Wow. USPTO Director Iancu’s speech to US Chamber of Commerce, Patent Policy should be required reading for anyone near IP/innovation. Here are the initial impressions from the transcript:
1. Patent system is at a crossroads; #12 in the world; reclaiming our patent leadership status is within reach;
2. Administration wants US to maintain global economic leadership; innovation and IP are key goals; will not continue down the same path;
3. Reverse the trend/reclaim patent leadership: new narrative that defines the patent system by pro-innovation/inventors;
4. Increasing the reliability of the patent grant is key to incentivizing innovation;
5. Alice/101 goals: increase clarity and predictability, looking for ways to simplify the eligibility determination for examiners via guidance
6. IPR goals: examine how and when we institute proceedings, the standards/process during proceedings–goal is to increase predictability of appropriately-scoped claims;
7. Prior Art in Examination: narrow the gap in prior art between examination and litigation, then the accuracy/reliability of the patent grant would increase.
While this might jest be rhetoric–apparently only Director Iancu’s second speech in his current role–it is a clear message on behalf of the Administration that appointed him that some things have to change. While the USPTO may be limited on what they can do via on §101 and IPRs by the U.S. Supreme Court on certain matters, the director’s proactive process indicates he is certainly listening to a lot of stakeholders on some key issues.
Also see IPWatchdog’s take on the speech.