Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Will 2009 fee for patent practitioners be collected by USPTO in 2009?

IPBiz has had previous posts on the planned fee for registered patent practitioners authorized under § 11.8(d) [see

Patent attorney fee won't be collected till Spring 2009

Patently-O has a post including the text:

The Office has not issued a notice to pay the annual practitioner maintenance fee for FY2009. The Office has not required payment of the fee by September 30, 2009. No decision has been made to collect the fee in or for FY2009.

There is an interesting comment thread on Patently-O on this post.

**Separatelly, at IPWatchdog, there is a post titled Will USPTO Money Run Out Before FY 09 Ends? which points out just how bad the financial situation is at the USPTO. Robert Clarke was mentioned:

First, in March 2009, Rob Clarke, the Director of Legal Administration at the Patent Office, told attendees at the PLI Patent Institute that the Patent Office was concerned about its fiscal year 2009 budget due to a drop in applications. Second, we know that hiring has ceased at the USPTO. Third, we know that the Patent Office is engaging in cost cutting measures, such as prohibiting over-time and not running the HVAC system on Sundays. Fourth, the Senate has passed a bill and the House is considering a bill to allow the Patent Office to borrow $60 to $70 million from the Trademark Office. Fifth, travel has been suspended and those in senior management who typically speak at conferences are not allowed to go to such events.

There was some upbeat news in the post:

[William Smith] mentioned my interview with Acting Patent Commissioner Peggy Focarino, and noted that the encouragement of allowances that Commissioner Focarino talked about in my interview is being seen by his firm and evidenced by what he called more “lets make a deal” phone calls from patent examiners who are presumably being told to find ways to issue patents. This coincides with what my firm has seen, and what I have heard from others.


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