The Obama administration's new focus on administrative solutions to problems facing the country has also made it to the US Patent and Trademark Office with a new series of proposals. As reported previously, one proposal relates to an increase in transparency relative to who actually owns a patent in a bid to combat patent trolls.
Another aspect relates to increased training for Patent Office examiners relative to so called "functional" claim language along with a pilot program directed at encouraging the use of "...glossaries in patent specifications to promote patent clarity."
A new on-line toolkit will help business owners understand their rights to avoid them blindly entering into costly litigation or settlements.
The PTO plans to increase its outreach to "patent holders, researchers, advocates, and others" relative to patent issues and to expand its Edison program focused on bring more research and data to bear on abusive litigation.
International Trade Commission enforcements by exclusion orders will be made more transparent.
A new Patents for Humanity Program will encourage the use of patent technologies to address humanitarian needs throughout the world.
Prior art (previous patent references or other documents used to limit the reach of new patents by the Patent Office) will be crowdsourced and the PTO will ask for volunteers to help educate its examiners in particular areas.
Help will be provided to unrepresented inventors through a request for patent attorneys to volunteer their time to help those in need.