Southwest Ohio ACFE Chapter
Speaker: Todd Zinser, Retired Federal Inspector General
Topic: Investigating the Sensitive Application Warning System: A Secret, 20-year Program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Senior officials at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) operated a completely secret program for 20 years, that:
• Circumvented patent laws, regulations, and the well-established internal controls of the patenting process,
• Enabled senior patent officials to pick winners and losers in a function critical to our nation’s competitiveness,
• Infringed on the intellectual property and privacy rights of thousands of inventors; and
• Created significant risk of fraud and corruption at the very senior levels of the U.S. Patent Office.
Information is based on a 3-year examination of thousands of internal Patent Office documents and litigation records. The documents were obtained via FOIA requests by various inventors and attorneys as well as through litigation brought by inventors against USPTO in the last several years. This investigation has led to a current class action lawsuit against USPTO in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, currently in the discovery phase.
CPE: 2 CPE
CPE credits are based on a 50-minute hour. CPE is offered through the ACFE as well as the Accountancy Board of Ohio (sponsor number CPE.00467). Attendees must attend 100 minutes of the meeting and answer 6 polling questions during the meeting to validate attendance.
• Obtain a brief overview the USPTO; patent laws and the patenting process. • Learn how to effectively use GAO's "Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government," to examine/investigate a large bureaucracy/organization. • Gain an understanding of the interplay between the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the federal Privacy Act. • Examine the mechanisms used by one agency to operate a secret program for 20 years, including a non-disclosed Privacy Act Systems of Records. • Explore the compliance and ethics issues created by an agency-wide lack of transparency in a federal program funded solely by user fees.
Todd Zinser is a Cincinnati native who spent over thirty years in the “Belly of the Beast.” He is a retired federal executive and law enforcement official who spent his career conducting, supervising and managing audits and investigations concerning federal programs, operations and personnel. His career highlights include serving as Inspector General of the Commerce Department from 2007 to 2015 and Deputy Inspector at the Transportation Department from 2001 to 2007. He has testified more than 30 times before Congress. He is an expert on government oversight and compliance. As such, he provides a unique perspective on the business of government and lessons learned that can benefit any organization.
Active, full-time students majoring in criminal justice, law, or business degrees may attend meetings for free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
PO Box 663
Dayton, OH 45409