Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cooper notes adverse impact of S.23 (patent reform) on small business

Carl Cooper notes:

The patent reform bill is promoted by misleading arguments that the U.S. Patent Office is too slow and issues patents of questionable quality. In reality, the Patent Office is funded by the user fees and any slowness is due in large part to Congress taking money from the Patent Office, causing staff and equipment shortages.

There is a backlog of patent applications pending at the Patent Office. A reason for the backlog is the fee diversion of money taken in by the Patent Office. The "patent quality" argument, originating with papers by Quillen and Webster and initially suggesting a grant rate of 97^, was false. There never was a patent grant rate of 97% or anything like that. Cooper is correct to mention "misleading arguments."

Of the post-grant review and first-to-file provisions in S.23, Cooper writes:

The bill will change that to sequential trials of different issues. Sequencing will add years to enforcement actions and increase costs such as attorneys' fees, thus preventing inventors with limited resources from deterring theft of their innovations.

Changes like first-to-file and sequencing will make it harder for small companies to protect their innovation, and, in turn, this will hurt the growth of Nevada jobs and its economy.


Post a Comment

<< Home