The Nature of the Training Provided to USPTO Examiners
Achieving 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 FY 2011. 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 as new systems are deployed and existing systems are enhanced. New technology-specific legal and technical training was conducted throughout the examining operations. This specific training either focuses on practices particular to a technology or was developed to address training needs identified through patent and trademark examination reviews or staff requests.
The USPTO training staff works with the Patent and Trademark organizations 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 ensure it is up-to-date and that coursework reflects developments and changes that have taken place in the industry. In FY 2011, the Agency was forced to reduce training opportunities in response to patent funding shortfalls.
|U.S. Patent Training Academy Mandatory training for first year examiners||
Training in the Academy
Two training programs: Intellectual Property Experienced Examiner Training and an Entry Level Two-phase, a 12-month program.
Individual Development Plan
The Academy training program includes creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each examiner. The IDP is composed of formal training courses, development assignments, and on-the-job training. The IDP is designed to assist the examiner from day one, through the first 24 months of employment. When the examiner graduates from the Academy, and is transferred to a TC, the IDP will continue to enable the examiner to acquire the competencies essential to perform assigned duties and to prepare for further development.
|Programs for all Examiners||
Legal, Practice & Procedure Training
1: These programs remained suspended during FY 2011 due to budget constraints. (back to text)
In FY 2011 the Trademark organization prepared, using data gathered from the results of quality reviews that were analyzed, the content of on-line e-learning training materials for trademark examining attorneys. Live and Web cast Training Sessions and Modules were developed and released covering the following list of topics.
Law Office Presentations and Computer-Based Training (CBT) Modules were developed and released covering the following list of topics.
Two Exam Guides and One Exam Note was published:
Other Guidance covering the following topics was also published and released.