The Nature of the Training Provided to USPTO Examiners
A chieving organizational excellence demands a high performance workforce that delivers high quality work products and provides customer service excellence. Training is a critical component in achieving consistently high quality products and services.
Patent examiners and Trademark examining attorneys received extensive legal, technical and automation training in fiscal year 2004. The USPTO has a comprehensive training program for new patent examiners and trademark examining attorneys, embedding a well-established curriculum including initial legal training, automation training and training in examination practice and procedure. Automation training is provided to all examiners on an as-needed basis. Technology-specific legal and technical training was conducted throughout the examining operations. This specific training either focused on practices particular to the technology or was developed to address training needs identified through Patent and Trademark training.
The USPTO training staff works one-on-one with the Patent and Trademark business units to address specific training concerns and serve as consultants to design specific internal programs to fit the education needs of each business unit. Training is reviewed and evaluated on an ongoing basis to insure it is up-to-date and that coursework reflects developments and changes that have taken place in the industry.
In fiscal year 2004 in Trademarks, data gathered from the results of quality reviews are being analyzed and used to prepare the content of online e-learning training materials for trademark examining attorneys. Seven e-learning modules have been developed in Trademarks.
- Concurrent User Applications (released)
- Section 2(d) - Likelihood of Confusion - Weak and Diluted Marks (released)
- Section 2(a): Scandalous and Disparaging Marks (released)
- Amendments to Goods and Services - Are They Within The Scope? (released)
- Section 2(d) - Likelihood of Confusion - Relatedness of Goods and Services: A General Framework (completed, not released)
- Section 2(d) - Likelihood of Confusion - Relatedness of Goods and Services: Evidence (completed, not released)
- Section 2(d) - Likelihood of Confusion - Relatedness of Goods and Services: Food and Beverages Goods and Services (completed, not released)
Reviewers continue to gather data regarding dozens of examination issues on each file they review to identify future training needs and support the Office goal to improve quality through in-process reviews.