Back in March, Senator Coons and Senator Hatch introduced a bill to renew the USPTO’s authorization to set its own fees, the “BIG Data for IP” Act (S. 2601). This week, Reps. Chabot (OH) and Johnson (GA) introduced a House companion bill (H.R. 5887).
As I wrote back in March, fee-setting authority is critical to USPTO operations and it expires this September. This authority ensures that the Office is properly funded, and helps ensure that the Office isn’t financially incentivized to grant patents that would not otherwise have been granted. The Chabot-Johnson companion bill would renew this authority, providing the Office with the ability to continue to recover the costs of examination. Without their bill, PTO operations will be less efficient and we’ll likely see more bad patents issue.
These problems can be avoided if the House and Senate pass BIG Data for IP into law before the September expiration date.