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U.S. House of Representatives Panel to Investigate Abuse of U.S. Patent And Trademark Office Telework Program

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 in Blog

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s “telework” program came under fire when news emerged, first reported in an August 10, 2014 Washington Post article, that oversight of patent examiners who work from home at various locations around the country was “completely ineffective.” Problems reported included misrepresentation of the number of hours examiners worked and examiners doing minimal work for long periods and then rushing to complete examination at the end of each quarter. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office responded by defending the program, stating that problems are not widespread and that the program is necessary to help attract highly skilled workers to reduce the large backlog of 600,000 patent applications. On August 20, 2014, a U.S. House of Representatives oversight panel begun an investigation into the issue, calling the allegations of abuse “unacceptable.”

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