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PPC's Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance for the PTO

Bringing the Patent and Trademark Office into the 21st Century

As a revenue-generating agency, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is in many respects much like a commercial business: results-driven, customer-focused, and stretched to the limit. The number of patent and trademark applications is expected to quadruple by 2006. The pressure to reduce the turnaround time in patent and trademark awards is increasing. International obligations are expanding. So, PTO went looking for an innovative and responsive contractor to bring its IT infrastructure up to speed.

In 2002, PPC took on a 5-year, multi-task contract to consolidate, optimize, and modernize PTO’s infrastructure in order to lower O&M costs, support increasing demands on the system, and enhance customer service.

PPC has attacked the problem on many fronts. Here are three critical examples.

Modernize and optimize PTO’s overall IT infrastructure. By moving to a service-based infrastructure and using database and server farms, PPC is cutting by about half the number of servers required by PTO. O&M costs will be significantly lowered, while the availability and reliability of applications is increased. PPC also designed, engineered, and implemented a new enterprise wide storage and backup system for PTO’s 200 Terabytes of data and the 15 Terabytes it backs up nightly. Now centralized and employing far fewer storage devices, the new system is more reliable and data retrieval time is much faster.

Reduce the time necessary to review patent and trademark applications. PPC is helping to design and deploy a paperless application process that will reduce the application backlog and increase the number of applications that an examiner can review each month. The processing time has already been cut from 36 to 30 months, with a target of 24 months.

Link the international intellectual property community-securely. PPC designed, engineered, implemented, and maintains the Trilateral Network, the system that links the world’s major intellectual property organizations, allowing examiners to conduct global searches on existing patents and trademarks.

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