Saturday, August 19, 2006

Journal Science advancing PTO agenda on continuing applications?

In the journal Science, the article "US Wants to Curtail Add-On Patents to Reduce Backlog" appeared in the "News of the Week" section (see 313 Science 425 (July 28, 2006)).

The first two paragraphs were about the Chiron v. Genentech case decided years ago, which illustrated that patent applicants CANNOT continually add detail to a pending continuation application. The article mentioned the proposed rule change to limit the number of continuing applications, which was published in the Federal Register in January 2006. So far, this isn't news.

The new item was a quote from PTO Patent Commissioner John Doll: "Examiners review the same applications over and over instead of reviewing new applications." The Science article also said "The new limit, he told Science this week, will "improve quality and move [PTO] backlog." So the news is that Science is assisting the PTO with its proposed rules change.

The Science article did refer to the comment period. However, the article asserts that the changes have pitted biotech companies against computing and software sectors. The Science article did not mention the comments of intellectual property groups and intellectual property attorneys. The Science article did not mention that second (and further) continuing applications comprise only abut 5% of all applications and eliminating them entirely [which is not even the proposal] would not remove PTO backlog.

An earlier article in Science (about pubmedcentral) entitled SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING: NIH Flooded With Comments on Public Access Proposal was more directed to analysis of comments than about advancing government agency agenda. [See Science, 26 Nov 2004 at page 1451, (V. 303)]


Post a Comment

<< Home