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NOTE 5. Liabilities

The USPTO records liabilities for amounts that are likely to be paid as the direct result of events that have already occurred. The USPTO considers liabilities covered by three types of resources: realized budgetary resources; unrealized budgetary resources that become available without further Congressional action; and cash and Fund Balance with Treasury. Realized budgetary resources include obligated balances funding existing liabilities and unobligated balances as of September 30, 2004. Unrealized budgetary resources are amounts that were not available for spending through September 30, 2004, but become available for spending on October 1, 2004 once apportioned by the OMB. In addition, cash and Fund balance with Treasury cover liabilities that will never require the use of a budgetary resource. These liabilities consist of deposit accounts, refunds payable to customers for fee overpayments, undeposited collections, and amounts collected by the USPTO on behalf of other organizations.

Due to the USPTO's funding structure, budgetary resources do not cover a portion of unearned fees. Deferred revenue (unearned fees) is a liability for fees received before the Patent or Trademark work has been completed. Budgetary resources from current operations normally associated with earning current fees have been partially used to cover current year costs associated with unearned fees from a prior year. In addition, the current patent fee structure sets low initial application fees that are followed by income from maintenance fees as a supplement in later years to cover the full cost of the patent examination and issuance process. The combination of these funding circumstances requires the USPTO to obtain additional budgetary resources to cover its liability for unearned revenue.

As of September 30, 2004 and 2003, liabilities covered and not covered by budgetary resources were as follows:

USPTO Liabilities for the years ended September 30, 2004 and 2003
(Dollars in Thousands)
  2003 2002
Liabilities Covered by Resources    
Accounts Payable $  2,220 $  3,514
Accrued Payroll and Benefits    4,108    2,892
Customer Deposit Accounts    3,906    3,266


Total Intragovernmental   10,234    9,672

Accounts Payable
  75,067   76,610
Accrued Payroll and Benefits   20,004   14,694
Customer Deposit Accounts   66,863   71,141
Deferred Revenue   13,769   14,192
Patent Cooperation Treaty Account    8,195    6,109


Total Liabilities Covered by Resources $194,132 $192,418


Liabilities Not Covered by Resources
Accrued Postemployment Compensation $  1,522 $  1,569


Total Intragovernmental    1,522    1,569

Accrued Payroll and Benefits
  20,361   19,821
Accrued Leave   38,935   38,046
Deferred Revenue  565,827  490,001
Actuarial Liability    7,484    6,494


Total Liabilities Not Covered by Resources $634,129 $555,931


Total Liabilities $828,261 $748,349


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Last Modified: 7/4/2009 1:19:27 PM