Wednesday, December 01, 2004

PATENT SYSTEM AT RISK? Herb Wamsley from the IPO writes an article in CNET claiming that the budgetary problems at the USPTO (read: fee-diversion) is placing the patent system at risk:

The problem is that our current patent approval system is underfunded and overburdened. That means nothing but trouble for American technology-based
companies, entrepreneurs and the American economy.

The lack of resources for the United States Patent and Trademark Office
is particularly troublesome for the nation's computing and advanced technology
industry. Absent the assurance and incentives provided by a strong patent, few
companies will invest in next-generation technologies. And absent investment,
there will be less innovation and job creation in the U.S. tech sector.
To be honest, there is nothing new in this viewpoint, as practitioners have been screaming bloody murder over the last 10 years over fee diversion. But I am constantly baffled why groups like the IPO and AIPLA don't make political hay out of this. I mean, does anyone really know the names of representatives and/or senators that continuously retain the fee-diversion provisions? Have they been threatened politically in any way? It should come as no surprise that politicians respond best when a block of people unequivocally say "Do X, or we will do everything in our power to see that you don't get (re-) elected". The IPO and the AIPLA have been making nice for too long. I say they name names and start leaving some horse heads in the bedrooms of certain representatives.

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