USPTO Seeks Comments On 2014-2018 Strategic Plan

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued its draft strategic plan for 2014-2018 and is asking for comments.

The draft strategic plan is here [pdf].

The call for comments is here. Comments are due by 25 November. A hearing is scheduled for 5 November, according to sources.

The draft plan summarises USPTO’s goals as:

“• We will establish the optimal pendency and quality levels for
both patents and trademarks that will enable us to operate
efficiently and effectively in a steady-state maintenance mode,
while considering the expectations of the IP community.
• We will effectively administer the provisions of the AIA.
• We will continue to transform the USPTO with Next Generation
technology and services.
• We will continue working with other Government agencies,
Congress and our global partners to establish IP systems that
benefit innovation, create jobs and lead to strong economies
around the world.
• We will continue to recognize the importance of a strong and
diverse leadership team, an agile management structure, and
a diverse and engaged cadre of employees in achieving our
mission and vision over the long term.”

USPTO’s work also includes copyright, although it is separate from the US Copyright Office.It plans to “take a lead role” in World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations on a treaty on broadcasters’ rights, and on copyright exceptions for libraries and education. It does not indicate whether it will be in support of these initiatives or not.

The 42-page plan goes into detail on how it will accomplish its goals. On providing domestic and global leadership, it lists initiatives such as:

” A. Provide policy formulation and guidance on key IP
issues in all fields of IP protection and enforcement
B. Engage other U.S. Government Agencies and Congress
on legislation that improves the IP system
C. Lead domestic and international copyright initiatives
and policy development for the U.S. Government
D. Provide domestic education outreach at all levels, including
through distance learning, knowledge enhancement
and capacity building
E. Leverage technology to increase domestic and international
education, training and outreach at all levels
F. Expand knowledge of domestic and international IP
landscape and public impacts of IP through empirical
research and fact-finding”

It say USPTO was “instrumental” in the June agreement on a WIPO treaty on exceptions and limitations for the blind, as well as in the development of the US government “green paper” on copyright reform. The office also “provides technical assistance to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in connection with the negotiation and implementation of IP rights provisions contained in the U.S. Free Trade Agreements,” it said. Those provisions are among the most disputed in some of those FTA negotiations. It refers to the office’s help in negotiating “state-of-the-art” IP provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

It also details a significant objective of working to strengthen IP protection and enforcement, including at WIPO (where IP protection and enforcement is relegated to a non-negotiating advisory committee).

USPTO will work in a variety of ways to improve international cooperation and worksharing.

And it says China will continue to be a major focus of the next period.


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