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PATENT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET,

AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

JULY 24, 2003

Serial No. 38

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary

Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

88-545 PDF

WASHINGTON : 2003

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512–1800

Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR., Wisconsin, Chairman HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois

JOHN CONYERS, JR., Michigan HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California LAMAR SMITH, Texas

RICK BOUCHER, Virginia ELTON GALLEGLY, California

JERROLD NADLER, New York BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia

ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia STEVE CHABOT, Ohio

MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee

ZOE LOFGREN, California CHRIS CANNON, Utah

SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama

MAXINE WATERS, California JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana

MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts MARK GREEN, Wisconsin

WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts RIC KELLER, Florida

ROBERT WEXLER, Florida MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania

TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin JEFF FLAKE, Arizona

ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York MIKE PENCE, Indiana

ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia

LINDA T. SANCHEZ, California
STEVE KING, Iowa
JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
TOM FEENEY, Florida
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee

PHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel

SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET, AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

LAMAR SMITH, Texas, Chairman HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California ELTON GALLEGLY, California

JOHN CONYERS, JR., Michigan BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia

RICK BOUCHER, Virginia WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee

ZOE LOFGREN, California SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama

MAXINE WATERS, California MARK GREEN, Wisconsin

MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts RIC KELLER, Florida

WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania

ROBERT WEXLER, Florida MIKE PENCE, Indiana

TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia

ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York JOHN R. CARTER, Texas

BLAINE MERRITT, Chief Counsel

DEBRA ROSE, Counsel

DAVID WHITNEY, Counsel
MELISSA L. MCDONALD, Full Committee Counsel

ALEC FRENCH, Minority Counsel

LC Control Number

(II)

2003 373785

AL 13416965

PATENT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2003

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET,

AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,

Washington, DC. The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at inter a.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith (Chair of the Subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will come to order. Good morning to you all. It is probably earlier to us than it is to you all. We were voting until 2 o'clock last night. So I mention that, so you will understand why our attendance is not at its usual number, and maybe we will have some Members who will be joining us a little bit later on.

In any case, the Subcommittee today is holding a hearing on patent quality improvement, and I will recognize myself and Mr. Berman for opening statements. Then we will proceed and hear from our witnesses.

As part of last year's authorization of the Patent and Trademark Office, Congress instructed the PTO to develop a 5-year strategic business plan aimed at enhancing patent and trademark quality while reducing patent and trademark pendency.

In response to this mandate, the PTO developed a strategic plan that was later revised based on constructive comments offered by this Subcommittee and the user community. In its revised plan, the agency has addressed these issues and identified goals and initiatives, largely supported by the major trade associations that represent patent and trademark filers.

The Subcommittee reviewed the initial phase of the plan, a new fee schedule that would generate an additional $201 million in revenue for the PTO in fiscal year 2004 at an April hearing. Legislation incorporating the new fee schedule was the subject of Subcommittee and full Subcommittee markups earlier this year. However, an infusion of additional revenue is not an exclusive cure for what ails the PTO.

Other administrative, operational and policy reforms, such as those set forth in the revised plan, must be implemented over the years if the agency is to become more productive and efficient. Beyond those changes that the Director may attempt to implement pursuant to his current statutory and administrative authority, there are other policy initiatives that he, the inventor community,

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