The USPTO has an outstanding request for comments on its patent quality initiatives and many participants in the patent system will be submitting comments and proposals for improving patent quality. I have been working with a group of academics to create a second channel for submissions that will also open the door for further vetting and commentary to help the USPTO get a better sense of what ideas might work well. Of course, we would like input to go well beyond submissions from academics.
To that end:
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The Berkeley Technology Law Journal (BTLJ) welcomes submissions on Patent Quality in parallel with the USPTO’s Request for Comments on Enhancing Patent Quality. BTLJ will publish selected Comment submissions in a special volume of our rapid publication, online-only Commentaries. BTLJ is seeking Comments on Quality submissions of under 1000 words. All sources should be cited but need not be formally Bluebooked. Comment submissions ideally should reflect the author’s parallel submissions to the USPTO Request for Comments, but may be revised for length and form as needed. Comments need not be novel ideas (although those are welcome as well), but rather can reflect the best known proposals for improving patent quality that may have already appeared in a full-length law review article. BTLJ will strive to post all submitted Comments that meet our standards of quality.
BTLJ seeks to cover a wide range of the three patent quality pillars and their six included proposals that have been outlined in the USPTO Request. Specifically, the first pillar, excellence in Work Products, includes (1) applicant requests for prosecution review of selected applications, (2) automated pre-examination search, and (3) clarity of record. The second pillar, excellence in measuring patent quality, includes (4) review of and improvements to quality metrics. The third pillar, excellence in customer service, includes (5) review of current compact prosecution model and the effect on quality, and (6) in-person interview capability with all examiners.
BTLJ requests that authors of Comments on Quality contact us by April 27, 2015 to express their intent to submit. Drafts of Comments on Quality, ready for publication, must be submitted by May 15, 2015.
Reviews of Comments on Quality
Additionally, BTLJ invites commentators to provide Reviews on the Comments on Quality submissions. Reviews should be under 3000 words. Preference will be given to those Reviews that address a wide range of the submitted comments, can provide some clarity and order to the submissions, and can impart insight on one or more of the Patent Quality Pillars outlined in the USPTO’s Request for Comments.
BTLJ requests that authors of Reviews contact us by April 25, 2015 to express their intent to submit. Drafts of Reviews must be submitted by June 5.
All submissions should be in Word doc/docx format. Preference will be given to those submissions exhibiting a high level of clarity and persuasive prose. Grammar and style should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, and all citations should provide a hyperlink (if possible) and/or a clear, usable reference to the source material. All quotations must be accurate and attributed. If any portion of a manuscript has been previously published (aside from a submitted Comment to the USPTO for this initiative), the author must so indicate.
Link with the USPTO
Although this project is not officially sanctioned by the USPTO, all submissions received (not only those published) will be forwarded to the USPTO for its consideration. We expect that those forwarded comments will then be republished by the USPTO on its online docket of responses to the request for comments.
Expressions of interest, questions, and submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org