USPTO Outsources Patent Searches

The US Patent Office has begun an experiment with outsourcing of patent searches.  In the initial phase, the PTO has contracted with two DC search firms to perform searches on PCT international applications.

According to the patent office, “[b]y outsourcing some of the processing of international applications, the USPTO can focus on reducing the backlog of pending national applications, thus increasing productivity and enhancing quality.”

The USPTO may also contract out PCT related work to other governmental IPO offices.