12 April 2017
Washington DC
Reporter: Barney Dixon
US innovators address USPTO hiring freeze
Groups including the Biotechnology Innovation Organization have written a letter to US President Donald Trump, lamenting the current hiring freeze at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The signatories, which include the Alliance of US Startups & Inventors for Jobs, InterDigital and the Licensing Executives Society, said the hiring freeze is ultimately a taxation on innovation, which “thwarts innovation and harms the economy”.

This is due to fees from patent and trademark applications at the USPTO. The federal government does not always permit the USPTO to keep all of the fees it collects, but generally the fees are returned to the USPTO and put back into its infrastructure.

According to the groups, the hiring freeze means the USPTO is unable to reinvest its earnings, resulting in a would-be tax on inventors and brands.

The freeze was instituted on 31 January 2017 as part of a federal hiring block across all executive departments.

The groups also said that a lack of effort to hire new examiners and update the agency would “stymie efforts to improve the total patent pendency rate which is currently 25.6 months down from 27.4 months just two years ago”.

This could directly lead to the US losing its place as the top patent system in the world. The US fell to number 10 in 2017, according to the Global Intellectual Property Center at the US Chamber of Commerce.

“The US should have the best patent system in the world, and not allowing the USPTO to hire needed examiners will cause the US to fall farther behind.”

“We cannot afford to fall farther behind our foreign competitors by obstructing access to the patent system.”

More news
The latest news from IPPro Patents
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Patent dance question to be heard today
26 April 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A decision either way could lead to a firmer definition of the ‘patent dance’ procedure
Green Mountain Glass wins $50.3 Million from rival
25 April 2017 | Delaware | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
The award for wilful infringement was handed down on 21 April. Green Mountain Glass’s patent covers technology that allows glass manufacturers to use recycled glass of mixed colours
McGuireWoods snags ITC expert
24 April 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Steven Adkins has joined the firm’s Washington DC office as partner
Qualcomm signs patent license agreement in India
24 April 2017 | Hyderabad | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The patent licence will grant Smartron the right to develop, manufacture and sell WCDMA, CDMA2000 and 4G LTE complete devices
Rimon chooses two tech experts
24 April 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Rimon has added two partners to its Washington DC and New York offices
Tech and car innovators back Qualcomm litigation
24 April 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Katherine Brown
The 20 April letter was signed by 15 organisations, including The App Association, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Dell, Intel and Samsung
Wolters Kluwer’s Cheetah makes new leap with ktMINE collaboration
21 April 2017 | New York | Reporter: Stephanie Palmer
Using the Wolters Kluwer legal research platform Cheetah, the collaboration will allow users to access IP content relevant to negotiating royalty rates and concluding licensing agreements