U.S.: improvements reported for plant protection system

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U.S.: improvements reported for plant protection system

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) boasted improvement in its plant protection system and processing speed of intellectual property rights certificates.cerezas_54968818

To catch up with backlog in the Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO), staff duties were adjusted and applications moved to a digital format. The streamlining process has allowed the user-funded program to rapidly accelerate its processing speed to grant breeder certificates and plant variety rights.

"Sometimes offering a great service can also create problems, such as customer requests stacking up. That is exactly what happened to PVPO which found itself with a backlog of pending applications. The program took the issue head on by initiating a business process review in 2011," the USDA's blog explained.

PVPO expects to surpass its goal of processing 700 applications within the year and should double its 10-year average.

"Even with 380 new applications, the inventory has already been reduced from 1,124 to 830 pending applications. This is the lowest inventory since 2009," the blog said.

Further efforts to become more digital will include electronic fee payment and application filing, and the ability to submit high resolution photos. A web-accessible system is expected for launch in spring 2014.

The digitial, customer-oriented system is expected to reduce application processing time by 25%.


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