On May 5, 2010, USPTO director David J. Kappos testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the USPTO’s operations, programs and initiatives. In line with the USPTO’s goal of increasing efficiency and reducing the average pendency for a patent application, Director Kappos focused, in part, on expanding and improving the IT infrastructure currently in place at the patent office.
Specifically, Director Kappos proposed an end-to-end system for the electronic processing of patent and trademark applications. The proposal calls for a system that will function independently of the current outdated system, thus allowing its design to be driven by the needs of the stakeholders and the desire to reach an efficient end product. More details can be found on page 10 of the prepared statement of Director Kappos to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Quid Pro Quo for Reducing Backlog
The USPTO also announced the expansion of its “Project Exchange” program, which should take effect in the coming weeks following its publication in the Federal Register. At present, the Project Exchange program allows small entity applicants to receive expedited examination of one application in exchange for the withdrawal of another unexamined application.
With hopes of reducing the immense backlog currently clogging the USPTO, the Project Exchange program will now be open to all applicants. Greater detail on the expanded Project Exchange program can be found in the USPTO’s press release. How many applicants take advantage of this program, and how successful it is in reducing the pendency of applications, remains to be seen.
If you would like to bump up examination for a certain application in exchange for abandoning an unwanted application, our US agents would be happy to provide you with further information on the Project Exchange program – just let us know at email@example.com.