WASHINGTON, DC — July 17, 2013 —
BSA | The Software Alliance today expressed strong support for the PATENT Jobs Act (H.R. 2582), introduced in the US House by Reps. Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.). The bill would exempt the US Patent and Trademark Office from budget sequestration so it can continue self-funded operations critical to America’s innovation economy.
BSA’s comments came in a letter to the bill’s co-sponsors, which read, in part:
“The USPTO plays an indispensable role in sparking the growth of America’s innovation economy. The PATENT Jobs Act recognizes that sequestering $150 million of its budget would be hugely counterproductive.
“BSA believes it is especially important for Congress to quickly advance H.R. 2582 in light of the current backlog of more than 600,000 patent applications awaiting first review. The average pendency is three years. A funding cut would further exacerbate this problem. We are also concerned it could delay the opening of much-needed new USPTO satellite offices in Denver, Dallas and Silicon Valley.
“The combined effect of reducing the USPTO’s operating capacity at a time when it needs to expand would be to slow down the pace at which American businesses can bring new innovations to market. This would needlessly hamper the country’s leadership position in a wide range of technologies. By passing the PATENT Jobs Act, Congress has an opportunity to steer us down a better path.
“It is important to note that H.R. 2582 also comports with the America Invents Act (AIA), which is now coming into full effect. The AIA includes a provision intended to ensure that excess fees collected from inventors and patentees are used to provide critical, time-sensitive services and guarantee continuity of USPTO operations independent of political considerations. The AIA emphasizes these fees are unique from ordinary discretionary government spending — and Congress has previously exempted from sequestration ‘activities financed by voluntary payments to the Government for goods or services to be provided for such payments.’
“For all of these reasons, we commend your introduction of the PATENT Jobs Act and look forward to working with you to ensure it garners broad bipartisan support.”
Click here to download a copy of the letter.