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Collage showing images with one-word descriptors from the U S P T O Fiscal Year 2008 Performance and Accountability Report cover that reinforces the reportís tagline of Transforming for the Future Today.
Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2008
Management's Discussion and Analysis

Table of Contents | Management | Financial | Auditor | IG | Other

Performance Goal 1: Optimize Patent Quality and Timeliness

Patent Quality

Quality improvement continues to drive many of the Patent organization’s new initiatives. The Patent organization continues to improve the quality of its products and services using in-depth reviews of work in progress and enhanced end-process reviews to provide feedback to examiners on areas for improvement, targeted training, and safeguards to ensure competencies. The in-process compliance rate is the percentage of applications reviewed during prosecution and prior to allowance that were found to be free of errors. The allowance compliance rate is the percentage of reviewed applications allowed by examiners that did not have any errors.

Measure: Patent Allowance Compliance Rate
FISCAL YEAR TARGET ACTUAL
2005 96.0% 95.4%
2006 96.0% 96.5%
2007 96.0% 96.5%
2008 96.0% 96.3%
Target Met.
Measure: Patent In-Process Examination Compliance Rate
FISCAL YEAR TARGET ACTUAL
2005 84.0% 86.2%
2006 86.0% 90.0%
2007 90.0% 92.2%
2008 92.0% 92.5%
Target Met.

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Allowance Compliance Rate and Patent In-Process Examination Compliance Rate

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Allowance Compliance Rate and Patent In-Process Examination Compliance Rate
Data source:
Office of Patent Quality Review Report
Frequency:
Daily input, monthly reporting
Data storage:
Automated systems, reports
Verification:
Manual reports and analysis
Data Limitations:
None

Patent Pendency

The two primary measures of Patent organization processing time are: (1) average first action pendency, which measures the average time in months from filing until an examiner’s initial determination is made of the patentability of an invention; and (2) average total pendency, which measures the average time in months from filing until the application is issued as a patent or abandoned by the applicant. The USPTO is implementing strategies to reduce patent pendency and the backlog of applications awaiting examination such as increased hiring and process changes. However, even with continued access to the funding required to successfully execute these strategies, pendency will continue to rise for a period of time, but not to the extent it would have if these actions were not taken.

Measure: Patent Average First Action Pendency
FISCAL YEAR TARGET (Months) ACTUAL (Months)
2005 21.3 21.1
2006 22.0 22.6
2007 23.7 25.3
2008 26.9 25.6
Target Met.
Measure: Patent Average Total Pendency
FISCAL YEAR TARGET (Months) ACTUAL (Months)
2005 31.0 29.1
2006 31.3 31.1
2007 33.0 31.9
2008 34.7 32.2
Target Met.

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Average First Action Pendency and Patent Average Total Pendency

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Average First Action Pendency and Patent Average Total Pendency
Data source:
PALM system
Frequency:
Daily input, monthly reporting
Data storage:
PALM, automated systems, reports
Verification:
Accuracy of supporting data is controlled through internal program edits in the PALM system. Final test for reasonableness is performed internally by patent examiners, supervisors, and program management analysts
Data Limitations:
None

Patent E-Filing

The USPTO also created a fully electronic patent application management process whereby all patent examiners, technical support staff, and adjunct users can access an electronic image of all patent applications.

Measure: Patent Applications Filed Electronically
FISCAL YEAR TARGET ACTUAL
2005 4.0% 2.2%
2006 10.0% 14.2%
2007 40.0% 49.3%
2008 69.0% 72.1%Read Footnote 11
Target Met.

1: This is preliminary data and is expected to be final by December 2008 and will be reported in the fiscal year (FY) 2009 PAR. (back to text)

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Applications Filed Electronically

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Applications Filed Electronically
Data source:
PALM system
Frequency:
Daily input, quarterly reporting
Data storage:
PALM and automated systems
Verification:
Accuracy of supporting data is controlled through internal program edits in PALM and crosschecks against other automated system
Data Limitations:
None

Patent Efficiency

Measures the relative cost-effectiveness of the entire patent examination process over time, or the efficiency with which the organization applies its resources to production.

Measure: Patent Efficiency
FISCAL YEAR TARGET ACTUAL
2005 $4,122 $3,877
2006 $4,214 $3,798
2007 $4,253 $3,961
2008 $3,982 $3,773
Target Met.

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Efficiency

Data Verification and Validation for Patent Efficiency
Data source:
PALM system
Frequency:
Daily input, quarterly reporting
Data storage:
PALM, Data Warehouse, Activity Based Management (ABM) System
Verification:
Accuracy of supporting data is controlled through internal program edits in PALM, Momentum, ABM System. Quality control review of data by ABC System and Program Business Teams
Data Limitations:
None
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