Current Attempts At Patent Reform To Make The System Worse
from the indeed dept
While we believe strongly that the current patent system has some very serious fundamental flaws that hurt the ability of companies (big and small) to innovate these days, the current efforts at patent reform look like they will just make the situation worse. That's because they're trying to cure the the symptoms, not the disease. They know that there are too many patent lawsuits clogging up the courts and that it takes too long to get a patent, so they try to simplify some of the process. That doesn't actually solve the real problem, which is that the patent system isn't encouraging innovation in many cases any more. The new attempts at patent reform, especially moving to a "first to file" system will only encourage more people to file patents quickly -- with less research on prior art. That will only highlight the fact that patent examiners don't scale. Also, a first to file designation seems fundamentally opposed to the purpose of the patent system. By choosing a first to file system, it's admitting that others are likely to be inventing the same thing at the same time. If that's the case, then the product shouldn't be patentable. Patents are only supposed to go to products that are "non-obvious" to the "skilled practitioner." If others are creating the same thing, it certainly suggests that it's obvious enough, and a natural progression of the art. So, the entire designation of "first to file" goes against the concept of "non-obvious to the skilled practitioner." Who would have thought that, as bad as the patent system is today, our politicians are only trying to make it worse?