A recent white paper from the United States Postal Service inspector general reports the organization has no formal intellectual property management strategy. External consultants ipCapital Group reviewed the current intellectual property procedures at the USPS and found it has no process in place for patenting its inventions, and many of the organization's inventors simply do not know which new ideas they should patent.
The USPS has invented intellectual assets and technological solutions throughout its existence, from the ZIP code to scanning technologies. The USPS once had a formal review committee that helped determine which inventions should be patented, but this committee no longer exists. Instead, it is left to individual inventors to decide whether to pursue patent protection for their creations, and many of them have no clear idea of when it's necessary to do so.
The USPS also lacks intellectual property goals that would help it add value to its inventions and to the organization overall. The inspector general's white paper recommends a review of these policies and the formation of a structured intellectual property management strategy. Its other recommendations include internal education for employees on intellectual property best practices.