Yesterday evening, Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Engine Advocacy submitted comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, urging it to protect the public from invalid patents by raising the bar on its patent examination practices. The comments are submitted as part of the USPTO’s ongoing patent quality enhancement project.
The following may be attributed to Charles Duan, Director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge:
“If there is one consistent refrain in the chorus calling for patent reform, it is the criticism of low-quality patents, like those on using scanners, making podcasts, and taking photographs against white backgrounds. Such patents do not merely raise eyebrows; they raise costs for entrepreneurs, businesses, and consumers, who may legally be forced to pay tribute to these patents that never should have existed.
“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is our front-line defense from such improper patents. So we are pleased and excited that the USPTO is embarking on a serious initiative to improve patent quality. But we are also concerned that the focus is misplaced, that the USPTO’s initiatives are more concerned with accommodating its ‘customers’—the applicants for patents—rather than actually blocking bad patents that harm the public. Thus, our comments urge the Office to direct its quality efforts toward that public interest of specifically preventing the issuance of such harmful, low-quality patents.
“The USPTO should not be in the business of issuing patents that make a mockery of American innovation. It should be in the business of promoting new inventions and technologies. We hope that the Office will consider our recommendations, make protection of the public interest a priority, and improve procedures to ensure that patents serve the right purpose for our nation and our economy.”
You may view the comments here.
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