PTO avoids pushing paper

PTO avoids pushing paper

The Patent and Trademark Office has implemented a new workflow system using software from Software Performance Systems Inc.

PTO will use it to handle patent applications it receives under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The treaty lets an individual simultaneously seek patent protection in more than 100 countries. Last year, PTO processed more then 29,000 applications filed under the treaty.

The Arlington, Va., company installed PCT Operations Workflow and Electronic Review Version 1.5 under a $3 million, 20-month contract.

The new system combines imaging and workflow applications, database management and scanning programs to eliminate paperwork.

SPS developers used Cool:Gen 5.0 from Sterling Software, recently acquired by Computer Associates International Inc., to generate interfaces among PTO applications, which tap an Oracle database running under Hewlett-Packard HP-UX. For client apps, the company used Visual Basic.

The new system also is integrated with some of the agency's existing workflow applications, from Eastman Software Inc. of Billerica, Mass.

'William Jackson, Tony Lee Orr and Patricia Daukantas

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