Monday, August 09, 2010

CBS News does piece on USPTO problems

In a piece on 8 August 2010 titled Patent Backlog Frustrates Inventors, CBS News discussed problems at the US Patent Office. Director Kappos was quoted:

"The backlog is indeed our biggest problem. It represents innovations trapped in this agency that otherwise could be creating jobs." (...) We currently have systems that are not as capable as they need to be -- they're certainly not state of the art. As a result, our examiners are handicapped, We are the gate. We are right now the block. We need to be the accelerant to Americans dreaming their dreams, getting protection for them, putting them in the marketplace, and succeeding or failing based on their merits.

The story began and ended with a story about "Spekx" eyewear. The final text:

"I'm taking a big risk, but the reality is I have no other choice," DeBelardino says. "The way the marketplace works, I can't be sitting on the sidelines as well, because by the time the patent would possibly issue, my opportunity window could close."

Although the CBS News piece mentioned the Leahy patent reform bill [S.515], the piece neglected to mention that the bill does nothing to end fee diversion. The piece also neglected to mention that the patent reform bill does not address backlog.

Of numbers, the piece stated:

However, the current wait for a patent is, on average, three years, or 36 months. The "in box" at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is stuffed with 700,000 applications awaiting review. Ultimately, only 4 out of ten applications, or 42 percent, are approved.

[Current allowance rates might seem to be above 42%. Past rates were well above 50% and once reached 70%.]

See also

The slippery Manager's Amendment to S. 515


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