America Invents Act

Floor Speech

By:  Ben Lujan, Jr.
Date: June 23, 2011
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LUJÁN. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of my amendment to H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act. The America Invents Act provides for the creation of United States Patent and Trademark Office satellite offices. For many small businesses and independent inventors, navigating the patent application process can be challenging. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators are the foundation of our economy but do not always have the resources that larger corporations or institutions have to assist them in obtaining a patent. By improving access to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, satellite offices have the potential to help small businesses and independent inventors navigate the patent application process. However, this bill essentially provides no guidance to determine the location of such satellites offices.

While the language in the bill contains stated purposes for satellite offices, it does not specify that these purposes be part of the selection process. This amendment makes it explicit that the purposes of the satellite offices, which are included in the underlying bill, such as increasing outreach activities to better connect patent filers and innovators with the USPTO, be part of the selection process. It also specifies that the economic impact to the region be considered, as well as the availability of knowledgeable personnel, so that the new patent examiners can be hired at minimal recruitment costs, saving taxpayers money.

The selection of USPTO satellite offices should be done in a way that supports economic growth and puts investors and inventors on a path to success. I think this is a commonsense amendment, and I urge the adoption.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. LUJÁN. Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.


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