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About Stakeholder Outreach and Patents Ombudsman Program

Customer service is a hallmark of the Patents organization. Stakeholder Outreach and Patents Ombudsman Program (SOPOP) is a single office under the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality that can help patent applications get back on track – whether your concern is with the initial filing of your patent application, how your application is being examined, or post examination practice that leads to your patent issuing. Each inquiry is monitored through completion, and we monitor our issue clearance rate to ensure our timeliness. By incident tracking, this Office not only ensures complete issue handling to our customer’s satisfaction but also allows us to perform incident management and inquiry-based trend analysis.

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Stakeholder Outreach

Stakeholder Outreach, when combined in our office with the Patents Ombudsman Program, is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of our external customers.  A goal of Stakeholder Outreach is to bring our stakeholders timely patent examination practice tips.  By tracking inquiries and solutions that flow through the Patents Ombudsman Program, Stakeholder Outreach collects a wealth of timely information most asked by our external stakeholders today.  We schedule outreach events to share this information regularly – if you are interested in our team visiting you, please Contact Us.

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Patents Ombudsman Program

The Patents Ombudsman Program ensures that the patent application process is working the way it is intended and that each customer understands the pathway forward for their patent application.  Initiated in FY 2010, this program has received between 4,000 - 5,000 inquires a year since FY2013.  Questions are typically about the status of a patent application, how to file certain papers, details about provisional applications, and other more general questions.  The Program does not circumvent the normal patent examination process but our staff can answer questions about the process and/or direct your questions to where they can be solved.

To utilize the Patents Ombudsman Program, visit our Patents Ombudsman Program webpage.

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Provide technical expertise to examiners

The Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP)

PETTP offers technologists, scientists, engineers, and other experts from industry and academia an opportunity to voluntarily provide technical training and expertise to patent examiners in-person or virtually from their own location. 

In-person presentations can be made at our Alexandria, Virginia headquarters or at one of our satellite offices in Detroit, Michigan and Denver, Colorado. 

To learn more, visit the Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) page.

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Patents events

Interested in taking part in additional Patent lead training and other public events?  Please visit the Patents Events page to learn more.

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Contact us

For inquiries about stakeholder outreach opportunities, email

For inquiries about your patent application, please refer to the Patents Ombudsman Program webpage.

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