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House Proceeding on Jul 7th, 2009 :: 1:22:50 to 1:30:00
Total video length: 1 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Hank Johnson

1:22:46 to 1:23:06( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: trademark act of 1946 for patent operations in order to avoid furloughs and reductions-in- other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, and the gentleman from texas, m control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: thank you, mr.

Hank Johnson

1:22:50 to 1:30:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Hank Johnson

Hank Johnson

1:23:07 to 1:23:27( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: speaker. ski unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days trevise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. johnson: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.

Hank Johnson

1:23:28 to 1:23:48( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: mr. johnson: this bill will help the patent and trademark office retain educated and trained employees who face the possibility of furlough and reduction in force due to the current economic downturn. it is with great urgency that i bring this bill to the floor today.

Hank Johnson

1:23:49 to 1:24:10( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: we have recently been informed by the department of commerce and the patent and trademark office that the current downturn in patent fee revenues could lead to employee furloughs. the u.s. p.t.o. is a user-friendly funded organization and the turn turn in the economy has led to a

Hank Johnson

1:24:11 to 1:24:31( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: steep drop in revenues. u.s. p.t.o. management has already shaved over $120 million from its current budget through various cost savings. however, june's receipts show that those cuts may not be sufficient.

Hank Johnson

1:24:32 to 1:24:54( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: a budget shortfall is a very real possibility which could necessitate furloughs and if severe enough a reduction in force. now is not the time to impede the economic stimulating activity at the patent office. now more than ever we need to

Hank Johnson

1:24:55 to 1:25:17( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: foster innovation to help the u.s. economy rebound. this century has seen an explosion in patent even though the p.t.o. has hired over 1,000 examiners each year for the past several years, this explosion has led to a current inventory of about

Hank Johnson

1:25:18 to 1:25:39( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: 1.2 million pending applications. that is 1.2 million potential patents that could provide the foundation for new businesses and new jobs. because of this backlog, inventors are waiting an average of 32 months to get their patents approve nsmed

Hank Johnson

1:25:40 to 1:26:00( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: some cases, such as communications and computer related technologies, the wait is much longer this backlog means a delay in the creation of new products or startup companies that would generate new jobs and research and development investment.

Hank Johnson

1:26:01 to 1:26:22( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: now is not the time to exacerbate this problem, furloughing employees will only increase the backlog and the consequent delay in order to help the u.s. -- to help the u.s. p.t.o. get through next year, we have identified a surplus in the trademark operation at the u.s. p.t.o.

Hank Johnson

1:26:23 to 1:26:44( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: the bill we are considering today would permit the director of the u.s. p.t.o. to use a portion of that surplus to prevent the furlough of u.s. p.t.o. employees. rest assured, mr. speaker, that this is not robbing peter to pay paul. any trademark money used for

Hank Johnson

1:26:45 to 1:27:08( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: patent operations would be recovered by a surcharge on the patent fees paid by those who nefit from the efforts of the patent workforce. i think it's pretty shameful that throughout the years we have not fully funded the

Hank Johnson

1:27:09 to 1:27:32( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: number of employees that this agency needs to fulfill its mandate, so now in the 110th congress, we're seeking to use this lull period because the number of applications will pick up but

Hank Johnson

1:27:33 to 1:27:53( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: we can use this period with our employees, our current employees, to put a dent in that $1.-- in that 1.2 million applications that exist currently that are on file. and this inefficiency in

Hank Johnson

1:27:54 to 1:28:17( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: government with respect to the patent and trademark office stifles commercial activity, and it -- it just doesn't make any sense for the agency to not have been funded to begin with

Hank Johnson

1:28:18 to 1:28:38( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: and staffed th an adequate amount of employees to meet the demand. this bill -- it's our understanding, mr. speaker, that with the department of commerce and the u.s. p.t.o. agreement that the money raised

Hank Johnson

1:28:39 to 1:29:02( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: by the surcharge will be used to pay the trademark operation for the money borrowed from it. the surcharge will be no more and no less than what is needed to repay the loan. this bill is a limited and temporary exception to the statutory fence built around trademark fees.

Hank Johnson

1:29:03 to 1:29:24( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: it will last only until june 30 of next year. it requires that all fees used for patent payroll purposes be recovered through surcharges on the patent operation. it ensures, mr. speaker, that furloughs or reduction in force

Hank Johnson

1:29:25 to 1:29:47( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: will not occur in the trademark operation as a consequence of the patent operations needs. this bill will ensure that will we retain the highly qualified and experienced patent examiners that helped innovaters protect important technological gains and we

Hank Johnson

1:29:48 to 1:30:03( Edit History Discussion )

Hank Johnson: certainly need to do all we can now especially to make it more efficient for those who would create new products in this rapidly changing environment

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