July 01, 2009
Press Release, 09-11
Patent Training Academy Receives ISO 9001:2008 Certification
USPTO strengthens its commitment to quality examination and customer service excellence
WASHINGTON - United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Training Academy has received a certificate of registration for the International Standard ISO 9001:2008. The ISO 9001 quality standard is the most widely recognized and established quality management system framework in the world. The ISO 9001 standard outlines a number of requirements, which provides the foundation for the Academy to meet customer expectations and achieve customer satisfaction. One of the quality management principles of ISO 9001 is the continual improvement of overall performance.
Quality training is the key to quality patent examination, which is a critical part of the USPTO’s strategic plan. All new patent examiners receive their initial training at the Academy, which forms the foundation for their careers as patent examiners. Receiving the ISO 9001 certification demonstrates the USPTO's commitment to providing the best training services for new patent examiners and confirms that the Patent Training Academy has defined and documented standards to ensure that processes are in place to achieve consistent quality products and services.
“Achieving the ISO 9001 certification is a significant milestone for the USPTO,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO John Doll. “We are committed to improving value to our customers and to continuously improve overall organizational performance. Achieving ISO 9001 certification is part of our integrated approach to optimize performance and supports our commitment to maintain the highest quality services and products.”
The USPTO Patent Training Academy began as a pilot program in January 2006. The Academy was designed to train new patent examiners in a university-style environment. The first class started in January 2006 with 132 new patent examiners.
A solid foundation for newly hired patent examiners is critical to their success in later years. Using a university-style model, the Patent Training Academy provides a robust training program for newly hired patent examiners. The curriculum not only includes intensive patent examining training in lecture and laboratory format, but also “soft-skill” courses. Upon graduation, the Technology Centers acquire new patent examiners who are better equipped to attain proficiency quickly and with greater technical competency. This university-style training program has been lauded and emulated by the USPTO’s international partners and the patent community as an effective and efficient way to train a large number of patent examiners. To date, 2,829 patent examiners have graduated from the Patent Training Academy with another 462 patent examiners currently receiving training at the Academy.
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