Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Urge Changes to U.S. Patent System

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Urge Changes to U.S. Patent System

Article excerpt

The United States patent system needs to be more flexible, more open and more reliable. Moreover, like other countries, it should give priority to the first inventor to publicly disclose an invention and seek patent protection, rather than to the first person to conceive an invention or reduce it to practice.

These are among the recommendations in the latest of a series of reports from the National Academies National Research Council. The report, A Patent System for the 21st Century, follows Patents in the Knowledge-Based Economy and Patents in the 21st Century (see pp. 61, 62 this issue). Richard Levin, president of Yale University, and Mark B. Myers, a former Xerox Corp. R&D executive and now visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, chaired the committee that wrote the reports.

"Ultimately, the test of a patent system is whether it enhances social welfare--not only by encouraging invention and the dissemination of useful technical information, but also by providing incentives for investment in the commercialization of new technologies that promote economic growth, create jobs, and advance other social goals, such as good public health," said Myers.

The committee, composed of scientists and technologists, economists, several patent holders, attorneys in private and corporate practice, legal scholars, and a former federal judge, recommended changing the patent system in seven areas:

* There should be a viable "Open Review" procedure for third parties to challenge issued patents in an administrative proceeding in the U. …

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