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USPTO Seeks Comments Regarding Retention of Paper Copies of Documents

  • 08.29.11

The USPTO has requested comments on a new proposal to establish a retention period of 1 year for patent-related papers that have been scanned into the image file wrapper system (IFW) or into the supplemental complex repository (SCORE). See the full notice here.

From the notice:

Specifically, the USPTO is considering establishing a one-year retention period that begins on September 1, 2011, for papers scanned into IFW or SCORE prior to September 1, 2011; or a paper's submission date, for papers scanned into IFW or SCORE on or after September 1, 2011. After the expiration of the one-year retention period (after September 1, 2012, or later), the USPTO would dispose of the paper unless, within sufficient time prior to disposal of the paper, the relevant patent applicant, patent owner, or reexamination party files a bona fide request to correct the electronic record of the paper in IFW or SCORE, and the request remains outstanding at the time disposal of the paper would have otherwise occurred. Establishing a one-year retention period for papers scanned into IFW or SCORE would replace the USPTO's past practice of indefinitely retaining the papers, which has been rendered unnecessary and cost-ineffective by improvements in scanning and indexing.

DATES: Comment Deadline Date: To be ensured of consideration, written comments must be received on or before October 28, 2011. No public hearing will be held.

ADDRESSES: Comments concerning this notice may be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to IFWPaperRetention@uspto.gov, or submitted by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

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