Thursday, September 27, 2007

John Doll on state of the patent system

Patentdocs has a rather critical assessment of a recent lunchtime talk by John Doll, Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO.

Specifically, concerning peer-to-patent, patentdocs wrote:

As mentioned by the luncheon audience, the likelihood that a competitor will try to manipulate the [peer-to-patent] system against an applicant is high, and the Office appears to be uninterested in the consequences of this possibility..

Of patent grant rate, patentdocs wrote:

Also provided were statistics relating to the patent allowance rate (which the Commissioner explained was determined by dividing the number of allowed patents by the total of allowed patents, abandoned patents, and patents for which there was prepared an Examiner's Answer on appeal, at which point the application was considered "disposed" to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences). This rate has varied over the same 32-year time period from a high of a little more than 70% to the current low of less than 50%, and the Commissioner predicted that rate could be expected to further decrease in view of the new examination guidelines for applying the Supreme Court's KSR decision.


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