Last Thursday, the new director of the Patent and Trademark Office, David Kappos (seen left) got rid of legislation, developed during the Bush administration, aimed at accelerating the patent process by limiting the number of patent claims a company could file and the support information they could submit after the claim was filed. As we talked about in class submitting additional information after filing a patents is common of pharmaceutical companies, used to prolong their patent protection. This came as the Obama administration announced its plans to push through legislation to overhaul the patent process that, as we also discussed in class, has primarily stood unchanged for the last five decades except through the increasing number of judge made rulings. A Senate bill created through a compromise between pharmaceutical and technology companies to replace the Bush administration legislation would implement a “first to file system.” This bill would be the first of many step towards overhauling the patent system.
After our lecture on IP rights, I agree with the Obama administration that there needs to be an overhaul to the patent system. I believe that the Bush administration legislation would have helped to get the patent office back on track financially and logistically but I do not believe it would have made the patent system better. I do not think that a “first to file system,” catered to the pharmaceutical and technology industries is the solution either. I wonder what will happen to IP rights if a “first to file system” is implemented. Doesn’t this get away from the purpose of patents to protect the intellectual property of the inventors? What are bills that you would propose if you were a part of crafting the Obama administration’s patent reform?
Other Articles of Interest: Obama Admin Backs Proposed Changes To Patent System, Patent Reform: Obama Favors Major Changes to Patent Law