In a recent open letter addressed to senior U.S. politicians, Douglas Norman, president of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, called for the government to allow the United States Patent and Trademark Office to spend all the fees it collects in 2011.
The letter, addressed to Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell, described USPTO funding as an "urgent job issue."
The current version of the government's proposed budget includes a requirement that government agencies limit their spending to 2010 levels. The IPO is urging the government to exempt the USPTO, which has suffered for years from inefficiencies.
According to the IPO, the USPTO's lack of funding is preventing innovation, job growth and harming the U.S. economy.
In the letter, Norman explained that if the USPTO is not exempted from the requirement, $200 to $300 million in patent and trademark fees will go toward reducing the treasury's general deficit, rather than helping to stimulate the creation of jobs through the patent system.
"Innovation stimulated by patents is critically important to the health of the U.S. economy and the creation of U.S. jobs," Norman wrote. " Importantly, it would not add one cent to the deficit because the USPTO is fully funded by user fees, not taxpayer dollars."