Monday, November 29, 2004

USPTO GETS READY TO SPEND-SPEND-SPEND! Buoyed by the promise of $200 million in new revenue, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says it will hire 900 new patent examiners to speed up the processing of patent applications. The funding was included in the $388 billion Omnibus Spending Bill approved by Congress this week. The new funding isn't really new revenue. But since 1992, Congress has diverted much of the money raised by fees the Patent Office charges companies applying for patents to pay for unrelated programs. The budget bill allows the Patent Office to keep its fee revenue through the end of the fiscal year ending with the 2006 budget, a compromise with Congress. Next year, the Patent Office and its technology allies will press to end the diversion of funds permanently.

The Patent Office has already begun posted job openings on its Web site ( It is looking for college graduates with at least a four-year degree, preferably in engineering. Salaries range from $24,075 to $57,375.

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