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.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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.