Thursday, April 06, 2006

Limited scope in push for patent reform in 2006?

According to Reuters, PTO Director Jon Dudas "singled out two improvements he said the patent office supports that are being considered by the House Judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property." [in testimony given on April 5, 2006 before a U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee] Reuters continued:

One would give third party companies more leeway to challenge a patent that has been approved. "It would serve as a quicker, lower cost alternative to expensive litigation in reviewing patent validity questions," Dudas said.

The other would allow third parties to go to government examiners while they are still considering whether to grant a patent and point out similar existing technology to argue against granting a patent.

Both proposals "are widely supported throughout the intellectual property community and would directly improve patent quality," Dudas said.

Although the word "opposition" was not used in the Reuters report, one assumes these proposals concern "oppositions" at two different times (pre-grant; post-grant).

Reuters also noted:

The chairman of the subcommittee, Republican Lamar Smith of Texas, has been trying to broker a compromise between the technology and pharmaceutical industries and is expected to revise an unsuccessful patent reform bill he offered in 2005.

In the Senate, Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, is also preparing a patent reform bill.

ABC News picked up the Reuters story.

IPBiz had mentioned the coming hearing. No report on what Professor Lemley said.


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