Obamas intellectual property chief says he’s urging a congressional panel to push for more disclosure about patents.
“I want us to be able to look at it as the public interest, not as a private profit,” said Scott G. Purdum, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the chief counsel at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
“We need to be transparent.”
Purdum was speaking at a Brookings Institution event hosted by The Wall Street Journal and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
He was responding to a question from a panelist about the president’s proposal to streamline the Patent Act, which has been under fire for years for having an excessive number of patent terms.
The act requires the US to require a minimum of three years of public comment on any proposed patent before a patent application can be granted, which is typically 10 years.
“The problem is that we have this very, very, narrow set of rights, and I think it’s an abuse of the system,” Purdu said.
“That’s an absurd system, because it’s a system of monopoly. “
The only way we get anything done is through negotiation, negotiation, and negotiation. “
That’s an absurd system, because it’s a system of monopoly.
The private sector gets what it wants, and the public gets nothing, and there’s no accountability. “
In the end, the patent system is really a big tool for the private sector.
The president’s patent reform proposal calls for the creation of an office of patent reform that would work to strengthen the law. “
It’s like a government utility, and you have to get the money, and that’s where we’re heading.”
The president’s patent reform proposal calls for the creation of an office of patent reform that would work to strengthen the law.
It’s currently led by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., who said last month that he would introduce legislation to speed up the approval process for patents.
Purdu told the Brookings panel that the US government has to do more to encourage innovation.
“If we’re going to have a vibrant, vibrant economy, we’ve got to make sure that we’re making sure that the people who are producing and innovating in our economy are getting the benefits of that,” he said.
Purdy was not the only patent chief to express frustration at the lack of action.
“A lot of our business is tied to intellectual property,” said Richard O’Connor, the head of the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“As the number of patents go up, we don’t have the ability to have the same level of transparency.”
The president’s proposed legislation would require patent reform committees to receive input from at least three of the five chief experts of the Patent and Copyright Office.
This is a request that hasn’t been granted by Congress before.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the bill.