The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has established a new Office of International Patent Cooperation; Mark Powell, who has worked exclusively on  “international cooperative activities” for the agency during the past three years, was appointed as  its first deputy commissioner. According to USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee, the office “will  allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving  towards a harmonized patent system.”The office’s focus, in collaboration with other USPTO offices,  “is to provide optimized business process solutions to the international patent examination system  for examiners and external stakeholders.” See USPTO Press Release, April 3, 2014.