Fee issue sticking point in Patent Office overhaul

A coalition of intellectual property proponents told the Bush administration late last month that it generally supports an overhaul of the Patent and Trademark Office and subsequent fee increases for patent and trademark applications.

But leaders of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the International Trademark Association called on White House Budget Director Mitchell Daniels to end the diversion of PTO fees to fund other government agencies.

Support for fee increases is contingent on Congress and the White House "effectively addressing the issue of diversion," the coalition wrote to Daniels in an Oct. 24 letter. "We will strongly oppose any fee increase to support the strategic plan [if the increase] is not accompanied by an appropriate solution to diversion."