Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote the bipartisan Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success (SUCCESS) Act, H.R. 6758. This bill, authored by Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, would reauthorize the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) authority to set fees for the services it provides and require the PTO to study and report to Congress on ways to close the gender, race, and income gap in patenting rates.

Specifically, the SUCCESS Act extends by eight more years the authority granted to the PTO to set the amount it charges for each of the services it provides to patent and trademark applicants. It also instructs the PTO Director, in consultation with the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), to conduct a study and provide legislative and other recommendations to increase the number of women, minorities, and veterans who apply for and are granted patents.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Congressman Chabot praised today’s approval of the SUCCESS Act in the statements below.

Chairman Goodlatte: “In the United States, women earn half of the doctoral degrees granted in science and engineering. But when it comes to patenting their inventions, they trail far behind men.  Recent studies indicate that racial minorities fair even worse, holding only a fraction of the total number of U.S. patents.

“The bipartisan SUCCESS Act will be critical in developing policies to help underrepresented groups further engage in the type of entrepreneurial activities that are the backbone of our American economy.  It will also reauthorize the authority for the PTO to continue to set fees for its services for the next eight years.  I thank Congressman Chabot for introducing this bill and am pleased the Committee has passed it today.”

Congressman Chabot: “The SUCCESS Act accomplishes two important goals.  First, this bipartisan legislation extends the authority of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set fees for another eight years, so that the agency can continue its important efforts to modernize the process of issuing and examining patents and registering trademarks.  Second, the SUCCESS Act will also help to increase the number of patents issued to women and minority entrepreneurs.  Today, there are more women and minorities running small businesses than ever before, and their hard work and entrepreneurial skills are helping to support the booming economy.  However, women and minorities are not seeing the same level of success when it comes to patent approval rates.  To address this problem, the SUCCESSS Act directs the USPTO and the Small Business Administration to study proposals that could help close the patent approval gap.”