As part of its procedure to implement its proposed new fee structure, the PTO must consult with the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) prior to publication in the Federal Register. PPAC conducted a hearing in Alexandria on Feb. 15 and in California yesterday where it heard from a number of interested parties.
The PTO should publish the proposed rules in the Federal Register in June. This will trigger a 60 day public comment period per the Administrative Procedure Act. During the public comment period, PPAC will take the public comments into account that it receives during this initial comment period as it prepares a report that it plans to issue during the Federal Register public comment period.
The PTO is then supposed to consider all public comments and issue final fee setting rules in early December for implementation in February 2013.
The deadline for submitting comments to PPAC for inclusion in its report is Feb. 29. Comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.