S. 1137 would change administrative and judicial processes that support the protection of intellectual property rights. The bill also would require reports by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Finally, S. 1137 would authorize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to seek civil penalties in cases involving certain letters claiming infringement of existing patents.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1137 would increase federal revenues from the new authority to collect civil penalties; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, we expect those collections would be insignificant. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending. CBO estimates that discretionary spending would increase by $3 million over the 2016-2020 period.
S. 1137 would impose a mandate as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) on both public and private entities that pay patent fees. Based on information from PTO, CBO estimates that the average annual cost to comply with the mandate would be about $14 million, with less than $200,000 of those costs accruing to public entities. Therefore, the cost for public and private entities to comply with the mandate would fall well below the annual thresholds established in UMRA for both intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($77 million and $154 million in 2015, respectively, adjusted annually for inflation).