While rooted in constitutional foundations, U.S. patent policy and practices continue to evolve to keep pace with innovation. Some current initiatives are highlighted below.
Attributable patent ownership
In June 2013, the White House issued a series of executive actions concerning high-tech patent issues. Among these was an effort to improve transparency in patent ownership. In 2014 the USPTO formulated a proposed rule that would require patent applicants and owners to regularly update ownership information. The USPTO solicited comment on this rule via a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a series of public roundtables held in March 2014.
Public comments on "Patent Small Claims Proceedings in the United States"
In December 2012 and March 2013, the USPTO published two Federal Register Notices seeking public comment as to whether the United States should develop a small claims proceeding for patent enforcement. View the twenty-two comments that were received.
Privileged communications with patents practitioners
On February 18, 2015, the USPTO hosted a roundtable regarding protections from disclosure for communications between patent applicants and their advisors. The issues covered for this roundtable included: Whether and to what extent U.S. courts should recognize privilege for communications between foreign patent practitioners and their clients; the extent to which communications between U.S. patent applicants and their non-attorney U.S. patent agents should be privileged in U.S. courts; and whether and to what extent communications between U.S. patent practitioners and their clients should receive privilege in foreign jurisdictions. For more information, read: Summary on the roundtables and the comments - Domestic and International Issues Related to Privileged Communications Between Patent Practitioners and Their Clients