The House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Seal_of_the_United_States_House_of_Representatives_svgBy: Gene Quinn (

One of the subcommittees of the House Judiciary Committee is the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet. The House IP Subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over all matters relating to intellectual property matters. This includes copyright, patent, trademark law, information technology, and antitrust matters, as well as any other related matters as referred by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. This means that the House Subcommittee on IP is one of the primary focal points for any new legislation that deals with intellectual property.

Over on, I profiled all of the Members assigned to this important subcommittee. See Republicans of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Democrats of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.


Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. Highlights include the anticipated revisions to the Patent Bar, a conflict of interest for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer, and an update from the USPTO’s collaborations in improving the patent system via open access.

1. IP Watchdog: PTO Updates Patent Bar Exam to Test AIA & Appeal Rules – The Patent Bar will change to reflect the new rules incarnated by the America Invents Act. This post outlines what new topics will be tested and how the USPTO has established a trend in making sure the exam is as up to date as possible. The new Patent Bar exam will debut January 31, 2012. For information regarding PLI’s Patent Bar Review (Jan. 11-15, 2012), click here.

2. Peer To Patent: Improving Patent Systems through Open Access– The USPTO hosted its Second Annual Prior Art Collaboration Conference in October 2011, and this post provides the proceedings that developed during the conference. Participants such as WIPO, the European Patent Office, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, IP Australia, the Japan Patent Office, and the Korea Intellectual Property Office discussed ways in which the patent offices and the public could work together to improve access to prior art. (more…)

On the Record with Former PTO Director Nick Godici – Part 1

Written by Gene Quinn (of and Practice Center Contributor)

On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, I had the opportunity to sit down on the record with Nick Godici, the former Acting Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Former Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Godici is one of only a small handful of individuals to have seen the Patent Office on every level, from newest patent examiner to SPE to Group Director, Commissioner for Patents and ultimately to Director of the USPTO.  I have wanted to sit down with him for some time now, and some mutual friends of ours, who are mentioned in the interview in passing, made introductions.  I was put in touch with Godici and now the rest is history, as they say.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Godici, and we managed to get into a wide variety of issues that ranged from his early days as a patent examiner, his patent examination philosophy and approach, the role of the USPTO, the Patent Granting Authority versus the Patent Denial Authority, examiner training, building relationships between patent examiners and the patent bar, the PTO work from home initiative, inequitable conduct, the Bilski decision and what the USPTO is now likely doing to address that, the parallels between the Reagan Administration and the Obama Administration in terms of patent and innovation policy and exactly what it is like to be the Commissioner of Patents and the Director of the Patent Office, and much more. Oh yes, we also talked about his getting a call from Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke last summer and returning to the Patent Office for a few months as a special adviser at the request of the Obama Administration. (more…)

Emotion And Anecdotes Should Not Drive Patent Policy Debate

Written by Gene Quinn (Founder of and Practice Center Contributor)

Emotion and anecdotes unfortunately drive the debate on IP policy, particularly patent policy, because most people are suspicious and predisposed against monopolies. That is certainly understandable, at least in a vacuum. Who among us likes monopolies? Monopolies charge super competitive prices and consumers have no leverage, which leads frequently to inferior goods or services that consumers are forced to accept. This aversion to monopolies has been ingrained in American culture and heritage since the founding of the Nation, and was taken to new extremes during President Theodore Roosevelt’s Administration. Roosevelt stood up for the little guy and became known as a trust buster, what today we might refer to as a monopoly killer.

Unfortunately for those who seek to leverage the appropriate suspicion against monopolies, a patent is not a monopoly. A patent does confer exclusive rights, but as every inventor knows the fact that you have a patent does not guarantee that anyone will be interested in the good or service associated with the patent grant. Without interest there is no market, without a market there can be no monopoly. So patents are not equivalent to creating a monopoly.

Read the rest of the article at