In a message to USPTO employees on April 21, USPTO director David Kappos announced that congressional budget cuts will require the agency to reduce or postpone several recently-announced programs. Reductions that are most likely to affect USPTO users are:
- the Track One expedited examination program, which was scheduled to take effect May 4, 2011, is indefinitely postponed;
- plans for a Detroit satellite office are tabled, along with considerations of any other satellite offices; and
- new examiner hiring is frozen and examiner overtime is suspended until further notice.
The cutbacks are likely to impair the USPTO’s efforts to reduce the time that it takes for a patent application to grant. More details will be added as they become available.