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SJ Mercury/Reuters: U.S. Patent Office to overhaul Internet area

Mar 29, 2000, 21:27 (4 Talkback[s])

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"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said Wednesday it was overhauling its scrutiny of applications for online business patents which can grant exclusive rights to methods of electronic commerce."

"Patent Commissioner Todd Dickinson said second reviews of applications would become standard and he outlined efforts to make better searches of previous inventions and industry practices."

"The changes come amid criticism of existing patents which have staked out control of basic business methods on the Internet that some critics charge are neither new nor unique."

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