STUDY OF UNDERREPRESENTED CLASSES CHASING ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE SUCCESS ACT OF 2018; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 158
(House of Representatives - September 25, 2018)

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[Pages H8815-H8817]
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   STUDY OF UNDERREPRESENTED CLASSES CHASING ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE 
                          SUCCESS ACT OF 2018

  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 6758) to direct the Under Secretary of Commerce for 
Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and 
Trademark Office, in consultation with the Administrator of the Small 
Business Administration, to study and provide recommendations to 
promote the participation of women and minorities in entrepreneurship 
activities and the patent system, to extend by 8 years the Patent and 
Trademark Office's authority to set the amounts for the fees it 
charges, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 6758

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Study of Underrepresented 
     Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018'' 
     or the ``SUCCESS Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
       (1) Patents and other forms of intellectual property are 
     important engines of innovation, invention, and economic 
     growth.
       (2) Many innovative small businesses, which create over 20 
     percent of the total number of new jobs created in the United 
     States each year, depend on patent protections to 
     commercialize new technologies.
       (3) Universities and their industry partners also rely on 
     patent protections to transfer innovative new technologies 
     from the laboratory or classroom to commercial use.
       (4) Recent studies have shown that there is a significant 
     gap in the number of patents applied for and obtained by 
     women and minorities.
       (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     the United States has the responsibility to work with the 
     private sector to close the gap in the number of patents 
     applied for and obtained by women and minorities to harness 
     the maximum innovative potential and continue to promote 
     United States leadership in the global economy.

     SEC. 3. REPORT.

       (a) Study.--The Director, in consultation with the 
     Administrator and any other head of an appropriate agency, 
     shall conduct a study that--
       (1) identifies publicly available data on the number of 
     patents annually applied for and obtained by, and the 
     benefits of increasing the number of patents applied for and 
     obtained by women, minorities, and veterans and small 
     businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans; and
       (2) provides legislative recommendations for how to--
       (A) promote the participation of women, minorities, and 
     veterans in entrepreneurship activities; and
       (B) increase the number of women, minorities, and veterans 
     who apply for and obtain patents.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Director shall submit to the 
     Committees on the Judiciary and Small Business of the House 
     of Representatives and the Committees on the Judiciary and 
     Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate a report on 
     the results of the study conducted under subsection (a).

     SEC. 4. EXTENSION OF FEE-SETTING AUTHORITY.

       Section 10(i)(2) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act 
     (Public Law 112-29; 125 Stat. 319; 35 U.S.C. 41 note) is 
     amended by striking ``7-year'' and inserting ``15-year''.

     SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
     Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
       (2) Agency.--The term ``agency'' means a department, 
     agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government.
       (3) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Under 
     Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director 
     of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Chabot) and the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio.


                             General Leave

  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous materials on H.R. 6758, currently under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Ohio?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6758, the SUCCESS Act.
  Back in 2011, I was one of five Members of Congress who cosponsored 
the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act that the President eventually 
signed into law. In it, a provision was included to provide the 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with the 
authority to set fees to cover the cost of examining patent 
applications and registering trademarks.
  Today, as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I 
recognize the need to extend that authority another 8 years.
  The PTO plays a critical role in the development of new technologies. 
The agency operates on fees it collects from patent and trademark 
applicants. To ensure that the PTO has the resources it needs to 
properly examine patent applications and register trademarks to study 
the issue of patenting by women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs, 
and to perform the countless other activities it undertakes that are 
essential to maintaining America's competitiveness, Congress needs to 
reauthorize the PTO's authority to adjust its fees.

[[Page H8816]]

