Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opening the patent process to citizen review?

A comment in Investor's Daily notes of Obama and patent reform -->

Obama's idea of "opening up the patent process to citizen review" would make it much tougher for businesses to challenge the government's judgment on the ownership rights of an invention, which will have a negative effect on the incentives to innovate.

Obama's tech position paper had stated:

Giving the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) the resources to improve patent quality and opening up the patent process to citizen review will reduce the uncertainty and wasteful litigation that is currently a significant drag on innovation.

To the extent "citizen review" is something like "peer to patent", it would expand the number of people involved in reviewing a patent application. It might place inventors in a position to be harassed by larger competitors, operating under the guise of citizen review. It would not make it tougher for a business (or anyone else) to challenge an issued patent through the procedure of re-examination.

See also

On Aspects of Barack Obama’s Technology Policy

As a separate point, although there is much discussion of "outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries," Obama's immigration policy might be viewed as an "insourcing of foreign workers" to take "American" jobs. Curiously, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY didn't say a thing about this.

-->of some relevance-->

See a post on Techdirt titled A Business Relationship Built At The End Of A Pointy Stick Isn't Much Of A Relationship concerning an interview between Mike Masnick and Horacio Gutierrez, the company's VP and Deputy General Counsel.

There is one reference to "patent thickets" which is not entirely accurate.

-->just-n-examiner has a discussion of Bessen/Meurer

There is an interesting comment to the post from a different examiner who has an inventor friend at Intel, who stated the inventor could not understand his own patent in the form it issued.


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