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Tuesday Jan 17, 2012

USPTO Issues Reports for the Prior User Rights Defense and the International Patent Protection for Small Business Studies

From: Director David Kappos

I am happy to share that the USPTO delivered to Congress reports for the Prior User Rights Defense Study and the International Patent Protection for Small Business Study on January 13, 2012.  The agency prepared these reports in collaboration with the Department of State, Department of Justice, United States Trade Representative, and Small Business Administration, respectively.  They were due to Congress per the terms of the America Invents Act on January 14th and 16th.  Our reports are available through the links below: 

The Prior User Rights Defense Report includes a comparison of prior user rights in industrialized countries; the impact of prior user rights on innovation, start-up enterprises, small businesses, individual inventors, and universities; an analysis of the legal and constitutional issues with placing trade secret law in patent law; and an analysis of whether a first-to-file system creates a need for prior user rights.  We offer ten fact findings about these topics and make five recommendations regarding the defense in our report.

The International Patent Protection for Small Business Report considers how to best help small businesses with patent protection overseas, including whether a loan or grant program should be established to help small businesses cover the costs of application, maintenance, and enforcement fees or related technical assistance.  Our report presents ten fact findings and four recommendations regarding aid for small businesses.

I appreciate the input and cooperation from our sister agencies in preparing these reports.  I likewise value the contributions made the public who submitted written comments and testified at hearings.  The agency integrated the public input into our fact findings and recommendations.  We look forward to opportunities to dialogue with you about our reports.

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