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2009 Performance and Accountability Report

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009 by Jim Ruttler

The four guiding principles for the USPTO’s 2007-2012 Strategic Plan are: Quality, Timeliness, Cost-Effectiveness and Transparency. The strategic goals that have stemmed from these principles are to optimize patent quality and timeliness; optimize trademark quality and timeliness; and improve intellectual property protection and enforcement domestically and abroad. The Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2009 discusses the results as they pertain to the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan and highlights the challenges management will continue to face in the future. One of the biggest challenges for the USPTO is to address the backlog of patent applications and the growth of pendency. One pilot initiative designed to alleviate the backlog issue is “The First Action Interview Program”. This program “provides the applicant the opportunity to resolve patentability issues one-on-one with the examiner at the beginning of the prosecution process, and facilitates possible early allowance.” Another means for reducing pendency is to continue encouraging applicants to file documents via USPTO’s web based programs; to eliminate paper documents and to promote the electronic workplace. In FY 2009, 82.5% of patent applications were filed electronically; 2.5% higher than the 2009 target. According to the report and USPTO director David Kappos, “for the fourth year in a row, the Trademark organization met all of its goals, focusing on pendency, quality and e-government efforts”.

http://uspto.gov/about/stratplan/ar/2009/2009annualreport.pdf

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