  Additionally, we need to ensure that every American with a great new 
idea has access to the tools necessary for success in order for our 
Nation to realize its full potential and to secure an even brighter 
economic future for ourselves and our children.
  The SUCCESS Act helps us achieve that goal by requiring that the PTO 
provide recommendations to Congress on how to increase the 
participation of women, minorities, and veterans in entrepreneurship 
activities in the patent system.
  While American ingenuity is unparalleled, recent reports indicate 
that we have not tapped into all that the American people have to 
offer. Those reports indicate that while U.S. women earn almost half of 
all undergraduate degrees in science and engineering, and an estimated 
39 percent of all new Ph.D.s in those fields, it appears that only 
between 10 percent and 20 percent of innovators listed on patents are 
women. A 2017 study showed that racial minorities fair even worse.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank Representatives 
Comstock and Adams for introducing language that served as the 
inspiration for the study included in H.R. 6758. I want to also thank 
my fellow members on the Judiciary and Small Business Committees for 
being original cosponsors of this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this important piece of 
legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I 
might consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be the lead Democratic cosponsor of H.R. 
6758, the SUCCESS Act.
  This bill takes the important step of extending for 8 more years the 
Patent and Trademark Office's authority to set its own fees. It is a 
timely bill, and it is a timely time that we are passing this bill, 
because the fee-setting authority for the USPTO expired on September 16 
of 2018.
  This bill will allow the USPTO to have the ability to set the amount 
it charges for each of the services it provides to patent and trademark 
applicants.

                              {time}  1815

  The ability to set its fees will also help the USPTO with its long-
term planning. The fees are set to recover aggregate estimate costs of 
the patent and trademark operations, including all administrative 
costs.
  This bill would renew the USPTO's fee-setting authority consistent 
with the framework of the America Invents Act, which was enacted in 
2011. Section 29 of the America Invents Act called for the Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office to ``establish methods 
for studying the diversity of patent applicants, including those 
applicants who are minorities, women, or veterans.''
  This bill directs the Director of the USPTO, in consultation with the 
Administrator of the Small Business Administration, to conduct a study 
on the number of patents annually applied for and obtained by U.S. 
women, minorities, and veterans. The study would provide 
recommendations to promote the participation of women and minorities in 
entrepreneurship and in the patent system.
  This data is necessary so Congress and the public can fully 
understand the demographic nature of the patent applicant pool. This 
study will be critical in developing policies to help underrepresented 
groups engage in entrepreneurial activities that are the backbone of 
our American economy.
  Women, racial minorities, and low-income individuals are 
significantly underrepresented in the innovation ecosystem. For 
example, the Institute for Women's Policy Research reported in 2016 
less than 20 percent of U.S. patents listed one or more women as 
inventors, and under 8 percent listed a woman as the primary inventor.
  The exclusion of women, minorities, and other underserved communities 
is beneficial not just for inventors, but for the business sector as 
well.
  For these reasons, I am proud to cosponsor this bill. I urge all of 
my colleagues to support this important legislation, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, we have no further speakers, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may 
consume to the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Adams).
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6758, the SUCCESS Act.
  As the world's leader for innovation and entrepreneurship, the United 
States has historically been a breeding ground for the best ideas and 
creative approaches that improve our quality of life and solve some of 
the world's most complex problems. However, currently, women, people of 
color, and low-income communities hold significantly fewer patents than 
other demographics. A recent study even showed that children born to 
parents in the top 1 percent of income are 10 times more likely to 
become an innovator and hold a patent than those born into low-income 
families. Innovation should not be a skill set only available to the 
superrich or those with the most resources.
  The SUCCESS Act is an important first step to better understanding 
why the patent gaps exist. It will take a collective effort to create a 
more equitable system. With data collected via the SUCCESS Act, timely 
research and the number of programs across the Nation addressing 
underrepresentation, the Federal Government can better promote policies 
that increase the opportunity for those underrepresented groups to 
successfully qualify.
  I strongly believe that it is our duty to ensure that all people have 
an equal opportunity to compete for patents and participate in the 
innovation economy. The future of American innovation is diverse, and 
the SUCCESS Act will help us begin to close the gap in patenting and 
ensure that all innovators, creatives, and patent seekers have a seat 
at the table.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge Members to support this legislation.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I am again asking that my 
colleagues support this very commonsense bill, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
close, and I will be very brief.
  Mr. Speaker, I would just like to thank the gentleman from Georgia 
for his hard work on this legislation. We worked together on a number 
of bills in the past, and I really do appreciate the bipartisan effort 
in this area.
  I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation, and I 
yield back the balance of my time
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 6758, the 
SUCCESS Act.
  This bipartisan legislation would direct the U.S. Patent and 
Trademark Office and the Small Business Administration to study the 
underrepresentation of women, minorities, and veterans among patent 
holders. It would also require the agencies to recommend legislative 
solutions for increasing participation by these underrepresented groups 
in entrepreneurship activities, and increasing the number of them who 
apply for and obtain patents.
  The SUCCESS Act would provide an important first step toward 
narrowing the race and gender gap among patent holders. One study 
estimated that per capita GDP could grow 4.6 percent if more women and 
African Americans were included in the initial stages of the innovation 
process. It also found that exposure to innovation during childhood has 
an important impact on a person's desire to become an inventor. That 
makes it critical that young people have diverse role models in all 
fields of study.
  The bill was strengthened, in the Judiciary Committee, by the 
Gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Schneider, whose amendment added veterans 
to the list of underrepresented groups that will be studied. Promoting 
greater inclusion in the innovation ecosystem is good for our economy 
and good for underserved communities, and I am pleased to support the 
bill.
  The SUCCESS Act would also extend the U.S. Patent and Trademark 
Office's fee setting authority for eight years. Since this authority 
was first granted to the PTO under the America Invents Act, seven years 
ago, it has helped put the agency on solid financial footing, and it 
has enabled the PTO to continue performing the important work of 
protecting Americans' intellectual property.
  I appreciate the leadership of Mr. Chabot and Mr. Johnson, the 
sponsors of this bill, and the other bipartisan cosponsors of this 
legislation. I want to particularly thank Ms. Velazquez, the Ranking 
Member of the Small Business Committee, for all that she has done to 
bring attention to the lack of diversity among patent holders, and to 
the important issues highlighted in this bill.

