"The agency is going to shrink in size and there's just no possible way that any efficiencies that I can put together as the leader can overcome ... the agency shrinking like that. The backlog will grow because the agency is shrinking."
Reuters also gave a quote from Kappos on the computer system at the USPTO:
I never remember (at IBM) having my IT person barge into my office to tell me that nearly 10,000 people suddenly had nothing to do because the computer system shut down."
Recall what Joe Hosteny wrote in Intellectual Property Today in August 2009:
The [USPTO Director] nominee [David Kappos] backs the Patent Reform Act, including post-grant review, and "reforming" (Newspeak: reducing) reasonable royalties. The funding woes of the Patent Office are apparent to everyone, but the nominee had nothing to say about this problem in his testimony. No director -- other than God -- could run a PTO without the money. The problem continues to exist. See Orin Hatch and Paul Otellini's "Opinion: Fully Funding the Patent Office is a Key to Economic Recovery," 4 in the Mercury News. As Lawrence Ebert says in his blog, get the job done right in the first place. 5 If you want to build a better car, do the job right on the assembly line, not after the car is built. That is the lesson that Toyota and Professor W. Edwards Deming taught everyone. The notion of repairing patents after the fact, in a Patent Office that hasn't the tools to do the job right in the first place, would be laughable if it weren't so sad.
Funding problems at the USPTO? I'm shocked! [with a wink to Claude Rains in Casablanca.]