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Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership

Wednesday Nov 09, 2011

Office of Policy and External Affairs Fiscal Year 2011 Dashboard Overview

Guest blog by Al Tramposch, OPEA Administrator

The 2011 fiscal year recently came to a close and the Office of Policy and External Affairs (OPEA) is excited to share its progress in strengthening and enforcing intellectual property policy and protection both domestically and internationally. OPEA has had an especially productive year by supporting passage of the America Invents Act in Congress and taking initial steps to implement the new law, while continuing our goal of increased collaboration with global IP Offices. The latest comprehensive statistics on OPEA’s efforts can be found on our Policy and External Affairs dashboard.

As I explained in previous blog posts, the dashboard provides you with access to important metrics we track – such as the number of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) cases filed with the USPTO, as well as the number of programs, officials, and represented countries trained by the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA). We believe collaboration with other countries can result in more efficient global intellectual property protection and enforcement systems so we are active participants in the PPH and the Patent Cooperation Treaty – Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH) projects.

PPH is a framework in which an application whose claims have been determined to be patentable in one country’s patent office is eligible to go through an accelerated examination in another country’s patent office. Under the PCT-PPH, patent applicants can request a fast-track examination procedure in participating offices where patent examiners can make use of the work products from other offices.

This past fiscal year the number of requests for PPH has increased by greater than 67%, and the number of requests for PCT-PPH has increased by nearly 300%.

Educational programs are instrumental in our efforts to strengthen intellectual property protection and enforcement worldwide. Through GIPA programs, foreign officials learn about international IP obligations and norms, and are exposed to a U.S. model of protecting and enforcing IP rights and discussion of IP issues in a collaborative learning environment.

In fiscal year 2011, OPEA staff conducted 149 programs for more than 5,300 participants. These programs included foreign officials from 138 countries – 16 more than last year. We are proud to report that this is a 100% increase in the number of training programs from last year with an increase of nearly 20% in participants. Our dashboard also provides specific countries represented by attendees each month here.

Thank you for following the OPEA’s progress and please contact us with any feedback on how we could improve our public access dashboard.

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