For several years the patent office has been struggling to reduce its backlog of cases - currently around 750,000. Nearly one-third of the 355,000 new patent applications received in fiscal 2004 involved resubmissions of previous applications - a situation patent officials say impedes productivity and delays the issuing of new, well-qualified patents. "Some accommodation has to be made for the bad situation due to the backlog," said Carl E. Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the tech transfer office of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "I would rather give a little bit on the front end [in terms of restricting the number of continuations and claims] and hope that we get more patents on the back end," he told The Scientist.
"These rules better focus examination and will bring closure to the examination process more quickly, while ensuring quality and maintaining the right balance between flexibility for applicants and the rights of the public," USPTO Director Jon Dudas said in a statement yesterday. Ted Agres firstname.lastname@example.org Links within this article "Changes To Practice for Continued Examination Filings, Patent Applications Containing Patentably Indistinct Claims, and Examination of Claims in Patent Applications; Final Rule," Federal Register, Aug. 21, 2007 http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422
T. Agres, "USPTO proposes controversial patent filing changes" http://www.thescientist.com/article/display/23177
Ronald Eisenstein http://www.nixonpeabody.com/attorneys_detail1.asp?ID=58
Jon Soderstrom http://www.yale.edu/ocr/about/who/soderstrom.html
Carl E. Gulbrandsen http://www.warf.org/contact/staff.jsp?staff_id=52
E. Silverman, "The trouble with tech transfer," The Scientist, January 1, 2006. http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39379
USPTO announcement http://www.uspto.gov/main/homepagenews/bak2007aug20.htm