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Media Coverage

Fish's Chris Bowley Quoted in Law360 Article, "GAO Proposals To Boost Patent Quality Met With Skepticism"

July 22, 2016

Media Coverage

Fish's Chris Bowley Quoted in Law360 Article, "GAO Proposals To Boost Patent Quality Met With Skepticism"

July 22, 2016

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Chris Bowley (Principal, Silicon Valley) was quoted in a Law360 article, “GAO Proposals To Boost Patent Quality Met With Skepticism.”

What people do with patents once they are issued and how they choose to enforce them in litigation can not really be traced back to the office, said Chris Bowley of Fish & Richardson PC.

“Patent owners bringing enforcement actions with frivolous or aggressive reads of claims is not really going to be addressed by what we see here,” he said.

“Some of these proposals I don’t think are really going to fix any problem,” Bowley said, calling several of them “simply totally misguided.”

A glossary requirement “is perhaps well-intentioned, but I don’t think it will do anything,” Bowley said. “It’s another burden on applicant. They’ll respond by providing a glossary for the absolute minimum number of terms and the absolute broadest definition of the terms.”

Moreover, he said, there’s really no way to know which claims are vague or ambiguous until years down the line in infringement litigation, when another attorney with no connection to the application process decides how aggressively to read the claim scope.

The report doesn’t focus on whether examiners have the proper technical background and training to understand the claims they are evaluating, and that would be an effective way to improve patent quality, Bowley said. Making sure that examiners have sufficient time for examinations and are properly incentivized is important and worth having the office evaluate, he said, but it wouldn’t make a difference if examiners don’t have technical chops.

Providing more time or resources would not make any difference if the examiners don’t have technical chops, he said.

“That, to me, is the biggest impediment to me getting quality patents for my clients,” he said.

To read the entire article from Law360, click here.

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