On 21 June 2006, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $1.77 billion budget for the Patent and Trademark Office. This figure is Slightly more than the budget for 2006 and slightly less than the amount requested by the President.
Significantly, the amount budgeted is equal to the projected Patent Office fee collections for 2007 which seems to indicate a decision not to milk the cash cow, but rather to reinvest profits.
Many of the criticisms regarding backlogs and the standards of the US Patent Examination are related to the quality and quantity of staff. The only way to address these issues is to provide adequate funds. Thus although the bill must pass through the entire legislative process and may undergo amendments, this decision is nevertheless important.