USPTO: There’s No Such Thing As A Free Priority Document

The USPTO has announced a proposed change to the rules in handling newly filed patent applications. According to the proposal, if an applicant does not pay the basic filing fee during pendency of the application, the PTO may burn (or otherwise dispose of) the application.  This means that you could no longer rely on that application as a priority document.
There will be no public hearing, but comments will be accepted by March 30, 2005 by Robert Bahr at