USPTO Vows to Cut Pendency in Half - Commerce Secretary Gary Locke affirms that patent pendency rates are "unacceptable." According to Locke, ""[w]e've heard the concerns of America's innovators, and I've directed the PTO to pursue an aggressive agenda to cut the time it takes to process patent applications in half, build the public's confidence and get things right." No timetables were provided on when the reduction would realized.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Patent delays harmful to U.S. economy, commerce secretary says" (link)
U.K. Study Concludes "Ignorance" on Patent Protection - A poll of 2,000 businesspeople conducted by the U.K. IPO revealed that 84 per cent believed that investing in innovation was "crucial" to a company’s success and 22 per cent said that protecting IP had been "the best decision they had made." Despite this, many incorrectly answered fundamental questions on patent protection.
From FT.com: "Business owners ignorant about patent protection" (link)
USPTO Looking for Your Comments on Reexaminations - on August 10, the USPTO issued a Federal Register Notice regarding patent reexaminations (link) to obtain more information from practitioners that would be used for subsequent PTO policies. Comments to the PTO may be submitted to Susan.Fawcett@uspto.gov (Subject: A0651-00XX Patent Reexaminations comment). See coverage at Patently-O here (link)
While the notice appears rather generic, it is worthwhile to note that the information collected may be used to potentially block harmful rule changes - under OMB procedure, rules that (1) impose burdens on the public that are disproportionate to their practical utility to the agency, (2) require duplicative filings, and/or (3) are ambiguous will not be approved. Once a member of the public raises issues in a letter, the burden is on the agency to show that the paperwork burdens it proposes to impose on the public are reasonably necessary to efficient function of the agency.
Groups are currently being formed to provide the necessary information. David Boundy, VP and AGC of Intellectual Property at Cantor Fitzgerald , is looking for a person (or persons) willing to lead a response to the PTO's request - feel free to contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org