Crucial Funding Necessary to Implement America Invents Act

The “minibus” spending bill (H.R. 2112) passed by the House and Senate late Thursday was signed into law by President Obama last Friday. The bill temporarily solves USPTO’s funding problems through September 30, 2012 (end of fiscal year ‘012). The bill allocates at least $2.7 billion of fee collections in 2012, up from about $2.1 billion in 2011. The Office can spend only what it collects, but estimates suggest a $2.7 billion influx of fees for fiscal 2012.

With the need to reconfigure the Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences (BPAI) into the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) including at least 100 new Administrative Patent Judges, the increased funding was an absolute necessity to implement the new mechanisms of the AIA.