System of Records Notices

Effective Date: April 29, 2013

COMMERCE/PAT-TM-6

SYSTEM NAME:

Parties Involved in Patent Interference Proceedings.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

Unclassified.

SYSTEM LOCATIONS:

Patent Trial and Appeal Board, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Madison East, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

Applicants for patent and patentees who become involved in a conflict involving the question of priority of invention.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

All records relating to the declaration, conduct, and termination of interference proceedings, including, but not limited to: Preliminary statements, motions, testimony, and settlement agreements. The data contained in the records may include information relating to an applicant's, a patentee's or a witness's name, age, citizenship, residence, educational and work background, physical and mental health, activities relating to conception and reduction to practice of the contested subject matter, and other matters which may arise during the conduct of the interference proceeding or in connection with any agreements made by the parties relative to the interference proceeding.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

35 U.S.C. 1, 6, 23, 24, and 135.

PURPOSES:

To carry out the duties of the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. 6 and 135, in particular, to review adverse decisions of patent examiners regarding patent applications; to determine the priority and patentability of inventions in interference proceedings; and to conduct Inter Partes Reviews, Post Grant Reviews, and Proceedings under the Transitional Program from Covered Business Methods Patents, and Derivation Proceedings.

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

Records relating to interferences which do not involve an unpublished application are open to public inspection. Records relating to interferences which do involve an unpublished application (37 CFR 41.6) are open to public inspection after the interference has terminated, if any application or patent in the interference is or becomes published. Otherwise, information concerning these records is provided outside the Office only upon authorization of the applicants or owners of the applications or patents involved, or when necessary to carry out the provisions of any act of Congress or in such special circumstances as may be determined by the Director. Copies of settlement agreements filed under 35 U.S.C. 135(c) are kept separate from other interference records if the party filing them so requests, and are made available, as provided in the statute, only to Government agencies on written request or to any person on a showing of good cause.

(1) 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) 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) 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 in the Prefatory Statement of General Routine Uses, 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 records in file folders or in electronic form. Electronic records held in confidence are in a password-controlled system.

RETRIEVABILITY:

Filed by Interference Number, cross-indexed to the names of the parties. The records may be indexed by applicant or patentee name, but not by witness name.

SAFEGUARDS:

Records of settlement agreements held in confidence 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:

Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

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 (including Interference Number, if known) 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:

Applicants for patent and patentees, the patent attorneys or agents authorized by such persons to represent them, those authorized by the applicant to furnish information, and witnesses and other parties involved in the taking of testimony.

SYSTEM EXEMPTIONS FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), Patent Interference Proceedings records which relate to applications subject to a secrecy order pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 181 or are otherwise subject to security classification pursuant to E.O. 12065 or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, 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 to agency rules, which appear in 37 CFR part 102 subpart B.

FEDERAL REGISTER HISTORY:
78 FR 19247 March 29, 2013 Notice of Proposed Amendment of Privacy Act System of Records

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