Tuesday, April 26, 2005

PTO ENDORSES REFORMS: Patent Office commissioner Jon Dudas said Monday that federal law should be changed to award a patent to the first person to file a claim and to permit review of a patent after it is granted. Currently patents are awarded to the first person who concocted the invention, a timeframe that can be difficult to prove.

Dudas also endorsed implementation of post-grant opposition ("I think we can implement that"). Of course, Dudas added that "it will take resources, and it will be necessary for us to get the resources in place [through a larger budget]". The Patent Office already has a backlog of 490,000 applications and is planning to hire 800 more patent examiners, bringing its total to 4,400. It approves more than 500 patents per day.

And he also should have added: ". . . and we would respectfully ask Congress to keep it's grubby paws off of the hundreds of millions of dollars in fees that are diverted each year, thus effectively limiting our capability to enact meaningful reform without repeatedly asking for fee increases from applicants . . ."

- but I digress.

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