Maria Victoria Hernandez
Today, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) became the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a Performance-Based Organization (PBO). The new status results from the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999, which reformed the U.S. patent system in a number of ways.
The PBO is a concept created in March 1996 by Vice President Al Gore and the National Partnership for Reinventing Government. In fact, the USPTO will now be only the second federal agency in history to be a PBO, after the Education Department's Office of Student Financial Assistance. A PBO is a results-driven organization that delivers the best possible services to its customers. A PBO also commits to accountability for results by having clear objectives, specific measurable goals, customer service standards and targets for improved performance. In exchange for this commitment to accountability, a PBO is granted managerial flexibilities to achieve these goals and operate more like a business with greater autonomy over its budget, hiring, and procurement.
The USPTO's new status will be celebrated this Monday, April 3, 2000, at a ceremony in front of the main headquarters building at 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va. The program will begin at 10:30 a.m.
"As a PBO, the United States Patent and Trademark Office moves to the forefront of reinventing the federal government by becoming a results-driven organization with a renewed focus on customer service," says Q. Todd Dickinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks. "Having sufficient resources to operate effectively in this new environment," he continued, "is now more important than ever."
# # #