Patent Reform Now! Mail USPTO before 12 April 2001!
by Don Marti <email@example.com>
[This page remains here for historical interest; we will post the results
of this campaign when we hear who who has been put on the committee.]
3 April 2001
Only six working days remain until the deadline arrives to submit
nominations for the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Public
Advisory Committee. If you or someone you know has some helpful advice
for USPTO and is a US citizen willing to serve, please submit a
nomination. A letter and the person's resume is all you need to send. It
doesn't take long, and you can do it by e-mail.
Richard M. Stallman, inventor of notable software innovations
including the Emacs editor and the software distribution model
“copyleft”, is our choice for the committee. Stallman has
shown reasoned opposition not only to the current trends of patenting
other people's work and trivial new developments, but also to the
patentability of mathematical algorithms and business
methods. “A serious
bio” from his web site is the resume he offers; it
summarizes his achievements.
If you a fan of other patent reform advocates, you might consider
nominating one of them instead of, or in addition to, RMS. Lawrence
Lessig, Eben Moglen and Tim O'Reilly might all make good committee
members. Nominate your favorite. Or if you're ready to
fix its broken system, get someone to nominate you.
Last year, Acting Secretary of Commerce Robert L. Mallett appointed an initial
complement of nine to the committee: six lawyers, two patent-holding
inventors and two professors. (One of the professors is a professor of
law, so it adds up to nine, if you're counting.) None are patent reform
Here is the original notice from the Federal Register (converted from the
original PDF file on the USPTO site.)
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
United States Patent and Trademark
[Docket No. 000317075103502]
RIN 0651 XX22
Public Advisory Committees
United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.
Notice and request for nominations.
On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent
and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (the ``Act''), Pub. L. 106113,
Appendix I, Title IV, Subtitle G, 113 Stat. 1501A 572, which, among
other things, established two Public Advisory Committees to review the
policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the United States
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case
of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks,
in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise
the Director in these matters. The USPTO is requesting nominations for
three (3) members to each Public Advisory Committee for terms beginning
on July 13, 2001.
DATES: Nominations must be postmarked or electronically
transmitted on or before April 12, 2001.
ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to submit nominations should
send the nominee's resume to Chief of Staff, Office of the
Director of the USPTO, Washington, DC 20231; by electronic mail to
PPACnomination@uspto.gov for the Patent Public Advisory Committee or
TPACnomination@uspto.gov for the Trademark Public Advisory Committee;
by facsimile transmission marked to the Chief of Staff's attention at
(703) 305-8664; or by mail marked to the Chief of Staff's attention and
addressed to the Office of the Director of the USPTO, Washington, DC
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chief of Staff by facsimile
transmission marked to his attention at (703) 3058664, or by mail
marked to his attention and addressed to the Office of the Director of
the USPTO, Washington, DC 20231.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Act, the then-Acting
Secretary of Commerce appointed members to the two Patent and Trademark
Public Advisory Committees on July 13, 2000. The Advisory Committees'
- Review and advise the Director of the USPTO on matters relating
to policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the USPTO
relating to patents and trademarks, respectively; and
- Within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year: (1) Prepare an
annual report on the matters listed above; (2) transmit the report
to the Secretary of Commerce, the President, and the Committees on
the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and (3)
publish the report in the Official Gazette of the USPTO. Members of the
Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees are appointed by and
serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of Commerce for three (3)-year
The Public Advisory Committees are each composed of nine (9)
voting members who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce (the
``Secretary'') and who have ``substantial backgrounds and achievement in
finance, management, labor relations, science, technology, and office
automation.'' 35 U.S.C. 5(b)(3). The Public Advisory Committee members
must be United States citizens and represent the interests of diverse
users of the USPTO both large and small entity applicants in proportion
to the number of such applications filed. In the case of the Patent
Public Advisory Committee, at least twenty-five (25) percent of the
members must represent ``small business concerns, independent inventors,
and nonprofit organizations,'' and at least one member must represent
the independent inventors' community. 35 U.S.C. 5(b)(2). Each of the
Public Advisory Committees also includes three (3) non-voting members
representing each labor organization recognized by the USPTO.
Procedures and Guidelines of the Patent and Trademark Public
Each newly appointed member of the Patent and Trademark Public
Advisory Committees will serve for a term of three years. Members
appointed in the current fiscal year shall serve from July 13, 2001,
to July 12, 2004. As required by the Act, members of the Patent and
Trademark Public Advisory Committees will receive compensation for each
day, including travel time, while the member is attending meetings
or engaged in the business of that Advisory Committee. The rate of
compensation is the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay
in effect for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314
of title 5, United States Code.
While away from home or regular place
of business, each member will be allowed travel expenses, including
per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by Section 5703 of
Title 5, United States Code. The USPTO will provide the necessary
administrative support, including technical assistance, for the
Committees. Applicability of Certain Ethics Laws Members of each Public
Advisory Committee shall be special Government employees within the
meaning of Section 202 of Title 18, United States Code. The following
additional information assumes that members are not engaged in Public
Advisory Committee business more than sixty days during each calendar
- Each member will be required to file a confidential financial
disclosure form within thirty (30) days of appointment. 5 C.F.R.
2634.202(c), 2634.204, 2634.903, and 2634.904(b).
- Each member will be subject to many of the public integrity laws,
including criminal bars against representing a party, 18 U.S.C. 203(c),
or acting where the United States has an interest, 18 U.S.C. 205(c),
in a particular matter that came before the member's committee and
that involved at least one specific party. See also 18 U.S.C. 207 for
post-membership bars. A member also must not act on a matter in which
the member (or any of certain closely related entities) has a financial
interest. 18 U.S.C. 208.
- Representation of foreign interests
may also raise issues. 35 U.S.C. 5(a)(1)
and 18 U.S.C. 219.
Meetings of the Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees
Meetings of each Advisory Committee will take place at the call
of the chair to consider an agenda set by the chair. Meetings may be
conducted in person, electronically through the Internet, or by other
appropriate means. The meetings of each Advisory Committee will be open
to the public except each Advisory Committee may, by majority vote, meet
in executive session when considering personnel or other confidential
matters. Nominees must also have the ability to participate in Committee
business through the Internet.
Procedure for Submitting Nominations
Submit resumes for nominations for the Patent Public Advisory
Committee and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee to the USPTO's
Chief of Staff as provided above.
Dated: March 7, 2001.
Nicholas P. Godici,
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
Acting Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 016238 Filed 31201; 8:45 am]
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