Congress must not renege on a promise to grant the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) control over all the fees it collects, it has been claimed.

University leaders and corporate executives believe legislation, signed by President Obama on September 16th, will help the body “to promote innovation and spur job creation”.

The law should end a practice under which Congress has diverted almost $1 billion away from the agency since 1990, reported Bloomberg.

While the USPTO pays for itself via patent and trademark application fees, the agency has been forced to give up a significant proportion of its income for use in other areas.

Susan Hockfield, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, added, “One of the great impediments to an effective USPTO is the funding to just get the people power in place and move things through the system.”

She explained that there has been a “massive acceleration” in the amount of work sent to the USPTO, but the agency is “tied in knots” trying to develop a system to make processing these patents efficient.

However, just weeks after the bill’s passage, the new funding provisions have already been thrown into doubt.

The recent law change has not been included in a bill to keep the government running through to November 18th, the news provider explained.

As such, the USPTO may not gain access to its full revenue, at least in the short term.

Patent and Trademark Office ‘must be given control over income’
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