Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama On the USPTO: Reading from the CPF Playbook?

Excerpt from interview with Senator Obama from the WSJ:

As I mentioned during the speech, there may be programs that no longer work. There's certainly all kinds of previsions [sic] in our tax code that are antiquated and are not spurring economic growth. We've got offices like the patent office that are outdated to take advantage of new discoveries here in the United States. We need to retool our government so that it works with a 21st century economy and in some ways our campaign has shown what happens when you retool political campaigns to a new requirement. I think we need to do the same thing with government as well.
Read the interview in its entirety here.

Interesting choice of words: "outdated to take advantage of new discoveries"? The patent system certainly has flaws, but not many practitioners have categorized patent reform as a necessary mechanism for improving an "outdated" system (at least not between themselves). The notable exception here is the Coalition for Patent Fairness, which appears to make this issue a consistent and central theme in their call for patent reform. To wit, from their recent press releases:

• "The country's system of granting patents for inventions, last revised some 50 years ago, needs updating . . ."

• "Our nation's outdated patent system curtails creativity and innovation . . ."

• "Our current patent system is woefully outdated and threatens to curtail creativity and innovation . . ."

• "Washington hasn't redrawn the rules in a major way since the 1950s . . ."

• "The days when typewriters reigned supreme are in fact the last time our nation's patent laws were updated . . ."

• "Patent law hasn't had an overhaul since the 1950s. It's time to bring it into the 21st century."

A nod of the head for "CPF-style" patent reform in 2009? You decide.

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