ITAA Lends Patent Office a Hand

ITAA Lends Patent Office a Hand

By Nick Wakeman, Staff Writer

MAY 2 ? The Information Technology Association of America and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are joining forces to help the agency keep pace with the rapid changes in software and related technologies.

The cooperative arrangement is part of the customer partnership efforts recently announced by Director Q. Todd Dickinson to create opportunities for government and industry education and improved technical understanding.

The Patent and Trademark Office also plans to work with other private-sector organizations as part of Dickinson's Business Method Patent Action Plan program.

"No industry changes faster than information technology," said ITAA President Harris Miller. "The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to take frequent marketplace readings, to share plans and ideas with industry and to acquire constant feedback. The cooperative agreement being announced today will help assure the integrity of the patent process for software and Internet business methods well into the future."

Starting with a series of round tables and meetings between ITAA members and Patent and Trademark Office executives, the agreement may be expanded to include examiner training in software, Internet and business method areas; examiner site visits to software publisher facilities; and an industry-based resource to help examiners answer questions about previous practices and systems.

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