The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office extends the 60-day comment period relating to the paperwork burdens for Initial Patent Applications. Written comments are requested by December 16, 2013.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office schedules a December 11, 2013, roundtable in Alexandria, Virginia, "to obtain additional public input regarding the burden associated with the Initial Patent Applications collection and ways to potentially reduce it." Registration is requested by December 4, and those wishing to speak must submit their final presentation materials by that date. The roundtable will be available via Webcast.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announces a charter agreement placing regional pro bono programs in the hands of a newly-formed advisory council. More than 30 representatives from regional inventor assistance programs, intellectual property (IP) law associations and IP law school programs recently participated in a ceremonial signing with Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Randall Rader. USPTO hopes to have regional pro bono programs covering all 50 states by 2015; currently, seven regional programs cover more than 20 states that offer pro bono assistance to "financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeks comments on a proposed rule that would speed the dissemination of new safety information about generic drugs to health professionals and patients by allowing generic drug makers to use the same process as brand-name drug manufacturers to update product label safety information; they would be permitted to update product labeling with newly acquired safety information before FDA reviews the change. The rule would also require generic manufacturers to inform the brand-name manufacturers about the change. Under the new rule, "brand and generic drug products would ultimately have the same FDA-approved prescribing information." Comments are requested by January 13, 2014.