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Federal Register Summary for week of 27 January

    Commerce

  • Changes To Implement the Supplemental Examination Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and To Revise Reexamination Fees

    AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


    SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the supplemental examination provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. The supplemental examination provisions permit a patent owner to request supplemental examination of a patent by the Office to consider, reconsider, or correct information believed to be relevant to the patent. These provisions could assist the patent owner in addressing certain challenges to the enforceability of the patent during litigation. The Office is also proposing to adjust the fee for filing a request for ex parte reexamination and to set a fee for petitions filed in ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings to more accurately reflect the cost of these processes.

    DATES: Written comments must be received on or before March 26, 2012.

    ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to: supplemental_examination@uspto.gov. Comments may also be submitted by postal mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments-- Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313- 1450, marked to the attention of Cynthia L. Nessler, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.

    Comments may also be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. See the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site (http://www.regulations.gov) for additional instructions on providing comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

    Although comments may be submitted by postal mail, the Office prefers to receive comments by electronic mail message over the Internet because sharing comments with the public is more easily accomplished. Electronic comments are preferred to be submitted in plain text, but also may be submitted in ADOBE[reg] portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD[reg] format. Comments not submitted electronically should be submitted on paper in a format that facilitates convenient digital scanning into ADOBE[reg] portable document format.

    The comments will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, currently located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Comments also will be available for viewing via the Office's Internet Web site (http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia L. Nessler, Senior Legal Advisor ((571) 272-7724), Kenneth M. Schor, Senior Legal Advisor ((571) 272-7710), or Pinchus M. Laufer, Senior Legal Advisor ((571) 272-7726), Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-25/html/2012-1480.htm

  • Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks

    AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


    SUMMARY: NMFS solicits public comments on draft revisions to the guidelines for preparing marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs).

    DATES: Comments must be received by March 26, 2012.

    ADDRESSES: The following draft revisions to the guidelines for preparing marine mammal stock assessment reports are contained in full in Appendix IV of the Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks: Report of the GAMMS III Workshop; the workshop report is available in electronic form via the Internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. Copies of the workshop report may be requested from Shannon Bettridge, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8402, Shannon.Bettridge@noaa.gov.

    You may submit comments, identified by [NOAA-NMFS-2012-0007], by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Send comments to: Chief, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: GAMMS.

    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannon Bettridge, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8402, Shannon.Bettridge@noaa.gov; Jeffrey Moore, (858) 546-7000, jeff.e.moore@noaa.gov.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-24/html/2012-1344.htm

  • Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

    AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice of open public meeting.


    SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined in the agenda below.

    DATES: The meeting is scheduled for February 7, 2012, 4-6 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES: Conference call. Public access is available at 1311-B East- West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Holliday, (301) 427-8004; email: Mark.Holliday@noaa.gov.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-23/html/2012-1263.htm

  • National Policy for Distinguishing Serious From Non-Serious Injuries of Marine Mammals

    AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice of availability; response to comments.


    SUMMARY: NMFS developed a final national policy, comprised of a Policy Directive and associated Procedural Directive, for distinguishing serious from non-serious injuries of marine mammals. The Directives provide technical guidance for analyzing marine mammal injury reports (e.g., observer, disentanglement, and stranding program reports) and incorporating the results into marine mammal stock assessment reports and marine mammal conservation management regimes (e.g., Marine Mammal Protection Act List of Fisheries, take reduction plans, ship speed regulations). NMFS is releasing its final Policy and Procedural Directives and responding to comments on the draft policy.

    DATES: This final policy will be effective as of January 27, 2012.

    ADDRESSES: The Policy and Procedural Directives for distinguishing serious from non-serious injuries of marine mammals, and NMFS' responses to public comments received on the draft Directives, may be viewed and downloaded at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/laws/mmpa/ under "Policies, Guidances and Regulations''. Copies of the Policy and Procedural Directives may also be requested from Chief, Division of Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chief, Division of Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8402.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-23/html/2012-1261.htm

  • Energy

  • Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee

    AGENCY: Department of Energy; Office of Science.

    ACTION: Notice of Open Meeting.


    SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, February 17, 2012, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    ADDRESSES: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street NW., Washington, DC 20008.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. David Thomassen, Designated Federal Officer, BERAC, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, SC-23/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290. Phone (301) 903-9817; fax (301) 903-5051 or email: david.thomassen@science.doe.gov. The most current information concerning this meeting can be found on the Web site: http://science.energy.gov/ber/berac/meetings/.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/html/2012-1693.htm

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Notification of Two Public Teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board Ecological Processes and Effects Committee

    AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION: Notice.


    SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces two public teleconferences of the SAB Ecological Processes and Effects Committee (EPEC). The SAB EPEC will provide advice on the EPA Risk Assessment Forum (RAF) document, "Integrating Ecological Assessment and Decision-Making at EPA, 2011 RAF Ecological Assessment Action Plan (August, 11, 2011).''

