Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

A Different Patent Law Proposal: U.S. Utility Models?

Posted in Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on May 21, 2010

JW Note:  This is a repeat of a post we originally wrote in November 2008.  However, we’ve been wanting to bring the topic up again ever since we read Hal Wagner’s article titled A “Driver’s License” Patent in March of this year.  Although there is a multitude of ways utility models could be established under the U.S. patent system, we agree that this proposal is a worthwhile strategy for reducing backlog at the USPTO, and would give applicants a further option for protecting intellectual property.  Maybe if we repeat the post often enough, it will be picked up in some future legislative incarnation of patent law reform!  Comments in support or opposition are welcomed.

 patent

It is safe to say that the U.S. patent system is overburdened and in need of improvements, notwithstanding the self-congratulatory tone of the U.S. Patent Office’s 2008 Performance and Accountability Report

In view of the state of the U.S. patent system, a number of patent law commentators have been tossing about potential solutions.  For example, Gene Quinn at IP Watchdog has proposed a number of fixes, including requiring a search prior to filing an application, requiring examiners to examine applications based only on art submitted by applicants, and forcing patent holders to pay for a thorough and complete examination of the patent before the patent can be sued on in federal court.  Likewise, Professor Crouch at Patently-O has has recently commented on the proposal of Tim Wilson (Senior IP Counsel at SAS US) that the sheer number of patent applications being filed creates many problems, and that the solution is to raise patent fees – as high as $50,000 for large corporate applicants. 

Since the IP blogosphere is brainstorming on ways Congress should change the U.S. patent system, we’d like to propose a different strategy: namely, Congress should develop laws establishing U.S. utility models.  A utility model is a form of IP protection very similar to a patent, except that it covers what can best be termed “incremental inventions” for a comparatively shorter period of time (typically 6-10 years for a utility model instead of 20 years for a patent).  The utility model is sometimes called a ”utility model patent”, “utility innovation”, “petty patent”, “innovation patent”, “minor patent”, or “small patent”.  Over seventy-five countries have utility model laws, including countries with well-developed patent systems such as Germany (a Gebrauchsmuster) and Japan.  Depending on the country, the utility model subject matter may be limited to inventions having a shape or structure, and may exclude plants, methods, materials, and chemicals. 

For sake of argument, we suggest that a U.S. utility model law allow applicants an opportunity to file a single application for both a utility patent and a utility model.  Applicants could be required to also submit a simple search report for the examiner’s consideration in determining if the invention meets the novelty requirements under U.S. law.  Upon a determination by the examiner that the invention is novel over the search report art and meets certain formal requirements, the application would be allowed for purposes of a utility model with, for example, a ten (10) year term (again, for sake of argument).  Applicants could then have the opportunity to pay for a more intensive search and substantive examination of the invention in relation to the obviousness requirements under U.S. law.  Should the examiner deem the invention non-obvious, Applicants would then receive an allowance for the utility patent with the conventional twenty (20) year term.  A utility model/patent owner would not be allowed to hold both a utility model and an utility patent for the same invention and, if successful in obtaining the utility patent, would be required to abandon either the utility model or the utility patent.

Examination under utility model standards would undoubtedly be less cumbersome on the U.S. Patent Office than examination under utility patent standards.  Many applicants who might otherwise try to slug it out for years in the U.S. Patent Office for a utility patent would be willing to instead take a more limited and less expensive utility model.  An invention covered by utility model, with possibility for conversion to a utility patent, should also be more marketable than a mere application to potential assignees or licensees of the invention.  Moreover, in light of the incredibly more stringent obviousness standard set forth in KSR v. Teleflex, a U.S. utility model would allow Congress to continue promoting “the progress of science and the useful arts”.  The addition of utility models to the U.S. patent system would encourage disclosure of both the conventional ”flash of genius” inventions (an awful term, we know, but you get the point), and technological improvements that are, while incremental in scope, nonetheless commercially valuable.  Just because an invention may seem silly or amusing to some (see any of our TIW? features), does not mean that the invention is without commercial value.

Comments from our readers are encouraged.  Let us know your thoughts!

Suggestions for Patent Reform in the 111th US Congress.

Posted in Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on January 10, 2009

Most practitioners are well aware that the ill-conceived Patent Reform Act of 2007 died in Congress last year.  Indeed, the bill was widely opposed, and many of us found it surprising that the bill actually passed the House before going down in flames in the Senate. 

