March 22nd, 2017
THE WASHINGTON POST reports that “[p]reliminary budget documents have … shown that Trump advisers have … looked at … tightening the Commerce Department’s budget by about 18 percent.”[Fna]
Losing 1500+ Patent Examiners: If THE WASHINGTON POST story is true and the Commerce Department impact is felt by the Patent Office, this would mean that in addition to a hiring freeze, some of the best and brightest senior examiners would be subject to a RIF where they would get special treatment to retire. Losing the upper layer of examiner leadership in one giant RIF purge would be disastrous for the patent system.
Whither the Hon. Michelle Lee: The incumbent head of the Patent Office faces a serious challenge to forestall a massive reduction in force. If Director Lee is successful in blocking a massive contraction, her place in the history of the patent system will be positive.
[Fna] Damian Paletta, Trump Budget Expected to Seek Historic Contraction of Federal Workforce, THE WASHINGTON POST (March 12, 2017).