Making Government Operations More Open

Make US Patent & Trademark Office's Use of Taxpayers' dollars transparent

I'm writing in my personal capacity and not in my capacity as a patent examiner, although I'm employed as such at the USPTO. The USPTO is granted alot of money from Congress but uses it irresponsibly. Right now, the USPTO's top managers are claiming that a funding crisis exists and that the USPTO is low on funds because of the recession. However, the truth of the matter is that much of the scarcity of funds was created by the USPTO's own inefficient and self destructive managerial policies which suppressed allowance rates artificially through a politicized "Quality review" process which was not wholeheartedly used as a tool to ensure quality uniformly, but was used as tool of bias, favoritism and cronyism and as a witch hunt against certain patent examiners on basises having little to do with merit. Examiners who were liked for other considerations having nonething to do with merit were left unscathed by the 2nd pair of eyes program, whereas other examiners who became disliked by management for considerations having nothing to do with "merit" - were targetted by this program. As a result, many patent applications that had been allowed, were held up - in some cases -were left to languish for years on end - after having been reviewed under the 2nd pair of eyes program. The USPTO's "Witchhunt" has suppressed allowances and deprived it of fees and produced a funding scarcity. The USPTO has reduced overtime pay for patent examiners and cut a whole host of other programs using the justification that it needs to save monies because of the recession and a scarcity of funds. Meanwhile, key managers and the Office of General Counsel are currently plotting to misuse taxpayers funds to attempt to defend corrupt managerial practices, and to maintain a highly stratified work environment that to a great extent is not meritocratic. The USPTO needs to be more transparent in how it spends it monies. It should be made to post information on how much its Office of General Counsel spends on employee relations actions - and in litigating lawsuits against employees, and on settlements involving employees - to the extent this information can be revealed without breaching privacy. The USPTO should release data to the public on how much fees it has lost as a result of its second pair of eyes program and suppressing allowances through its biased and ineffective "quality review" program.

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Idea No. 76