Patent and Trademark Office looks to stabilize critical IT apps

Aging technology is making it hard for employees to keep up with a surge in patent and trademark applications.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. (Whitney Blair Wyckoff/FedScoop)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a request for information Wednesday for an initiative to stabilize critical IT applications.

Patent and trademark applications have more than doubled since 2000 to upward of a million filed in 2017 — most electronically. The office is attempting to “support the shifting technology needs” of its approximately 8,000 examiners and 5,000 support staff, but its Office of the CIO needs to upgrade aging technology across the organization, according to the RFI.

In a recent assessment of its 300-plus IT application portfolios, USPTO identified those most at risk, including its patent search, electronic filing, and patent enterprise text search systems among others.

“As the USPTO explores the strategic direction it will take to best incorporate new technologies into patent and trademark proceedings, the agency is assessing the value of a concentrated effort that will bring a set of identified applications into a consistent infrastructure level,” reads the RFI. “The intent is to enable longevity and minimize disruptions by bringing the identified applications into a consistent state that the agency will be able to support in an efficient and effective manner.”


A vendor is needed to provide technical project management and onsite engineering support, as well as establish performance metrics.

The RFI closes May 13.

Dave Nyczepir

Written by Dave Nyczepir

Dave Nyczepir is a technology reporter for FedScoop. He was previously the news editor for Route Fifty and, before that, the education reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, California. He covered the 2012 campaign cycle as the staff writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine and Maryland’s 2012 legislative session as the politics reporter for Capital News Service at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his master’s of journalism.

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