Thursday, December 30, 2004

IF YOU THOUGHT FEE DIVERSION WAS ONLY A USPTO PROBLEM . . . On Dec. 20, a letter was sent to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by thirteen companies that are significant users of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The companies expressed concern about a proposal made in September to increase PCT fees and noted that up to 80 percent of PCT fees are being used to subsidize programs at the World Intellectual Property Organization that "may not be in the interests of patent owners."

They are, of course, absolutely correct. What I found most troubling is that, unlike the United States USPTO and GAO, WIPO doesn't even have a mission statement with regard to the fees, and also has virtually no transparency for users to determine where these fees are going. I'd be very interested to learn what some of these WIPO side projects are. Unbelievable.

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