House Votes to Fund USPTO 21st Century Strategic Plan

Funds Would Give USPTO Resources to Continue Its Transformation to a Quality-Focused Organization
Press Release

Brigid Quinn

The United States House of Representatives today passed the "U.S. Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act" (H.R. 1561), a landmark bipartisan bill supporting a quality driven, highly productive, cost-effective organization. The bill would give the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the resources to implement its five-year strategic plan emphasizing excellence in examiner recruiting, hiring and training; and greater use of electronic initiatives.

"I thank the members of the House for reinforcing their confidence in this nation's intellectual property system by providing the USPTO the funds needed to strengthen this agency's ability to issue quality patents and trademarks in a timely manner," noted Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas. "Implementation of the 21st Century Strategic Plan marks an important new chapter in the history of the 200-year old U.S. patent system. Without the vision of Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member Howard Berman and their hard work on this bill, we would not be able to make much-needed improvements to ensure quality and expedite patent and trademark processing," Dudas added.

With the resources provided by H.R. 1561, the USPTO will be able to sustain its vital role in strengthening the economy by ensuring the U.S. continues to lead the world in producing the most timely and reliable intellectual property protection for American innovators. Without the new fees, full implementation of the plan is not possible, average pendency will increase to more than four years, and the backlog of unexamined cases will more than double to 1,000,000 patent applications.

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