Patent Examination Reforms
31 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 13, 2017
We note that industry no longer relies on the chance discoveries of gifted individuals working at random but follows a plotted course, i.e., a strategically planned program of creating inventions to fit specific business needs. In light of this, we briefly comment on current examination practices of the USPTO related to patent grant and suggest reforms that we hope will better align the patent system with the socio-economic needs of the post-industrial era. Our suggestions bear in mind that the post-industrial economy is driven by disruptive technologies and innovative business practices on a scale never seen before. A distinctive feature of the post-industrial era is that patentable inventions come not from artisans but from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educated university graduates in an environment where STEM knowledge and STEM-driven technology is advancing at an exponentially accelerated pace. We have limited our suggestions to some urgently needed reforms that have a bearing on patent examination. They are aimed at stream-lining the patent system, reducing patent application examination time, and ensuring that patent validity and its monopoly scope is established before a patent is legally used in commerce or litigated in courts. We expect our suggested reforms will have fewer adverse effects on the public interest.
Keywords: patent drafting, patent examination, patent grant, patent validation
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