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Note 18. Budgetary Resources

Total budgetary resources are primarily comprised of Congressional authority to spend current year fee collections. In FY 2011, the USPTO was appropriated up to $2,090,000 thousand for fees collected during the fiscal year. In FY 2010, the USPTO was appropriated up to $1,887,000 thousand for fees collected during the fiscal year. However, as FY 2010 progressed, fee collections exceeded the anticipated amounts. As a result, the USPTO was issued a supplemental appropriation (Pub. L. No. 111-224) in FY 2010, thereby increasing the available amount of fee collections for use to $2,016,000 thousand. For the year ended September 30, 2011, the USPTO collected $177,182 thousand more than the amount apportioned through September 30, 2011 (over-collections of fees of $208,856 thousand and under-collections of other budgetary resources of $31,674 thousand). For the year ended September 30, 2010, the USPTO collected $46,082 thousand more than the amount apportioned through September 30, 2010 (over-collections of fees of $52,543 thousand and under-collections of other budgetary resources of $6,461 thousand).

The USPTO receives an apportionment of Category A funds from OMB, which apportions budgetary resources by fiscal quarter. The USPTO does not receive any Category B funds, or those exempt from apportionment.

Permanent Indefinite Appropriations

Permanent indefinite appropriations are open-ended; that is, the dollar amount is unknown at the time the authority is granted. These appropriations are available for specific purposes without current year action by Congress. In addition to the appropriation of fee collections mentioned above, the USPTO received a permanent indefinite appropriation in the America Invents Act (Pub. L. No. 112-29). The permanent indefinite appropriation is comprised of offsetting collections for (1) a 15 percent interim surcharge on certain patent fees that will continue until each fee is adjusted by regulation and (2) fees paid by patent applicants to request expedited, prioritized examination. These offsetting collections are deposited in the salaries and expenses (13X1006) no year fund. For the year ended September 30, 2011, the USPTO collected $4,801 thousand in accordance with the permanent indefinite appropriation.

Funding Limitations

Pursuant to the Patent and Trademark Office Fee Fairness Act of 1999 (35 U.S.C. §42(c)), all fees available to the Director under section 31 of the Trademark Act of 1946 are used only for the processing of trademark registrations and for other activities, services, and materials relating to trademarks, as well as to cover a proportionate share of the administrative costs of the USPTO.

In addition, the FY 2009 appropriation language restricted from obligation $5,000 thousand of offsetting collections until “the USPTO has completed a comprehensive review of the assumptions behind the patent examiner expectancy goals and adopted a revised set of expectancy goals for patent examination”. These restricted funds were released and made available in the third quarter of FY 2011.

The total temporarily unavailable fee collections pursuant to Public Law as of September 30, 2011 are $1,023,614 thousand. Of this amount, certain USPTO collections of $233,529 thousand were withheld in accordance with the OBRA of 1990, and deposited in a special fund receipt account at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Undelivered Orders

In addition to the future lease commitments discussed in Note 11, the USPTO is obligated for the purchase of goods and services that have been ordered, but not yet received. Total undelivered orders for all of the USPTO’s activities were $165,684 thousand and $169,709 thousand as of September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Of these amounts, $153,546 thousand and $156,542 thousand, respectively, were unpaid.

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Last Modified: 01/03/2012 14:04:40