The PTO has cut the backlog of unexamined patents from more than 750,000 to approximately 605,000, or 20 percent, despite an average increase of 5 percent in applications each year. It also reduced the amount of time that it takes to receive a first action on a patent application from 27 months to about 16 months.
Kappos, a lawyer since 1990 who also has a degree in electrical and computer engineering, has been working in the intellectual property field since then. Before joining the PTO, Kappos was vice president and assistant general counsel for intellectual property at IBM, where he managed worldwide intellectual property operations, the PTO website states.
The White House did not immediately name a replacement nor was it immediately clear what Kappos will be doing next.
"I believe we have made great progress in reducing the patent backlog, increasing operational efficiency, and exerting leadership in IP policy domestically and internationally," Kappos said in a written statement. "Thanks to the entire USPTO staff for their dedication and hard work. I wish them the very best as they continue their efforts to support the U.S. economy by promoting and protecting innovation."
@|Todd Ruger is a reporter for The National Law Journal, an affiliate of the New York Law Journal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.