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Introduction to Performance

In FY 2010, the USPTO issued its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, which recognizes that innovation has become the principal driver of our modern economy by stimulating economic growth and creating high-paying jobs. America’s innovators rely on the U.S. patent and trademark systems to secure investment capital and to bring their products and services to the marketplace as soon as possible. Therefore, it is critical for America’s innovators to have a well-run USPTO.

The USPTO 2010-2015 Strategic Plan ( is designed to strengthen the capacity of the USPTO by focusing on a specific set of goals and the steps we must take to reach those goals, as follows:

Figure 3. Pie chart summarizing the fiscal year 2011 strategic goal performance target results. Values are as follows:
Met Target: 91% (10 targets).
Not Met: 9% (1 target).
  • Provide timely examination of patent applications: Reduce the average time to first office action for patent applications to 10 months (average time from filing until an examiner’s initial determination on patentability), and average total pendency to 20 months (average time from filing until the application is issued as a patent or abandoned)
  • Improve quality of patent examination
  • Improve/enhance patent appeal and post-grant processes
  • Optimize trademark quality and maintain pendency
  • Demonstrate global leadership in all aspects of IP policy development
  • Improve information technology (IT) infrastructure and tools
  • Implement a sustainable funding model for operations
  • Improve relations with employees and stakeholders.

While funding constraints this past year caused us to take actions that postponed full implementation of some strategic plan initiatives, we are still committed to achieving the goals and objectives in the USPTO 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.

These priorities support the DOC’s theme of economic growth, and the goal of delivering the tools, systems, policies and technologies critical to transforming our economy, fostering U.S. competitiveness, and driving the development of new businesses.

Our plan communicates the USPTO’s priorities and directions, and serves as the foundation for programmatic and management functions. As a management tool for tracking progress in meeting each of our performance commitments, the plan includes a Balanced Scorecard which identifies the objectives, initiatives, and performance measures associated with each strategic goal. These performance commitments are outlined in the strategic framework presented in Table 1.

Following the presentation of the Strategic Planning Framework, a summary table (Table 2) provides trend information on performance results within each strategic goal. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of our strategy and performance results, by strategic objective within each strategic goal.


Table 1. 2010-2015 Strategic Plan


Fostering innovation, competitiveness and economic growth, domestically and abroad by
delivering high quality and timely examination of patent and trademark applications, guiding
domestic and international intellectual property policy, and delivering intellectual property
information and education worldwide, with a highly skilled, and diverse workforce.


Leading the Nation and the World in Intellectual Property Protection and Policy.

Strategic Goals with Resources Invested Objectives

Optimize Patent Quality
and Timeliness

$1,915.3 million

Re-Engineer Patent Process to Increase Efficiencies and Strengthen Effectiveness
Increase Patent Application Examination Capacity
Improve Patent Pendency and Quality by Increasing International Cooperation and Work Sharing
Measure and Improve Patent Quality
Improve Appeal and Post-Grant Processes
Develop and Implement the Patent End-to-End Processing System

Optimize Trademark Quality
and Timeliness

$196.4 million

Maintain Trademark First Action Pendency on Average between 2.5 – 3.5 Months with 12.5 Months Final Pendency
Continuously Monitor and Improve Trademark Quality
Ensure Accuracy of Identifications of Goods and Services in Trademark Applications and Registrations
Enhance Operations of Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)
Modernize IT System by Developing and Implementing the Trademark Next Generation IT System
Develop a New Generation of Trademark Leaders

Provide Domestic and Global
Leadership to Improve Intellectual
Property Policy, Protection and
Enforcement Worldwide

$49.2 million

Provide Domestic Leadership on IP Policy Issues and Development of a National IP Strategy
Provide Leadership on International Policies for Improving the Protection and Enforcement of IP Rights (IPR)
Achieve Organizational
Improve IT Infrastructure and Tools
Implement a Sustainable Funding Model for Operations
Improve Employee and Stakeholder Relations
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Last Modified: 01/03/2012 14:04:41