Wednesday, March 26, 2014

          USPTO: Creating Transparency in Ownership of Patents & Applications

          Sample alt tag.
          "To put it simply," testified Prof. Robin Feldman, "shell games and hide-and-seek rarely make for an efficiently functioning market." (Photo from House Committee on Energy & Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations).

          The US Patent & Trademark Office held its hearing on Creating Transparency in Ownership of Patents & Patent Applications today at UC Hastings.

          Testimony provided by Robin Feldman, Professor of Law & Director of the Institute for Innovation Law at UC Hastings is reprinted here and highlights of key points are summarized below: 

          "To put it simply," writes Feldman, "shell games and hide-and-seek rarely make for an efficiently functioning market."

          • As the secondary market for patents expands, society must ensure sufficient information so that the market functions efficiently.
          • Information is a great leveler; it can help address the imbalance between how cheap it is to launch a patent demand and how expensive it is to determine whether the demand has merit.
          • Understanding the money flow as well as the formal control structures will be essential for understanding who is really in control.
          • Allowing vast networks of hidden behavior has the happy coincidence of preventing regulators from observing behavior. Public and private antitrust actors, as well as securities regulators, should be able to connect the dots that can reveal troubling patterns of behavior.

          Commending the USPTO for its revised proposals and noting that they are “a much needed effort to strike at the heart of transparency problems,” Professor Feldman suggested tightening three areas of the proposed rules that could allow patent holders to evade the regulation. (The full testimony provides examples of current patent owners and how the rules might fail.)

          • First, the antitrust thresholds referenced in the rules are too loose a sieve to catch all of the relevant information.
          • Second, the language related to “hidden beneficial owners”—that is, those who try to avoid detection—should be strengthened. Explicit reference to securities law disclosure concepts could ensure that the rules cover not only today’s evasion techniques but also tomorrow’s.
          • Third, the rules require updated information at only a few times during the twenty-year term of the patent. Occasional information does not provide the robust information necessary for an openly functioning market. 

          "In short, patents are imbued with public interest by virtue of the fact that they are a government grant, bestowed only for purposes enshrined in the Constitution itself. As with the trading of public securities, the trading of an asset imbued with the public interest must be sufficiently regulated to ensure proper functioning of that trading market."

          Transcript

          Media Contact

          Alex A.G. Shapiro
          Director, Communications & Public Affairs
          UC Hastings College of the Law
          Office: (415) 581-8842
          Cell: (415) 813-9214
          Email: shapiroa@uchastings.edu

          ###

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Tuesday, January 17, 2017

          Professor Leo Martinez Elected Fellow of American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel

          One of only five academics in elite organization focused on the creative, ethical, and efficient adjudication of insurance coverage and extra-contractual disputes, peer-provided scholarship, professional coordination and the improvement of the relationship between and among its diverse members.
          Thursday, January 12, 2017

          ‘She taught me the meaning of true bravery’: 2L Kelsey Campbell advocates for refugee legislation

          Former Pentagon foreign policy advisor and Air Force veteran promotes visa programs to protect refugees, like her friend Sura, who supported U.S. Armed Forces as interpreters.
          Thursday, January 05, 2017

          How to Ask a Question: Renowned trial attorney Shanin Specter brings his expertise back to UC Hastings

          Whether to capture the attention of a jury, conduct a deposition, or even order a Starbucks, Shanin Specter shares his experience on the best way to ask and answer a question in his upcoming “How to Ask a Question” course at UC Hastings.
          Tuesday, January 03, 2017

          1L Ryan Khojasteh Appointed to San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission

          “It's for my generation to rise up, to play our part, and to allow other people to have hope,” says Khojasteh, son of immigrants.
          Sunday, January 01, 2017

          Thinkers & Doers: December 2016

          FACULTY on everything from the future of environmental law to “The Historical Origins of American Regulatory Exceptionalism" -- Prof Feldman receives a World Technology Award – Which ALUMNI was part of the trial team that successfully swayed a Texas jury to order Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $1 billion (yes, that’s with a “B”) to patients for faulty hip implants? --  STUDENTS enjoy spicy Thai food with the TENDERLOIN Economic Development Project for their Restaurant of the Week campaign -- and so much MORE.
          Go to News Archive