Last week, The Kojo Nnamdi Show on Washington, D.C. public radio station WAMU had two programs about patent reform. On Tuesday, there was a panel discussion on “Innovation and Patent Reform.” On Wednesday, Kojo talked with USPTO Director David Kappos about “Updating the U.S. Patent Office.” While I usually cringe when mainstream media discusses patent issues, I found these shows to be very good, even if I didn’t agree with everything that was said. One issue I would like to press Director Kappos about is his assertion that the pending patent reform legislation will help the USPTO solve the problem of the examination backlog.
The House patent reform bill (HR 1249) that was passed last week includes a provision that impacts the deadline for filing an application for patent term extension under 35 USC § 156 after receiving FDA approval for a patented product. Although the House provision addresses the issue before the district court in The Medicines Co. v. Kappos, it does not provide the fix we need.