Rather than waiting for Congress to enact new IP laws, the White House held a live streaming of its Patent Reform Agenda through http://www.whitehouse.gov/live this past Thursday that addressed how it plans on dealing with patent trolls as well as improving the overall U.S. patent system through executive actions. The White House has pledged since last June to protect inventors from frivolous lawsuits and will be following through by implementing the following actions though changes in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and other Executive Branch agencies:
- The private sector will also be given the opportunity to help the USPTO in determining the novelty of an invention by creating “prior art” crowd-sourced databases to provide patent examiners another resource when reviewing new applications.
- This week, the USPTO launched an online toolkit that helps consumers and retailers learn their rights and also understand the risks and benefits of litigation versus settlement.
- In the upcoming weeks, the UPSTO will launch a pilot program that uses glossaries in patent specifications to promote patent clarity.
- The USPTO will also be implementing training programs for examiners to ensure consistency amongst the examiners by having innovators volunteer to teach examiners about the fast-changing technological fields. There will also be training programs that are focused on helping examiners rigorously examine “functional” claims.
- In the upcoming months, the USPTO aims to issue a clearer and final rule for recording of ownership information as well the required updates. This aims to provide transparency, improve the quality of the patents, and make it harder to hide abusive litigation tactics.
- The USPTO will expand its Edison Visiting Scholars Program, which brings academic experts to the USPTO to help advance the knowledge of the issues that bear on abusive litigation.
- In the upcoming months, the USPTO will work with the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) to improve how the USPTO enforces the executive orders from the ITC.
- The Administration will sustain the Patents for Humanity Program that is aimed for creating business incentives for developing patentable technology that also address global concerns.