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Public Interest Groups Back Federal Court Appeal to Implement New U.S. Patent Rules; Proposed Regulations Would Curtail Abusive Behavior by Patent Applicants
Date:7/29/2008

WASHINGTON, July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coalition of consumer advocacy and public interest groups today filed legal papers supporting new U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) rules that would curtail abusive behavior by patent applicants and improve patent quality. The tactics are used frequently by drug companies to get patents they don't deserve.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed in U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, the groups urged that a decision by the federal District Court for Eastern Virginia blocking the proposed rules be overturned. The groups urged the appeals court to implement the USPTO's proposed rules immediately.

The proposed regulations ask applicants to justify the need for more than two continuations per application and to assist the USPTO in performing initial technological research on applications that contain an excessive number of claims.

The groups joining in filing the Public Interest Amici brief are: The Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT"), AARPP, Computer & Communications Industry Association ("CCIA"), Consumer Watchdog (Formerly the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights), Essential Action, Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge ("I-MAK"), Prescription Access Litigation ("PAL"), Public Knowledge ("PK"), Research on Innovation ("ROI"), and Software Freedom Law Center ("SFLC").

"The public interest overwhelmingly supports the USPTO's Final Rules for at least two significant reasons," the brief said. "First, they will enable the USPTO to curtail abuses of the patent application process made by those patent applicants who seek to pervert the system to gain an unfair advantage. Second, the Final Rules will help the USPTO improve patent quality, which is a critical issue for ensuring the patent system benefits the American public."

The new rules were to have been implemented by the Patent Office on Nov. 1, 2007, but were blocked by suits brought by dr
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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