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Secretary Gary Locke Applauds 'Swift, Bipartisan' Congressional Action on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Budget Fix

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, July 17, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Secretary Gary Locke Applauds ‘Swift, Bipartisan’ Congressional Action on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Budget Fix

"We applaud Congress' swift, bipartisan action to address the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's budget crisis. In particular, Chairman Leahy worked wonders passing the bill during a busy week in the Senate, and Chairman Conyers was instrumental in writing the bill quickly.

"This legislation allows us to address this issue in the immediate term. But the crisis points to larger, systemic problems at USPTO. These problems require new leadership with strong management skills and new long-term solutions.

"We look forward to working with the Senate on the speedy consideration of David Kappos as the next USPTO director."

The President nominated David Kappos to be director of USPTO on June 18. In this role, Kappos will lead the Department’s efforts to reform the patent system. Over a 20-year career, Kappos has accrued deep knowledge of the patent system and gained broad respect from professionals across the field.

Secretary Locke has made reducing patent processing times a top priority. Last week, the Secretary announced the appointment of Nicholas Godici as a short-term consultant to the agency to look at ways to strengthen the management structure of USPTO and work with officials to provide an up-to-date assessment of the challenges the office faces. Godici will assist in the transition to a new director.