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Patent Reform Act? Probably not in 2010 May 21, 2010

Posted by Brian Schar in General, Patent prosecution.
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2010 is a mid-term Congressional election year.  The general election is less than 6 months away, with primaries happening all around us for the next few weeks.  Incumbents are getting clobbered even before they reach the general election.  The economy is in terrible shape and the markets and the Euro are a mess.  The last thing on the average American’s mind, in the best of times, is patents.  (Of course, if you’re reading this, you are definitely not an average American!)  Particularly now, the average man or woman on the street couldn’t care less about patent policy.  In my opinion, the Patent Reform Act of 2010 will die a quiet death due to lack of interest by Congress and by America as a whole.  If it doesn’t, I’m concerned about how the PTO will use its new fee-setting authority to discourage behavior it doesn’t like ($5000 appeal briefs?) more than I’m concerned about the chaos of “first inventor to file.”

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