The PTO has released its latest Strategic Plan 2010-2015, which is available here. The document sets forth the PTO's goals as follows:

"The USPTO’s mission focused goals will be accomplished when:

  • Patent pendency time is optimized, allowing a final action on the merits within one year of filing for any applicant who requests it, with overall patent pendency time reduced to 10 months for a first office action and 20 months total pendency.
  • The number of patent applications awaiting examiner action is reduced by almost 50 percent, to slightly less than 10 months of inventory.
  • Issued patents are of higher quality, and the stakeholder community has a clear understanding of the meaning of a “quality” patent.
  • The world’s IP offices enjoy increased efficiency as a result of collaboration in areas including automation, global patent classification, search results and work sharing.
  • USPTO staffing is stabilized by lower attrition levels and a workforce that can be recruited from and stationed across the United States.
  • Trademark pendency times remain between 2.5 and 3.5 months, on average, to first office action, and 13 months to final disposition.
  • Trademark quality is enhanced via input from stakeholders and new metrics are focused on excellence for the entire office action.

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The USPTO’s management focused goal will be accomplished when:

  • Accelerated processing time and increased efficiency occurs via electronic, end‐to‐end processing for patent applications.
  • A sustainable funding model allows the USPTO, in conjunction with stakeholders, to set its fees to reflect the cost of providing the services and products requested by businesses and innovators.
  • The public has greater insight into – and confidence in – the operations and progress of the USPTO due to more transparent and meaningful performance metrics."

This plan presents an ambitious strategy going forward that, if successful, will greatly improve the operation of the Office.