Sunday, May 11, 2008

Patent reformers take the last train for the coast

Joff Wild at IAM writes of patent reform: Having been led to believe that the US patent system was fundamentally flawed and needed fixing if it was going to be fit for purpose for the 21st century, we end up finding out that the only game in town was actually a debate about how damages should be calculated in patent infringement cases and that nothing else on the table was worth doing anything about.

IPBiz notes that there was never any significant evidence pointing to a patent "quality" problem. Quillen and Webster's "97% patent grant rate" number was a scam all along. The other stuff was window dressing for the damages apportionment issue, which as far as the IT folks were concerned was the ONLY issue. Once that was off the table, the Coalition for Patent Fairness packed up and went home.

Speaking of "packing up," Joff wrote a point confirmed when John Whelan, on secondment from the USPTO, packed up his things and left Senator Patrick Leahy’s office and Leahy’s chief counsel started to work on other things.

In fact, Whealen departed the USPTO for GWU, and won't be available to argue the appeal of the continuing application package. The substantive issues on the appeal won't be won, and the limitations on continuing applications won't happen.. Not much to show for the patent reform wars 2005-2008.

Joff got the "interference bar" position wrong when he wrote: The patent interferences bar that may have feared for its future will be breathing a sigh of relief. The power players in the "interference bar" were in favor of "first to file," and were counting on patent oppositions (post grant review) to bring in more money. Why be content with a small practice area, when one can expand to the big time? Patent oppositions would have been a bonanza for those guys. Are you kidding, Joff?

See also
John Whealan headed to GWU

Patent reform 2008 as a house of mirrors?


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