Friday, June 10, 2011

Ending fee diversion viewed as shift in discretionary funding to mandatory spending?

The fate of patent reform [H.R. 1249, "America Invents Act"] is now tangled up in a fight over fee diversion. Section 22 of H.R. 1249 was placed in the bill to end fee diversion, and to satisfy many stakeholders, who felt that fees spent by applicants at the patent office should go to, not surprisingly, examining patents. In a letter to Lamar Smith on June 6, 2011, Congressman Rogers and Congressman Ryan, both committee chairman, ask that section 22 be deleted, or otherwise modified. The two Congressmen speak of the ending of fee diversion as a shift in discretionary funding to mandatory spending. If this way of thinking is not a "tax on innovation," then what is? But, is it enough to end patent reform 2011?

Recall the IPBiz post in April 2011,
Patent reform 2011 over?

In an editorial titled Sticky fingers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel nails the obvious: if Congress is willing to raid the patent office piggy bank in April 2011, then all the talk about ending fee diversion is empty chatter, signifying nothing. The problems will continue, especially with a hiring freeze and no overtime at the USPTO.


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