The USPTO recently proposed to increase transparency regarding ownership of US patent applications and US patents. The drivers of the initiative (e.g., patent trolls use of shell corporations) seem unclear, but it does sound like a good idea-- after all we should be able to efficiently determine who owns a given application or a patent. However, the benefit of identifying "the real-party-in-interest" at all stages will cost something on every application filed as patent attorneys and staff charge to maintain ownership records from the filing date to the end of the patent term. "Dangnabbit, I thought you would do it for free!"
Hopefully, the USPTO will not implement rules to increase transparency until it addresses the costs and other problems raised in some of the written comments from AIPLA, IPO, DOJ, American Antitrust Institute, Article One Partners, Coalition for Patent Fairness, HP, Intellectual Ventures, and Novartis, plus individuals: Professor Colleen Chien, Professor Robin Feldman, Professor Arti Rai, and patent attorney Alan Minsk.
For details see the following written comments made in response to the Notice of Roundtable on Proposed Requirements for Recordation of Real-Party-in-Interest Information Throughout Application Pendency and Patent Term.
Copyright © 2013 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.