Top of Notices Top of Notices   (316)  December 29, 2015 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Print This Notice 1421 CNOG  2505 

PAIR, EFS-Web, Electronic Submission Referenced Items (312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332)
(316) Notice Announcing Inclusion of International Design Applications
             in the Electronic Office (e-Office) Action Program

   This notice announces the inclusion, effective May 13, 2015, of
international design applications filed under the Geneva Act of the Hague
Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
("Hague Agreement") in the Electronic Office (e-Office) Action program.
International design applicants who choose to participate in the e-Office
Action program will experience many benefits, including the ability to
retrieve Office actions several days faster than via mail.

   Under the e-Office Action program, applicants receive notifications via
electronic mail message (e-mail) of Office communications retrievable
through Private Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) in lieu of
paper mailings of the communications, with a few exceptions. The United
States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) previously published a notice
setting forth the details and requirements concerning the e-Office Action
program. See Electronic Office Action, 1343 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 45 (June
02, 2009). That notice sets forth the types of applications that are
included in and excluded from the e-Office action program.

   International design applications filed on or after May 13, 2015, may be
processed by the Office under the Hague Agreement as an office of indirect
filing (37 CFR 1.1002) and/or as a designated office (37 CFR 1.1003). See
Changes to Implement the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Registration of Industrial Designs, 80 FR 17918 (April 2, 2015). Effective
May 13, 2015, the Office has amended the e-Office Action program to include
these international design applications so that international design
applicants may participate in, and experience the related benefits of, the
e-Office Action program.

   In addition to the e-mail notifications specifically provided for in the
e-Office Action program, applicants who opt-in to e-Office Action may
receive an e-mail notification as a courtesy when a notification of refusal
(37 CFR 1.1063) is available in Private PAIR. Under the provisions of the
Hague Agreement, a notification of refusal, which may set a time period for
reply, is not communicated directly to applicants but rather indirectly
through the International Bureau. The courtesy e-mail will provide faster
notification to applicants than waiting for receipt of the notification of
refusal via the International Bureau. As any e-mail notification concerning
a notification of refusal would simply be provided as a courtesy to
applicants electing to opt-in to e-Office action, the corrective actions
set forth in 1343 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 45, 48-49, concerning non-receipt
and late receipt of an e-Office Action e-mail notification are not
applicable. In the event that a notification of refusal setting a time
period for reply is either not received or is received late, applicants may
wish to consider the petition procedures set forth in MPEP §§ 711.03(c) and

   Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to Boris Milef,
International Patent Legal Administration, Office of International Patent
Cooperation, at 571-272-3288, or via e-mail addressed to

   Any inquiries regarding e-Office Action or PAIR may be directed to
Patent Electronic Business Center (Patent EBC) by telephone at
(571) 272-4100 or toll free at (866) 217-9197, or by e-mail at

June 11, 2015                                               MICHELLE K. LEE
                  Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
                  Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

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