ACUS to Undertake Study of Small Claims Patent Court for U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Contact: Harry M. Seidman

ACUS to Undertake Study of Small Claims Patent Court for U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2022 – The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) is conducting an independent study for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of issues associated with and options for designing a small claims patent court. 

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 resulting report, to be prepared by the ACUS Office of the Chairman, will address 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 Chairman will submit its report to USPTO in 2023. USPTO will submit the report to the members of Congress who requested it.

“ACUS welcomes the opportunity to conduct this important study and thanks the senators who requested it and USPTO for their expression of confidence in ACUS,” said Matthew Lee Wiener, ACUS’s Acting Chair, Vice Chair, and Executive Director.

The Office of the Chairman will conduct the study with the participation of three consultants: Kali N. Murray, Arti K. Rai, and Melissa F. Wasserman. 

Murray is a Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Program at Marquette University Law School. Rai is the Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and Faculty Director for the Center for Innovation Policy at Duke University School of Law and has held senior positions at the Department of Commerce and USPTO. Wasserman is the Charles Tilford McCormick Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law and a Public Member of ACUS. 

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 Chairman will engage with a wide range of interested persons and solicit public input on key questions related to the establishment and design of a small claims patent court. A request for information will be published in the Federal Register next week. The request is also available on ACUS’s website at All interested persons are invited to participate as part of that process.

To learn more about the study and follow its progress, visit

About ACUS

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the administrative process through consensus-driven applied research and providing nonpartisan expert advice and recommendations for federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Except for the Chairman, all Conference Members are unpaid.

The Conference is committed to promoting effective public participation and efficiency in the rulemaking process by leveraging interactive technologies and encouraging open communication with the public as well as making improvements to the regulatory process by reducing unnecessary litigation, and improving the use of science and the effectiveness of applicable laws.

Learn more at

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