Sunday, January 30, 2011

Patent Reform Act of 2011

Text within an article on patent reform in the News-Journal by Jonathan Starkey talks about "first inventor to file":

The bill also grants patents to the first applicant rather than attempting to determine the product's true inventor.

Of post-grant review (aka opposition):

And it beefs up the process of allowing third parties to challenge new patent awards with the PTO. That offers companies a streamlined opportunity to overturn "bad" patents, said Mike Walker, the chief intellectual property lawyer at DuPont.

"Sometimes the patent office can make a mistake. They are very busy. They have a big backlog of cases," Walker said. "Bad quality patents can prohibit innovation because they're difficult to challenge in the current [system]."

The current system includes a re-examination procedure which allows the USPTO to take a second look. As IPBiz has noted many times, in a true Deming quality system, one would focus resources on the production step (examination) rather than a product inspection step (opposition).

One commenter wrote:

DuPont Senior Management should be less worried about "bad patents", and more worried about the theft of DuPont's valuable proprietary knowledge and technologies in the Peoples Republic of China, where they are investing $billions. Certainly China is very attractive with its notoriously lax safety and environmental regulation and its coolie cut-rate labour costs, but it comes at a price, a "patently" high price.


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