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Friday Jul 29, 2011

Dashboard Update: Office of Policy and External Affairs

Guest blog by Al Tramposch, OPEA Administrator

Although the USPTO campus is located in Alexandria, Virginia, its voice is heard around the world. The Office of Policy and External Affairs (OPEA) of the USPTO has the responsibility to strengthen and enforce intellectual property policy and protection both domestically and internationally. Progress on OPEA’s efforts can be found on the Policy and External Affairs dashboard.

We launched the dashboard in April 2011 to give the public access to data each quarter on crucial metrics in accordance with OPEA’s objectives. Through the dashboard data, the public has an overview of USPTO’s contributions in the development of strong intellectual property systems, domestically and abroad. The dashboard provides metrics on the number of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) cases filed with the USPTO, as well as the number of programs, officials, and represented countries trained by the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA). Collaboration with other countries could result in more efficient global intellectual property protection and enforcement systems so we are active participants in the PPH and the Patent Cooperation Treaty – Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH) projects.

PPH is a framework in which an application whose claims have been determined to be patentable in one country’s patent office is eligible to go through an accelerated examination in another country’s patent office. Under the PCT-PPH, patent applicants can request a fast-track examination procedure in participating offices where patent examiners can make use of the work products from other offices. Over the course of the past five months, the number of requests for PPH has increased by approximately 33%, and the number of requests for PCT-PPH has increased by almost 200%. For those interested in more information on these PPH programs as well as how to participate, we link to more information here and from the dashboard under the PPH Requests section.

Educational programs play a key role in our efforts to strengthen intellectual property protection and enforcement worldwide. GIPA was created to increase the USPTO’s training and capacity-building initiatives on intellectual property protection, enforcement, and capitalization in the United States and around the world. Through GIPA programs, foreign officials learn about international IP obligations and norms, and are exposed to a U.S. model of protecting and enforcing IP rights and discussion of IP issues in a collaborative learning environment. Programs are taught at our Alexandria campus, remotely through web-based distance learning technology, and in countries throughout the world. For the first three quarters of fiscal year 2011, the dashboard shows that OPEA staff conducted 105 programs. The dashboard also shows the number of attendees trained by GIPA and the number of countries that they represent. More than 4,000 officials from 115 countries have attended a GIPA program during the first three quarters of FY2011. You can follow this link for more information on the specific countries represented by attendees, or follow the one provided at the bottom of the dashboard.

We hope you’ll find the Policy and External Affairs Dashboard informative and helpful. We welcome any feedback you may have on how we can make it even better.

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