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FTC report on patents

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Enacting legislation to require publication of all patent applications 18 months after filing is suggested in a recent FTC report as one of 10 recommendations for changes to the patent system intended to "maintain its proper alignment with competition." The report is based on hearings FTC conducted with DOJ's antitrust division from February to November 2002, collecting responses from more than 300 panelists. Results of the report were presented by FTC Feb. 15 before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. Other recommendations include providing adequate funding to the Patent & Trademark Office to "consider possible harm to competition and innovation, along with other possible benefits and costs, before extending the scope of patentable subject matter." The report finds patents "encourage firms to compete in the race to invent new products" and make it easier for inventors to attract funding for new inventions...

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