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    Patent Office head lays out reform strategy
    Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2007 @ 22:07:45 MST by vlad

    Legal From KeelyNet.com Whatsnew: (They miss the KEY POINT...make every patent applicant provide a working model, period. Prove what is being claimed. - JWD) Critics claim that the USPTO lacks enough qualified examiners and issues too many bad patents. The delivery of patent rulings takes longer than applicants would like, slowing down the introduction of innovations into commercial markets. The agency is trying to remedy that problem in part by hiring more examiners, Dudas told me. Last year, the USPTO hired 1,218 patent examiners, for a total of 5,500, and plans to hire 1,000 per year for the next five years.

    The USPTO received in excess of 440,000 patent applications and completed 332,000 patent applications in 2006. However, the total backlog of patent applications in around 700,000. Dudas countered the claim that the agency issues an excess of unwarranted patents. "Only 54 percent of cases and some claims get approved," Dudas said. The biggest threat today on bad quality patents is the "law of obviousness," Dudas said. The Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in KSR v. Teleflex, a case that could determine what makes up a 'nonobvious' invention. Dudas said that examiners need to be given more deference in determining what is obvious. In the category of getting more information, Dudas said the having applicants submit more complete information, including their own search reports and analysis of why a patent should be granted given similar existing patents. Patent attorneys have been concerned that providing more information could be a liability. If information on a patent application is found out to be false, or a 'lie,' the application is summarily thrown out. Statues need to be changed to accommodate a standard of information accuracy that clearly allows for truly unintended misinformation. Ultimately, "the measure of innovation and competitiveness is not the number of patents but the quality of patents," Dudas concluded. But, the measure of success for the USPTO will be the quantity and quantity of patents that it can process. Improvements are in place, but a backlog of 700,000 will take years to dissipate. /Fixing the US Patent System

    Source: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=4562



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    "Patent Office head lays out reform strategy" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Free Global Virtual Scientific Library (Score: 1)
    by vlad on Saturday, March 03, 2007 @ 00:04:31 MST
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
    Several readers wrote in with news of the momentum gathering behind free access to government-funded research. A petition "to create a freely available virtual scientific library available to the entire globe [news.bbc.co.uk]" garnered more than 20,000 signatures, including several Nobel prize winners and 750 education, research, and cultural organizations from around the world. The European Commission responded by committing more than $100 million towards support for open access journals and for the building of infrastructure needed to house institutional repositories able to store the millions of academic articles written each year. In the article Michael Geist discusses the open access movement and its critics.

    Protect your idea as trade secret or patent? [www.sddt.com]
    KeelyNetAn old Spanish proverb goes: "A secret between two is God's secret; between three is all mankind's." Nowhere is this truer than in the idea industry, where companies expend huge sums to protect the integrity of their trade secrets, only to have them revealed to or discovered by their competitors. A patent requires disclosing to the public exactly how your invention operates -- lasts for 20 years, during which no competitor can practice your idea but after which it's fair game for any and all. A trade secret, by contrast, can last as long as you can keep it -- the Coke formula has been under wraps for 120 years -- but in some cases that may not be very long. Technology changes so rapidly that today's hot invention could easily become obsolete within 20 years. If that's the case, patent protection might be more appropriate: Even though its term is finite, a patent will shelter your invention from innocent independent development as well as from malicious appropriation. if a clever technician can buy your product and figure out what makes it tick, she can copy the device and resell it as her own without fear of liability if protected only as a trade secret. In such an instance, you'd be better off patenting your device and preventing the technically skilled (and curious) from exploiting your creation. But if your invention cannot be reverse-engineered even by accomplished professionals in your field, you might benefit by protecting it as a trade secret. If no one can unravel your device, you could maintain your competitive edge by avoiding disclosure of how it works and otherwise complying with the prerequisites for trade-secret protection.

    (Also via KeelyNet.com - http://www.keelynet.com/#whatsnew )


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