Congressman Gary Peters
Congressman Gary Peters ~ Image Source:
[box type=”default” size=”large”] Exempt Patent Office from sequester cuts, solons urge [/box]WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of 22 members of Congress is joining U.S. Representative Gary Peters in the effort to stop “an unfair innovation tax” that is exacerbating the nation’s patent backlog.

It was reported that over the past month, Peters has been building bipartisan consensus to petition the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to stop erroneously subjecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to sequester cuts, which has delayed hiring more examiners and opening new offices that would alleviate the national patent backlog. Recently, he wrote OMB Director Sylvia Burwell, urging her to exempt the USPTO from the sequester since the operation of USPTO is funded by users’ fees, not taxpayers’ dollars.

innovation taxThe letter was signed by all four bipartisan co-chairs of the bipartisan House Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, who are Peters, Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) and Darrell Issa (R- California).

Other members joining this effort are Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Howard Coble (R-NC), Mike Honda (D-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Suzane DelBene (D-WA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), John Delaney (D-MD and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).

“We write to ask OMB to reconsider its decision to sequester user fees that fund the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)… USPTO funding is different from regular government funding, because the USPTO is fully funded by user fees and uses no taxpayer money,” the letter reads.