IPO has now concluded its annual meeting here in Chicago, where one of the many highlights was David Kappos serving as the "kick-off" speaker. In his speech (now posted on the USPTO site), Kappos discussed future plans and goals for the USPTO:
- Reengineer the examiner count system - "we’re going to have a count system that helps everyone get to the point without requiring two or three RCEs."
- Cut pendency across the board, by allowing an applicant to select an application to advance in the queue in exchange for each application they withdraw before substantive examination.
- Focus on global worksharing—which Kappos believes "is key to helping us meet the increasing challenge of efficiently managing the USPTO’s workload."
- "Our biggest challenge – Funding."
- Future objectives include:
- Reducing first action pendency to 10 months and overall pendency to 20 months;
- Decreasing the size of the patent application backlog to approximately 300,000 cases;
- Reducing patent appeals pendency to 3 months;
- Reducing reexamination pendency to 1 year;
- Bringing the quality of PCT processing to world-class level; and
- Implementing a robust IT system capable of supporting all the USPTO’s operations on a 24/7 basis, and capable of facilitating full electronic patent and trademark processing.
Read the speech in its entirety here (link)
MORE: According to the Just a Patent Examiner Blog, Kappos has started a blog. For the time being, it's only hosted on the internal USPTO servers. However, according to the blog, "we plan to make the blog available to the public in the coming weeks." Also, internal USPTO announcements indicate that a joint union and management task force will begin the work of "addressing the patent examiner count system."