The 21st Century Strategic
Plan and implementing fee legislation were submitted to Congress
on June 3, 2002. In July 2002, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on
Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held a hearing to
review the proposals. For a period of five months following that
hearing, key USPTO stakeholders provided extensive comments about
the Strategic Plan and the proposed fee changes. Many of those ideas
have since been incorporated into the 37 action initiatives comprising
the five-year Strategic Plan.
We are particularly grateful
to the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Intellectual
Property Owners Association, the American Bar Association’s Section
of Intellectual Property Law, the Biotechnology Industry Organization,
the International Trademark Association, the Patent Public Advisory
Committee and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee for their input
and full support of the revised 21st Century Strategic Plan. As a
result of these changes, we are pleased to report that nearly 100
of the largest American companies and intellectual property groups
have expressed their support for the 21st Century Strategic Plan.
Based upon the valuable
and insightful feedback we have received from our constituency groups
and others, the 21st Century Strategic Plan has been modified as
- An administrative alternative to deferred examination has been included
that achieves most of the benefits of the original legislative
proposal for deferral of examination. As a result, legislation
will no longer be
- USPTO will contract with private sector commercial search organizations
in lieu of the previously proposed requirement for applicant-commissioned
- USPTO will accelerate the analysis of the necessary changes to patent
laws and rules affecting restriction practice and will recommend
a new practice before the end of the 108th Congress.
- Withdrawing the requirement for
mandatory Information Disclosure Statements, USPTO will continue
to rely on voluntary submissions.
- USPTO will demonstrate the plan’s concepts through
elaborate testing and evaluation methods, most notably in
the areas of outsourcing, quality
- While the long-term patent pendency goal remains 18 months, this goal
will not be achieved in the near future because of the higher priority
placed on quality and patent e-Government initiatives. However,
USPTO will produce, on average, a first Office action for first-filed U.S.
at the time of 18-month publication. In addition, a
for other patent applications will be issued in the same time
has modified the fee restructuring proposal as follows:
- Substituted the original proposal with a linear fee system to ensure
that fees charged for excessive claims and pages of complex specifications
are proportional to the increased processing costs.
- Established a single
patent filing, search and examination fee with provision for partial
surcharges for filing continuations and patentably indistinct claims.
requirement for payment of separate fee to trigger examination.
authority for Director to reduce examination fee amounts for micro-entities.
- Replaced authority for Trademark fee adjustments in excess of Consumer
Price Index (CPI) with establishment of three filing fee amounts.
legislation, “The United States Patent and Trademark Office
Fee Modernization Act of 2003," was approved by the
Office of Management and Budget and sent to the Congress on February
04, 2003 and formally transmitted to the Congress on February
United States Patent and Trademark Office Fee Modernization
Act of 2003
and Need for Proposed Statutory Changes to 35 U.S.C. 41 – Fees
of Fee Proposals
2, 2003, Congressman Lamar Smith introduced the following bill,
H.R. 1561, the “United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization
Act of 2003.”
1561 makes no changes to the fee amounts in the Administration’s
proposal that was formally transmitted to the Congress February
the effective date of H.R. 1561, if enacted, would be October
1, 2003, or the date of enactment, whichever is later.
are a number of additional minor changes, but none that would
affect the fee amounts that were originally set forth in
the Administration’s proposal.
1561, “The United States Patent and Trademark Office Fee
Modernization Act of 2003”
While support for the revised
21st Century Strategic Plan is high among USPTO customers, they continue
to be concerned that the agency does not have access to all of its
user fees in the year they are received. The Administration shares
these concerns. As a result, President Bush has cut the level of
fee diversion by nearly 50 percent in the Administration’s Fiscal
Year 2004 Budget for the USPTO. This bold step is being taken as
part of the efforts by Secretary Donald Evans, Deputy Secretary Samuel
Bodman, Under Secretary James Rogan and Deputy Under Secretary Jon
Dudas to create the conditions for economic growth and continued
technological leadership by working to eliminate the heavily-criticized
practice of using USPTO revenues for unrelated federal programs.
Implementation of the 21st
Century Strategic Plan will mark an important new chapter in the
history of the 200-year old USPTO. Accordingly, the Strategic Plan
remains a work in progress that will be refined and updated periodically
to adjust to changing conditions and to incorporate the best thinking
of the entire intellectual property community. Moreover, the USPTO’s
budget and performance plan that is submitted to Congress each year
will document key measurements and yearly milestones that justify
full funding for the Office in achieving the goals stated in the
you have questions regarding the strategic plan or other postings
on this page and are not a member of the press or media, please
contact the Office of Patent Legal Administration by telephone
at (571) 272-7704, or by e-mail to StrategicPlanningFeedback@uspto.gov
press inquiries should be directed to Brigid Quinn or Richard
Maulsby at (703) 305-8341.
regarding Section 508 of the Workforce
Investment Act of 1998. Section 508 of the Workforce Investment
Act of 1998 requires all United States Federal Agencies with
websites to make them accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The PDF version of the plan itself is not fully accessible at
this time. Until changes can be made to make them fully accessible
to individuals with disabilities, the USPTO is providing access
assistance via telephone. Please contact Michael
Lee at 703 305-8341 for interim accessibility assistance.
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