State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Judge Michel – Economy Recovery Requires Strong Patent System

Judge Paul Michel has an excellent article in JPTOS.  Judge Michel first explains that the economy and a well functioning patent system are connect.

The primary engine of American recovery and resurgence will therefore have to be an improved patent system. Without that, both short term recovery and long-term prosperity will be stunted. By “system”, I mean primarily the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Federal courts, which along with the International Trade Commission provide the only mechanisms to monetize patent value.

Next he points out one of my main complaints about the patent publication requirements – we are giving away our technology

Because most applications must by law be published at 18 months, others, including foreign competitors, can pirate inventions for years before the patents issue, for until then patent owners have no rights.

Michel then discusses the damaging effects of fee diversion from the patent office.

In addition, the Congress must guarantee the PTO will keep all fees. Since 1992, Congress diverted over 900 million dollars in patent fees to other uses. ‘This fiscal year Congress, once again, will not allow the office to keep all the fees it expects to collect; an estimated $150-250 million will go elsewhere. Permanently ending such “fee diversion” is necessary to reviving the PTO. If Congress continues diverting fees to other purposes, raising fee levels will have little effect. In addition, is it fair that fees provided by private patent applicants finance other government activities?

Finally, he suggests PTO satellite office, which has been a hot button of mine.

What else? Let the PTO open satellite offices, in places like Detroit, and Houston, and hire unemployed engineers who are already experienced IP professionals. But again, Congressional authorization is needed. Under current law, most employees must work in Alexandria, Virginia. Congress also controls the pay structure for examiners. The General Schedule that sets pay for civil servants should not apply to the scientists and engineers in the patent office. Industry would willingly pay higher fees to enable the PTO to pay more competitive salaries to highly-skilled examiners. Congress should raise these pay levels.

Advertisements

May 15, 2010 - Posted by | Innovation, Patents | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dale Halling. Dale Halling said: Judge Michel – Economy Recovery Requires Strong Patent System : http://wp.me/pwxHH-f0 […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Judge Michel – Economy Recovery Requires Strong Patent System « State of Innovation -- Topsy.com | May 15, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: