Lamar Smith defends plans to make PTO self-funded

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Smith said the underfunding has contributed to the backlog of 1.2 million patent applications pending.

“These are products and innovations that can grow businesses, create jobs and save lives.  Allowing the PTO to retain the fees it collects means more patent examiners to help get products to market faster.  And that means more jobs for American workers and more tax revenue for the federal government,” he added.

Rogers and Ryan in their letter said the change would “essentially eliminate” Congress’s ability to conduct oversight over PTO activities.

The fight complicates efforts to bringing to the House floor The America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), which for the first time transforms the U.S. patent system from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. The bill aims to streamline the current lengthy patent system that requires the office to investigate who truly invented a new technology.