The Computer & Communications Industry Association applauds the economic research agenda outlined Tuesday by Under Secretary for Intellectual Property David Kappos, the featured speaker at the annual conference on Innovation Policy and the Economy hosted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. CCIA also applauds the appointment of Stuart Graham, a professor at Georgia Tech and a member of NBER, as the first Chief Economist of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Remarkably, this is the first time that the US Patent and Trademark Office has proposed an evidence-based research agenda. In the past, the agency has only looked to economists to help determine which disciplines the PTO needs to hire. “This is a welcome change,” said CCIA Senior Fellow Brian Kahin. “They are not shying from the really tough problems and systemic failure that have led to contentious debate over patent reform – including patent quality, the “unitary” patent system, and the connection between PTO operations and real-world economic effects.”

The PTO and the Commerce Department also issued a report today on the economic case for several elements of patent reform – specifically post-grant review and granting PTO authority to set fees. Kahin said, “It’s good to see a report on the patent system that is based upon a proper economic analysis – as opposed to platitudes that crudely equate more patents with more innovation. These and other problems must be solved if patents are to effectively promote, and not hinder, innovation across different sectors.

CCIA has voiced strong objection to the recent managers’ amendment from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which retreats from a number of key reforms contained in earlier versions of the legislation. Last week, President and CEO Ed Black sent a letter to all Judiciary Committee members in both houses, along with a background paper explaining why the amended bill would leave the system broken for IT.

 

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