Patent Fees are weighted against the individual

Under current law, the dice are loaded against the individual inventor.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's two-tiered fee structure assumes that a "large entity" has exactly twice the financial resources of a "small entity." In the real world, a "small entity" may have from thousands (an individual) to hundreds of thousands (a small business) of dollars in total resources, while a "large entity" may have millions or billions. Thus, the ratio in the "small entity" class may vary over a range of a 100:1, while the ratio between "large" and "small" varies by thousands or more. Furthermore, the individual inventor usually has a mortgage to pay off and children to put through college.

Additionally, an individual inventor must hire a patent attorney at a hundred dollars an hour or more, out-of-pocket, while the corporate "entity" either can write off the cost as a business expense or has one or more patent attorneys on the payroll (again written off as a business expense).

Over the life of a patent, an inventor must pay maintenance fees totaling nearly three times the initial fees for issuance just to keep the patent in force, even it the inventor receives no income.

Also, the inventor must pay a fee (currently $300) for the "privilege" of having the invention published before (if ever) a patent is issued. If a patent is not issued, the inventor's intellectual property has thus been "taken to public use without just compensation," in violation of the final clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Robert J Nedreski, Nedreski Industrial Service. "Backyard inventor yokes LCD giants" (Electronic Engineering Times 6/24/02 page 18).

Patent Reform