David Kappos was sworn in on August 13, 2009 as Director of the USPTO. His address was directed primarily to USPTO employees who attended the ceremony.
My pledge to you is that I will listen, and I will work with every single USPTO employee as part of your team to understand these issues and address them so that you can reach your maximum effectiveness and achieve everything you want in your careers.
For example, I know many of you have concerns about the count system. We’re going to address the count system.
I know many of you who telework or want to telework have concerns about travel requirements We’re going to address that issue. This is a Trademarks issue; it is a Patents issue; it’s an agency issue.
I know many of you are concerned about the time your managers are able to spend helping you learn the refinements of the patent laws and guiding you in applying 35USC, 37CFR and the MPEP in your work. We’re going to address those issues too.
… The list goes on and on, as you all know better than I do. I’m here to address the whole list.
Broadly, Kappos indicated that he will focus on “reducing the backlog of unexamined patent applications, cutting pendency dramatically, working off the mounting appeals backlog[,] improving re-exam processing”, and “moving the USPTO to more sustainable [financial] footing.” Referring to the recent authorization to use trademark funds to pay for patent operations, Kappos indicated that he does not want to “actually USE that authority if there is a way to avoid it.”
Kappos also indicated that his focus will be on the “U.S. innovation community”; limiting his own overseas travel in order to serve “the best interests of our country.”