What a difference a change of administration makes. The new patent office director, Dave Kappos, is rescinding controversial rule changes made by predecessor Jon Dudas, a Bush appointee who was not a patent lawyer.
After the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office tried to pass new rules limiting the claims and appeals in patent applications in 2007, patent lawyers went berserk, saying it would hamper their ability to patent new inventions. If you don’t believe me, read this story. The patent office, then directed by Dudas, fought bitterly to put the rules into effect. Dudas was once beaten in court by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline but prevailed on appeal.
In a press release, Kappos, the former patent chief at IBM, showed that he was not deaf to the pleas of impassioned patent lawyers the way that Dudas was.
“The USPTO should incentivize innovation, develop rules that are responsive to its applicants’ needs and help bring their products and services to market,” Kappos said. “These regulations have been highly unpopular from the outset and were not well received by the applicant community. In taking the actions we are announcing today, we hope to engage the applicant community more effectively on improvements that will help make the USPTO more efficient, responsive, and transparent to the public.”
— Zusha Elinson