Who Should Be In Charge Of Patent Reform?

from the everyone-wants-their-cut dept

Every year for the past few years, Congress has put forth a patent reform bill. Every year that bill has had serious problems in that it might fix some of the problems of the patent system, but would exacerbate others. And then, of course, there's a big lobbying fight, and the pharmaceutical companies (who don't want any sort of patent reform whatsoever) win -- and the bill gets killed. It's an annual tradition. However, plenty of people still realize that patent reform is necessary, and now they're debating just how it's going to happen.

Apparently, everyone seems to think they should be the ones to determine how it works. At an FTC hearing on the matter last week, FTC Chairman William Kovacic suggested that the FTC should guide the process of patent reform. Meanwhile, Chief Judge Paul R Michel of CAFC (the appeals court that handles all patent cases) disagreed, suggesting (not surprisingly) that CAFC was perfectly capable of handling modifications to patent law, claiming that CAFC had a much better handle on the situation than Congress. Of course, that ignores the long series of problematic CAFC decisions over the past few decades that only slowed once the Supreme Court got involved and started overturning CAFC time and time again.

Of course, what this probably means is that despite plenty of hand-wringing and tons upon tons of evidence of harm done by the current patent system, nothing is going to change any time soon.
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Filed Under: cafc, ftc, patent reform, patents, paul michel, william kovacic

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  1. identicon
    Lance Winslow, 15 Dec 2008 @ 6:37am

    FTC and Much Overdo Patent Reform

    Well, personally the FTC couldn't stop SPAM, it went up 3000% since they took on the case. Identity Theft is more than the total of the US illegal drug trade. Their cases against mergers for reasons of Monopolistic or predatory business moves is bogus. They keep asking for more money from Congress every year but never accomplish anything.

    The new PTO is over budget 600 million dollar new facility, backlogged three years, issuing junk patents and causing more cases in court, courts backed up, all the while China is stealing the technology faster than we can create it. FTC? Well, they cannot do anything right, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

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