USPTOs Budget to Rise Significantly

By Dennis Crouch

H.R.3547 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 will soon become law, only 3 ½ months into the fiscal year being budgeted. The new compromise budget offers $3,024,000,000 (three billion dollars) to the USPTO for FY2014 (that started October 2013) and that will “remain available until expended” provided that the USPTO cannot spend more than it collects in user fees and surcharges. In addition the PTO will be allowed to keep and later spend any receipts over the $3 billion mark. The inspector general gets $2 million to investigate and audit the agency.

If I understand the math correctly, this total figure is a significant increase over the $2.5 billion spent by the PTO in FY2013. The chart below shows the USPTO’s annual spending with the budgeted figure for FY2014 in place. The PTO handles both patent and trademark operations, although the bulk of the money is spent on patents.

The question: Will Director Lee be able to use this money to get us better examination, patents with clearer boundaries, and a significant reduction in the backlog?

16 thoughts on “USPTOs Budget to Rise Significantly

    1. Where is the money going?You sure do pick a convenient time to forget how many more patent applications are being examined and granted than in 2006. It seems like the PTO has to budget about $10,000 per patent granted.

        1. Just a simple explanation of where the money is going would suffice.It’s going toward patent examination. Sorry if that wasn’t clear, but you do excel in not seeing the obvious.

          1. Really? Not in a new space flight. A break-down of what they are doing with the money is what I was looking for. Sheesh. it is like dealing with a kindergartner.

            1. it is like dealing with a kindergartner.I know, but fortunately I’ve dealt with them before.It’s plainly obvious that the PTO’s productivity has scaled almost in lock-step with the budget increases. See Dennis’ chart from two weeks ago. What kind of answer did you think you’d get? Ask a stupid question…

              1. Are you serious? So, you don’t understand what I was asking for was a few categories. Like overtime, new examiners, improved IT, new judges, etc. Some kind of thoughtful break-down to understand how the money is being spent. Saying it goes to examination is like the army saying it goes to defense. Are you really that thick? Or are you just intentionally clogging up another one of my posts?

                1. Saying it goes to examination is like the army saying it goes to defense.It would be a lot like that, if there wasn’t a chart posted two weeks ago where we know you saw it, showing that the objective productivity of the organization scales perfectly with their budget increases.If a McDonald’s franchise reports that its expenses have doubled, and at the same time its sales have doubled, what do you think they’ve been doing with the extra money?

                2. “objective productivity “Except that is not what the chart showed.To show productivity, you would need more data, such as the ‘per hour worked’ and it would be helpful for the complete picture to also show how many rejections there were.Put.The.Shovel.Down.

          2. “It’s going toward patent examination”I would hazard a guess that a significant portion of the new budget growth is NOT going to patent examination directly, but rather, will be used to fund the Office expansions outside of the DC area and augment the Patent Trial and Appeals Board.

  1. The answer: it sure won’t hurt.A better question: Where is the accounting required under the AIA that provides for the Office to have more latitude in setting fee levels (as the ‘balance in the aggregate’ still needs to be maintained)?

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