Patent and Trademark Office Schedule Project Completed

Earlier this week, the records management staff from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) met with the Archivist of the United States to celebrate the completion of an 8 year scheduling project that completely revised and updated the records schedule for their agency. This milestone was marked with a brief ceremony where the Archivist formally signed the final records schedule of this effort.

Photo of USPTO staff and NARA staff, November 16, 2011
Seated, (left to right): Susan Fawcett, USPTO; David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States; Margaret McElrath, USPTO Standing (left to right): Earl Ashley, USPTO; Laurence Brewer; NARA; John Milligan, USPTO; Kate Flaherty, NARA; Neale Faunt, USPTO; Margaret Hawkins, NARA

Through this effort, the number of different records dispositions in PTO was reduced by 70% (from 414 to 127).  These new schedules align directly with the business functions through which PTO creates and uses records. As a result, staff better understand how to apply their records schedules to these important Federal records.

PTO met frequently with the NARA appraisal and electronic records staffs to identify and resolve problems as they were identified. In addition, they frequently met with various Federal agencies interested in their approach to  scheduling these records. Their schedules are available through our Records Control Schedule repository by following their record group number, 241. As best practices are identified from this effort, they will be made available through our Toolkit for Managing Electronic Records.

Congratulations to PTO on reaching this milestone!

4 thoughts on “Patent and Trademark Office Schedule Project Completed

  1. Congratulations! As a person who isn’t familiar with the scheduling process, is there a reason that this took 8 years? Is this a typical timeframe?

  2. Thanks for your comments Tara and Meredith.

    Meredith, the reason it took PTO 8 years is partially because of changes here at NARA and mostly a result of PTO changing their systems in parallel to align to the new authorities. So not all the schedules were ready to be submitted eight years ago when this project started. PTO submitted these schedules starting in 2005 and ending in 2010.

    In addition, as the project progressed to more complicated schedules that included more mission related records, extensive review was required by multiple stakeholders, including the public through the Federal Register process.

    As a rule, schedules generally take several months to complete based on the amount of review required by all stakeholders. These schedules may have taken a bit longer, but they were far more complex than the average records schedule.

  3. Thanks, Arian. It’s a very interesting process. I can imagine how complicated this must have been.

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