President Obama’s Plan to Win the Future by Catalyzing Invention, Innovation, and Economic Growth through Patent Reform

The White House Office of Public Engagement released the patent factsheet, “President Obama’s Plan to Win the Future by Catalyzing Invention, Innovation and Economic Growth through Patent Reform,” the night of Obama’s Jan. 25, 2011, State of the Union address.  Here are some highlights.

“ Improve the Operations of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO): The President’s budget enables the PTO to address a backlog of over 700,000 patent applications.

Promote U.S. Cooperation with International Patent Standards to Help U.S. Firms to Compete in the Global Economy: By moving towards greater coordination between patent systems, the United States can enable its innovators to receive lower-cost and higher-qualitypatents, enabling them to better compete and protect their inventions around the world.

Address the Costs of Our Inefficient Patent Litigation System: To improve the patent system, President Obama has pledged to work with Congress to devise a post-grant review system to improve efficiency.”

 

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President Obama stresses the importance of Intellectual Property with President Hu of China

Here are some quotes on intellectual property from yesterday’s press conference with President Obama and President Hu of China.

I did also stress to President Hu that there has to be a level playing field for American companies competing in China, that trade has to be fair.  So I welcomed his commitment that American companies will not be discriminated against when they compete for Chinese government procurement contracts.  And I appreciate his willingness to take new steps to combat the theft of intellectual property.

  

Some of it has to do with intellectual property protection. So we were just in a meeting with business leaders, and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft pointed out that their estimate is that only one customer in every 10 of their products is actually paying for it in China.  And so can we get better enforcement, since that is an area where America excels — intellectual property and high-value added products and services.

And the Chinese government has, to its credit, taken steps to better enforce intellectual property.  We’ve got further agreement as a consequence of this state visit.  And I think President Hu would acknowledge that more needs to be done.  

Full Press Conference

White House Picks Kappos to Lead USPTO

Yesterday the White House nominated David J. Kappos for Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and as the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). BIO released its commendation on the nomination today:

“We believe Mr. Kappos will bring a thoughtful perspective to the Department of Commerce and the USPTO. He has a long history of industry experience, providing a point of view and insights we have always thought to be highly valuable in this position. He also has a demonstrated track record of managing a large organization, and a true appreciation for industrial innovation.

“As a prominent and respected member of the patent community, Mr. Kappos brings much goodwill to this position. We look forward to working with him and his leadership team over the coming years.

 

BIO sent a letter to the Obama Administration outlining ideas for PTO reform in December 2008.

Help the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Recently our President & CEO, Jim Greenwood sent a letter to President Obama, congratulating him on his historic election, and providing him with a few suggestions as to how to improve things at the USPTO.

For those of you who aren’t super-familiar with the USPTO, let me just say that they have been charged with the processing of patent applications and granting patents.
Patents, as our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln very eloquently said, “add the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things”. Consequently, the USPTO has made important contributions to our nation’s technological and economic progress by granting patents that serve as an incentive for innovation.

Unfortunately however, today the USPTO is an agency in crisis. There are more than 1.2 million patent applications pending before approximately 6,000 examiners. Despite a dramatic increase in staffing, the USPTO has been unable to keep up with the increasing number of new applications. This in turn has created concern by some about the quality and timliness of the patents being granted. As a result, there are many proposals for reforming the patent system, not all of which would actually get to the crux of the problem.. which is that the USPTO has limited resources to tackle an extraordinary amount of work. We think we have a solution that will help the USPTO meet its workload challenge and also improve the quality of the patents it grants.

This is just the beginning. To help the USPTO we submitted our letter.

Let us know what you think. How can we help the USPTO?