Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Shorts

Federal Circuit Updates Internal Operating Procedures - After providing proposed changes to the public on Internal Operating Procedures (IOPs), the court recently voted to approve the changes. In addition to general changes to update the IOPs, the Federal Circuit also added two new sections in response to suggestions from the public. First, the Federal Circuit added a new paragraph briefly explain how cases are assigned to merits panels. Second, the Federal Circuit added a new paragraph that briefly explains how precedential opinions are circulated before issuance. Download a copy of the procedures here.

Chamber of Commerce Publishes Draft Report on "Fixing" the PTO - classifying the Office as an "agency in crisis", the 41-page draft outlines many of the problems, and provides recommendations on:

- Improving the quality of U.S. patents
- Providing adequate resources to do the job
- Reforming the patent examiner production system
- Improving timeliness of administrative actions
- Strengthening the PTO's relationship with the user community
- Enhancing organizational management
- Appointing a well-qualified under secretary and director
- Permitting applicants to defer patent examination
- Rethinking the current fee schedule
- Enhancing efficiency of the examination process by reforming examiner/applicant incentives.

Download the draft here (courtesy of Patent Hawk)

FTC Hearings on IP Marketplace - earlier studies (2003) by the FTC were cited copiously during last year's patent reform efforts, and now, the agency wants to update its information on IP and patents.

Beginning on December 5, 2008, in Washington, DC, the FTC will examine changes in IP law, patent-related business models, and new learning about the operation of the IP marketplace since the issuance in October 2003 of the Commission report To Promote Innovation: The Proper Balance of Competition and Patent Law and Policy (link).

The Commission seeks the views of the legal, academic, and business communities on the issues to be explored at the hearings. In its Federal Register Notice the agency set out a list of specific questions on which it is particularly seeking comments. The agency will consider any comments received as it prepares for the hearings.

Get more details from the FTC website here.

View the agenda and press release.

The FTC is also making a Webcast available, where a live webcast will be available on the day of the event (bookmark this page and come back on December 5 to link to the webcast).

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