President Obama's budget, released Monday, included a nugget of help for a strained Patent and Trademark Office. The budget proposed a plan to give the PTO "full access" to the fees it collects. Obama also proposes a temporary fee surcharge, as well as regulatory and legislative reforms.
According to the proposed budget, such changes will bring in an additional $2.7 billion for the PTO in 2012, or 34 percent more than 2010 levels. Even as congressional lawmakers consider legislative fixes for the PTO backlog, Obama as well as the agency itself have outlined plans to reform the system.
The budget also targets intellectual property enforcement as laid out in the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's Joint Strategic Plan.