Reengineering The Patent Process

  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) began a long term effort to
reengineer the patent process in March of 1995, responsive to customer
requests for greater flexibility, and accelerated by the presidential
mandates of the National Performance Review. The major goals of the
project are to increase the quality of examination, reduce internal
processing time, enhance customer satisfaction and improve employee
   Over 150 employees from throughout the patent examining corps and
support areas participated in the development of a new concept of
operations. This high level description of the reengineered patent
process was completed in September of 1995. A major effort is now
underway to plan for the transition from current practices to those
envisioned in the concept of operations.
   A necessary part of planning for the transition to the reengineered
process is to prototype/pilot the proposed changes to determine their
effectiveness and their contribution to the realization of PTO goals. A
number of immediate initiatives have been identified for
prototyping/piloting in the upcoming months. Several of these
prototypes/pilots will involve the participation of patent process
customers. As these immediate initiatives develop, additional Official
Gazette notices will be published containing further details about the
initiative and instructions for customers who may be participating in
the prototype/pilot or may be affected by it.
   As the reengineering effort unfolds in the future, it is expected
that many new practices and procedures will be prototyped/piloted. As
our customers, your participation, and your feedback, are welcomed.

Point of Contact for this Notice:

Name: Terri Davis
Telephone number: (703) 306-3104
Fax number: (703) 308-5192

May 10, 1996                                            EDWARD R. KAZENSKE
                                             Deputy Assistant Commissioner
                                                               for Patents