On February 1, 2010, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos announced President Obama’s $2.322 billion fiscal year 2011 budget request for the USPTO. The President’s budget request will support a five-year plan designed to significantly reduce the patent pendency periods, improve patent quality, and enhance intellectual property protection and enforcement. To achieve these goals, the USPTO will:
(1) achieve 3% annual efficiency gains in patents processing through the re-engineering of management and workflow processes; and (2) initiate a targeted hiring surge and hire 1,000 patent examiners annually during FY 2011 and FY 2012, targeting former patent examiners and IP professionals who will require minimum training and can be productive virtually from the start of their employment.
The FY 2011 budget request projects fee collections of $2.098 billion and the administration is proposing an interim fee increase on certain patent fees which is estimated to generate $224 million.
– Katie Cooper