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Posts Tagged ‘ fee setting authority ’

Obama to Announce Restructuring of Department of Commerce

Posted: Friday, Jan 13, 2012 @ 11:34 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 8 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Department of Commerce, Gene Quinn, IP News, Articles, Patents, USPTO

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Obama will today announce a proposal that would merge six agencies that focus on trade and commerce into one new department. Apparently the belief is that the restructuring will make it easier for businesses to navigate government bureaucracy. Notwithstanding, the proposed restructuring may better be thought of as a reshuffling since it seems that the plan would only save several billion dollars over 10 years. Thus, the real savings and streamlining may be minimal and likely won’t make the bureaucracy any more friendly unless regulations are minimized, but that is another topic for another day.

The Obama government restructuring plan is of particular importance within the patent community because it will affect the Commerce Department as well as five smaller agencies. As soon as I heard that my Spidey-senses started tingling. Wasn’t there something in the the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) that applied only so long as the United States Patent and Trademark Office remained an agency within the Department of Commerce? Sure enough, there is. The new fee setting authority vested in the USPTO is contingent upon the Patent and Trademark Office remaining within the Department of Commerce.

Gary Michelson’s Letter to Congress Supporting Patent Reform

Posted: Friday, Feb 25, 2011 @ 6:52 pm | Written by Gary K. Michelson | 23 comments
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Posted in: Authors, Congress, IP News, Articles, Patent Reform, Patents

EDITORIAL NOTE: What follows is a letter to Congress from Gary K. Michelson, MD, published here with permission.

President and inventor, Abraham Lincoln

As Abraham Lincoln said “The Patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius”.

Many inventions allow a worker to be more productive.  That is to provide more service or more product with no increase in the work performed.  For example in the era of the building of the great canals in America steam shovels appeared such that one man and such a machine (an invention) could displace 100 men with shovels.  Similarly a large room full of typists with typewriters were replaced by a single person with a word processor (an invention) who was then capable of turning out an unlimited supply of originals.

Renewed Congressional Interest for Funding the Patent Office

Posted: Monday, Jul 12, 2010 @ 11:54 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, Articles, Patents, US Economy, USPTO

Congressman Conyers seems interested in providing funding to the USPTO

Recently the United States Patent and Trademark Office released its draft Strategic Plan for FY 2010 – 2015.  This may seem odd given that FY 2010 is almost over, ending on September 30, 2010.  So it is probably a better title to call it the FY 2011 – 2015 Strategic Plan, but there is no doubt as you read the document that under the guidance of Director David Kappos the USPTO has already well launched the short term Strategic Plan.  Now if Congress would only be wise enough to grant funding for the Patent Office to actually accomplish what needs to be done!

Truth be told, it would be enough for Congress to just (1) stop siphoning off money from the USPTO through fee diversion; (2) grant the USPTO fee setting authority; and (3) stand out of the way.  So my message to Congress would be this: put the pocketbook down, slowly step back and raise your hands over your head so we can see them!

Kappos Takes Heat at House Hearing, Patent Reform Dead?

Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 @ 11:59 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 28 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, IP News, Articles, Patent Reform, Patents, USPTO

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) grills Kappos on Capitol Hill

On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, David Kappos, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, testified in front of the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. See Hearing Page and Kappos Prepared Remarks.  Many issues were covered during the hearing, but there were a couple matters that jump out as quite important. Most significantly, it seems that once again the Senate patent reform bill may be running into some difficulty in the House of Representatives. Some in the House of Representatives seem interested in slowing down regarding the substantive changes embodied in the Senate bill, but seem willing to consider legislation less grandiose and focused solely on giving the Patent Office fee setting authority and perhaps the ability to retain its fees. This, however, lead to a heated exchange that has been misreported in some outlets, so lets set the record straight.