Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Federal Register - Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Certificate Action Form

[Federal Register: October 23, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 206)]
[Notices][Page 63134-63135]
See the complete comment request at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2008_register&docid=fr23oc08-39
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Certificate Action Form
ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to support electronic commerce between the USPTO and its customers. PKI is a set of hardware, software, policies, and procedures that provide important security services for the electronic business activities of the USPTO, including protecting the confidentiality of unpublished patent applications in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 122 and 37 CFR 1.14, as well as protecting international patent applications in accordance with Article 30 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

In order to provide the necessary security for its electronic commerce systems, the USPTO uses PKI technology to protect the integrity and confidentiality of information submitted to the USPTO. PKI employs public and private encryption keys to authenticate the customer's identity and support secure electronic communication between the customer and the USPTO. Customers may submit a request to the USPTO for a digital certificate, which enables the customer to create the encryption keys necessary for electronic identity verification and secure transactions with the USPTO. This digital certificate is required in order to access secure online systems that are provided by the USPTO for transactions such as electronic filing of patent
applications and viewing confidential [[Page 63135]] information about unpublished patent applications.

This information collection includes the Certificate Action Form (PTO-2042), which is used by the public to request a new digital certificate, the revocation of a current certificate, or the recovery of a lost or corrupted certificate. Customers may also change the name listed on the certificate or associate the certificate with one or more previously assigned Customer Numbers. A certificate request must include a notarized signature in order to verify the identity of the applicant. The Certificate Action Form also has an accompanying subscriber agreement to ensure that customers understand their obligations regarding the use of the digital certificates and cryptographic software. When generating a new certificate, customers may provide additional information for a set of security questions and answers that will enable customers to recover a lost certificate online without having to contact USPTO support staff.

II. Method of Collection

The Certificate Action Form must be notarized and may be mailed or hand delivered to the USPTO. The Certificate Self-Recovery Form is submitted online through the USPTO Web site.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before December 22,
2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • E-mail: Susan.Fawcett@uspto.gov. Include ``0651-0045
    comment'' in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: 571-273-0112, marked to the attention of Susan
    Fawcett.
  • Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the
    Chief Information Officer, Customer Information Services Group, Public
    Information Services Division, United States Patent and Trademark
    Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.
  • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.