One of the problems of the current patent system is that at least 90% (some might claim 99%) of the patents are useless. Despite what many say I actually think the patent fees should be increased, only then frivolous patent filing would stop. Anyone cares to comment? (I have been awarded 18 patents in several jurisdiction and worked with patent lawyers extensively)...Kris
The patent office has become the poster child for "technical debt", which is the accumulated cost of not keeping up with your mounting process problems and outstanding bugs.
Perhaps they should let the engineers at the post office have crack at the situation, before simply throwing money at the problem.
The three-track system will not work because the main cost associated with a patent is the lawyer fee, not the application fee. Plus, the most talented examiner will inevitably leave and become or work for a patent attorney, leaving the Is there a way to "privatize" USPTO, so applicants and tax payer can both save money?
I have been waiting for over a year for my patent application to be approved, reading this article it looks like at least a year of more is still needed before I can expect to hear anything! Wow! I can not imagine the work needed to check for existing patents against new claims, just the effort required to write up the application took me and a few lawyers 8 months. I look forward to the streamlining of the process that faster computers and more intelligent software would enable. What a great idea: faster computers, smarter software. Perhaps I should file a patent!
The wildly differing proposals for patent reform suggest that reasonable people representing large and small businesses in different industries have differing interests (and probably explain why the process is gridlocked). In addition to providing more funding, Congress certainly should allow the patent office to keep all the funds it generates rather than siphoning some off through fee diversion.
Do the examiners really have with obsolete computer systems? Certainly my laptop allows me excellent visibility into the patent office processes (public PAIR) and the full text issued / pending patent archives allow easy searches. Personally, I find the variations in processing time for patents in different subject matter areas to be most frustrating as an inventor - but completely understandable in terms of the challenge the patent office faces in finding qualified examiners.
Upgrading their computer systems to make the examiners more efficient is where the money should be spend. Better hardware and software would lessen the reviewing and research process and provide a much more efficient operation.