Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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"Patent Professionals" and Patent Policy

In Survey of the Disruptive Impact of a First-to-File Switch, and on his facebook page, patent attorney and law professor Dennis Crouch asks "patent professionals" to "Please Respond to my Survey on Switching US Law to a First-to-File System."

I'm trying to figure out why we should care what patent attorneys, of all people, think about patent policy. Why is there an assumption that their opinions on patent policy are especially relevant? If anything, patent professional are biased because of built-in incentives to favor maintaining a patent system. They are not objective at all. And training in engineering and law school in no way provides one with any special knowledge of policy or ethics issues. By analogy, do we care what an IRS agent thinks the tax rates should be?


I think that it might be as simple as a huge majority of the readers of his site are patent attorneys.

Aside, looking at the questions, they seem to be focused on the procedural implications of the first to file system rather than any broader "patent policy" considerations. I don't know who outside of a patent attorney is better suited to address the impact of: "Would you support a switch that eliminates priority contests but retains an applicant's ability to swear behind and also retains a one-year grace period for an applicant's own disclosures?"

You might not ask an IRS agent what tax rates should be - but you might ask how they think the rate will impact the games people play when filing their taxes.

Like the blog - but consider taking a closer look next time. This type of post is just as disingenuous as anything you see from those who blindly support IP.

Actually, engineering training does involve some training in matters of ethics, last I checked.

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