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WASHINGTON - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today received the 2009 Tele-Vision Award from the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership focused on eliminating gridlock. The USPTO's Office of General Law Telework Program was recognized in the "Best Use of Innovation and Technology to Support Telework" category.
A unique aspect of the program is that participants receive the Enterprise Remote Access (ERA) equipment and the Nortel Multimedia Communication System (MCS) to conduct their business and to ensure that the client is not impacted by the employee's physical location. MCS performs as a digital telephony solution and as a collaboration tool for the Office of General Law (OGL) participating attorneys, which further enhances their ability to conduct agency business in a seamless fashion. In-house clients contact the attorney at a USPTO phone number, and the teleworker receives the call through his or her laptop computer via voice-over Internet protocol (VOIP). OGL teleworkers are provided with a Webcam to conduct interviews, meetings, or informal discussions while working remotely.
"The OGL Telework Program is one of the only telework programs for a federal government general counsel's office," noted Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO John Doll. "Telework sets OGL apart from other agencies in attracting new employees from the legal profession and provides a definite boost in employee morale and job satisfaction."
Following a pilot completed in 2007, the OGL Telework Program was fully implemented and expanded in 2008 to include 100 percent participation by eligible employees.
The OGL Telework Program is a human capital flexibility and a succinct business strategy that has proven to be a winning program for OGL employees, their manager, and the USPTO.