Despite, or because of, the full attention that Congress will necessarily be giving to our economic situation this year, some believe that patent law reform will again be addressed by Congress.  Related to this potential reform legislation, some excellent suggestions were posted this week at the IP Watchdog, and are reproduced below for the convenience of our readers:

1. Codify the Duty of Candor

Congress should codify 37 CFR 1.56 because the Federal Circuit refuses to acknowledge the Patent Office defined duty owed by applicants and representatives. This has caused tremendous difficulty with respect to getting the industry on board with Patent Office reforms, and has lead to hostility and resentment coming from the Patent Office and directed at the Patent Bar and industry. The Patent Office wants the best art disclosed only and the Federal Circuit requires everything, so Rule 56 has been mooted by the Federal Circuit because attorneys and applicants know that if a patent issues and becomes a valuable asset the Federal Circuit will have the final word on enforceability and inequitable conduct. Understandably, attorneys and applicants follow the Federal Circuit ruling, regardless of how insane it may be, which seemingly infuriates the PTO hierarchy. This has lead to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Harry Moatz, to threaten in speeches that he will pursue attorneys for ethical violations when they submit to much prior art, and has lead to extreme backlash against Accelerated Examination and the proposed Examination Support Document. Even Judge Rader explained during oral arguments in the PTO claims and continuations appeal that it would be insanity to file an ESD given recent Federal Circuit rulings on inequitable conduct.  For more see Patent Reform Proposal: Codify USPTO Rule 56.

2. Amend 35 USC 103 to Moot KSR v. Teleflex

Congress should modify 35 USC 103 to moot the United States Supreme Court decision in KSR v. Teleflex. In KSR the Supreme Court created a rule that allows for inventions to be patented only when the solution is counter-intuitive. If there was any reason to pursue a particular inventive path that would make the invention obvious and unpatentable, which is nonsensical. If the KSR test is faithfully applied only those that accidentally invent or stumble upon an innovation can get patents, which means that we are now back to the “flash of creative genius” standard that Congress specifically legislated out of the Patent Laws with the 1952 Patent Act re-codification. Luckily, so far, KSR does not seem to be widely used, at least to the full extent that it could be given the language used by the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the Board of Patent Appeals has said that their reading of KSR is that “obvious to try” is now a valid rejection. It is hard to argue with the Board’s interpretation, although previously “obvious to try” was time and time again said to be a standard that was not the law and a standard that made no sense. With the Patent Office facing extreme backlogs and more than 1.2 million pending patent applications at the end of fiscal year 2008 it can be anticipated that there will be a push to increasingly rely on KSR rejections as the new PTO administration attempts to wrestle with the current patent crisis.

Amending 103 to fix this problem would really be quite simple in reality. The last sentence of 103(a), which the Supreme Court obviously did not read during its consideration of the KSR matter, already says: “Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.” One way to modify Section 103 to affect this purpose would be to simply underline that sentence, and perhaps add the parenthetical expression “(we really mean it!)” thereafter. Seriously though, the proper way to amend Section 103 would be to simply add to this last sentence of 103 as follows: “Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made, and an invention shall be deemed to be obvious only where there is a teaching, suggestion or motivation within the prior art to combine references.” By doing this the Federal Circuit law would be embraced, KSR would be mooted and we would once again have an objective standard rather than a standard based on “common sense.”

3. Codify What Constitutes Unauthorized Practice of Law

Shockingly the Patent & Trademark Office refuses to enforce 37 CFR 11.5(b), which defines prohibited representation practices before the USPTO. The Office refuses to enforce Rule 11.5(b) because they do not feel they have the authority to prevent non-attorneys from representing applications in patent and/or trademark matters. It is ridiculous to have a Rule that the Office will not enforce, particularly when the Office requires those who they recognize as patent attorneys and patent agents to take a Patent Bar Examination. The Patent Office turning the other way is why the invention submission scam has cost independent inventors $300 million annually due to invention scams and fraud. This is an issue that should be easy to reform in Congress given it is unthinkable that any member of Congress or any lobby would have a problem really putting the invention submission industry out of business.

