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Commerce Department Highlights the Role of Intellectual Property in U.S. Innovation, Competitiveness

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Kappos on podium at the Newseum in Washington with U.S. Capitol in background

The Commerce Department’s David Kappos, Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), stressed intellectual property’s vital role in the innovation economy and its importance to increasing America’s global competitiveness today at a Patents, Innovation and Job Creation conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Patent-related industries make up the most dynamic parts of our economy, he said, and as a share of gross economic value, the United States invests more in intangible assets than any of its major trading partners.

As our country seeks to regain the jobs lost during the recession, inventions that could spark new businesses and jobs are waiting in the USPTO’s backlog. The Harvard Business Review recently described the USPTO as “the biggest job creator you never heard of.”  Reducing the time it takes to examine those applications is one of the highest priorities for Director Kappos and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Kappos and the USPTO have launched several initiatives to shorten patent pendency and improve patent quality, and the agency will soon outline yet another plan that would give applicants the option to accelerate examination of a patent application. In his remarks today, Kappos also applauded the efforts of Congress to continue pushing for bipartisan legislation that would help the USPTO improve the patent system, expressing the agency’s strong support for patent reform.  |  Director's remarks

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Metrics

Having worked with various state agencies, I am astounded by the detailed data collection of these agencies on their various activities. I am further astounded by the lack of use of this information. I suspect the USPTO has very detailed metrics on all their patent and trademark processing history by employee. Why not build accountability standards and even employee incentive systems to drive change in the organization? At Labor Performance, we have over 15 years experience working with organizations to develop their analytical models for data analysis and employee incentive programs. Many companies we more than doubled their productivity and quality metrics.