37 CFR 102.2: Public reference facilities

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2022, Published February 2023

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102.2    Public reference facilities.

  • (a) USPTO maintains a public reference facility that contains the records FOIA requires to be made regularly available for public inspection and copying; furnishes information and otherwise assists the public concerning USPTO operations under FOIA; and receives and processes requests for records under FOIA. The FOIA Officer is responsible for determining which of USPTO’s records are required to be made available for public inspection and copying, and for making those records available in USPTO’s reference and records inspection facility. The FOIA Officer shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current subject-matter index of USPTO’s public inspection facility records. Each index shall be updated regularly, at least quarterly, with respect to newly included records. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), USPTO has determined that it is unnecessary and impracticable to publish quarterly, or more frequently, and distribute copies of the index and supplements thereto. The public reference facility is located in the Public Search Room, Madison Building East, First Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia.
  • (b) The FOIA Officer shall also make public inspection facility records created by USPTO on or after November 1, 1996, available electronically through USPTO’s World Wide Web site (http://www.uspto.gov). Information available at the site shall include:
    • (1) The FOIA Officer’s index of the public inspection facility records, which indicates which records are available electronically; and
    • (2) The general index referred to in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
  • (c) USPTO maintains and makes available for public inspection and copying:
    • (1) A current index providing identifying information for the public as to any matter that is issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and that is retained as a record and is required to be made available or published. Copies of the index are available upon request after payment of the direct cost of duplication;
    • (2) Copies of records that have been released and that the FOIA Officer determines, because of their subject matter, have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records;
    • (3) A general index of the records described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section;
    • (4) Final opinions and orders, including concurring and dissenting opinions made in the adjudication of cases;
    • (5) Those statements of policy and interpretations that have been adopted by USPTO and are not published in the Federal Register; and
    • (6) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.
[Added, 65 FR 52916, Aug. 31, 2000, effective Oct. 2, 2000; para. (a) revised, 75 FR 36294, June 25, 2010, effective June 25, 2010]