Additionally, unauthorized practice of law is even more widespread on the Trademark Office side of the building. It is impossible to do any search on any search engine for trademarks or trademark applications without finding one of the many large corporations proclaiming that they can file trademark applications for less than law firms and attorneys. LegalZoom.com even proudly proclaims that they file more trademark applications on an annual basis than the top 5 law firms combined. These entities are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law under Rule 11.5(b) and the USPTO is doing nothing to stop them. Either Rule 11.5(b) needs to be removed, the Patent Office needs to drop the requirement that only patent attorneys can represent inventors, the Trademark Office needs to drop the requirement that only attorneys can represent business owners in trademark matters, or Congress needs to force this agency to police itself.

By the way, where are the AIPLA, the ABA, State Bar Associations and the many local Intellectual Property Bar Associations? Newsflash, your members are losing significant business and no one is doing anything about it. It is time for Bar Associations to start representing those who are members. Even if no one wants to protect the public, which really ought to be the motivation here, Bar Associations need to protect members and get involved!  For more see Sadly, Invention Submission is Alive and Well.

4. Patent Office Ombudsman

Government Officials seem to be in love with the idea of a Czar for everything. We will soon have an Auto Czar, we have a National Security Czar, and I think we ought to have a Patent Czar that takes the form of an Ombudsman. Given that the Patent Office leadership seems to so frequently lack knowledge in the area of patent practice and procedure, and given that Congress and other politicians presumably listen to these perhaps well meaning yet uninformed officials, what is really needed is an independent and knowledgeable Ombudsman-type that can comment on everything that goes on in the Patent Office. Any time that the Patent Office sends anything to Congress, anything up through the Department of Commerce or to the Office of Management and Budget a report from the Ombudsman would accompany the Patent Office information. Similarly, any time legislation is proposed that impacts innovation and/or the Patent System the Ombudsman would create an independent informational report. Of course, this Ombudsman should be required by law to be a patent attorney with a certain number of years experience. Not that this will solve the problems, but at least those who care in government could become informed of the real ramifications of their decisions should they be so inclined to listen.

5. Move to Regional Patent Offices

As only the federal government could do, they built a brand new Patent Office building that wasn’t large enough even as of the day it opened. As sad as that is it presents opportunities. The main corporate headquarters for the Patent Office stays in the Washington, DC area, and rather than the stay at home work program, which has Examiners conducting interviews with barking dogs and whining children in the background, we move to regional Patent Offices. This has enormous benefit for multiple reasons, but first and foremost is the ability to hire more people with better skills. Let’s face it, there are only so many adequately trained and educated people who are willing to live within commuting distance of Alexandria, Virginia. The price of living and the traffic alone make choosing a career as an Examiner exceedingly difficult these days even though Examiners are paid extremely well by government standards. Additionally, by locating Patent Office strategically around the country Uncle Sam could actually participate in the revitalization of certain communities, which ought to fit right in with the Obama agenda and stimulus packages that Congress will consider later this winter.

6. Legislatively Mandate that PTO Leaders be Patent Attorneys

Unfortunately, the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia decided in 2008 that 35 U.S.C. 3was nothing more than an aspiration when it decided that the challenge to the appointment of Margaret Peterlin was dead on arrival despite the fact that she had no relevant experience. In effect the District Court ruled that the fact that the Director and Deputy are to have “experience” is not something that can be enforced because the standard is too vague for court review. With that in mind, Congress should amend 35 U.S.C. 3 to mandate that the Director, Deputy Director and Commissioner, at a minimum, all have a certain number of years of patent experience prior to being eligible for appointment to the Office. Section 3 needs to have a definite and concrete definition with respect to the experience that is appropriate so that district courts can determine whether an appointment is appropriate. The Patent Office can no longer function with politically expedient appointments for those who are looking to stay in government employment. The Patent Office needs top level leadership that understand the patent system and innovation. If we can require that the President be born a U.S. citizen and needs to be at least 35 years old we should be able to tighten up this statute to make sure that people running the Patent Office are actually competent and knowledgeable.

