Monday, October 03, 2011

Patent reform adversely affects smaller entities

Within a post in the Tennessean:

Unfortunately, this change probably will affect smaller entities with little financial backing more than larger corporations, which often have the means to file quickly and frequently.

To offset this potential burden, the act includes an additional “microentity” designation for qualified small businesses and independent inventors. Microentities receive a 75 percent reduction in government fees. Qualification includes, but is not limited to, the gross income and number of U.S. patent applications on which one has been listed.

One notes that rules implementing the microentity designation have not been published, so the really little guys are not yet protected. As to "small entities," the game is the same, except of course that fees are going up.

Smaller entities are disproportionately affected, but that was the idea behind patent reform.

The post also includes the following advice:

Entrepreneurs should protect themselves by filing applications on inventions as quickly as possible. If it is not feasible to file immediately, and international protection is not desired, publicly disclose an invention and file a patent application within a year of disclosure.

One wonders "how many" inventions are useful "only in the US" in the global economy?


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