PUBPAT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SPEAKS ON PATENT REFORM AT CARNEGIE INSTITUTION
NEW YORK -- January 13, 2009 -- The Public Patent Foundation's ("PUBPAT") Executive Director, Dan Ravicher, spoke this morning on the topic of patent reform at the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) Workshop Patents, Copyrights and Knowledge Governance: The Next Four Years held at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC.
Mr. Ravicher was asked to make three proposals for making a better patent system. His proposals were:
1. From a procedural perspective, all interests affected by the patent system should be fairly represented at each place of patent policy or decision making. Listening to only the interests of patent holders and patent attorneys assures a result that is skewed in their favor to the disadvantage of the public. Specifically, for one, this means inviting persons who represent the public interest to participate in patent policy discussions and deliberations.
2. Make patent quality the number one priority for the patent system. Part of achieving this goal would include eliminating the quota system placed on examiners which disincentivizes them from spending as much time as necessary on examination. Another part would be to eliminate - or curtail - unlimited continuations and unlimited claiming. A last part could also include a more robust and complete post-grant opposition system than the current reexamination options (or simply strengthening the current reexamination options).
3. Create a fair use exemption for patent infringement as there is for copyright and trademark. For example, performing research and exercising civil liberties should both constitute fair uses of patents that are allowed by the law.
After presenting his proposals, Mr. Ravicher and the other member of the Patent Reform panel, Prof. Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School and Philippe Aigrain, CEO of Sopinspace, answered questions from the audience.