37 CFR 102.5: Responsibility for responding to requests

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

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102.5    Responsibility for responding to requests.

  • (a) In general. Except as stated in paragraph (b) of this section, the USPTO will process FOIA requests directed to USPTO. In determining records responsive to a request, the FOIA Officer shall include only those records within USPTO’s possession and control as of the date the FOIA Officer receives the request.
  • (b) Consultations and referrals. If the FOIA Officer receives a request for a record in USPTO’s possession in which another Federal agency subject to FOIA has the primary interest, the FOIA Officer shall refer the record to that agency for direct response to the requester. The FOIA Officer shall consult with another Federal agency before responding to a requester if the FOIA Officer receives a request for a record in which another Federal agency subject to FOIA has a significant interest, but not the primary interest; or another Federal agency not subject to FOIA has the primary interest or a significant interest. Ordinarily, the agency that originated a record will be presumed to have the primary interest in it.
  • (c) Notice of referral. Whenever a FOIA Officer refers a document to another Federal agency for direct response to the requester, the FOIA Officer will ordinarily notify the requester in writing of the referral and inform the requester of the name of the agency to which the document was referred.
  • (d) Timing of responses to consultations and referrals. All consultations and referrals shall be handled according to the date the FOIA request was received by the first Federal agency.
  • (e) Agreements regarding consultations and referrals. The FOIA Officer may make agreements with other Federal agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals for particular types of records.
[Added, 65 FR 52916, Aug. 31, 2000, effective Oct. 2, 2000]