Patent News

Apr. 10, 2017

Intellectual Asset Management (IAM): Interest groups gear up for fight with Trump administration over USPTO budget, by Richard Lloyd

This post originally appeared in Innovation Asset Management on April 10, 2017.

A group of IP advocacy groups, industry bodies and companies have written to President Trump to highlight the impact of the ongoing government hiring freeze on the USPTO and, more broadly, on US innovation.

In one of his first actions after taking office, the President announced a 90-day freeze across the federal government while the new administration determines what sort of size workforce it wants. With Trump possessing a Republican’s zeal for doing away with regulation and government excess, we can assume that even if he lifts the freeze, there’s hardly going to be a hiring bonanza. That has naturally led to concerns about the long-term impact on the PTO at a time when the agency is in an ongoing effort to bring down patent pendency, expending considerable time and money to improve patent quality and facing growing competition on the world stage from patent offices in Europe and Asia. With fee diversion meaning that the office doesn’t hang onto all of the money that it brings in, the matter of resources and the PTO is never far from the agenda.