Bush, Patent Office Head to Push for Reform

In an attempt to quell increasing criticism over the nation's patent system, the Bush Administration is looking to make changes to require more specific information, and allow the public to comment.

In an interview with the New York Times, US Patent Office director Jon Dudas said that the responsibility for better quality patents should be shared by all, and he planned to address Congress about the issue starting Thursday.

Changes proposed include requirements for clearer and more specific information regarding the invention that the applicant is requesting to be patented. In addition, they also have to prove that it is significant enough to warrant a new patent, and show proof from related patents and other supporting information.

One of the biggest complaints about the current system is that too many patents are awarded for 'inventions' that have either been previously created, or are not much different from an already-awarded patent.

In addition, a proposal is being brought forward that allows public examination of patent applications, much like other government agencies do for certain licenses and grants.

Beginning next Friday, the USPTO will begin experimenting with a system that allows public comment on IT software patents, and only with the applicant's prior consent.

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