System of Records Notices

Effective Date: April 18, 2013

COMMERCE/PAT-TM-14

SYSTEM NAME:

Users of Public Facilities of the Patent and Trademark Office.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

Unclassified.

SYSTEM LOCATIONS:

Public Search Facility, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Madison East 1st Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

Federal employees other than employees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); employees and other representatives of commercial firms offering patent search services to the public; registered agents before the USPTO; and any member of the general public who uses the search room.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

Name; addresses; telephone numbers; business firm or other organizations with which affiliated; user access number; record of use; violations of policies governing use of the search facilities and other office areas; signature of recipients of user access number; and other information as needed to establish identity.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

5 U.S.C. 301 and 44 U.S.C. 3101.

PURPOSES:

To manage user access to the materials provided at USPTO Public Facilities in order to ensure that the materials are preserved and sufficient resources are allocated to serve the public.

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

(1) Routine uses will include disclosure of information to law enforcement authorities, employers of violators of regulations governing use of the search room, and organizations with which recipients of user passes claim affiliation. Information such as home address or business affiliation, on individuals who have removed, with proper authority, patent documents from the search room but have failed to return such documents, may be used in retrieving such documents.

(2) 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).

(3) 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.

(4) 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 United States Patent and Trademark Office, 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 United States Patent and Trademark Office employees.

(5) Routine uses will include the Prefatory Statement of General Routine Uses Nos. 1-5 and 9-13, 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.

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 records in file folders and electronic storage.

RETRIEVABILITY:

Alphabetically by name and sequentially by user access number. Also, electronic sort by data element.

SAFEGUARDS:

Records are located in lockable metal file cabinets or in metal file cabinets in secured rooms or secured premises with access limited to those whose official duties require access. Electronic files are stored in secured premises with access limited to those whose official duties require access. The electronic files are password protected and can only be accessed by authorized personnel.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

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

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

Manager, Public Search Facility, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, (571) 272-3275.

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 part 102 subpart B for making inquiries about records covered by the Privacy Act. Requesters should provide their name, address, and record sought in accordance with the procedures for making inquiries appearing in 37 CFR part 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 part 102 subpart B. Requests from individuals should be addressed as stated in the notification section above.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

Subject individual, employers, and those authorized by the individual to furnish information.

SYSTEM EXEMPTIONS FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

None.

FEDERAL REGISTER HISTORY:
78 FR 16835 March 19, 2013 Notice of Proposed Amendment of Privacy Act System of Records
64 FR 72640 December 28, 1999 Notice of Proposed Amendment of Privacy Act System of Records

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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

 

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