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Archived updates for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Patent Worksharing Could Save Billions

"The most important reform is "patent worksharing" that could shave 100,000 examinations per year," writes Professor Hal Wegner. "Altogether, the system could save two to five billion dollars over the coming decade by implementing these procedural changes."

The Good Professor's worksharing model is spelled out in "Patent Law Simplification and the Geneva Patent Convention," 14 AIPLA Q.J. 154, 198-201 (1986). He also notes that other changes, "including an end to 'churning' applications through refiling that merely generates statistics," could also have a significant impact:
In addition to true harmonization substantive patent law, it is necessary that
the United States introduce (a) a true deferred examination system that permits
up to three years deferral of a request for examination – to permit foreign-based applications to be examined prior to the U.S. examination; (b) a very high examination fee with a very high discount for any foreign applicant who submits a completed search and examination from the "home country" (or other first office) at the time of request of the U.S. examination; and (c) an easy to use opposition system that encourages industry to weed out invalid patents at the earliest possible date.
Contact me for more of The Good Professor's writings on this topic.
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