Friday, October 16, 2009

How PTO management incompetence is destroying small companies

Someone sent in the following ancedote, which is heard way too
often:

I was at an open house for a small IP law firm about a month ago and
was talking to the IP/research VP of a small biotech. They are a
start-up who have been waiting just over 2 years and still haven't
got a First Action on the Merits on their lead invention. They have
had to let almost everyone go and they are just holding on waiting
for that critical patent. It is so sad.

I am hearing this lament more and more, from biotech startups, software
startups, alternative energy startups. Because of PTO delays, they are
having to abandon patent applications, cripple their companies, and delay
hitting the markets with their products. Patent quality? It's suffering,
as everyone inside and outside the PTO is cutting back on searches (well,
that's more crap to bust in the future for me, though there is already
enough such crap).

If you have more such stories, please send them my way. Congress and the
Obama Administration need to hear this suffering, otherwise it is a waste
of billions of taxpayers' dollars to fund new energy/IT technologies, if
the startups, where much of the innovation will come from, can't protect
their breakthroughs in a timely matter. Otherwise, it is another signal
that the Obama Administration is pursuing an industrial policy that
favors large companies.

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