USPTO Adopting New Contract Strategy Amid Modernization Drive

U.S. Patent Trademark Office USPTO Commerce

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is updating its indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract strategy, agency officials said today.

Speaking at the ACT-IAC Federal Insights Exchange session, USPTO CIO Jamie Holcombe and Deputy CIO Debbie Stephens spoke about the agency’s modernization plans, including acquisition strategies.

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“The whole point is: move forward. Do not stay in place,” Holcombe said.

The new IDIQ strategy will be product-centric with integrated delivery, the officials said. It also will be outcome focused compared to the current strategy, which is project-centered with functional segmentation, and activity focused.

The new strategy, they said, will improve agile development, and “is going to allow USPTO staff to be able to better manage what is going on.”

“We’re all working on this together … It is not going to happen quickly – we’d like it to happen quickly – but we want to do this thoughtfully because you can’t just flip a switch and go from 15 contracts to three,” Stephens said.

The officials said that key agency IT stabilization and modernization strides include stabilizing critical systems, moving to a hybrid cloud system, and moving to DevSecOps.

Stephens stressed that the agency was committed to moving to a hybrid cloud system, so long as it makes business sense to do so. She also emphasized the agency isn’t “moving to the cloud just to say ‘we moved to the cloud.’”

“The fact of the matter is you have to change and adapt to the times or you’ll die, and that’s what we’re not going to let happen here,” Holcombe said. “We’re going to make sure we modernize these systems and make sure they function for the new world for the millions of transactions per second, or whatever we have to do to get patents and trademarks awarded and registered faster, better, and cheaper.”

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