Tuesday, February 24, 2015

USPTO - Deputy Director Michelle Lee - Initiatives in 2015

Deputy Director Michelle Lee recently visited the Brookings Institution to talk about the USPTO's plans for 2015. For details see the USPTO video and Patent Quality Initiative.

Deputy Director Lee stated: "I've seen firsthand from the business side the importance that patents play, the exclusionary right they give, the protections they give innovators, businesspeople, and startups at the very early stages. If you're entering a market that is highly competitive, you need to have the assurance that you will have protection as you go up against some very steep and oftentimes well-funded competition. So for the USPTO to issue those patents promptly and accurately is critically important so that people invest in these developments."

This is absolutely right! Startups need great patents to penetrate markets. I would add that proposals to reform US patent law to defeat "patent trolls" should be viewed with the skepticism reserved for any other self-serving corporate lobbying. Why do large companies want to weaken US patents? To reduce patent license costs. You just say no to many efforts to license a patent, then knock down the audacious few who seek to enforce patent rights in court with favorable laws passed by Congress.

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