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Protecting American Patents

When we Make It In America, we create jobs to lead the world economy. Our national manufacturing strategy creates the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future--promoting American competitiveness, innovation, and exports

On July 28th, the House passed the Making Supplemental Appropriations for the Patent and Trademark Office (H.R. 5874) as part of our new 'Make It In America' initiative from House Democrats to strengthen American manufacturing and create new American jobs. Patents are crucial to help protect the American innovations that fuel emerging manufacturing sectors, like clean energy technology, from intellectual property theft by foreign competitors.     

This bill provides $129 million in urgent funding, fully offset, to allow the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to prevent additional backlogs in patent applications and to improve the efficiency of patent examination operations.  Patents are critical to American innovation and economic growth, supporting good paying jobs here at home, particularly in American manufacturing, by providing protections for new ideas and technologies. 

This much-needed funding will help the PTO to avoid adding to its backlog of more than 1.2 million patent applications.  Timely and efficient patent examinations will encourage businesses to continue to invest in research and development, safe in the knowledge that they will be able to protect their innovations.  Currently, PTO will have to begin cutting back on patent examinations by the end of July. 

Read the bill»

Already, the House has passed the following Make It In America bills that:

  • Help U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on intermediate products or materials these companies use that are not made domestically. 
  • Support new “sector” or “industry partnerships” that bring together businesses, unions, educators and job training institutions to develop and implement plans that help workers train for and advance in high-demand and emerging industries.
  • Call for a national manufacturing strategy, crucial to job creation and our economic success after losing 4.6 million manufacturing jobs under the Bush Administration.
  • Promote clean energy technology exports to create clean energy manufacturing jobs here at home so that America will lead the way in powering the world in the 21st Century.
  • Establish a commission to tackle the U.S. trade deficit -- which doubled under Bush and threatens our economic and national security by forcing us to borrow from China, for example.
  • Express the sense of the House encouraging fruit and vegetable and commodity producers to display the American flag on labels of products grown in the United States.