Government Law

Telecommuters Kept Patent Office at 70% Productivity During Hurricane Sandy

Thanks to a liberal telecommuting policy, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office remained productive during a two-day government shutdown for Hurricane Sandy.

Patent office director David Kappos says patent and trademark teams averaged productivity of more than 70 percent during the storm, the Washington Post reports. The employees “showed an extraordinary ability to carry on business as usual in the face of extreme challenges,” Kappos wrote at David Kappos’ Public Blog.

The percentage was even higher among trademark-examining lawyers. Their productivity, as measured by progress in moving cases toward a decision, was 81 percent of normal on the first day of Hurricane Sandy and 79 percent of normal the second day, the Washington Post says.

About two-thirds of employees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are telecommuting at least one day a week. The Post and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times have both noted the high percentage, according to ABA stories here and here.

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