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Maria V. Hernandez
Washington - The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) electronic trademark filing system was recognized in a ceremony today as a finalist in the 2001 Quality Cup Award sponsored by USA TODAY and the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.
The filing system, TEAS, is an interactive, web-based system that anyone, regardless of experience, can use to file a federal trademark application. The system has improved the quality of initial applications and helps maintain the quality of application processing by allowing the customer to communicate directly with the trademark examining operation over the Internet.
"The USPTO is very pleased to be selected for this recognition," notes Nicholas Godici, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO. "TEAS is being recognized as a high-quality and innovative customer service tool that makes it easier for Americans to do business with the federal government."
In the past year, TEAS has been recognized for excellence in two other national competitions. In May 2000, TEAS was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2000 Innovations in American Government Awards Program, a competition sponsored by The Ford Foundation, The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and The Council for Excellence in Government. In October 2000, TEAS was selected for the 2000 Government Technology Leadership Award sponsored by Government Executive Magazine.
The award is given to organizations that use teamwork and total quality management to cut costs, solve problems, increase efficiency and serve customers. This is the 10th and final year that the Rochester Institute of Technology and USA TODAY are awarding the Quality Cup.
USPTO administers patent and trademark laws protecting intellectual property and rewarding individual effort. Intellectual property is a potent force in the competitive free enterprise system. By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, USPTO seeks to preserve the United States' technological edge, which is a key to our current and future competitiveness. USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.
Over SIX million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and more than 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.