The next USPTO Director & the Peer-to-Patent experiment

http://www.patentdocs.org/2009/06/president-obama-to-nominate-david-kappos-as-uspto-director.html
Obama has chosen Patent Attorney David Kappos to be the next Undersecretary Of Commerce For Intellectual Property And Director Of The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO).  Here is an article related to a US-National Public Radio interview with Kappos (http://cairns.typepad.com/peertopatent/2007/08/david-kappos-on.html) that gives a good introduction as to why we should be excited. 

Kappos has been heavily involved in the innovative Peer-to-Patent experiment which seeks to ensure that patent rights are only awarded to novel inventions. 

Of course, the down side is that IBM (where Kappos is coming from) is rather a 900-pound gorilla in the patent area and sometimes speaks out of both sides of its mouth –enjoying huge benefits from licensing its products and protecting its rights aggressively, while pointing fingers at big Pharma for putting in patent applications on anything that moves/did move at-one-time. 

However, I think this appointment bodes well for getting someone into the office of the Director that knows the field and brings a fresh perspective to the USPTO.  I hope he can also rally the Examiner Corps.  The blogs are full of tales of how demoralized US Patent examiners seems to be after years of having to do their job under difficult circumstances and with little apparent support from their administrations.

Post written by Victoria Henson-Apollonio, Manager of CAS-IP

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3 responses to “The next USPTO Director & the Peer-to-Patent experiment

  1. The Peer to Patent project aims to recruit unpaid examiners to legitimate software patents and business method patents. It is sponsored by patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft:

    http://www.nyls.edu/news_and_events/patent_examination_process/

    “Peer-to-Patent is an initiative of New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy in cooperation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The pilot program allows for public participation in the patent examination process and will run for one year. The Peer-to-Patent software and pilot program have been developed with the sponsorship of CA, GE, HP, IBM, Intellectual Ventures, the MacArthur Foundation, Microsoft, Omidyar Network, and Red Hat. Visit http://www.peertopatent.org for more information.”

  2. Pingback: New USPTO Director to Be Appointed, Bad News for Freedom | Boycott Novell

  3. Mark Webbink

    Pesto, if you are going to make assertions like this, why don’t you leave an actual name. Your assertions about Peer-to-Patent are just not supported by the facts. While companies like IBM, Red Hat, GE, and Microsoft contributed early seed capital to the effort (as did Intellectual Ventures to a lesser extent), the vast majority of funding has come from foundations. Further, these corporate sponsors were addressing their concern over the proliferation of overly broad patents in the software field that should not have been granted had examiners had the best art in front of them. As a result of their participation in Peer-to-Patent, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and GE have all seen one or more of their patent applications rejected or narrowed in scope as a result of peer review. Peer-to-Patent does not make a judgment on whether we should or should not have software and/or business method patents; its sole purpose is to ensure that non-meritorious patents do not get issued.

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