[ffii] Patent Lawyers against USPTO reform

PILCH Hartmut phm at a2e.de
Tue Jul 30 07:06:07 CEST 2002

GregNews continues its rant against "stealing" of PTO money by Congress.
names Congressman Darrell Issa, owner of 15 swpat, as a potential
supporter of the "patent community" cause, and cites

 "An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress and the American People"

 We are the current and past Presidents of the Association of Patent
 Law Firms (APLF), and we write to you in those capacities to express our
 opposition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Reauthorization Act of
 2003.  The APLF believes that this legislation, innocuously presented as
 a fee increase, amounts to a substantial revamping of the United States
 patent system.  The APLF contends that it is improper to push through
 this significant overhaul of the patent system as a "mere" appropriations
 bill without study and public debate of its deleterious impact on the U.S.
 economy.  Indeed, we fear that the matter is being handled in the current
 manner precisely to avoid public discourse and debate on the merits of
 this new system.

 The USPTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan states that it is the result of
 thorough top to bottom review of the entire agency, and seeks to make the
 USPTO more market responsive.  However, the plan notes that its
 implementation will require behavioral changes within the USPTO and among
 users of the patent system.  In our view, some of these behavioral
 changes seem designed to reduce the number of patent applications to be
 filed and to narrow the scope of subject matter to be patented.  The APLF
 believes that Congress should not mandate such drastic changes until all
 affected parties have had a chance to be heard.

The APLF presidents now are suddenly in the role of an opposition which is
demanding economic impact studies.  When subject matter was widened and
the number of patent applications augmented step by step, such impact
studies were never cited in support of the expansion and in fact all
serious studies pointed to a rather negative impact.  Indeed it was
improper to handle such important decisions as "mere" caselaw developments
or harmonisations. It seems now that APLF is suffering itself from the
dictatorial nature of patent policies which it normally is happy to profit

Hartmut Pilch, FFII & Eurolinux Alliance              tel. +49-89-12789608
Protecting Innovation against Patent Inflation	     http://swpat.ffii.org/
120,000 signatures against software patents      http://www.noepatents.org/

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