Patents boss to step down

Nicholas Godici, commissioner for patents, has announced that he will retire when his term expires at the end of March. During Godici's tenure, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office implemented an electronic patent filing system that patent attorneys say is still a work in progress.

Godici began his career as a patent examiner at USPTO in 1972, and from January to December 2001, he served as acting undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property and acting director of USPTO.

As commissioner for patents, Godici leads at organization of 3,700 patent examiners.

Also this week, USPTO officials released its annual list of the top 10 organizations receiving patents in 2004. IBM led the list with 3,248 patents. The U.S. government, although not in the top 10, was awarded 829 patents last year.

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