The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hopes to have its contractual support strategy fully transitioned by October 2021 – showing no signs of slowed progress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I mentioned this back in February, but I think it’s important enough to mention again that patience is definitely needed from all of us,” Division Chief of USPTO OCIO Systems Division Kristin Fuller said today during the ACT-IAC Federal Insights Exchange Session. “We’ve definitely made significant progress … but we’re not done yet and based on our accomplishments we’re confident that we will meet our goal of a full transition by next October.”

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USPTO has been working to make its indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract system more product-centric with integrated delivery since adopting the new modernization strategy in February of this year. When the strategy was introduced, USPTO CIO Jamie Holcombe said the agency was “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.”

While the new normal may have changed for USPTO, the goal of adopting the new strategy has stayed the same. Currently, USPTO is performing a deep dive into the contract needs of each individual product and each product line to determine how to best consolidate support at the application and enterprise level.

“We’re looking at how products are currently supported and what changes are needed, if any, to transition current support to the new ways of working,” Fuller said. She would later add that several contracts have already transitioned to the new ways of working and “we’ve got some that we know we won’t really be able to fully transition until later in FY21 so it’s going to be a progressive kind of build up to get us to that deadline.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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