WASHINGTON (5/8/15)--Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) support the Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) efforts to enhance patent quality.
In comments submitted jointly, the two agencies recognized that improved patent quality can enhance innovation in the private sector.
“Clearer patent notice can encourage market participants to collaborate, transfer technology, or--in some cases--to design-around patents, thus leading to a more efficient marketplace for intellectual property and the goods and services that practice such rights,” the comment letter reads.
The PTO launched an initiative in February to build an enhanced patent quality system by focusing on three pillars of patent quality: excellence in work products, excellence in measuring patent quality and excellence in customer service.
According to the joint FTC/DOJ comments, both agencies support increasing patent quality as a “mission to protect and promote competition and consumer welfare.”
Also on the patent reform front, CUNA has testified a number of times in Congress in favor of legislative efforts to combat abusive patent assertion letters. CUNA has helped sound the alarm that credit unions and other entities are sometime vulnerable to vaguely worded and threatening letters from patent assertion entities, otherwise known as patent "trolls,” who make bogus claims for payment for alleged patent infringement.