Monday, October 31, 2005

Michael T. Burr on patent reform

The article talks about Brandon Shalton who has dedicated hundreds of hours of work to researching examples of prior art that would invalidate abusive patents. Although Shalton has provided this information for free to companies facing infringement notices from patent trolls and launched the Web site, only a few have had the resources to take the battle to court.

Of H.R. 2795, Shalton says: "It won't stop patent trolls. The patent office is an institution that some people believe exists to serve their purposes. A system that was intended to protect the 'little guy' from larger companies stealing their ideas is turning into a system that serves large companies who can just
patent anything."

Robert Armitage is quoted: "Any issue that goes to a fundamental feature of the patent system will have difficulty garnering the diversity of support needed to enact it into law."

Michael T. Burr stated: In fact the Patent Act of 2005 actually
might see a House floor vote this year.

Burr only obliquely mentioned fee diversion at the end of the article:
...does nothing to fix the basic problem of fee
diversion. Fortunately, anti-fee diversion legislation has gained momentum in Congress.

Funding did come up:
"It isn't going to work unless the PTO gets the funding," says Don
Martens, of counsel with Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear in Irvine, Calif. "I'm optimistic that it will get worked out, because everyone realizes the PTO needs financial resources."

from Michael T. Burr, Corporate Legal Times, October 2005.


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