USPTO 2008 Budget Would Maintain Global IP Protection Efforts06/02/2007 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.By William New The proposed fiscal year 2008 budget for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would maintain agency efforts to increase international protection and enforcement of US patents and trademarks, according to a copy of the budget proposal and a senior official.In its overall budget proposal issued on 5 February, the Bush administration proposed a roughly 9 percent increase for the USPTO next year, to $1.9 billion. Steve Pinkos, deputy undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property and USPTO deputy director, told a telephone press briefing that funding for international issues would continue current efforts to strengthen IP protection and enforcement overseas.This includes a programme of strategic placement of intellectual property attachés in various US embassies such as in Geneva, China, Bangkok and Brazil, he said. A new attaché is heading for Moscow, and the presence of the attaché in Beijing, Mark Cohen, has been seen as a “great success,” Pinkos said.The attaché programme was expanded last year and the office is evaluating whether the programme should be further expanded, he added. The officials offer a local contact, help small businesses and help conduct training, he said.Funding for the USPTO’s patent programme will be directed to “expand bilateral and multilateral agreements to strengthen intellectual property rights globally and reduce duplication of effort among international intellectual property offices,” the proposed budget said.The USPTO provides “technical advice and information to other US government agencies on intellectual property matters and the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights,” according to the proposal. It also “assists governments of other countries in establishing regulatory and enforcement mechanisms to meet their international obligations relating to the protection of intellectual property.”A primary function of the USPTO is to administer patent and trademark laws, and it seeks to significantly increase the number of patent examiners to handle an anticipated nearly 480,000 patent applications in 2008 (along with an estimated 192,800 issued patents), according to the budget document. The need for more help may be evidenced by the flashing job advertisement at the top of the front page of the agency website. In recent years, the office has struggled with retention of examiners.A boost in trademark application examiners also is being sought, as are ways to improve timeliness and productivity of application processing, including implementation of a fully electronic workflow in 2008, the proposal said. Some 406,000 trademark applications are expected in 2008.USPTO is funded through the fees paid for patent and trademarks. The USPTO falls under the US Department of Commerce, and its budget is on pages 26-27 of the attached Commerce budget. The US government fiscal year begins on 1 October. But the 2007 budgets for USPTO and other agencies still have not been passed by the US Congress, so figures are based on the continuing resolution passed to keep funding flowing at previous levels. In the United States, copyrights are handled separately by the US Copyright Office.William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"USPTO 2008 Budget Would Maintain Global IP Protection Efforts" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.