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Friday Aug 13, 2010

A note of thanks to the team

Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos


I hope, and think it’s safe to say we are in a time of increased optimism here at the USPTO.  Without question, things are looking brighter than they did a year ago.  I feel really great about what we’ve been able to achieve in the last year.  We’ve undertaken an expansive slate of new initiatives to improve our processes.  Interviews between patent applicants and examiners are up by 60 percent.  Production is up.  Retention has improved.  Most recently, legislation passed in both houses of Congress – in just one week! -- to get the USPTO much-needed access to most of our increased fee collections.  Can the USPTO get things done?  To quote President Obama--Yes we can!


Our progress is not going unnoticed by the IP community.  It seems everywhere I go, stakeholders approach me and say “thank you” for all the progress we’re making.  Recently, I experienced this at the town hall meeting we held here at USPTO Headquarters on the “Three Track” proposal.  Presenter after presenter expressed their gratitude for all of the great work we’re doing.  Although they were directing their thanks to me and the other senior executives in the room, it’s really our employees who they are thanking.  I truly wish all of our employees could hear these words of gratitude personally.


The progress we’re making is because of the hard work of the entire team across the USPTO enterprise.  The role I’m playing—and the best role for our leadership team generally—is simply to cheerlead and coach and enable and remove road blocks that stand in our employees’ way.  What’s happening is that the USPTO’s extremely skilled, capable, and dedicated workforce is being set free to do their best work—and I’m seeing it happen at every level of our organization.


By no means am I suggesting we can sit back now.  We have a lot of challenges, and a lot of work to do.  But I wanted to tell everyone how proud I am of the progress we’re making.  And I know, and want our employees to know, that any words of thanks given to me are actually for them.


Keep up the great work!



I have yet to encounter anyone in the IP blogosphere -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- who has expressed anything other than respect and appreciation for your efforts as Director of the USPTO. Indeed, it is you whom we exhort to keep up the great work!

Posted by patent litigation on August 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM EDT #

David, I heard your interview on NPR. It was very interesting even for those not filing patents! Glad to hear about the exciting changes you drive in your new office! Inna Kuznetsova VP, Systems Software, IBM

Posted by Inna Kuznetsova on August 20, 2010 at 05:41 AM EDT #

As a customer of the USPTO, I am impressed by the high quality of the USPTO staff. I hope that you will develop ways to reward your staff for their excellent work. This could include pay increases, bonus pay, special recognition, expanded professional tuition assistance, and opportunities to present papers at conferences and professional journals. It would also be worthwhile to examine possible structures to allow patent examiners to obtain their own patents without problems of a conflict of interest.

Posted by Nickolaus Leggett on August 23, 2010 at 12:36 PM EDT #

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