Monday, October 16, 2006

CAFC rules in favor of gov in Figueroa v US on fee diversion

The CAFC decided Figueroa v. US on Oct. 11, 2006, affirming the lower court. The CAFC made clear what the issue was: whether Congress may constitutionally impose patent fees in an amount above what is used to fund the PTO. IPBiz notes that the framing of the issue, and the facts in the decision, have impact on the allegations of certain legal academics that the PTO makes a "profit" from reviewing patent applications, and has an incentive to allow most cases to make more profit.

Figueroa, in part, had relied on a Takings argument, and the CAFC cited Commonwealth Edison, 271 F.3d 1327, to dispose of it.

There was a standing issue, and the court cited Lujan, 504 U.S. 555.

The CAFC even cited Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 US 186, as one indicator of the power of Congress in the area of intellectual property.

The CAFC even noted that the patent system established by Congress need not be limited to the PTO.


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