bizwriter writes "If protecting inventions is at the heart of high tech competitiveness, plans afoot at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will critically wound small companies. The agency's notorious 750,000 patent application backlog has long been the subject of heavy criticism. One of the key tools the USPTO wants to use is to raise fees so high as to directly reduce 40 percent of the backlog. That would mean setting filing and maintenance rates so high as to make it economically difficult, if not impossible, for many small companies to adequately protect their innovations, leaving large corporations even more in control of technology than they are now."
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