35 U.S.C. 5: Patent and Trademark Office Public Advisory Committees

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

Current AIA Redline

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35 U.S.C. 5    Patent and Trademark Office Public Advisory Committees.

  • (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEES.—
    • (1) APPOINTMENT.— The United States Patent and Trademark Office shall have a Patent Public Advisory Committee and a Trademark Public Advisory Committee, each of which shall have nine voting members who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of Commerce. In each year, 3 members shall be appointed to each Advisory Committee for 3-year terms that shall begin on December 1 of that year. Any vacancy on an Advisory Committee shall be filled within 90 days after it occurs. A new member who is appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed to serve for the remainder of the predecessor’s term.
    • (2) CHAIR.— The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Director, shall designate a Chair and Vice Chair of each Advisory Committee from among the members appointed under paragraph (1). If the Chair resigns before the completion of his or her term, or is otherwise unable to exercise the functions of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall exercise the functions of the Chair.
  • (b) BASIS FOR APPOINTMENTS.— Members of each Advisory Committee—
    • (1) shall be citizens of the United States who shall be chosen so as to represent the interests of diverse users of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee;
    • (2) shall include members who represent small and large entity applicants located in the United States in proportion to the number of applications filed by such applicants, but in no case shall members who represent small entity patent applicants, including small business concerns, independent inventors, and nonprofit organizations, constitute less than 25 percent of the members of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and such members shall include at least one independent inventor; and
    • (3) shall include individuals with substantial background and achievement in finance, management, labor relations, science, technology, and office automation. In addition to the voting members, each Advisory Committee shall include a representative of each labor organization recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Such representatives shall be nonvoting members of the Advisory Committee to which they are appointed.
  • (c) MEETINGS.— Each Advisory Committee shall meet at the call of the chair to consider an agenda set by the chair.
  • (d) DUTIES.— Each Advisory Committee shall—
    • (1) review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to Trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and advise the Director on these matters;
    • (2) within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year—
      • (A) prepare an annual report on the matters referred to in paragraph (1);
      • (B) transmit the report to the Secretary of Commerce, the President, and the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and
      • (C) publish the report in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • (e) COMPENSATION.— Each member of each Advisory Committee shall be compensated for each day (including travel time) during which such member is attending meetings or conferences of that Advisory Committee or otherwise engaged in the business of that Advisory Committee, at the rate which is the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5. While away from such member’s home or regular place of business such member shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5.
  • (f) ACCESS TO INFORMATION.— Members of each Advisory Committee shall be provided access to records and information in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, except for personnel or other privileged information and information concerning patent applications required to be kept in confidence by section 122.
  • (g) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN ETHICS LAWS.— Members of each Advisory Committee shall be special Government employees within the meaning of section 202 of title 18.
  • (h) INAPPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT.— The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to each Advisory Committee.
  • (i) OPEN MEETINGS.— The meetings of each Advisory Committee shall be open to the public, except that each Advisory Committee may by majority vote meet in executive session when considering personnel, privileged, or other confidential information.
  • (j) INAPPLICABILITY OF PATENT PROHIBITION.— Section 4 shall not apply to voting members of the Advisory Committees.

(Added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-578 (S. 1948 sec. 4714); subsections (e) and (g) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (i) amended and subsection (j) added Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13203, 116 Stat. 1902; subsection (a) amended Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(l), 126 Stat. 2456.)