ARLINGTON, VA — In April 12, 2011 letters to House and Senate leaders, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) expressed deep concern about the serious shortfall in the current legislation to fund the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
H.R. 1473, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, is the legislation reflecting the compromise on the Continuing Resolution to fund the government for fiscal 2011. The letters point out that the provisions of the bill related to the USPTO appropriate $100 million less than the projected user fee revenues to be collected, essentially diverting that money to other government programs. In addition, the bill lacks the appropriations “buffer” language included in previous bills to ensure that the Office may utilize the fee revenue that exceeds the original projected collections for the fiscal year.
Signed by AIPLA President David Hill, the letter concludes “We urge you to make every effort to provide the USPTO with the much needed additional resources, and we look forward to working with you in a constructive manner to develop a long-term solution which addresses the challenges facing the Office.” In a separate statement, AIPLA Executive Director Q. Todd Dickinson said “The ability of the Office to do an efficient and reliable job depends on these funds, none of which comes from Treasury or has any impact on reducing overall government spending.”