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Monday Aug 02, 2010

An Update on USPTO’s FY 2010 Spending Authority

Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos


Today I'm happy to report that something really important and positive happened last week; something that should brighten the perspective of everyone who cares about innovation, intellectual property, and the operations of the USPTO.  Both houses of Congress made strong supportive statements about IP and passed legislation, with laser-focus and laser-speed.  Last Thursday the Senate passed H.R. 5874, which had been both introduced and passed just one day earlier by the House.  This single-purpose legislation increases the Fiscal Year 2010 spending authority for the USPTO by $129 million, and we expect the President to sign the bill into law shortly.  This swift action reflects the recognition on the part of the Administration and the Congress of the vital role our Agency plays in supporting innovation and in spurring job creation and economic growth.  


This legislation will allow the USPTO to immediately take a number of actions that will benefit the entire IP community, including:  hiring additional patent examiners; funding full overtime for patent examiners and support staff; accelerating patent examination process reengineering; and continuing to fully fund PCT contract work.  Mission-critical IT projects to increase the effectiveness of every USPTO function will also be accelerated.


This is unquestionably a important step in the right direction, returning to the USPTO most of the $200M we expect to collect this fiscal year in excess of the amount originally appropriated to us.  And even more importantly, it is a move toward unleashing America’s innovative genius as well as the efforts of our nation’s innovation agency – the USPTO.   Without question, there is widespread understanding that we need full access to all our fee revenues, given the enormous requirements associated with our efforts to effectively address our pendency and backlog challenges.


The passage of this bill would not have happened without the leadership of Congress, as well as the dedication and support of the President, the Department of Commerce, Office of Management and Budget, and the IP Community.  On behalf of the USPTO, thank you to everyone who played a role in making this possible.


[Trackback] In a blog post published August 2, 2010, Director Kappos announced the passage of legislation that will give the USPTO the authority to spend an additional $129 million in the current fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2010. The USPTO...

Posted by PharmaPatents on August 02, 2010 at 05:10 PM EDT #

The legal structure should be set up so that the USPTO keeps every dollar in fees that it collects. USPTO fees are user fees that the applicant pays in return for professional services from the USPTO. No USPTO fee income should be used elsewhere in the government. If this basic principle is not followed, then there is a question about the level of the fees charged. How can you determine if they are too high or too low when some of the fee income is used by other governmental activities? If by chance, the USPTO were to make a "profit" on its fees, the excess could be reinvested in USPTO infrastructure, employee training, and/or USPTO experimental projects. This would set the USPTO with finances like those of a non-profit corporation, and it would allow everyone to fairly judge the level of USPTO fees.

Posted by Nickolaus E. Leggett on August 03, 2010 at 12:02 PM EDT #

Great news that the President has signed this into law. The Obama administration's consistent support of IP demonstrates that it understands the importance of patent law in improving the state of the economy. I can only hope that the President will take up the issue of patent reform!

Posted by patent litigation on August 19, 2010 at 10:29 AM EDT #

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