7. Legislatively Create a Non-examined Patent

Congress should enact a new patent right that is based on registration, not examination. This non-examined patent should not be entitled to the presumption of validity, or perhaps is entitled to a shallow presumption of validity (i.e., preponderance of the evidence standard). Those inventions that are likely not to be commercially viable will find themselves being subject to registration rather than examination, thereby opening up examining resources to allow Examiners more time to adequately examine those “real” inventions that are seeking the presumption (or higher presumption) that attaches to the examined patent. This more than anything will help solve the crisis created by an ever increasing backlog of unexamined applications. It will also allow the Patent Office to provide more time per application for examiners to review those applications seeking a presumptively valid patent. This will cut down on the number of questionable examined patents that issue, which ought to have extremely positive effects on cutting down on the so-called patent troll problem because those patents that issue through examination will be of a higher quality across the board. Another extremely positive aspect of this is that it would be revenue neutral and have absolutely no impact on the Patent Office budget. Fewer examiners would be able to do more work, and the work done would be of a higher quality.

While we believe that each of these suggestions have merit, we believe suggestions #2, #4, #5, and #7 would go a long way in fixing the U.S. patent system.  We also heartily agree with Gene’s suggestion #7.  See a recent related AT! post here, in which we propose that Congress enact a U.S. utility model law, for example. 

Maybe it is time for patent practitioners to rise to the occasion and educate our respective Senators and Representatives about what will constitute meaningful reform to the patent system.   The lobbyists certainly are not pushing effective reform ideas.  Any thoughts or further suggestions from our readers?  Comments are welcomed.

A Different Patent Law Proposal: U.S. Utility Models?

Posted in Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on November 30, 2008

 patent

It is safe to say that the U.S. patent system is overburdened and in need of improvements, notwithstanding the self-congratulatory tone of the U.S. Patent Office’s 2008 Performance and Accountability Report

In view of the state of the U.S. patent system, a number of patent law commentators have been tossing about potential solutions.  For example, Gene Quinn at IP Watchdog has proposed a number of fixes, including requiring a search prior to filing an application, requiring examiners to examine applications based only on art submitted by applicants, and forcing patent holders to pay for a thorough and complete examination of the patent before the patent can be sued on in federal court.  Likewise, Professor Crouch at Patently-O has has recently commented on the proposal of Tim Wilson (Senior IP Counsel at SAS US) that the sheer number of patent applications being filed creates many problems, and that the solution is to raise patent fees – as high as $50,000 for large corporate applicants. 

Since the IP blogosphere is brainstorming on ways Congress should change the U.S. patent system, we’d like to propose a different strategy: namely, Congress should develop laws establishing U.S. utility models.  A utility model is a form of IP protection very similar to a patent, except that it covers what can best be termed “incremental inventions” for a comparatively shorter period of time (typically 6-10 years for a utility model instead of 20 years for a patent).  The utility model is sometimes called a “utility model patent”, “utility innovation”, “petty patent”, “innovation patent”, “minor patent”, or “small patent”.  Over seventy-five countries have utility model laws, including countries with well-developed patent systems such as Germany (a Gebrauchsmuster) and Japan.  Depending on the country, the utility model subject matter may be limited to inventions having a shape or structure, and may exclude plants, methods, materials, and chemicals. 

For sake of argument, we suggest that a U.S. utility model law allow applicants an opportunity to file a single application for both a utility patent and a utility model.  Applicants could be required to also submit a simple search report for the examiner’s consideration in determining if the invention meets the novelty requirements under U.S. law.  Upon a determination by the examiner that the invention is novel over the search report art and meets certain formal requirements, the application would be allowed for purposes of a utility model with, for example, a ten (10) year term (again, for sake of argument).  Applicants could then have the opportunity to pay for a more intensive search and substantive examination of the invention in relation to the obviousness requirements under U.S. law.  Should the examiner deem the invention non-obvious, Applicants would then receive an allowance for the utility patent with the conventional twenty (20) year term.  A utility model/patent owner would not be allowed to hold both a utility model and an utility patent for the same invention and, if successful in obtaining the utility patent, would be required to abandon either the utility model or the utility patent.

Examination under utility model standards would undoubtedly be less cumbersome on the U.S. Patent Office than examination under utility patent standards.  Many applicants who might otherwise try to slug it out for years in the U.S. Patent Office for a utility patent would be willing to instead take a more limited and less expensive utility model.  An invention covered by utility model, with possibility for conversion to a utility patent, should also be more marketable than a mere application to potential assignees or licensees of the invention.  Moreover, in light of the incredibly more stringent obviousness standard set forth in KSR v. Teleflex, a U.S. utility model would allow Congress to continue promoting “the progress of science and the useful arts”.  The addition of utility models to the U.S. patent system would encourage disclosure of both the conventional “flash of genius” inventions (an awful term, we know, but you get the point), and technological improvements that are, while incremental in scope, nonetheless commercially valuable.  Just because an invention may seem silly or amusing to some (see any of our TIW? features), does not mean that the invention is without commercial value.

