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Groups Want Patent and Trademark Office Exempted from Trump Hiring Freeze

The Innovation Alliance has joined with other patent-protecting groups to ask the Trump Administration to exempt the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from its hiring freeze saying the freeze will add even more "pending" items to the currently overloaded "patent pending" approval process.

That came in a letter to President Donald Trump in which they also said Congress should end the diversion of ISPTO fees. Like the FCC, the USPTO funds itself from fees on users--in the case of the Patent Office that is fees on patent and trademark applications.

The alliance et al. told the President: "If the hiring freeze were to apply to the USPTO, America’s inventors would essentially be paying a tax that doesn’t contribute to the operations of the USPTO but is diverted to general government spending. Taxing inventors in this way thwarts innovation and harms the economy. Moreover, restricting the USPTO’s ability to use its user fee collections for the benefit of patent and trademark applicants, including hiring new examiners, will stymie efforts to improve the total patent pendency rate which is currently 25.6 months, down from 27.4 months just two years ago."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.