But I Digress: Robert Plotkin on Patent Applications and Changes at the PTO

Ever mystified by what goes on inside that black box with the colorful flat screen on top that sits on your desk at work? Me too, and when I am I check in with my colleague Robert Plotkin, a patent prosecutor who specializes in computer patents. Robert is a fine source of expertise on patent law and computer technology, and I thought I would pass along this link to his patent tip for August 07, which discusses changes at the Patent and Trademark Office concerning continuation applications. As Robert points out in his publication, the rule change will alter patent applications in a manner that may increase their expense, but do not go into effect until November, creating a short window that patent applicants should try to exploit before the effective date of these changes. And as Robert doesn’t point out in his note on the subject, but did mention to me - given that I litigate patent infringement actions but don’t prosecute patents - the shakeout from the rule change is likely to affect litigation over patents as well, as we move down the road and past the implementation date of these changes.

And aside from my professional interest in patent litigation, how does this relate back to the primary subject matters of this blog?  Well, we might point out that business strategy patenting has caused ERISA law to crash head long into patent law, as discussed in this BNA article that I am quoted in.