President's '04 Budget Request Underscores USPTO's Role in Promoting Economic Growth

Resources Increased; Fee Diversion Substantially Reduced
Press Release

Brigid Quinn

The president's $1.404 billion FY 2004 budget request for USPTO provides the agency with resources necessary to continue its transformation to a quality-focused, highly productive, market-driven organization. The president's FY 2004 budget request continues past increases for USPTO's spending level with a 5 percent increase over the FY 2003 request, and returns to USPTO a greater share of its revenue than last year's request. Revenues to support this increase will be generated by USPTO fees proposed by the president.

"The president has reduced the annual practice of 'fee diversion' by nearly 50 percent in the administration's fiscal year 2004 budget," noted Under Secretary James E. Rogan. "This bold step is being taken as part of Secretary Evans' efforts to create the conditions for economic growth and continued technological leadership by working to eliminate the practice of using USPTO revenues for unrelated federal programs. For over 200 years, the USPTO has provided patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses. This protection enables innovation in science and technology that leads to economic growth."

The president's proposed FY 2004 budget and fee package finance the second year of USPTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan, allowing the agency to ensure quality, simplify processes and improve productivity by:

* End-to-end electronic processing of patents;
* New hiring of 750 highly qualified patent examiners;
* Initiating competitive sourcing of patent searches;
* Certifying knowledge, skills and abilities of examiners and managers, improving training and in-process reviews, starting pre-employment testing, and offering additional competitive compensation packages for patent examiners; and
* Beginning the move to consolidated space in Alexandria, Va.