Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Nobody, to my knowledge, has really explained what the effect or potential effect of sequestration is on the budget of the USPTO. One government report noted that it would have an effect: Sequestration impact on USPTO: $242 million, according to OMB. I have not seen any discuss as to the impact on staffing, delays, IT projects, or anything else at the USPTO.

On Friday, Congressional Representatives Mike Honda (D-San Jose), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and Anna G. Eshoo (DPalo Alto) introduced the Patents And Trademarks Encourage New Technology (PATENT) Jobs Act which would to exempt the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from the cuts imposed by budget sequestration.

The full text of the bill can be found here:

For more coverage, see the excellent and prolific IPWatchdog®.



This Friday morning (February 17, 2012), the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet of the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives (try saying that 3 times fast!) is holding a hearing entitled “Litigation as a Predatory Practice.”

As of this writing, no details have been posted regarding the topic or the witnesses. It is my hope that the committee will address the USPTO’s “Trademark Litigation Study” conducted and released last year. It is possible that the hearing will cover patent trolls. In recent years, Congress has shown little interest in trademark matters. Since the study was commissioned in a bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee in early 2010, the topic has not been addressed by either chamber of Congress in any manner. The hearing, in my opinion, has largely fallen on deaf ears. This result may have been expected since the mantra of the study was that there really is no problem regarding trademark litigation tactics and nothing major should be done to address any perceived problems.

[Note: Last Spring, I sent a letter to the Senate judiciary committee Chairman calling for hearings on the trademark litigation tactic issues.]

For more details on Friday’s hearing, see the hearing calendar, which hopefully will soon reflect more details.

I plan to attend the hearing and of course will report in this space on any trademark related news from it.

 United States House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary