Court Bounces Patent Fee Constitutionality Challenge

Law360, New York (September 5, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Siding with the federal government, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has tossed a case that called into question the constitutionality of the maintenance fees required of patent holders.

The Federal Claims court granted the government’s dismissal request on Friday, rejecting plaintiff Cindy Michels’ argument that Congress had overstepped its bounds with the financial obligations.

In 1980, Congress passed a law that compelled patent holders to pay fees to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office three times throughout a patent’s life.

The holder must pay $830...
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