Under Secretary of Commerce David Kappos Announces President Obama's Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request for the USPTO

Press Release

CONTACT: Peter Pappas

(571) 272-3500 or peter.pappas1@uspto.gov;

Washington - Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos today announced President Obama's $2.322 billion fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget request for the USPTO.

The president's budget request for FY 2011 will support a five-year plan designed to enable the USPTO to achieve the strategic objectives laid out by Under Secretary Kappos and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke - a significant reduction in patent pendency periods and the existing patent inventory backlog; improvement in patent quality; enhanced intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement; global IP policy leadership; and investment in information technology (IT) infrastructure and tools to achieve a 21st century system that permits end-to-end electronic processing in patents and trademark IT systems.

To achieve these performance commitments, the USPTO will:

  • Achieve three percent annual efficiency gains in patents processing through the re-engineering of management and workflow processes.
  • Initiate a targeted hiring surge and hire 1,000 patent examiners annually during FY 2011 and FY 2012. This effort will target former patent examiners and IP professionals who will require minimal training and can be productive virtually from the start of their employment.

Further details on the USPTO's five-year strategic plan will be released in the second quarter of 2010 as they become available.

"The USPTO's 2011 budget represents a significant investment in American innovation," Secretary Locke said. "We must reduce the unacceptably long time it takes to patent a new idea or technology and improve our enforcement of intellectual property. Doing so will help create jobs and enhance the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy."

The FY 2011 budget request projects fee collections of $2.098 billion. In addition, the administration is proposing an interim fee increase on certain patent fees which is estimated to generate $224 million. The administration continues to support granting the USPTO fee-setting authority as a significant part of a sustainable funding model that would allow the director to propose and set fees in a manner that better reflects the actual cost of USPTO services.

"The USPTO's work in fostering innovation and bringing patented goods and services to market is a crucial driver of job creation and economic recovery," said Under Secretary Kappos. "Intellectual property is America's competitive advantage in the 21st Century global economy and will play a central role in our long-term economic growth. We will continue to take steps to make the USPTO more efficient, and drive to reduce the unacceptably long pendency periods that hinder the creation of new businesses and new jobs."

About the President's FY 2011 Budget Request

Having steered the economy back from the brink of a depression, the Obama Administration is committed to moving the Nation from recession to recovery by sparking job creation, putting millions of Americans back to work, and building a new foundation for the long-term prosperity for all American families. To do this, the FY 2011 Budget makes critical investments in education, clean energy, infrastructure, and innovation in order to reverse the decline in economic security that American families have experienced over the past decade.

But even as the Administration meets the challenge of the recession and strives to build an economy that works for all American families, Washington must change the way it does business and so must the USPTO. The agency will be more efficient and will work to end programs that don't work, streamline those that do, and bring new accountability and transparency to how USPTO dollars are spent. At its core, the President's budget aims to jumpstart job creation, strengthen the economic security of American families and make the tough choices needed to put the United States back on the path to fiscal responsibility.