Over 150 companies, associations, venture capitalists, unions, universities and innovation-focused entities  called on Congress to support keeping the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office funding provisions in H.R. 1249, “The America Invents Act.”

Section 22 of the Judiciary Committee reported bill creates a mandatory revolving fund in the Treasury to retain all user fees collected by the USPTO and to use the funds to run the operations of that agency.  Section 22 is necessary to prevent user fees collected from patent and trademark applications from being redirected to other non-USPTO purposes. Over the last two decades more than $875 million in user fees has been redirected to other governmental purposes in what amounts to a hidden tax on innovation.

The large set of signatories is notable because of its broad diversity. Adding their support for ending fee diversion and supporting the operations of the USPTO include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Venture Capital Association, the American Association of Universities, the Biotechnology Industry Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, and many others.

Although each of our organizations has varying views on the reforms contained in H.R. 1249, we unanimously support Section 22 and believe that it is the cornerstone of any patent reform legislation. Absent a statutory mechanism to prevent future fee diversion, as we have seen all too often in previous years, the existing and new responsibilities vested in the USPTO will suffer, the ability of the USPTO to plan long-term and build the agency our innovation economy demands will be frustrated, and the job-stifling patent application backlog will continue.

See PTO Fee Diversion Letter here.

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