Patent Reform & the Red Herring Patent Interference Argument
As the patent reform debate continues on the floor of the Senate, the expected battle against the so-called “first inventor to file” (FITF) began today. Senator Feinstein D-CA, broke from the party line and assailed the proposed FITF provision as inefficient, encouraging incomplete filings, and disadvantaging small inventors. Sen. Feinstein had an impressive understanding of these very complex issues.
In attempting to rebut Sen. Feinstein’s position, two arguments were consistently repeated. First, it was argued that the “rest of the world” had a first inventor to file system. Ironically, this argument was made by the same folks beating the “America is the greatest innovator in the world” drum.
The second argument, was more troubling to me as a practitioner. This argument, justified the change to a FITF system based upon extreme patent interference statistics. In my opinion, the patent interference argument is a complete red herring.
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