PUBPAT accomplishes its mission through the following activities. PUBPAT does not assist any party with acquiring or asserting patents.
Protecting the Public Domain
For various reasons, many of the patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") actually contain no innovation. Such patents effectively allow private actors to recapture ideas that were previously in the public domain. PUBPAT protects the public domain from being recaptured in new patents through both litigation and the filing of requests for re-examination with the PTO. A reexam request is the formal mechanism for asking the PTO to revoke an issued patent on the grounds that its idea is not new, but is instead nothing more than a reformulation of information that was already public.
Educating and Advocating
PUBPAT advocates for improvements to the patent system and educates the public about the esoteric issues implicated by patents, specifically how they impact everyday life. PUBPAT advocates on behalf of sound patent policy before the courts, in the PTO, and through participation in relevant conferences, while PUBPAT educates through public presentations, one-on-one discussions and publication of articles. PUBPAT also uses its other activities as the basis for normative research studying the patent system to determine whether it strikes the proper balance between incentivizing innovation and benefiting the public.