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InfoWorld: Patent office seeks to quiet critics with new oversight initiative

Mar 30, 2000, 21:57 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Geneva Sapp)

"The Business Method Patent Initiative outlines plans for industry outreach and quality control by the PTO, including enhancing technical training for examiners. It also calls for expansion of current searches for "prior art," which is PTO-speak for instances where an invention existed prior to the claim, thereby invalidating the patent claim."

"According to Don Pelto, patent attorney with McKenna and Cuneo, in Washington, this initiative represents a step in the right direction for the PTO. In particular, Pelto pointed to the initiative's mandate of a second review for all Internet and business method patents. Having a senior-level examiner give a second review to all of these patents, with an eye toward the scope of the claim, could reduce the number of erroneously issued patents, Pelto said...."

"Some controversial patents have inspired boycotts of Amazon.com, which came under fire for its one-click shopping patent and its newest patent covering its affiliates program."

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