USPTO 2014-2018 Strategic Plan Public Forum

Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Deputy USPTO Director Teresa Stanek Rea

November 5, 2013

2014-2018 Strategic Plan Public Forum

Prepared Remarks

Thank you, Andrew, and good morning, everyone! Thank you to those here in the audience for attending and to all of you watching on the webcast. We appreciate your interest in the continued progress of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which will be guided by our 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. Input from you, the public-in particular intellectual property applicants and owners-is vital. It is what enables us to best serve you. We have seen that in the last few years as we operated under the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.

As Andrew said, we have done a great deal in a short period of time. For example, we implemented the America Invents Act while remaining fully engaged with our stakeholders, in a consistently open, transparent, and responsive manner. That is the template we are using now as we seek your input on our ongoing mission to promote innovation and intellectual property in our 21st century global economy.

Our proposed strategic plan does many things:

  • It establishes our priorities for the next four years;
  • It guides all of our program and management activities;
  • It provides performance goals and measuring indicators;
  • And it outlines tools we can use to engage you, the public.

Our proposed plan sets us on a path to build on the progress that we have made over the past four years under our 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. Under the proposed 2014-2018 Strategic Plan:

  • We will continue to improve the quality of issued patents and trademarks. We propose doing this by refining the measurement of quality data, and maximizing its usage to improve the quality of both patent and trademark examination;
  • We will work with stakeholders to refine our long-term patent pendency goals so that they meet both the needs of the office and the IP community;
  • We will increase efficiencies and examination capacity to align with optimal pendency goals, such as hiring/retaining a nationwide workforce;
  • We will make further progress in reducing the backlog of unexamined patent applications, which has already declined about 18 percent since 2009, despite a continuing growth in filings, up 7 percent this year alone;
  • We also will further empower the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to provide timely and high quality decisions;
  • We will continue to maintain our strong trademark performance record; i.e., registering trademarks at less than 12 months on average since 2008;
  • We will continue to transition our information technology systems to the next generation, while improving our legacy systems and tools for employees and stakeholders;
  • We will continue to advance U.S. stakeholder interests in the global intellectual property system.
  • And the best way to ensure this continued progress is to further our efforts to secure for this agency a sustainable funding model, primarily focused on the retention of all of our fee collections.

When you review our draft plan, you will see that each goal contains a commitment to education and outreach. Our focus is on continuing to craft and deliver educational programs about the benefits and effective use of intellectual property to children, students, users of the intellectual property system, and the public-both in this country and abroad.

That includes nurturing and growing educational partnerships, such as our longstanding one with Invent Now, with whom we partner on the National Inventors Hall of Fame. To those of you in this room, I encourage you to visit our museum upstairs when this program is complete.

Thank you again for spending your morning with us. You will now here from some of our senior leadership, who will provide more detail. We appreciate your interest in, and feedback on, our proposed 2014-2018 Strategic Plan.

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