The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is not exempt from the “sequestration” budget cuts being imposed on government agencies.

For now, one casualty of the cuts will be that agency’s plan to open an office in Silicon Valley in the near future, according to a Sunday report by The Associated Press.

The Silicon Valley office was an idea that has been suggested for years, and it looked like it was finally coming to fruition.

The USPTO is funded by the fees paid by companies and persons seeking patents, not by taxpayers.

The office collects $2.8 billion in such fees annually. But that doesn’t protect it from the across-the-board budget cuts that were imposed when Congress failed to strike a budget deal earlier this year.

The California patent office is slated to be headed up by Michelle Lee, a former Google attorney. During her time at Google, Lee was one of the first lawyers to speak out about the harmful effects of “patent trolls.” Her appointment was taken as a hopeful sign by many in the tech sector seeking changes to the patent system.     

Leave a Reply