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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced record patent and trademark application examinations and high quality scores in fiscal 2007, combined with a sharp rise in patent decisions upheld by the patent appeals board over the past two years. The patent office examined 362,227 patent applications and equaled last year’s score of 96.5% on its quality compliance benchmarks. The office also examined 323,527 trademark applications and earned an overall quality compliance score of 97.4%, or more than its target for the year. The agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released the quality scores in its FY 2007 Performance and Accountability Report. “The sustained trend of quality improvements are a tribute to the internal quality initiatives of our managers and employees,” said patent office director Jon Dudas in a statement. The office’s patent appeals board also upheld 69% of patent examiner decisions in fiscal 2007, compared with 51% in fiscal 2005. Despite the high numbers of patent examinations, the agency said its focus on quality has yielded fewer granted patents that are more frequently upheld on appeal. In 2000, a record 72% of all patent applications were granted, compared with 51% in fiscal 2007.

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