Tuesday, November 13, 2007

IPO's Adler on patent quality

Kevin Noonan at Patent Docs has a piece titled The IPO’s Marc Adler on Patent “Quality” which includes the text:

In an address to the Trilateral Public Users Conference in Washington last Thursday, Mr. Marc Adler [President of the IPO] admonished patent applicants and their counsel to join with the different patent offices represented at the conference (the U.S., Japanese, and European Patent Offices) to improve the "quality" of patents obtained by applicants. In this, Mr. Adler sounded vaguely like Patent Commissioner Doll, who has defended the new rules, even when his evidence seemed contradictory (see "They Just Don't Get It - 'Patent Reform' at the USPTO") on the grounds that the Office was trying to improve patent "quality." The general substance of Mr. Adler's talk (his presentation is available here) was sufficiently generic to resemble patent platitudes. However, the talk also presented as justification for its admonitions some survey results produced by the IPO directed to patent "quality." Those results and the way they were used suggest, charitably, a certain naiveté concerning the zeitgeist of the patent world today.

There was a link to the slides used by Adler at the Trilateral Public Users Conference held in Washington, DC on November 8, 2007.

IPBiz had commented on June 25, 2007 on slides presented by Mr. Adler on the patent quality issue at a FICPI/AIPLA colloquium held in Amsterdam on June 8, 9 2007:

One notes that all the slides amounted to general guidelines for prosecuting a patent application before the USPTO. The slides did not constitute a response to patent reform advocates as to how patents are (allegedly) being granted on nearly every application.

In the absence of hard evidence of the presence of a patent "quality" issue, the discussion of platitudes doesn't really advance the dialog. Even the NAS/STEP report acknowledged there was no evidence to date.

For discussion by a different Adler on a different way of looking at things, see

Patents per capita: are we entering the dark ages of innovation?


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