Budget Cuts From Sequestration Threaten Patent Office Operations

Budget Cuts From Sequestration Threaten Patent Office Operations

Last month, Anthony Scardino, Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, announced huge spending cuts due to Congress’ sequestration of government funds. But why would the government sequester the funds of an agency that pays for its own operations from fees paid voluntary by applicants for patents and trademarks?

The budget cuts amount to about $240 million, which include an already anticipated $65 million in spending cuts because patent and trademark fees have been lower than expected. The $176 million in cuts due to sequestration were the biggest piece of the pie, including a $28 million reduction in the planned hiring of patent examiners to reduce the horrendous backlog of patent applications awaiting action. The inevitable result will be a degradation of Patent Office services.

But why should the USPTO be spared from across-the-board budget cuts imposed on other government agencies?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark is one of the rare government agencies that actually turns a profit, not only in covering its own expenses with the revenues it generates, but also with the value of the products it generates. The patents and trademarks the USPTO issues provide the incentive for companies to invest in technologies that save lives, change lives and provide job opportunities. In fact, patents give small technology companies the edge they need to break into markets dominated by entrenched, and risk-averse, behemoth corporations.

The Patent Office has made great progress in the past 5 years to correct many of its widely-known ailments, like reducing the number of marginal patents and reducing the time between filing and a first action. If Congress insists on maintaining the sequestration cuts, it will amount to a very discouraging step backwards for the USPTO. Besides holding up the introduction of new technologies, the cuts will frustrate the improvements in the hiring and training of competent patent professionals to keep the Patent Office moving forward.

For another take on about the recent budget cuts imposed on the already stressed-out PTO, check out this recent article in Law360.

How Many Patents Are Issued Every Week?

How Many Patents Are Issued Every Week?

How many patents are issued every week? Better question: how many of those patents are successful? Every Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues about 3,000 new patents. Of those, only 2-3% cover actual products that go to market. And each of those patents cost their owners several thousand dollars. So many patents...so much money spent unnecessarily. And so much lost opportunity to have put those funds to better use, like getting patents that are worth something to your business.

The attorneys at Corridor Law Group have a track record that beats the norm by an order of magnitude. We offer our clients a 5-year objective for each provisional patent that we write. Within that timeframe, 20-30% of those applications should issue as successful patents. And the remaining 70-80%, while they’re on-file, will earn your idea “patent pending” status and garner the respect of those you approach with your idea.

So, how do we beat the odds of actual patents issued? The short answer is, our clients’ patents begin with applied experience and a deep knowledge base that protects a properly vetted idea from the start. In other words, we write patents that zero-in on the novel and commercially viable features of your product or technique. Our experience steers you clear of pursuing patents for features not likely to wind up in a commercially successful product. We consult with our clients from the beginning to determine whether it may be worth patenting your idea at all, and then we ferret-out the most worthy of your idea’s features in the process.

It is for this reason that our track record for securing the most valuable patents in the market is higher than other patent law firms by an order of magnitude. A solidly-written patent application is the key—delivering to you, our client, a path to patenting that directs you toward the eventual goal of monetizing your intellectual property.