Justice and Law Enforcement:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
GGD-94-60R, Nov 30, 1993
Pursuant to an agency request, GAO reviewed information on U.S. companies' views of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), focusing on responses from a mail survey on U.S. companies' patent experiences in Japan, Europe, and the United States. GAO found that: (1) 62 percent of all companies surveyed were generally satisfied with PTO; (2) the companies' views of PTO varied depending on the company's size and sector; (3) over two-thirds of the companies with 10,001 or more employees were very satisfied with PTO; (4) 46 percent of the companies with 1,000 or fewer employees were satisfied with PTO; (5) 51 percent of the companies that filed biotechnology patents expressed satisfaction with PTO; (6) 75 percent of the companies that filed semiconductor patents were satisfied with PTO; (7) 64 percent of chemical filers were satisfied with their overall PTO experience; and (8) several U.S. company representatives expressed concerns about the quality of PTO examinations and patentability standards.