Using Agile and DevSecOps to Help USPTO Modernize its Patent Products

  • Customer Story
  • Digital
  • Health & Civilian


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Patent Product Line, one of its four product lines, incorporates all IT solutions that manage the patent application process through the Patent lifecycle.

One of the key products within the product line is the Patent Center product, which comprises both a next-generation component and legacy components; together, they provide the IP community with the capability to file and manage their applications. The next-generation component, Patent Center, is a modern scalable application hosted on secure, high-available, reliable infrastructure that supports all existing and new business objectives of eCommerce customers.

In support of USPTO’s Patent-End-To-End (PE2E) program, which works to modernize all applications that support USPTO’s patent processing business, USPTO sought a partner contractor who could help drive the modernization of the Patent Center product.

Understanding the Need

Patent Center is one of the largest products in the Patent Product Line with more than 8,000 monthly users. To modernize and continue to enhance this product, USPTO needed a partner who could execute a complex system modernization effort that aligned with its Agile/DevOps model and delivered a scalable and extensible product that allowed USPTO to model and automate business processes at the enterprise level.

Additionally, this contracting team needed to have experience:

  1. Using a range of platforms and toolsets.
  2. Supporting a modernization effort that included COTS, GOTS, and custom products.
  3. Integrating systems with numerous external products and services using APIs, Message Oriented Middleware (MOM), and an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).
Image shows hands holding a tablet over a table with a laptop and coffee in the background. On the tablet screen is the words "patent application" with a form below. Related to: modernizing USPTO, USPTO, Patent Center, digital patent application, cross-functional Agile, devsecops best practices, scalable framework, patent user experience.
Reduction in deployment times
Complex systems integrated
Increase in processing speed of new applications

Our Solution

For the USPTO Patent Center product, GovCIO uses high-functioning, self-directed, autonomous, cross-functional Agile Teams to deliver system modernization services that add value for product and business stakeholders. Each team comprises a cross-functional mix of full stack developers, Scrum Masters, testers, architects, and technical writers so they can operate autonomously, without needing external resources or direction. To ensure mission success, our Agile Teams developed a cooperative relationship with the product owner and stakeholders.

Within our Agile execution framework, and in line with DevSecOps best practices, GovCIO applies a continuous integration (CI) process that uses Jenkins to automate builds and deployments and tools like Nessus and Selenium for fully automated testing. To create a more efficient build and deployment pipeline, our team worked with the customer to adopt a blue-green deployment architecture that could accommodate identical environments (active/blue and passive/green) for both the PVT and Production environments.

Also in following with DevSecOps, we take a “shift-left” approach, baking in security considerations and compliance requirements (e.g., FISMA) as soon as possible. We:

  1. Design complex and secure data models and implement NIST 800-53 controls in the development process;
  2. Create builds using Jenkins, which incorporates Sonar to report security hotspots to address vulnerabilities during development;
  3. Implement automated static application security testing before deployment;
  4. Perform dynamic application security testing during continuous deployment; and
  5. Automate security compliance assessment and reporting.

Our nightly CI process reduces findings during security testing and minimizes vulnerabilities such as the OWASP Top 10 and SANS and CWE Top 25.


Our Patent Center team has worked collaboratively with USPTO leadership, stakeholders, and vendors to successfully achieve mission objectives. Some of their most significant accomplishments to date include:

  • Delivering the April 2023 Open Beta release of the modernized Patent Center product without any downtime or system outages due to code failure.
  • Increasing the product team’s Agile sprint delivery cadence from 40 story points per Sprint to 100+ story points per sprint, delivering additional value at no additional cost.
  • Integrating more than 200 complex and critical COTS/GOTS/custom products.
  • Transitioning the product to a microservice-based architecture, helping to decouple the various layers of application functionality, make the system easier to maintain and scale, and increased reusability of the systems.
  • Reducing deployment time by 85% (From seven to one hour per release) by implementing a blue-green deployment architecture.
  • Enhancing information usage for more than 100 applications used by more than 14,000 USPTO employees and millions of external users.
  • Increasing processing speed of new authenticated applications by 5700% in two months.
  • Accelerating user adoption, as shown by the 6X increase in the number of public application searches.