USPTO Reorganizes Operational Structure to More Effectively Achieve Goals set out in 2010-2015 Strategic Plan

Press Release

CONTACT: Peter Pappas or Jennifer Rankin Byrne

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Creates new Office of the Chief Communications Officer and
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity reporting to the under secretary and director

Patent and Trademark Appeal Boards to report directly to under secretary and director

Washington - Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos announced today that, effective October 1, the USPTO is reorganizing its operational structure to strengthen the agency's management, communications, and policy functions in accordance with the goals set forth in its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, the text of which is available on the USPTO website and which will be available in final format in the coming weeks.

"We have revised our structure so that we can operate more efficiently, communicate with the public in a more effective and transparent manner, and enhance our ability to achieve our goals," said Under Secretary Kappos. "These organizational changes will enable us to better achieve our goals of reducing patent pendency and bringing innovation to market sooner, while strengthening the appeal process, promoting a more diverse workplace, and enhancing the agency's critical communications and outreach functions."

The reorganization changes the first-line structure of the organizations reporting to the Office of the Under Secretary and Director by establishing a new Office of the Chief Communications Officer (formerly the Office of Public Affairs within the Under Secretary's Office) and a new Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity (formerly the Office of Civil Rights within the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer) as separate organizations reporting directly to the Under Secretary and Director and represented on the agency's Executive Committee.

It also transfers the reporting of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which were formerly part of the Office of General Counsel, to the Office of the Under Secretary. Additional changes involve the Patent Organization--including the addition of an Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development--and the Office of Policy and External Affairs to better align and clarify competencies and functions performed by those organizations.

The reorganization will not increase the USPTO's number of full-time employees or resource requirements, and the agency's current facilities in Alexandria, Va., will accommodate the reorganization.

A chart reflecting the new organizational structure can be found