A Patent System for the 21st Century by National Research Council, Policy and Global Affairs,

By National Research Council, Policy and Global Affairs, Technology, and Economic Policy Board on Science, Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy, Mark B. Myers, Richard C. Levin, Stephen A. Merrill

The U.S. patent method is in an accelerating race with human ingenuity and investments in innovation. in lots of respects the procedure has answered with admirable flexibility, however the pressure of continuous technological switch and the larger value ascribed to patents in a data financial system are exposing weaknesses together with questionable patent caliber, emerging transaction expenses, impediments to the dissemination of data via patents, and overseas inconsistencies. A panel together with a mixture of felony services, economists, technologists, and college and company officers recommends major adjustments within the means the patent method operates. A Patent approach for the twenty first Century urges construction of a mechanism for post-grant demanding situations to newly issued patents, reinvigoration of the non-obviousness usual to caliber for a patent, strengthening of the U.S. Patent and Trademark workplace, simplified and not more expensive litigation, harmonization of the united states, eu, and jap exam approach, and safety of a few learn from patent infringement legal responsibility.

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Participants in the committee’s public meetings described this pattern as prevalent in both semiconductors and software, with potential to spread to other sectors on the heels of business method patents. The patent system may also affect the formation of new firms and the innovation associated with entry. Here, too, both theoretical considerations and the extremely limited empirical evidence point in different directions, even in the same industrial context. In semiconductors, for example, the need to have substantial patent assets to trade in order to participate in the pervasive cross-licensing of portfolios probably acts as a barrier to new entrants, although the enormous 38 A PATENT SYSTEM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY capital required to establish semiconductor manufacturing capacity is an even more substantial barrier.

For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 strengthened the protection of material in digital form, while the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act of 1998 lengthened copyright terms from 50 years to 75 years beyond the lifetime of the creator. The 1996 Economic Espionage Act subjected some trade secret misappropriation to federal criminal penalties, whereas previously it had been a matter of state civil law. And the Trademark Dilution Act of 1995 extended the rights of mark holders beyond the avoidance of consumer confusion.

At the end of the 1970s the patent system was widely perceived to be weak and ineffective, unable to keep up with fast-moving technological changes, under attack by antitrust authorities, and of only limited value to patent holders. S. inventors residing in the United States was constant or declining through the 1970s (Jaffe, 2000). 3 This policy thrust at the national level has extended to other forms of intellectual property protection. For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 strengthened the protection of material in digital form, while the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act of 1998 lengthened copyright terms from 50 years to 75 years beyond the lifetime of the creator.

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