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May 06, 2010


Director Kappos' press release is a symptom of one of the most deep-seated and destructive problems at the PTO. Note that the press release only raises concerns for "quality patents" and "quality issuances." It ignores the importance of quality *rejections* and the social costs that arise when the PTO delays or denies allowance of patents to which inventors are legally entitled.

The one analysis I've seen (see Ron Katznelson's letter from the previous round of comments on qualtiy metrics, http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/comments/katznelson10mar2010.pdf) shows pretty convincingly that bad rejections cause greater social cost than bad allowances.

My letter also raised the issue of considering both Type I and Type II error, and weighting them appropriately (http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/comments/boundy06mar2010.pdf)

The continued focus on only half the problem is not an encouraging sign that the PTO is taking its legal obligations and applicants' entitlement seriously.

Can you revise the previous comment - in the last paragraph after "its legal obligations, applicant's entitelenet," add "the importance of patents in the economy" to the list of things the PTO isn't taking seriously - put in a dig at Rai and Graham

I will second David's comments both about the one sided focus of patent quality and Ron Katznelson's analysis of the detrimental effects of false rejections. Another interesting article explaining the detrimental effects of the PTO's one side focus on quality is by David Kline, see http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/05/the_biggest_job_creator_you_ne.html

Reward examiners who actually examine. I recently came across a case where the original claims were rejected, the patentee modified the claims, there were two other rejections. The patentee then canceled all the claims and put in the original claims. The examiner allowed the application at that point.


What was the rationale listed for allowance?

What about estoppel? Not sure why any practicioner would ever do this. There is no chance this patent will ever be asserted against anyone.

50$ to any speaker at this conference who begins their lecture by saying "in order to improve patent quality over the long haul we're going to need to reject, reject, reject".

I will need 3rd party confirmation that it was done in a serious manner.

Darn ... I just happen to be in Los Angeles at the moment, but narrowly missed attending the roundtable. Guess I'll just have to wait until the USPTO opens its rumored west-coast patent law office.

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