In FY 2006, the United States Patent & Trademark Office launched a comprehensive strategic planning process.  The strategic planning process was launched to help focus the USPTO’s energy, to ensure that members of the organization are working toward the same goals, and to assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment.  This effort involves setting goals, and developing objectives for achieving those goals.  As part of the strategic planning process, the USPTO’s executive leadership team sought a broad range of perspectives from interested parties, including the Patent Public Advisory Committee, the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, members of the public, stakeholders, and employees.  A draft plan was posted on the USPTO Web site, and a notice announcing its availability for review and comment was published in the Federal Register.  The draft plan was also reviewed by Congress.  The results of the input received from employees and stakeholders were summarized and discussed by the leadership team, which formulated the final version of the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan.  The final version of the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan, which was released in March of 2007, then becomes a part of the annual budget request along with an annual performance plan and report. 

In support of the Department of Commerce’s strategic objective to “protect intellectual property and improve the patent and trademark systems,” the USPTO established three strategic goals and a management goal to guide its policies and operations over the next five years.  One of the three strategic goals (“Strategic Goal #3”) is to improve IP protection and enforcement domestically and abroad.  The objectives to achieving Strategic Goal #3 include: (1) supporting efforts and initiatives aimed at strengthening IP protection and curbing theft of IP; (2) continuing efforts to developing unified standards for international IP practice; (3) providing policy guidance on domestic IP issues; and (4) fostering innovation and competitiveness by delivering IP information and education worldwide.  

According to the newly released USPTO’s Performance and Accountability Report, in 2009, USPTO provided training to more than 2,226 officials from 128 countries on a variety of topics, including IP protection and enforcement, and technology transfer.  USPTO also initiated a new pilot program exposing patent officials from other countries to the USPTO Patent Training Academy’s patent examiner training program.  The six-month long International Examiners in Residence (IEIR) Program included most of the Patent Training Academy’s new examiner training curriculum.  In addition, the IEIR covered other IP topics, such as copyright, trademark, and enforcement issues.  In order to provide a full perspective of the U.S. IP system, the IEIR also included visits to the BPAI, the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court to witness oral hearings at each of these judicial proceedings.  Eight patent examiners in various technologies from the patent offices in China, Germany, Korea, and Saudi Arabia participated in the pilot program.

In the area of enforcement, in 2009, USPTO organized and hosted two joint Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) – Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Pacific Island Forum (PIF) capacity building events, namely, the Colloquium for Public Prosecutors and the Judiciary on IPR Enforcement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Workshop on the Border Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Honolulu, Hawaii.   USPTO also conducted a two-week study tour program on IPR enforcement and the U.S. legal system for twenty-three (23) foreign government judges and prosecutors.   These are just a few examples of the wide range of programs the USPTO delivered both in the United States and overseas in 2009.

The full 2009 Performance and Accountability Report can be accessed here: