Today in the PTO roundtable on deferred examination, several important points have been made (some of which directly relate to deferred examination):
- Gordon Arnold made a compelling point regarding harmonization: "The world's largest economy may be an economy that should have a system that is different from the rest of the economies." Mr. Arnold then focused on patent quality: "The lack of quality of patents is due to failure [of the examining corps]. . . English as a second language is a problem [and] many of the office actions are not excellent. . . . We see RCE's because the applicants feel that they have not had a good examination the first time around."
- Arti Rai: Athough I do not have an exact quote, Professor Rai focused on the notion that the PTO may well not have authority to structure fees for the purposes of modifying applicant behavior rather than to "reasonably compensate" the office.
- Ken Patel from P&G reported that their experience with deferred examination - especially in Japan - has not been good. They face lots of infringement actions against P&G products that have been on the market for five or more years.
- Hans Sauer from BIO reported the result of a survey of BIO members. BIO members use the deferred examination system wherever it is available. The members do not believe that it negatively impacts patent quality or certainty in those systems. BIO members report that they do not use the US system available under 37 CFR 103(d) because it forfeits any patent term adjustments.
- John Doll: I only saw a small portion of Director Doll's presentation. He was open to discussion. He noted that the poor economy is having a substantial downward pressure on PTO fee receipts. At the same time, a slowdown in filings will have the benefit of helping reduce the backlog. In his statements, Doll continued the facade that requests for continued examination somehow create a new application for statistical purposes. The office is expecting 17% more RCE filings in FY2009 than they saw in FY2008.