Friday, December 11, 2009

"Patent filings are a very controllable expense"

Within an article by Dave Goldman at CNN:

"Our patent filings were down 25% this year, and it was a direct macroeconomic issue," said Joe FitzGerald, deputy general counsel for tech security firm Symantec. "The overall company reduced spending, and patent filings are a very controllable expense. We might have filed four patents, but we filed three and made sure they were strategically significant."

The quote relates to the observation that patent filings are down for the first time in over ten years:

The number of patent filings in the United States fell 2.3% in 2009 to 485,500 from 496,886 last year, according to a preliminary estimate by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That makes 2009 the first year since 1996 in which businesses and inventors filed fewer patents year over year.

The Coalition for Patent Fairness was quoted: "People are looking at the system as it is now, and they're saying that waiting 40 months for a patent may not be worth it," said David DiMartino, spokesman for the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a group representing major Silicon Valley companies' desires for patent reform.

The presently-existing system of re-examination was referenced as post-grant review, although the proposed system of post-grant review (aka opposition) is far more expensive and burdensome than the present re-examination system:

Another discouraging trend has been the rise in patent disputes. By June, there were already 15% more "post-grant" patent reviews filed by competitors to the filing company than there were in all of 2008.

Those cases are expensive to defend, and are sometimes used by large companies to delay smaller companies' technologies from coming to market or to prevent them from being released at all, according to Brian Pomper, executive director of the Innovation Alliance, a coalition of mostly small high tech companies in support of strong intellectual property rights.


Post a Comment

<< Home