Matthew Buchanan recently reported on the widespread support for the United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2004.
It’s very interesting that this bill is enjoying such broad support, considering that it represents a large increase in patent fees. Apparently, the anti-fee diversion provisions and the promises that USPTO will initiate further reforms once diversion ends are so attractive that a significant fee increase has become secondary. (Commenting on the IP Coalition letter (PDF)).
Most patentees spend several thousand dollars on attorney fees but much less on patent office fees. If a modest increase in fees can either 1) increase patent office efficiency or 2) increase patent quality, then most of us will be happy. The patent office has been getting a bad rap lately, perhaps this funding will help turn the tide.
See Part I.