When members of Congress talked about fixing the patent process, it was a recipe for frustration . . . or worse. It reminded me of how finding the right temperature on an unfamiliar faucet can be so hit-or-miss. If the water is too hot, my chances of adding just the right combination of cold water will take time, good luck and, perhaps, a high threshold for pain. And, yet, that’s precisely what the patent reform legislation signed by President Obama does. Instead of supporting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with the resources it (and our economy) need, the America Invents Act of 2011 is a patchwork reaction to the complaints and pressure of a few corporate giants that will almost certainly make matters worse. Instead, it would have been better for the patent process and for our economy if lawmakers had practiced restraint and gave the USPTO the tools it needs to improve the quality — not merely the quantity — of the job it is charged to do.
The Courts Had Begun a Correction
A Chilling Effect
Tilting the Playing Field
Higher Priorities for Congress
Letting the USPTO Retain Fees for Operating Expenses
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