Comments from our readers are encouraged.  Let us know your thoughts!

$65,000,000 for a PTE Application? That’s Living the High Life.

Posted in General Commentary, Statute Commentary by Mike Dockins on June 25, 2008

On June 23, 2008, Representative William Delahunt (D-MA) introduced, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote, H.R. 6344. The 12-page bill includes several provisions, including legislation that gives the USPTO discretion accept late-filed Patent Term Extension (“PTE”) applications.  A similar provision was included with the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S.1145) by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) in August 2007, but efforts to pass S.1145 have stalled.

The motivation behind H.R. 6344 is the PTO’s denial of an application submitted by Massachusetts-based “The Medicines Company” for a PTE for U.S. Patent No. 5,196,404 (“the ‘404 patent”) for ANGIOMAX (bivalirudin). ANGIOMAX is an anticoagulant drug product FDA (first approved on December 15, 2000) for use with aspirin in patients with unstable angina undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.  The Medicines Company submitted a PTE application to the PTO 62 days after FDA approved the company’s ANGIOMAX New Drug Application (“NDA”).

35 U.S.C. § 156(d)(1), the patent term extension law, requires the submission of a PTE application “within the sixty-day period beginning on the date the product received permission under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review period occurred for commercial marketing or use”. That is, within 60 days of the date of NDA approval.

Section 4 of H.R. 6344 would amend 35 U.S.C. § 156 to add new subsection (i), which states that the PTO Director “may accept an application under this section that is filed not later than three business days after the expiration of the 60-day period provided in subsection (d)(1) if the applicant files a petition, not later than five business days after the expiration of that 60-day period, showing, to the satisfaction of the Director, that the delay in filing the application was unintentional.”  (The 5-day petition period for a PTE application pending before the PTO would begin on the date of enactment of the Responsive Government Act.) 

However, there is a cost for unintentional delay.  “In order to effect a [PTE] under section 156(i) of title 35, United States Code, the patent holder shall pay a fee to the United States Treasury… .”  “What is the fee?”, you ask: $65,000,000.  For other patent owners, the fee is determined based on a complex calculation.  Specifically, the bill states that a patent holder shall pay a fee equal to:
                 (i) $65,000,000 with respect to any original application for a [PTE] . . . for a drug intended for use in humans that is in the anticoagulant class of drugs (e.g., ANGIOMAX), or
                 (ii) the amount estimated under subparagraph (B) with respect to any other original application for a [PTE].

Under proposed subparagraph (B), the PTO and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property must consider ahost of factors to calculate a late-filing fee, including “any net increase in direct spending arising from the extension of the patent term,” “any net decrease in revenues arising from such [PTE],” and “any indirect reduction in revenues associated with payment of the fee under this subsection.” 

If enacted, proposed § 156(i) would apply to any application:
                 (A) that is made on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; or
                 (B) that, on such date of enactment, is pending before the Director or as to which a decision of the Director is eligible for judicial review.

In discussing the PTE provisions in H.R. 6344, co-sponsor Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI) stated that the provisions “will make a minor but important amendment to the landmark Hatch-Waxman Act patent act of 1984.  The act of 1984 has done much to make medicine available and more affordable for countless people in this country. Inadvertently though, in patent term restoration, there is an inflexible deadline provision which has the potential to limit the good that the act can do.” 

A copy of the floor discussion of H.R. 6344 is available via the FDALawBlog here.

After passage in the House, H.R. 6344 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. 

We are pleased that the House is looking out for us and our well-being for the bargain basement price of $65,000,000.

Hat tip to the FDALawBlog for breaking this story.

Amendments to S.1145 Prior to Floor Debate.

Posted in Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on March 14, 2008

Per Zura’s 271 blog today, regarding recently release amendments to the Patent Reform Act of 2007: 

The Senate has released the latest amendments to the Patent Reform Act in advance of Senate Floor Debate:

Interlocutory appeals: limits interlocutory appeals of claim construction orders to those which the district court determines have a reasonable basis for disagreement, and the appeal may advance the ultimate termination of the litigation;

Best Mode amendment: best mode would be considered for obtaining a patent, but not for invalidating;

Reexamination amendment: restores third-party reexamination;

The “CAFC Telework” amendment: ensures that CAFC judges that do not reside within a 50-mile radius of Washington DC use chambers of an existing courthouse in the district where they reside.

Derivation proceedings amendment: clarifying procedures relating to derivation proceedings (which will “replace” interference practice when it is gone);

Interference appeals amendment
: allow CAFC to hear BPAI interference decisions commenced prior to the effective date of the act;

Marking provision amendment: deletes marking provision and maintains current law;

In re Seagate amendment
: codifies the “objective recklessness” standard;

Post-grant review amendment #1
: corrects inconsistency between section 337 (1) and (2) by disqualifying post-grant reviews where issues were raised (or could have been raised) in the litigation;

Post-grant review amendment #2: defines “final decision” for estoppel purposes.

More amendments are expected to follow in the coming weeks.

A budget report is also now available for the patent reform bill from the Congressional Budget Office, which serves Congress.

CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $26.9 billion and revenues by $25.5 billion over the 2009-2018 period. Much of the change would result from making permanent USPTO’s authority to collect and spend certain fees, thus shifting the collections and spending out of PTO’s appropriation account. 

See GovTrack for more information on the budget report.

See the previous AT! coverage on patent reform here.

Vote on Patent Reform Delayed; Senators Remain Optimistic?

Posted in Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on February 15, 2008

Various commentators are posting today that a vote on the Patent Reform Act of 2007 may be slipping now to April at the earliest.  (See IAM Blog and the Patent Prospector).  The PLI Blog’s sources indicate that such a delay could likely mean no action will be taken on patent reform this year.

Others have taken notice of an editorial in this morning’s Washington Times, titled Meaningful Patent Reform, in which Senators Leahy and Hatch bemoan that “some would like to play political football with the [patent reform] bill to pursue other agendas.” (See PTP and Patently-O).  The outlook of the Senators, however, is optimistic:

As legislators, we know we are headed in the right direction when everyone is complaining that the entire bill is not going their way. We see this as a necessary, albeit somewhat difficult, part of the legislative process. But we welcome it. But at the end of day, we are confident that we will resolve the remaining issues in ways that should make everyone comfortable and will ensure final passage.

Opposition to the bill is also notably becoming much more vocal, as may be seen by these letters from the current administrationindustry, academia, and organized labor

Letter from Unions Opposing Patent Reform Act of 2007.

Posted in General Commentary, Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on February 7, 2008

Over a dozen labor unions sent a letter yesterday to members of the U.S. Senate urging opposition to the Patent Reform Act of 2007 in its current form.  The letter expresses a deep concern over the likelihood that the Patent Reform Act of 2007 will undermine U.S. competitiveness.  See a copy of the letter here:  Fax from Unions on Patent Reform 2007.

The letter also highlighted a recent article written by Yongshun Cheng, a former Chinese judge in the high court of Beijing.  Judge Cheng runs a non-profit organization dealing with intellectual property issues and has stated the following regarding S. 1145/H.R. 1908:

[I]n general the bill favors infringers and burdens patentees more.  It is not bad news for developing countries which have lower technological development and relatively fewer patents.  Due to the weak foundation of patents, the Chinese products often encounter trouble in the U.S. market. This bill will provide more mechanisms and flexibilities in making patent challenge strategies, and also lower the cost of infringement, therefore the infringement will become easier. . . .

The letter was signed by the following unions:

  • Building & Construction Trades Department (BCTD), AFL-CIO
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers (IBB)
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)
  • Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
  • Patent Office Professional Association (POPA)
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA)
  • UNITE HERE
  • United Steelworkers (USW)

Hat tip to the Patent Prospector.

Letters to U.S. Senate Opposing the Proposed Patent Reform.

Posted in General Commentary, Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on February 1, 2008

A number of letters from companies, patent holders, and universities opposing the present Patent Reform Act of 2007 were sent to members of the U.S. Senate this week.  Links to individual letters are found below, provided by the Innovation Alliance.

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