U.S. President Barack Obama's recently announced 2012 budget calls for a reduction in spending in many areas. At this time of fiscal caution, however, the president announced increased government investment in intellectual property enforcement.
The new budget allocates $2.7 billion in resources to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an increase of 16 percent over 2010 spending.
The Obama administration has indicated that it views intellectual property enforcement as a necessary ingredient for an innovative economy. According to a recent Broadband Breakfast report, Silicon Valley has consistently pushed for increased funding for the USPTO, in order to reduce patent processing times.
The USPTO's additional resources will come from two sources - direct government funding and an increase in certain patent fees. A central goal of the budget increase is to reduce the time needed for a patent to be accepted or rejected. According to the report, the average processing time currently stands at 35 months.
President Obama has argued for the importance of intellectual property on several previous occasions. In his recent State of the Union address, the president said the U.S. needs to "out-innovate" the world in order to "win the future."