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

Tuesday Mar 06, 2012

Policy and External Affairs Dashboard Overview

Guest blog by Acting Administrator for Policy and External Affairs Shira Perlmutter

Recently I joined the USPTO as Acting Administrator for Policy and External Affairs. In this role I lead the Office of Policy and External Affairs (OPEA) and serve as a policy advisor to Director Kappos and Deputy Director Rea on all domestic and international IP policy-related issues. OPEA addresses a broad range of policy matters that include congressional leadership and legislative engagement, economic analysis, administration of the IP Attaché Program, as well as education and training, as carried out under the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA). 

In keeping with the USPTO’s tradition of information sharing and transparency, I am delighted to share our first quarter statistics for FY 2012 on the Policy and External Affairs dashboard. Important metrics we track regarding international worksharing and global outreach include the number of cases filed under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and the USPTO Patent Cooperation Treaty – Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH), as well as the number of programs conducted, officials trained, and countries represented in GIPA.

Because we believe collaboration with other countries results in more efficient global intellectual property systems, we are strong proponents of worksharing initiatives to help address global patent backlogs. During this first quarter of 2012, the cumulative number of all PPH requests filed with the USPTO reached 8,976 cases.

Educational programs are also instrumental in our efforts to strengthen intellectual property protection and enforcement worldwide. Through GIPA programs, foreign officials discuss international IP obligations and norms, and study the U.S. model of protecting and enforcing IP rights in a collaborative learning environment. Last quarter, GIPA conducted 47 training programs for 2,142 participants from 45 countries.

Having just wrapped up my first months with OPEA, I am impressed by the wealth of expertise this office provides on an array of diverse domestic and international IP issues. I look forward to working with USPTO leadership and stakeholders in our efforts to advance today’s critical IP policy priorities, and I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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