On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the House will consider the S. 2846, the Small Business Innovation Protection Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. S. 2846 was introduced on April 25, 2016, by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) and was referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The bill passed the Senate the week of December 5th.
S. 2846 would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to develop partnership agreements to provide training materials and opportunities to small businesses on domestic and international protection of intellectual property. It also would require Small Business Development Centers, in conjunction with PTO, to provide training to small businesses on domestic and international protection of intellectual property. The SBA funds a portion of the operations of Small Business Development Centers, which provide counseling, training, and technical assistance to small businesses.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examines and approves applications for patents on claimed inventions and administers the registration of trademarks. Patents enable inventors to exclude others from exploiting the invention for a set period of time.
However, if small businesses do not register their patents in foreign markets, it has no protection there. The Small Business Innovation Protection Act will help ensure small businesses are aware of the need and mechanisms available to accurately and effectively pursue an international patent.
According to the bill sponsor, “By helping small businesses tackle the challenges they face in obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing patents, we will help American workers expand their operations and boost exports. I am proud to introduce the Small Business Innovation Protection Act to ensure U.S. businesses have the knowledge and resources they need to protect their intellectual property and compete in the global marketplace.”
 See Se. Gary Peters Press Release, “Sens. Peters, Vitter, Risch Introduce Bill to Help Increase Small Business Access to Patent Protections,” April 25, 2016.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that estimates that the costs to implement S. 2846 would not be significant. Enacting S. 2846 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.