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S. 791 (115th): Small Business Innovation Protection Act of 2017

S. 791 directs the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to develop partnership agreements to leverage existing outreach programs to educate more small businesses on domestic and international patent protections. Specifically, these partnership agreements will provide for developing high-quality training for small businesses related to intellectual property, leveraging training materials already developed for the education of investors and small businesses, and participating in nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, the agreements shall provide training through electronic resources and physical locations, including a small business development center.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.

SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance. With dozens of host networks branching out with hundreds of service delivery points throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." The USPTO registers trademarks based on the commerce clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). Under this system of protection, American industry has flourished. New products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities created for millions of Americans. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs. The USPTO is at the cutting edge of the nation's technological progress and achievement.

The USPTO advises the president of the United States, the secretary of commerce, and U.S. government agencies on intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement; and promotes the stronger and more effective IP protection around the world. The USPTO furthers effective IP protection for U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide by working with other agencies to secure strong IP provisions in free trade and other international agreements. It also provides training, education, and capacity building programs designed to foster respect for IP and encourage the development of strong IP enforcement regimes by U.S. trading partners.

Last updated Sep 25, 2018. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 10, 2018.

Small Business Innovation Protection Act of 2017

(Sec. 4) This bill directs the Small Business Administration to develop partnership agreements that provide for:

development of high-quality training for small businesses related to domestic and international protection of intellectual property, leveraging of training materials already developed for the education of inventors and small businesses, and participation of a nongovernmental organization. These agreements must also provide training:

through electronic resources, including Internet-based webinars; and at physical locations, including a small business development center (SBDC) and the headquarters or a regional office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (Sec. 5) The bill amends the Small Business Act to require services at an SBDC to include training, in person or through a website, relating to:

domestic and international intellectual property protections, and how those protections should be considered in the business plans and growth strategies of small businesses.