[[Page H8817]]

  I look forward to continuing to work with her, and the other bill 
sponsors to advance not only this legislation, but also other measures 
to address the underrepresentation of women, minorities, and veterans 
within the innovation ecosystem.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 6758, 
the ``Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science 
Success Act of 2018.''
  H.R. 6758, also known as the SUCCESS Act, provides recommendations to 
promote the participation of women and minorities in entrepreneurship 
and the patent system.
  H.R. 6758 extends, by eight years, the Patent and Trademark Office's 
authority to set its own fees.
  As the legislation declares, it is the sense of Congress that the 
United States has the responsibility to work with the private sector to 
close the gap in the number of patents applied for and obtained by 
women and minorities to harness the maximum innovative potential and 
continue to promote United States leadership in the global economy.
  H.R. 6758 requires the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark 
Office, in consultation with the Small Business Administration to 
conduct a study that identifies publicly available data on the number 
of patents annually applied for and obtained by, and the benefits of 
increasing the number of women and minority businesses owned by women 
and minorities.
  The study directed by this bill will guide the legislative 
recommendations for how to promote the participation of women and 
minorities in entrepreneurship activities and for how to increase the 
number of women and minorities who apply for and obtain patents.
  Additionally, H.R. 6758:
  Requires the study conducted under section 3(a) to be submitted to 
the Committees on the Judiciary and Small Business of the House of 
Representatives and the Committees on the Judiciary and Small Business 
and Entrepreneurship of the Senate within one year of the date of 
enactment of the Act; and
  Extends, for eight years, the authority for the U.S. Patent and 
Trademark Office to set its own fees under Section 10(i)(2) of the 
Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.
  The Institute for Women's Policy Research reported that in 2016, less 
than 20 percent of U.S. patents listed one or more women as inventors, 
and under eight percent listed a woman as the primary inventor.
  In 2017, the Equality of Opportunity Project found that white 
children are three times more likely to become inventors than black 
children, and that children from wealthy families are ten times more 
likely to have filed for a patent than children from families below the 
median income.
  One study estimates that GDP per capita could rise up to 4.6 percent 
with the inclusion of more women and African Americans in the initial 
stages of the process of innovation.
  These statistics prove that we need more activity and involvement 
from a diverse pool of entrepreneurs and inventors.
  I urge all Members to join me in voting in favor of H.R. 6758.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, H.R. 6758, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  The title of the bill was amended so as to read: ``A bill to direct 
the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director 
of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in consultation with 
the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, to study and 
provide recommendations to promote the participation of women, 
minorities, and veterans in entrepreneurship activities and the patent 
system, to extend by 8 years the Patent and Trademark Office's 
authority to set the amounts for the fees it charges, and for other 
purposes.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________