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Monday May 11, 2015

New Tool for Examiners Helps Streamline Examination Process

Guest blog by Chief Information Officer John Owens

The USPTO recently launched a critical new tool for patent examiners, marking the beginning of the retirement of certain legacy IT tools, and furthering our commitment to sharpening operating efficiencies as we modernize IT systems. Newly released to the patent examining corps is Version 2.0 of the Docket and Application Viewer (DAV), a customizable, searchable tool to help examiners manage their work load and prioritize tasks. This tool replaces the Desktop Application Navigator (eDAN) tool they use now.

This new tool, like others to come, will help the agency in the drive to increase patent quality. Once fully deployed, the USPTO’s “Patents End-to-End” (PE2E) system will provide examiners with an improved way of processing patent applications, integrating activities currently managed across separate systems into a central place, and leveraging modern technology. Late in 2016, we expect to launch more releases critical to examiners including Office Action and Search tools. Between now and the end of 2016, there will be incremental software releases for a pilot group of examiners to use.

The DAV was successfully deployed to over 120 servers in 48 hours in late March by the USPTO’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in close collaboration with our Office of Patent Information Management and the Patent Office Professional Association union. Training for this tool began in late March. The DAV tool also reflects our teams’ use of “agile” practices that focus on user involvement and feedback, while “DevOps,” provides a method of emphasizing tight collaboration. In the last few years, we have used agile and user-centered design to enhance how we develop and deliver new software to users.

Getting public input is critical to us. That’s why we host public events with tech experts to spur discussion, generate ideas, and help us operate at maximum efficiency. On June 11-12, 2015, we will host the inaugural DevOps Days DC, an international forum on “DevOps” at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. We look forward to providing more updates on the agency’s IT transformation as we rollout more software and systems to strengthen examination processes and support the nation’s innovators.


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