Intellectual Property: Improvements Needed to Better Manage Patent Office Automation and Address Workforce Challenges

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for issuing patents that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. However, the volume and complexity of patent applications to the agency have increased significantly in recent years, lengthening the time needed to process patents and raising concerns about the validity of the patents that are issued. Annual applications have grown from about 185,000 to over 350,000 in the last 10 years and are projected to exceed 450,000 by 2009. Coupled with this growth is a ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 8, 2005.

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Description

Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for issuing patents that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. However, the volume and complexity of patent applications to the agency have increased significantly in recent years, lengthening the time needed to process patents and raising concerns about the validity of the patents that are issued. Annual applications have grown from about 185,000 to over 350,000 in the last 10 years and are projected to exceed 450,000 by 2009. Coupled with this growth is a backlog of about 750,000 applications. Further complicating matters, the agency has faced difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified staff to process patent applications. USPTO has long recognized the need to automate its patent processing and, over the past two decades, has been engaged in various automation projects. More recently, in its strategic plan, the agency articulated its approach for accelerating the use of automation and improving workforce quality. In two reports issued in June 2005, GAO discussed progress and problems that the agency faces as it develops its electronic patent process, its actions to attain a highly qualified patent examination workforce, and the progress of the agency's strategic plan initiatives. At Congress's request, this testimony summarizes the results of these GAO reports."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 8, 2005

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Intellectual Property: Improvements Needed to Better Manage Patent Office Automation and Address Workforce Challenges, text, September 8, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290910/: accessed February 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.