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Industry Briefs

The U.S. Patent Office, Inc.? The latest scheme to speed patent processing would give the Patent and Trademark Office quasi-corporation status. The study, prepared by a panel from the National Academy of Public Administration at the behest of the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group Intellectual Property Owners, suggests that the office should become a semiautonomous unit within the Department of Commerce. The proposal, which has yet to be endorsed by the IPO, would give the new office the po

The Scientist Staff

The U.S. Patent Office, Inc.?

The latest scheme to speed patent processing would give the Patent and Trademark Office quasi-corporation status. The study, prepared by a panel from the National Academy of Public Administration at the behest of the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group Intellectual Property Owners, suggests that the office should become a semiautonomous unit within the Department of Commerce. The proposal, which has yet to be endorsed by the IPO, would give the new office the power to offer more competitive salaries, borrow money, and ignore government hiring freezes. ft would also exempt the Patent and Trademark Office from the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Law, which enabled Congress to take $5 million from the bureau’s treasury in 1986. Among those hoping the restructured bureau would attract more knowledgeable and experienced examiners is the biotech industry, which now waits 30 months for review of a typical patent application. IPO executive director...

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