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CBO: Budget effect of House patent bill insignificant

A House bill to rein in abusive litigation tactics of so-called patent trolls will have an insignificant effect on the government's budget, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

Over four years, the Innovation Act will cost the government $3 million from reports and administrative costs. It will cost the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office about $7 million per year to comply, but the office can collect fees from patent filers to recoup those costs. 

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The budget office does not attempt to determine how a bill will affect the larger economy. But it concluded the changes in the bill will affect how inventors initiate lawsuits.

"CBO expects that, by requiring inventors to be more specific in pleadings to the court, awarding attorney fees to the prevailing party, and limiting discovery early in an infringement proceeding, the bill would affect the decisions of inventors to initiate lawsuits for patent infringement," according to the office. 

The two-page report was published last week and circulated on Monday. 

The bill is expected to receive a floor vote next week.

Proponents have said abuse of certain patent infringement litigation procedures costs the economy billions of dollars and have called for the changes included in the current bill. Opponents of broad reform say the bill could stifle innovation and make it harder for inventors to defend their legitimate patents in court.