AIPLA Submits Joint Letter Expressing Concern About USPTO Funding in FY 2022

Written July 29, 2021

On July 29, 2021, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) submitted a joint letter to Senators Leahy, Shaheen, Tillis, and Moran expressing concern over resources appropriated to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in FY 2022. It is noted that the House Appropriations Committee is poised to approve a bill constraining the USPTO’s spending to $3.994 billion, substantially less than the USPTO’s estimated fee collection of $4.058 billion.

The joint letter asserted that it is imperative for the USPTO to receive access to all its fees to ensure efforts to improve quality, enhance technology, and appropriately hire needed personnel. The letter also urged passage of a funding measure that reflects the intent of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to fund the USPTO at a level equal to fee collection estimates, noting that the ability of the agency to keep all its user fees was a cornerstone of the legislation.

Although the USPTO may request funds collected in excess of its appropriation, the joint letter maintained that this imposes an unnecessary impediment. After expressing past support for funding the USPTO at the level of its fee collection estimates, the letter requested immediate action to enable the USPTO to spend all 2022 fee collections, noting the importance to the health of the U.S. economy.

To read the full letter, please download the file.