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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) strategic plan for 2018-2022 is now available. 
  1. The strategic goals set out in the plan include: 
    • Goal I: Optimize patent quality and timeliness
    • Goal II: Optimize trademark quality and timeliness
    • Goal III: Provide domestic and global leadership to improve intellectual property policy, enforcement and protection worldwide
    • Mission Support Goal: Deliver organizational excellence
    Patent practitioners and inventors should expect to benefit from reduced pendency while obtaining a patent, higher quality interactions with the USPTO, stronger IP rights in the U.S. and internationally, and improved information technology. 

  2. Technology updates will be a focus over the next four years – and anyone who has used the USPTO website will no doubt rejoice over this long overdue commitment. Surprisingly, even though it is a center for innovation, the USPTO’s technology is not updated very often. With this new strategic plan, the office is aiming to create a “sandbox” to tap into the expertise of current USPTO employees. USPTO will also phase out legacy systems and create a unified platform. (Perhaps the patent assignment database will now be unified with the “Patent Application Information Retrieval” portal.)  

  3. The USPTO is aiming to improve on timeliness during prosecuting applications, appeals, post-grant proceedings, and any other communications. This is a continuation of prior USPTO goals and hopefully we will all see even greater improvements. 

  4. The strategic plan is not all about patents. The USPTO is also focusing on streamlining and improving the trademark process. This includes websites, searching platforms, and the process for obtaining a trademark. 

  5. Comments to the draft plan can be directed to strategicplan1@uspto.gov. Anyone can comment on the plan - not just attorneys. 
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