At a meeting sponsored by Intellectual Asset Management (IPBC/Global), “Meeting the NPE Challenge,” former Director of the USPTO, David Kappos on March 13th (a Friday even) gave a speech that cogently summarized the state of the IP landscape both from the law and policy perspectives. If you have felt overwhelmed and even put off by (im)perfect storm of legislative proposals, judicial holdings, and simplistic editorials that is buffeting the patent system, you must take the time to read the text of his speech, which occupies only 14 pages, but covers almost every “incoming” that the patent system has had to duck, or endure, in recent years (Ed.: “Time flies when you are having fun”). (A copy can be found at the end of this post.) I am not going to attempt a summary here –the talk is not that long—except to say that it summarizes both “Legislative Reform” (“The AIA is working”) and more recent proposals, such as fee shifting and covered customer stays. Section 101 is covered –“the courts seems to have lost their way”—including the recent attacks on software patents—(“Software patents are not statistically prone to being ‘bad’ patents”).
Posts Tagged ‘David Kappos’
On January 15, 2013, the USPTO released a notice – see link below – requesting comments on its suggestions of ways to “improve the quality of issued patents” by improving the quality of application drafting. There are two brief sections in the Notice: “Clarifying the Scope of Claims” and “Clarifying the Meaning of Claim Terms in the Specification.” Since this is a biotech blawg, I will skip the sections relating to software and means-plus-function clauses.
The suggestions in Part A boil down to: (1) Write claims in outline form with elements in lettered or Roman numeral-designated subsections, (2) Minimize or eliminate preambles (the Office wants us to indicate if we think they are limiting, so let’s stop using them), (3) Specifically identify support for claim elements in the specification (No – should only be “necessary”– if at all — when claims are amended – original claims are part of the specification), (4) Indicate whether or not examples are intended to be limiting or “merely illustrative” (Easy one – they are always illustrative).
I admit, I am a sucker for lists, esp. Top Ten Lists, and a few days ago, sat through a half hour of “local news” wherein the anchors breathlessly related the Top Ten Rhode Island News Stories of 2012. Well, readers, you deserve no less that my Top Ten List of IP “Stories” that broke, sometimes over us, in 2012. So that this post is not endless, I will write it from very abbreviated notes and leave it to you to dig the details out of the patents4life archives – or to just back up through the posts of 2012. Also, past Prometheus and Myriad, the list does not mean to prioritize the events reported.
USPTO Director David Kappos has announced that he will leave the Office early next year, perhaps by the end of January. He became the Director in 2009, leaving his position as essentially Head Patent Counsel at IBM.
He brought much-needed patent law expertise to the Office and began a number of initiatives designed to improve examination efficiency, as well as to expedite prosecution of applications claiming “green technology.” His Office provided guidance to Examiners and practitioners following each of a series of major judicial decisions, including KSR, Bilski, Ariad and now, Mayo. He was also “tasked” with opening three satellite offices – in Detroit, Silicon Valley and Denver.
As if this weren’t enough to keep him and his staff busy, he also oversaw the generation of pages of detailed regulations to implement the AIA, the most comprehensive “reform” of 35 USC since 1952. I called him the hardest working man in patent “biz”. His legacy is already in place, and he will be missed.
Parting note from Director Kappos:
It has been an immense privilege to lead the USPTO, our nation’s innovation agency, over the last three and a half years—and it is with deep gratitude for your dedication and hard work that I write to inform you that I will be leaving the Agency around the end of January 2013.
I cannot thank you enough for your hard work over the years—and I wish you all the very best ahead.