Strategic Plan > Index to Action Papers > Competitive Sourcing of Trademark Pre-Examination Processing Related to Paper Applications

Competitive Sourcing of Trademark Pre-Examination
Processing Related to Paper Applications


Activities supporting the preparation, classification and coding of materials in paper-filed applications should be performed using competitive sourcing.


Currently the initial processing of trademark application data in applications filed on paper and the capture of paper-filed documents into electronic systems so they may be accessed on-line is performed primarily by contract employees. There are two distinct activities related to the capture of information in newly filed paper applications: (1) Classifying the goods and services associated with the mark in the new application, assigning mark drawing codes to all marks, assigning design search codes to marks containing designs or figurative elements for the purpose of searching the mark (approximately 20 percent of the marks filed) and applying pseudo-marks related to "corrupted" or intentionally misspelled word marks to permit a retrieval of marks from trademark search systems; and (2) Scanning and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capture of paper-filed applications and related documents to create an electronic file in the Trademark Image Capture System (TICRS). Contractors currently perform some or all these activities. For several years, Trademark Operations has been contracting support activities and tasks that the organization believes will be rendered obsolete as technology comes into wider use in the organization.

Options Considered:

       Use a mix of Government and contract employees.

       Competitively source all activities.

USPTO Recommended Course of Action:

The USPTO will continue to competitively source all activities that support the preparation and capture of trademark application data in paper applications because it:

1.     Supports the President's Management Agenda and the FAIR Act to competitively source "commercial" activities;

2.     Allows more flexibility for managing one-time projects and changes in workloads;

3.     Minimizes the impact on Government employees as applicants move to electronic filing and communication; and,

4.     Defers the need to take permanent action to reduce displaced positions.

Proof of Concept:

This effort has been completed with the successful recompetition and award of a consolidated service contract. The new contract is a continuation of the functions that have been performed by contract employees under different contracts for several years. The USPTO will ensure a "high standard of quality" through the creation of quality standards and effective monitoring of contractor work performance.


       A services contract covering identified support activities was awarded on

October 1, 2002.

       Additional tasks or work that fits within the scope of the contract may be added
as needed.


       Consistent with a strategy to competitively source activities that will be eliminated or substantially reduced in a fully electronic environment.

       Controls costs because fewer resources will be needed as more applications are filed electronically and the pending paper inventory is reduced.

        Competition will create incentives for improving the quality of products.
Implementation Schedule
Work Breakdown Structure Task Name Start Finish Project Lead
27 Flexibility 4: T-06 Outsourcing classification of goods/services 06/03/02 09/26/07 R. Williams
27.1 Draft and solicit proposals for the recompetition of the TM services contract (T-06) 06/03/02 10/01/02  
27.2 Provide on-the-job training (contractors and government employees) (T-06) 10/01/02 10/15/02  
27.3 Establish government position to assist the COTR in monitoring the contractor performance (T-06) 06/03/02 10/01/02  
27.4 Recruit position - contract quality assurance (T-06) 10/02/02 11/29/02  
27.5 Identify government functions to be replaced (T-06) 10/02/02 12/31/02  
27.6 Determine positions/job assignments (T-06) 10/01/02 12/30/02  
27.9 Monitor contract performance, data quality (T-06) 10/02/02 09/26/07  
27.10 Determine level of work and fund task order as functions are added (T-06) 10/02/02 09/26/07  
KEY: e Biz=online business system fees=fees forms=formshelp=help laws and regs=laws/regulations definition=definition (glossary)

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