Administrative Conference Releases Report Examining Options for a Small Claims Patent Court

Contact: Harry M. Seidman

Administrative Conference Releases Report Examining Options for a Small Claims Patent Court

Washington, D.C., April 4, 2023 – The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) has issued its final report examining issues associated with and options for designing a small claims patent court.

The report was prepared as part of an independent study that ACUS’s Office of the Chair conducted for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A bipartisan group of six Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Intellectual Property requested that USPTO engage ACUS to study whether and how a small claims patent court could be established with input by all stakeholders.

The report addresses topics including whether there is need for a small claims patent court, the feasibility and potential structure of such a court, and the relevant legal, policy, and practical considerations in establishing a small claims patent court.

The Office of the Chair conducted the study with the participation of three consultants: Kali N. Murray, Arti K. Rai, and Melissa F. Wasserman. All three consultants are recognized scholars working at the intersection of patent law and administrative law.

As part of its study, the Office of the Chair engaged with a wide range of interested persons and solicited public input on key questions related to the establishment and design of a small claims patent report. ACUS received more than 130 public comments in response to a request for information.

ACUS Chair Andrew Fois said the following: “This report is an important contribution to the debate about the need for independent inventors and small- and medium-sized businesses to participate in the innovation economy. The costs and length of litigation today prevent many people from protecting their patents. Women and people of color are particularly left out. ACUS is grateful we were asked by USPTO, on the invitation of six Senators, to do this study.”

To learn more about the study and read the report, visit

About ACUS

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent, non-partisan federal agency within the executive branch dedicated to improving administrative law and federal regulatory processes. It conducts applied research, and provides expert recommendations and other advice, to improve federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Since 1968, ACUS has issued hundreds of recommendations, published reports and reference guides, and organized forums to improve the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of administrative processes such as rulemaking and adjudication. Many have resulted in reforms by federal agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States. Learn more at  

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