Thursday, March 30, 2006

Patent quality and the Data Quality Act

With all the discussion of patent quality attending NTP v. RIM and eBay v. MercExchange, I noticed that the March 17 issue of Science (311 Sicence 1536) had discussion of the federal "Data Quality Act." This law directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government-wide guidelines that “provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal agencies.” Of relevance to Eisenberg's proposal of peer review of patent applications, there's even a discussion of peer review.

Hmmm, the Data Quality Act might seem to encompass figures on patent grant rates released by the USPTO. Of course, the people most greatly in need of a quality upgrade (Jaffe and Lerner; Quillen and Webster on grant rates) are beyond the scope of the Act.


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