The American Intellectual Property Law Association is reporting that the Senate Appropriations Committee, approved the fiscal year 2005 Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (S. 2809) on September 15, 2004.
Although the Senate's fee provisions call for most of the increases in recently-passed House bill (H.R. 1561), the Senate bill drops the rebate system that would have deposited fee revenues in excess of the appropriation into a trust fund from which the PTO would rebate fees at the end of the fiscal year. The Senate version also drops a House provision to permit the Director to refund part of the application fee if a declaration of express abandonment was filed before examination. Both bills continue to designate separate filing, search and examination fees that are payable upon filing, and both would permit outsourcing of searches by a qualified search authority.