and commitments and 
making them available online. See Changes to Require Identification of 
Attributable Owner, 79 FR 4105 (Jan. 24, 2014). Under the proposed 
rulemaking, the Office plans to collect information on the 
``attributable owner'' of a patent or application, which includes the 
titleholders, entities with rights to enforce the patent, and entities 
with effective control over anyone reported in the first two 
categories, called the ``ultimate parent entities.''
    The Office also published a notice that it was conducting two 
public hearings (the first in Alexandria, Virginia, and the second in 
San Francisco, California) to introduce the proposed changes and 
directly receive feedback from the public. See Notice of Public 
Hearings and Extension of Comment Period on the Proposed Changes to 
Require Identification of Attributable Owner, 79 FR 9677 (Feb. 20, 
2014). The notice palso extended the period for comment on the proposed 
rules until April 24, 2014. The Office is now extending the deadline 
for requesting to testify at either public hearing until March 12, 
2014, to provide interested members of the public with additional time 
to request to provide testimony at this public hearing.
    Members of the public who wish to provide oral testimony at either 
public hearing must submit a timely request (i.e., must submit a 
request to provide oral testimony no later than March 12, 2014). 
Requests to provide oral testimony at either public hearing must 
indicate the following information: (1) The name of the person desiring 
to speak; (2) the person's contact information (telephone number and 
electronic mail address); (3) the organization(s) the person 
represents, if any; and (4) the hearing location where the person 
prefers to speak. A person

[[Page 13963]]

must be physically present at the hearing location to provide oral 
testimony; virtual testimony via telephone or webcast is not available. 
Based on the requests received, an agenda of scheduled speakers will be 
sent to those speaking and posted on the Office's Internet Web site at 
http://www.uspto.gov. The number of speakers and time allotted to each 
speaker may be limited to ensure that all persons speaking will have a 
meaningful chance to do so.
    Members of the public who wish to attend solely to observe need not 
submit a request to attend. In addition, the public is welcome to 
submit written comments in response to the proposed changes in addition 
to, or lieu of, presenting oral testimony at these public hearings.
    The Office also plans to make the public hearings available via Web 
cast. Web cast information will be available on the Office's Internet 
Web site closer to the public hearing dates. A transcript of the public 
hearings will be available for viewing via the Office's Internet Web 
site at http://www.uspto.gov, and will be available for public 
inspection at the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, currently 
located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, 
Virginia 22314, upon request.

    Dated: March 6, 2014.
Michelle K. Lee,
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-05281 Filed 3-11-14; 8:45 am]
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