With the rising cost of nearly everything else, there is no doubt the cost of obtaining or applying for a patent will go up by 1983.
In fact, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Gerald J. Mossinghoff gave an outline of the proposed increase in patent and trademark fees in a speech before the American Patent Law Association Nov. 3 as follows:
* Under the new recommended fees this will include up to 3 independent and 20 total claims.
**At the present time, this is for each claim, independent over 1.
***At the present time for each claim, whether independent or dependent, which is in excess of 10, the fee is $2.
In addition, it is recommended that the cost of a patent copy be increased from 50 cents to $1 and design patent copies be decreased to 40 cents.
While something must be done to offset the increasingly high cost of operating the Patent and Trademark Office, the average inventor simply cannot absorb this increase. I would make the following recommendations:
1) Place a freeze on all reclassification projects or, better, abolish the entire reclassification section of the patent office.
2) Give an inventor, if he can prove he is not financially able to pay the increased fees, additional time to pay--until he has either sold his patent or is otherwise making money from it.
3) Require the company to which an inventor assigns his invention to pay the increased fee..
4) Find some way to put an end to acceptance of patent applications for such useless inventions as "Combined Plow and Gun," "Churn Operated by a Rocking Chair," and so on.
If the patent fees are increased as proposed, it will put an end to the average man's applying for a patent unless he is financially well off. With patent attorney fees being what they are, it now costs an inventor at least $1,000 to apply for a patent--this including a patent search, a sheet of drawings and other government fees.
Perhaps the patent office can find some other way to give an inventor protection for his invention.
It must be realized that no increase has been made in the patent and trademark fees to keep up with inflation since 1965. Had this been done, fees today would be about what the commissioner is now requesting. It must also be remembered that it costs the Patent and Trademark Office approximately $1,200 to process an application for a patent, according to Commissioner Mossinghoff.
Further, Congress must approve these fees; the commission cannot just impose them. If Congress approves them, they still will not go into effect until October of this year.