System of Records Notices

Effective Date: May 1, 2013

COMMERCE/PAT-TM-11

SYSTEM NAME:

Patent Examiner Testimony Files.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

Unclassified.

SYSTEM LOCATIONS:

Assignment Recordation Branch, Public Records Division, Public Information Services Group, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2800 South Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22206.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

Persons who have given or received property rights under an application for patent or a patent by means of a written instrument recorded in the USPTO; intellectual property owners (deceased or incapacitated) and their legal representatives.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

Assignments, grants, mortgages, liens, encumbrances, licenses, and other instruments affecting title, letters testamentary, other court certificates and orders.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

35 U.S.C. 1, 6, and 261; E.O. 9424.

PURPOSES:

To maintain records related to assignments of property rights for patent applications and patents, including the documents submitted to the USPTO for recordation.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

Records open to the public are searched by users for the purpose of determining ownership for other property rights with respect to patents and trademarks. On the separate Government Register, records categorized as “Public” are available for public inspection; those records categorized as “Departmental” are used by duly authorized employees of Government agencies; and those records designated as “Secret”' are disclosed only to persons having written authority from the head of the agency submitting the record. Assignment records relating to pending patent applications are maintained in confidence in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 122.

(1) Routine uses will include disclosure for law enforcement purposes to the appropriate agency or other authority, whether federal, state, local, foreign, international or tribal, charged with the responsibility of enforcing, investigating, or prosecuting a violation of any law, rule, regulation, or order in any case in which there is an indication of a violation or potential violation of law (civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature).

(2) Routine uses will include disclosure to an agency, organization, or individual for the purpose of performing audit or oversight operations as authorized by law, but only such information as is necessary and relevant to such audit or oversight function.

(3) Routine uses will include disclosure to contractors and their agents, grantees, experts, consultants, and others performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or other work assignment for the USPTO, when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. Individuals provided information under this routine use are subject to the same Privacy Act requirements and limitations on disclosure as are applicable to the USPTO employees.

Routine uses will also include the Prefatory Statement of General Routine Uses Nos. 1-5 and 8-13, as found at 46 FR 63501-63502 (December 31, 1981):

1. In the event that a system or records maintained by the Department to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law or contract, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or particular program statute or contract, or rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto, or the necessity to protect an interest of the Department, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the appropriate agency, whether Federal, state, local or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute or contract, or rule, regulation or order issued pursuant thereto, or protecting the interest of the Department.

2. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a Federal, state or local agency maintaining civil, criminal or other relevant enforcement information or other pertinent information, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain information relevant to a Department decision concerning the assignment, hiring or retention of an individual, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit.

3. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a Federal, state, local, or international agency, in response to its request, in connection with the assignment, hiring or retention of an individual, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an individual, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.

4. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, in the course of presenting evidence to a court, magistrate or administrative tribunal, including disclosures to opposing counsel in the course of settlement negotiations.

5. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a Member of Congress submitting a request involving an individual when the individual has requested assistance from the Member with respect to the subject matter of the record.

8. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the Office of Management and Budget in connection with the review of private relief legislation as set forth in OMB Circular No. A-19 at any stage of the legislative coordination and clearance process as set forth in that Circular.

9. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the Department of Justice in connection with determining whether disclosure thereof is required by the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).

10. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a contractor of the Department having need for the information in the performance of the contract, but not operating a system of records within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 552a(m).

12. A record in this system may be transferred, as a routine use, to the Office of Personnel Management: for personnel research purposes; as a data source for management information; for the production of summary descriptive statistics and analytical studies in support of the function for which the records are collected and maintained; or for related manpower studies.

13. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the Administrator, General Services Administration (GSA), or his designee, during an inspection of records conducted by GSA as part of that agency's responsibility to recommend improvements in records management practices and programs, under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906. Such disclosure shall be made in accordance with the GSA regulations governing inspection of records for this purpose, and any other relevant (i.e. GSA or Commerce) directive. Such disclosure shall not be used to make determinations about individuals.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

Not applicable.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

Paper files and electronic storage media.

RETRIEVABILITY:

By inventor's name, application serial number, assignee's name, assignor's name, and patent number.

SAFEGUARDS:

Building employs security guards. Records subject to confidentiality requirements are maintained in areas accessible only to authorized personnel who are properly screened, cleared and trained. Records in the Secret Portion of the Government Register are, additionally, stored in a locked vault. Where information is retrievable by computer, all safeguards appropriate to secure the system (hardware and software) are utilized.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

Records retention and disposal is in accordance with the series records schedules.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

Records Officer, Assignment Recordation Branch, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2800 South Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22206.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

Information about the records contained in this system may be obtained by sending a request in writing, signed, to the system manager at the address above or to the address provided in 37 CFR 102 subpart B for making inquiries about records covered by the Privacy Act. Requesters should provide their name, address, and record sought (including assignees' or assignors' name(s) and application serial number, if known) in accordance with the procedures for making inquiries appearing in 37 CFR 102 subpart B.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

Requests from individuals should be addressed as stated in the notification section above.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

The general provisions for access, contesting contents, and appealing initial determinations by the individual concerned appear in 37 CFR 102 subpart B. Requests from individuals should be addressed as stated in the notification section above.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

Persons who have submitted written instruments to the USPTO for recording.

SYSTEM EXEMPTIONS FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), assignment records which are designated “Secret” and maintained in the Government Register pursuant to E.O. 9424 are exempted from the notification, access, and contest requirements of the agency procedures (under 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f)). This exemption is made to prevent disclosure of information which might be detrimental to national security and in accordance with agency rules which appear in 37 CFR 102 subpart B.

FEDERAL REGISTER HISTORY:
78 FR 19462 April 1, 2013 Notice of Proposed Amendment of Privacy Act System of Records

Return to top

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Office of Privacy and Open Government programs to PrivacyAct@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

 

Page last updated: July 9, 2016->