EFF today, along with Professor Jason Schultz, Co-Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology, & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California at Berkeley Law School, and Professor Mark Webbink, Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations at New York Law School, filed comments in response to the Patent Office’s Request for Information on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.
Traditionally, the lack of public participation at the Patent Office has caused great harm to patent quality as well as innovation. In addition, we have seen time and again that third parties want to participate in the patent process. Successful programs like EFF’s Patent Busting Project and Peer To Patent are proof of this trend.
We believe that third parties — especially those whose work is deeply affected by patents but who may not usually deal with the PTO — will also want to participate in the PTO’s rulemaking process to make sure their voices are heard on how to best implement policies and procedures to eliminate bad patents and to bolster innovation. In our comments we encourage the PTO to employ a broad public participation process that would include public roundtables and hearings. We are hopeful that the PTO will adopt our recommendations and give EFF, its members, and the public at large a meaningful opportunity to participate in future regulatory process.