The U.S. PTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan

March 1, 2004

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The U.S. PTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan

Originally Published MX March/April 2004


When it was initially proposed in June 2002, the strategic plan developed by the PTO was intended to accomplish the goals listed below. Inadequate funding has prevented the agency from moving forward with implementation, thus delaying its original timetable. Further information about the plan is available via the office's Web site at

  • Enhance the quality of patent and trademark examining operations through consolidation of quality assurance activities.

  • Accelerate processing time by transitioning from paper to e-government processing for trademarks by November 2, 2003—in tandem with implementation of the Madrid Protocol.

  • Deliver an operational system to process patent applications electronically by October 1, 2004, including electronic image capture of all incoming and outgoing paper documents.

  • Control patent and trademark pendency and reduce time to first PTO actions.

  • Competitively outsource patent application classification and search functions, and concentrate office expertise as much as possible on the core examination functions.

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