May 19, 2009

US Patent Office Considering External Ombuds Program

Peggy Focarino, Acting Commissioner for Patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office is considering an external Ombuds program as part of an overall effort to improve the application process. She proposes placing an Ombuds in each of the agency's Technology Centers, the working groups that evaluate patent applications units. Focarino says that the Technology Center Ombuds would be an available resource to applicants on application-specific issues to facilitate the resolution of issues when problems arise. She envisions Ombuds to be independent of an examiner’s chain of command with a mandate to be neutral. Several intellectual property experts have called on the USPTO to implement an Ombuds program. (IP Watchdog; Anticipate This!; Toledo Intellectual Property Law Association.)

Related post: Federal Ombuds Publish Unified Model for Developing an Office.

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