Three Silicon Valley lawmakers have introduced an intriguing proposal that would effectively exempt the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from across-the-board government budget cuts and allow the agency to proceed with several economically stimulating initiatives.
Democratic California Representatives Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo debuted the Patents and Trademarks Encourage New Technology (PATENT) Jobs Act this week, potentially saving $150 million that the USPTO would otherwise lose to sequestration procedures. The legislators insisted that the agency's unique funding model, which is based solely on private fees, merits special consideration as government leaders weigh austerity measures.
"It is very shortsighted to hold back the new products and cutting-edge technologies that can grow our economy," Lofgren noted. "Our bill is very simple and reaffirms a long-held belief that inventors who pay fees should receive speedy services and patents for their inventions."
According to Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) general counsel, Keith Kupferschmid, budget cuts would likely force the USPTO to delay the opening of several satellite offices and further exacerbate administrative inefficiencies which the agency has worked so hard to correct in recent years.