WASHINGTON — A legislative review of the United States Patent and Trademark Office moved towards completion in the House on Tuesday, when members of important committees decided to keep the Office subject to annual appropriations, but in the end for the first time the diversion of patent fees for other uses.
The agreement between the leaders of the House Judiciary and appropriations committees clears the way for the Bill, H.R. 1249, to be brought to the House as soon as Wednesday, when other amendments also will be considered.
The Bill generally updates the process for challenging patents and would change the patent system is one that rewards a patent for the first inventor to submit a specific request.
Currently, the first person to invent something has priority, regardless of whether he is the first to submit an application.
The financing agreement received conditional support from the sponsor of a similar Senate bill that passed by a wide margin in March.
Added to the White House to support his cautionary tale, though noted that the final bill may need "additional direction" to ensure adequate funding for the Patent Office.
"After six years of work towards patent reform, we are close to the finish line," Lamar s. Smith, a Texas Republican who is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday.
The appropriations Committee members were reluctant to support a proposal that would make the patent office self-financing, leaving out of the annual appropriations process.
The compromise calls for some collections of taxes in excess of the budget every year allocated to the Patent Office deposited in a reserve fund exclusively for the Patent Office.
The specific language, however, says that the House will have to separately authorize the use of any part of the reserve fund.
The Office of management and budget said that access "to ensure" available to the reserve fund.
"The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to provide additional direction" for "timely access to all tax collections," said the statement O.M.B ...
Senator Patrick j. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and that was the main sponsor of such a patent law, said that the compromise language on a reserve fund "would be a concrete step in the right direction", "if it is coupled with a commitment of appropriations House Committee to provide the Patent and Trademark Office with access to the excess taxes it collects each year."