Guest blog post by Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank
As part of our ongoing efforts to make government more accountable to the American people and cut wasteful spending, this afternoon I had the honor of swearing in nine new administrative patent judges who will help reduce patent backlogs. These nine talented and dynamic individuals will serve on the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), joining the dedicated public servants at USPTO who support millions of jobs in the intellectual property industry.
Today, a high share of companies regularly relying on robust intellectual property (IP) protections to attract investor capital and stay competitive. These IP-intensive firms create an average of three million U.S. jobs per year. More than ever, we must be efficient and effective in helping entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property.
America’s entrepreneurs are the primary source of new ideas that drive innovation. Entrepreneurs provide us with better production processes, new advances in health, and improved consumer products. These are people who can move from ideas to products and from products to the marketplace. These activities strengthen our economy and our global competitiveness. And they create jobs.These new administrative jurists will directly help to reduce backlogs that prevent game-changing ideas from breaking through. Specifically, they will help with the new in-house review process for challenging patents that have already been granted. This process is faster and less expensive than litigation.
The new review process is part of a larger set of patent modernization efforts that are part of the recently-enacted America Invents Act. USPTO has already implemented seven provisions of this federal legislation–all on time. This new law is helping to provide America’s entrepreneurs with better service through smarter tools, streamlined processes, and fewer barriers. As a result, we are increasing the confidence that everyone places in America’s patent system. Even prior to the enactment of theAmerica Invents Act, USPTO cut the patent application backlog by approximately 10 percent as the volume of applications filed increase by approximately 5 percent, between 2009 and 2011.
With the addition of these nine individuals, USPTO will be able to do more to help entrepreneurs get new ideas to the market faster and create American jobs. This is one more important step toward enabling us to build more products here and sell them everywhere around the globe.