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Life During Wartime Part 2: A Likely Response from Industry March 31, 2014

Posted by Brian Schar in General.

As I have outlined in the last few posts, the proposed “attributable ownership” rules are a missile aimed directly at the ability of privately-held companies to develop and hold IP.  It is quite literally impossible for small companies to comply with these rules.

In the last post I set out some thoughts about the implications of the attributable ownership rules on litigation.  

Now imagine what will happen once the compliance burden hits home, when CFOs of small private companies realize all of them face the same impossible burden – and when companies start seeing their IP and the IP of other small companies going abandoned because they cannot comply with the rules.

There will be deep and profound outrage, outside a chunk of the software/internet industry.  In the offices of semiconductor manufacturers and designers, of medical device companies, of battery makers, of LED designers – there will be a sudden and large pressure applied on the USPTO and Congress.  The USPTO will receive a wake-up call that not every patentee is a Silicon Valley software company.  Damage will be done, but this pressure, applied simultaneously with judicial pushback as described yesterday, will scuttle these rules in the same way that the continuation rules were unceremoniously struck down.


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