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Friday, July 31, 2009


Getting a patent is a notoriously slow process and U.S. patent office employees are sometimes ill-equipped to evaluate whether highly technical applications are worthy of patents. A few years ago, Beth Noveck, Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, came up with a fix: put applications on the Internet. Noveck says her experiment seems to be working.

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Comments [4]

Susan Levitt from Reston, VA

The Federal Register process applies to every major bureaucratic action. When Beth Noveck described the FR as reaching only "lawyers in Washington, Beltway interest groups," she implied that government is failing to make public participation easy.

Well, American citizens tend to act like teenagers with the government as a parent to be rebelled against: the parent sets rules, and the teenagers complain. But putting that aside, it is not immediately obvious to me how the government could do more to invite participation. Afterall, the Federal Register contents can be emailed to you every day, for you to peruse and follow up, and comments can be submitted electronically as well. All you have to do is have an email address, subscribe to the email service, and then actually read some rather dry stuff.

I had a pretty good education, but I did not understand the details of how laws direct agencies to create regulations and how the agency process works until I entered that process as part of my job. I suspect most American citizens do not understand the public input process exists or how it works past the ballot box.

I hope that the public participation process will be discussed more widely in media covering federal government.

Aug. 09 2009 09:09 AM

"your work be exposed to parties who could be your largest competitors."

That's what patents do. They make your work public, in exchange for socalled "patent protection" (which may ber worthless.)

Aug. 03 2009 02:13 AM

One of the problems with the Peer-to-Patent program is that it requires that your work be exposed to parties who could be your largest competitors. If there is additional work needed to be done on your invention -frequently the case, large competitors have a substantial advantage being so greatly capitalized in that they can develop the final working version long before a small inventor can working on a shoe string budget. That is why patent applications are supposed to be kept confidential until issued which can take anywhere from 2-10+ years. No one in their right mind would want to tip off a competitor who could pass you by.

According to her bio on NYLS’s web site, Ms. Noveck is not a patent attorney. There is nothing to indicate she has ever invented anything, filed or prosecuted a patent application, nor licensed or litigated patents. It appears then she has no hands on practical experience with patents. That explains how she could propose something so onerous. It may also have something to do with eBay -one of the large firms pushing what they like to call patent reform- financially backing her.

Patent reform is a fraud on America...
Please see for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

Aug. 02 2009 08:52 PM
Kahlid from Philly, PA

To comment about spending fifteen hours at work staring out the windows is somewhat bizzare. When your boss is the president, that statement just seems egregious.

Jul. 31 2009 10:57 PM

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