    DATES: The SAB Ecological Processes and Effects Committee will conduct public teleconferences on February 22, 2012 and February 23, 2012. The teleconferences will begin at 12:00 noon and end at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) on each day.

    ADDRESSES: The public teleconferences will be conducted by telephone only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any member of the public wishing further information regarding the public teleconferences may contact Dr. Thomas Armitage, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), SAB Staff Office, by telephone/voice mail at (202) 564-2155 or via email at armitage.thomas@epa.gov. General information concerning the EPA Science Advisory Board can be found at the EPA SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-27/html/2012-1823.htm

  • Federal Communication Commission

  • National Environmental Policy Act Compliance for Proposed Tower Registrations; Effects of Communications Towers on Migratory Birds

    AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION: Final rule.


    SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopts a rule that affects the process of tower construction by instituting a pre-application notification process so that members of the public will have a meaningful opportunity to comment on the environmental effects of proposed antenna structures that require registration with the Commission. As an interim measure pending completion of a programmatic environmental analysis and subsequent rulemaking proceeding, the Commission also requires that an EA be prepared for any proposed tower over 450 feet in height.

    DATES: The rules in this document contain information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mania Baghdadi, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-2133, email Mania.Baghdadi@fcc.gov.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/html/2012-1535.htm

  • Health and Human Services

  • Agency Information Collection Request; 30-Day Public Comment Request

    AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, is publishing the following summary of a proposed collection for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and OS document identifier, to Sherette.funncoleman@hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (202) 690-5683. Send written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections within 30 days of this notice directly to the OS OMB Desk Officer; faxed to OMB at (202) 395-5806.

    Proposed Project: Protection of Human Subjects: Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption Form Extension--OMB No. 0990-0263--Office for Human Research Protections.

    Abstract: The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, known as the Common Rule, requires that before engaging in non-exempt human subjects research that is conducted or supported by a Common Rule department or agency, each institution must: (1) Hold an applicable assurance of compliance [Section 103(a)]; and (2) certify to the awarding department or agency that the application or proposal for research has been reviewed and approved by an IRB designated in the assurance [Sections 103(b) and (f)]. The Office for Human Research Protections is requesting a three-year extension of the Protection of Human Subjects: Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption Form. That form is designed to promote uniformity among departments and agencies, and to help ensure common means of ascertaining institutional review board certifications and other reporting requirements relating to the protection of human subjects in research. Respondents are institutions engaged in research involving human subjects where the research is supported by HHS. Institutional use of the form is also relied upon by other federal departments and agencies that have codified or follow the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (Common Rule). There are an estimated total of 25,000 human research studies supported each year, an average of 2 certifications per institution and an estimated one-half hour per certification, for a total burden of 12,000 hours. Data is collected as needed.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-23/html/2012-1188.htm

  • Interior

  • Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing Three Python Species and One Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Final rule.


    SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is amending its regulations under the Lacey Act to add Python molurus (which includes Burmese python Python molurus bivittatus and Indian python Python molurus molurus), Northern African python (Python sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), and yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) to the list of injurious reptiles. By this action, the importation into the United States and interstate transportation between States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States of any live animal, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of these four constrictor snakes is prohibited, except by permit for zoological, education, medical, or scientific purposes (in accordance with permit regulation) or by Federal agencies without a permit solely for their own use. The best available information indicates that this action is necessary to protect the interests of human beings, agriculture, wildlife, and wildlife resources from the purposeful or accidental introduction and subsequent establishment of these large nonnative constrictor snake populations into ecosystems of the United States.

    DATES: This rule becomes effective on March 23, 2012.

    ADDRESSES: This final rule and the associated final economic analysis, regulatory flexibility analysis, and environmental assessment are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015. Comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation used in preparing this final rule, are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015; they are also available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, at the South Florida Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559; telephone (772) 562-3909 ext. 256; facsimile (772) 562-4288.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559; telephone (772) 562-3909 ext. 256. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-23/html/2012-1155.htm

  • Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Committee (SC); Announcement of Plenary Session

    AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of meeting.


    SUMMARY: The OCS Scientific Committee will meet at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, Virginia. The meeting will serve as a venue to introduce the newest members of the committee to the Environmental Studies Program (ESP) and meet Headquarters and Regional staff.

    DATES: Wednesday, February 8, 2012, from 8:30 to 5 p.m.; Thursday, February 9, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    ADDRESSES: Reston Sheraton Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, Virginia, 20191, telephone (703) 620-9000.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A copy of the agenda may be requested from BOEM by emailing Ms. Phyllis Clark at Phyllis.Clark@boem.gov. Other inquiries concerning the OCS SC meeting should be addressed to Dr. Rodney Cluck, Executive Secretary to the OCS SC, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4041, Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817, or by calling (703) 787-1087 or via email at Rodney.Cluck@boem.gov.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/html/2012-1638.htm

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