If you have a patent, or are thinking of filing a patent application, you need to know the latest information from the United States Patent Office. One of the newest proposed rules dealing with patents in the United States is to facilitate better examination of patent applications and to provide greater transparency about the ownership of patent applications and patents.
Why these changes? They were prompted by the White House’s directions for:
- Better information about the competitive environment of innovators.
- Enhanced technology transfer.
- Reduced costs of transactions for patent rights.
- Patent ownership more easily accessed.
- Reducing patent litigation by reducing frivolous litigation.
- More people can become innovators and file patents.
What will be the impact of these changes?
- A clarification of “attributable owner.” The attributable owner might be one that has the patent, one who has part of the patent due to a lawsuit, or one that has a connection such as a contract with the patent.
- Disclosure requirements will include company information, partnerships, and principle innovator information. This change is to prevent entities from avoiding disclosing by having complex corporate structures.
- Timing requirements. There will be a period of time that all disclosure requirements must be met, or the patent is abandoned.
All of this discussion comes a year after the United States Patent Office’s roundtable and six months after a White House Task Force on patent issues. While changes are proposed, all of this will take time, as written comments on the proposed rules are due in March of 2014.