Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Post-grant oppositions: job opportunities for patent lawyers?

An article in the March 2007 issue of Intellectual Property Today entitled "Who You Gonna Call?" is a must-read for those interested in patent reform. The article gives a version of answers to three questions:

#1. Should we have a patent cancellation procedure? [In context, patent cancellation procedure means post-grant opposition procedure]

#2. How will the PTO implement the patent cancellation procedure?

#3. So, whom should you retain to handle your patent cancellation proceedings?

Of #1, the article says we should have post-grant oppostions, and LBE has an article coming out showing why this answer is wrong. HOWEVER, that is not the most interesting part of "Who You Gonna Call?"

IPBiz had earlier pointed out that Jaffe and Lerner were wrong in saying in Innovation and Its Discontents that the patent interference bar opposed first to file. This remains true; Jaffe and Lerner were flat out wrong.

However, there is a tremendous irony if the post-grant opposition procedure plays out as described in "Who You Gonna Call?" Jaffe and Lerner will have helped to create a huge WPA-like "make-work" program for (some) patent lawyers. Beware, patent reform may have unintended consequences.


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