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The cost of getting a patent is about to go through the roof. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently announced plans to more than double the fees for a basic patent application. Applicants who now pay $740 to file an application and have it examined would pay a $300 filing fee and a $1,250 examination fee. And the PTO is proposing to tack on thousands more dollars in maintenance and claims fees. The proposal, which the Office of Management and Budget submitted to Congress in June, is part of PTO director James Rogan’s five-year strategic plan for the agency. The House and Senate must approve the legislation, which calls for the new fees to go into effect on October 1. Patent examiners oppose the measure. They say that it would allow the PTO director to outsource a large portion of their workload by reducing examination fees for applicants who provide a prior-art search report. “It’s a sneaky way of getting congressional approval for making that change,” says Ronald Stern, president of the Patent Office Professional Association.

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