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September 26, 2000
#00-56

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Brigid Quinn
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Press Release, 00-56

USPTO Streamlines Patent Application Process

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced changes to its rules of practice as part of the agency's continuing efforts to streamline and simplify the process of applying for and obtaining patent protection for new inventions. 

The rule changes, collectively known as the Patent Business Goals (PBG) Final Rule, have three objectives:

  1. Reduce the time required to review applications and eliminate unnecessary conditions of applying for and obtaining a patent
  2. Remove impediments to electronic filing, processing and publishing of applications
  3. Reduce costs to the public and to the agency

Under the new rules, for example, complicated requirements for establishing small entity status, and costly up-front fees associated with the failure to establish small entity status, will be eliminated allowing independent inventors and inventors associated with small businesses to save time and money. New PBG rules permitting applications with lengthy computer programs or biotechnology sequence data to be filed on CD-ROM and other electronic formats will facilitate USPTO's migration to an electronic workplace. Time and money will be saved by both the agency and the public with new rules abolishing outdated procedures, such as requiring multiple photographs as patent drawings with applications and relaxing rigid formalities enabling practitioners to have rights of access to client application files.

"The Patent Business Goals will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our business processes and help make the USPTO a model 21st century organization," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For more detailed information about PBG visit www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/notices/patbusgoals.pdf .

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