USPTO Names New Director for Independent Inventor Office

Press Release

Brigid Quinn
Kim Byars

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently named Richard Apley, a long time employee of the USPTO, as its new director to head up the Office of Independent Inventor Programs (OIIP). OIIP, established in March 1999, is aimed at meeting the special needs of independent inventors.

The Office of Independent Inventor Programs, which was formerly headed by Donald G. Kelly, works to establish new mechanisms to better disseminate information about the patent and trademark processes and fosters regular communication between the USPTO and independent inventors. OIIP has a website that offers educational and outreach programs for independent inventors, covering all aspects of the patent and trademark process, including how to file an application and what is patentable. The website for OIIP's inventor resources is OIIP also runs training programs and maintains a strong presence at independent inventor conferences by exhibiting and participating in seminars.

In October of 1999, the USPTO, as part of the agency's specialized support for small inventors began airing 60-second radio and 30-second television commercials. The purpose of these advertisements is to inform and educate the independent inventor about the problem of fraudulent invention development and marketing firms.

"I am extremely pleased that Richard Apley has accepted this important position," noted Q. Todd Dickinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks. Dickinson went on to say, "It comes at a most opportune time. America's independent inventors are a valuable intellectual and economic resource and Richard Apley's tremendous experience and leadership in this area are wonderful assets as we work with independent inventors to nurture this boundless creativity by simplifying their access to our patent system."

In fiscal year 1998, America's independent inventors filed 15 percent of the 256,666 applications received by the agency.

Apley's biography follows.

Richard J. Apley

Richard J. Apley is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He received a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1966 and began his career at the Patent and Trademark Office immediately thereafter. In 1974, Mr. Apley received a juris doctorate from the University of Baltimore. He became a supervisory patent examiner in 1982 and has supervised art units in mechanical and chemical engineering, computer controlled teaching apparatus and simulators, biomedical and surgical devices and methods. Mr. Apley was most recently the training coordinator for Tech Center 3700 and has lectured on a variety of topics relating to Office practice and procedure. He is also on the Patent Academy training steering committee and a faculty member of the Patent Academy. Mr. Apley is a frequent instructor at the Patent Examiner Initial Training (PEIT) and also participated in and designed the automated PEIT program. He also teaches the patent examining component of the Visiting Scholars Program. In addition to these activities, Mr. Apley has negotiated numerous labor management agreements covering such diverse topics as flextime and compressed work schedules, the drug enforcement program, reengineering transitions, and the basic labor- management agreement between the PTO and NTEU 243 unions. Mr. Apley is a frequent speaker at inventor seminars and local elementary schools involved in Project XL and has assisted the Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs) in their independent inventor seminars. He has been the treasurer and Executive Board member of the Supervisory Patent Examiner and Classifiers Organization (SPECO) since 1984 and has negotiated the performance appraisal plan and award system for the SPEs. Mr. Apley resides in Old Town Alexandria, Va.

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