I am expecting an announcement of the next PTO director on Friday (May 8). Jim Pooley is being nominated as deputy director of WIPO and is apparently out of the running for the job of PTO director. The two leading candidates thus appear to be Todd Dickinson and David Kappos.
If Kappos is nominated, the Peer-to-Patent system (originally funded by IBM) will receive a boost.
Speaking of WIPO, the US has proposed “comprehensive” PCT Reform “which would result in the establishment of a new Patent Cooperation Treaty, PCT II. The new treaty would serve to better facilitate workload sharing between the patent offices.
I just looked at Prof. Margo Bagley new article on First-to-Invent published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. Her conclusions: “The US First-to-Invent system may be unique in the world but it offers significant benefits to small entity entrepreneurs and others.” Bagley sees these benefits as primarily coming through the “robust grace period.” When should FITF be adopted? “Only when such a move will provide a clear advantage for small entities by facilitating the adoption of a one-year grace period outside of the US.” See The Need for Speed (and Grace).
Bagley’s short article is well received. My one quibble is that she perpetuates the idea that a desire to end interferences is a major motivation in the debate. She says “Eliminating interferences and the uncertainty associated with them appears to be a prime motivation for the FITF legislation.” Lets be clear, in the US, proponents of the first to file legislation want to make it easier to invalidate patents by creating more prior art.