Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Section 31. USPTO study on international patent protections for small businesses

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A patent reform act passed by Congress on September 16, 2011.

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SEC. 31. USPTO STUDY ON INTERNATIONAL PATENT PROTECTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.

(a) STUDY REQUIRED.--The Director, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, shall, using the existing resources of the Office, carry out a study--

(1) to determine how the Office, in coordination with other Federal departments and agencies, can best help small businesses with international patent protection; and

(2) whether, in order to help small businesses pay for the costs of filing, maintaining, and enforcing international patent applications, there should be established either--

(A) a revolving fund loan program to make loans to small businesses to defray the costs of such applications, maintenance, and enforcement and related technical assistance; or

(B) a grant program to defray the costs of such applications, maintenance, and enforcement and related technical assistance.

(b) REPORT.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director shall issue a report to the Congress containing--

(1) all findings and determinations made in carrying out the study required under subsection (a);

(2) a statement of whether the determination was made that--

(A) a revolving fund loan program described under subsection (a)(2)(A) should be established;

(B) a grant program described under subsection (a)(2)(B) should be established; or

(C) neither such program should be established; and

(3) any legislative recommendations the Director may have developed in carrying out such study.