Recently our President & CEO, Jim Greenwood sent a letter to President Obama, congratulating him on his historic election, and providing him with a few suggestions as to how to improve things at the USPTO.
For those of you who aren’t super-familiar with the USPTO, let me just say that they have been charged with the processing of patent applications and granting patents.
Patents, as our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln very eloquently said, “add the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things”. Consequently, the USPTO has made important contributions to our nation’s technological and economic progress by granting patents that serve as an incentive for innovation.
Unfortunately however, today the USPTO is an agency in crisis. There are more than 1.2 million patent applications pending before approximately 6,000 examiners. Despite a dramatic increase in staffing, the USPTO has been unable to keep up with the increasing number of new applications. This in turn has created concern by some about the quality and timliness of the patents being granted. As a result, there are many proposals for reforming the patent system, not all of which would actually get to the crux of the problem.. which is that the USPTO has limited resources to tackle an extraordinary amount of work. We think we have a solution that will help the USPTO meet its workload challenge and also improve the quality of the patents it grants.
Let us know what you think. How can we help the USPTO?