The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) aims to achieve "95% satisfaction" among those who receive patents and trademarks. The agency plans to deliver specific improvements in its operations in 1999, and reach its full target goals in 2003. Over the next four years, PTO will be testing reengineered processes and automated systems, in order to deploy electronic processing of patent applications in 2003. One aim: to reduce patent processing time to 12 months for 75% of original inventions by 1999, and for all inventions in 2003. PTO will partner with the World Intellectual Property Organization to achieve electronic filing of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications. PTO officials hope to receive and process such applications electronically in 2000. Under PTO plans, inventors will be able to use the Internet to check on the status of their patent.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.