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(c) report to the President of the United States and to the United States
(d) undertake studies or investigations, evaluate proposals, or develop
(e) establish and oversee the work of a professional staff of the committee,
A purpose of the patent and trademark laws is to benefit the American public by providing useful commercial rights to the business community, and as to patents, to the innovative business sector. The users of the PTO services who now completely fund the PTO operation merit an effective voice in defining PTO goals, priorities, and administrative practices and procedures. The advisory committee would have no authority over PTO operations save the authority to offer advice. However, the users of PTO services are in a better position than both Congress and the PTO to evaluate whether the manner in which those services are provided meet their needs. Providing a formal mechanism for the private sector to advise Congress and the PTO on how the patent and trademark laws are being administered can only provide useful information to those who have the affirmative responsibility to ensure the PTO is operating with optimal efficiency and effectiveness. Currently, such advice, particularly regarding fiscal matters, is not available. A critical factor to the proper operation of the advisory committee is the authority to retain competent staff support sufficient to allow the committee discharge its responsibilities and particularly to respond to specific requests by Congress for information.
Resolution Three: BORROWING AUTHORITY
RESOLVED, that, in the event the funding of capital and other extraordinary
(a) to purchase assets and hold such assets for the exclusive benefit of the
The Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association
I. Fred Koenigsberg
Richard C. Witte
The Special Committee on the PTO as a Government Corporation
Robert A. Armitage, Chair
Joseph A. DeGrandi,
James H. Laughlin, Jr.
Hoge T. Sutherland
Rene D. Tegtmeyer
Historical Recognition of Quality Issues
Improving the administration of the patent law has been a subject of discussion and controversy for nearly 200 years. The fundamentals of the current law as well as the Patent Office have been in place since the Patent Act of 1836. During the 156 years since then, the number of Patent Office employees has increased to meet application filing levels. Periodically there have been internal structural changes, such as establishing a board of appeals, and operating improvements, such as adopting a classification system for issued patents. But even significant changes such as these have been few, and those have been slow in coming.
The basic problems of the PTO, which exist today, have been identified and studied over such a long period of years that they have reached an almost legendary status. Recommendations for reform have been made, and largely ignored. To demonstrate the persistence of inertia, one begins with the Report of the President's Commission on Economy and Efficiency: "Investigation of the United States Patent Office", transmitted to Congress by President Taft on December 9, 1912. This "Taft Commission" report was requested by the enactment of a Joint Resolution of Congress, which asked the President to determine just what was needed "to enable the Patent Office to discharge its duties in a thoroughly efficient and economical manner."
The "Taft Commission" recommended that the Patent Office be made into an independent government agency:
In 1849 came the creation of the Department of the Interior and under it was
The commission pointed out that the problem of subordination had nothing to do with interference with the substantive work of the Patent Office:
RESOLUTIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Government Corporation Status for the PTO
HISTORICAL RECOGNITION OF QUALITY ISSUES
The "Submersion" of the PTO in the Department
THE USERS' PERSPECTIVE ON CURRENT QUALITY ISSUES