Saturday, April 05, 2008

George Bush to save U.S. from patent deform?

Grant Gross reported on April 4: U.S. Senate negotiators are getting closer to hammering out disagreements that are holding up a patent system overhaul, but President George Bush's administration still has concerns about the bill, an administration official said April 4.

Jon Dudas, director of the USPTO was quoted: "The damages issue is still a very important issue, and one that we want to resolve. We want to make sure we promote innovation in all business models and in all sectors."

Gross noted of the Coalition for Patent Fairness: The coalition has been saying the Senate bill is close to being debated on the Senate floor for weeks now, however. A version of the Patent Reform Act passed in the House of Representatives in September, but has been stalled in the Senate over issues such as the reapportionment of damages.

Gross alluded to a statement from BIO: "A wide range of industries, labor unions and universities continue to have serious concerns about key provisions of the Patent Reform Act,"

Gross also alluded to comments of the Secretary of Commerce: Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said in a letter to senators dated April 3. "Stated simply, our innovation system can no longer afford the time and the cost of heavily subsidizing poor quality patent applications, which crowd out our most important innovations."

Recall that the talk in Hollywood of Director Dudas referred to the "toilet queue" patent [of IBM], signaling a recognition that the IT folks are responsible for a lot of the "poor quality applications." Dudas noted that each applicant applications costs the USPTO US$4,200, while basic filing fees are under $1,000, but failed to note that the minimum search proposal would not be a barrier to the "poor quality" applications of the large IT companies.

***Comment attempted at CIO on 5 April

Of the reference to --heavily subsidizing poor quality patent applications--, Jon Dudas, in his Tech Policy Summit talk at Hollywood, made reference to the "toilet queue" patent [of IBM], showing some recognition that the IT folks are responsible for some "poor quality" patent applications.

One can also contemplate IBM's customer waiting application and Microsoft's employee monitoring application.

Does anyone think imposing search costs on applicants will
deter the IT exploration of the trivial?

PatentHawk has a post critical of AQS, including comments by Harold Wegner.

IPBiz got a good chuckle from a post on Patent Docs:

To make it even easier to write your Senator and lobby for the removal of the AQS provision, we are posting copies of letters that were sent to Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama by a number of attorneys at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (including all of the Patent Docs authors). The letters were prepared by MBHB attorney Larry Aaronson with the help of IPO Director of Government Relations Dana Colarulli. We strongly encourage our readers to use these letters as templates, and let their voices be heard. Before it's too late.

As between Lemley and the Patent Docs people, it is likely that Obama will be following the path of Lemley.


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