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AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC.,
Washington, D.O., September 28, 1973. Senator John L. MCCLELLAN, Chairman, Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks
and Copyrights, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR MCCLELLAN: The Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc., has long supported the U.S. Patent System and legislation which strengthens that system. It is with this objective in view that the attached statement of the Association on S. 1321 is offered. Yours very truly,
KARL G. HART, JR. Attachment.
STATEMENT TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON PATENTS, TRADEMARKS AND COPYRIGHTS,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, U.S. SENATE CONCERNING S. 1321 (HART)
The Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc., (AIA) is the national trade association of companies in the United States engaged in the research, development and manufacturing of aerospace systems, including but not limited to manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles and astronautical vehicles, their propulsion or control units, and associated equipment.
The five topics which are the subject of the present hearings have been discussed in great detail by way of both the spoken and written word. Accordingly, AIA believes that the needs of the Subcommittee can best be served with a concise, to-the-point statement. Public Adversary Proceeding—AIA supports such a proceeding wherein the public can present pertinent prior art to the Patent Office for a designated time after an application is deemed allowable by an Examiner. The AIA does not support, however, an inter partes opposition practice on the basis of its being time-consuming, burdensome and no more effective toward improving the overall operation of the patent system than an adversary proceeding wherein prior art is made known to the Patent Office. Office of Public Counsel-Although AIA questions the effectiveness of the Public Counsel as proposed in s. 1321, AIA does support the position of the Department of Commerce that certain of the functions proposed for the Public Counsel would be practical and would strengthen the tools of the Patent Examiner so as to improve the examination procedure. More specifically, the AIA supports the administrative implementation of such functions as deemed appropriate by the Commissioner of Patents. The AIA does not support the establishment of an Office of Public Counsel because the Office would be costly in view of the large staff required, much of it to carry out duplicate work more appropriately assigned to the Examining Corps; it could be burdensome to patent applicants and Examiners from the standpoint that more mischief than good might be expected from a Public Counsel having such sweeping powers as are delegated in S.1321. Deferred Examination The AIA does not support deferred examination in the United States because there is no need for it in view of the limited Patent Office backlog. The position taken by its proponents that the quality of the resulting patent work product should be enhanced, is erroneous. There is no assurance under a deferred examination system that the Examiner will be granted more time, for example, per patent application by his management because average time allocation per patent application is a matter which ultimately finds its way back to Congress. It was pointed out in oral testimony by a former Commissioner that during his term he had to manage the operation of the Patent Office with the resources made available to him by way of the appropriations allocated by Congress. In this connection, there is nothing to prevent a future Congress from allocating such lesser operating funds under a deferred examination system and in view of a smaller backlog, as to result in no more time per patent application as is currently available to the Examiner. Fee Schedule and Establishment of Maintenance Fees—The AIA supports reconsideration of fees generally in keeping with previous proposals to apportion costs of examination equally between the Patent Office and the applicant; to direct the cost of supplying patent copies and other services entirely to the recipient thereof; and to have the cost of maintaining search and library facilities, the printing of patents, and the like funded entirely by the public as a public benefit function.
The AIA does not support the establishment of maintenance fees which it views as a burdensome tax in principle, and in point of fact, as specified in S. 1321, a confiscatory tax. The suggested fees are in noway commensurate with any benefit to the patent-owner or to the public. The extent the proposed fees might preclude the filing of patent applications, they would work to the public's detriment. Administrative Restructuring of Patent Ofice—The AIA has not formed a position with respect to establishing the patent Office as an independent agency. The AIA supports the elevation of the Commissioner of Patents to the position of at least an Assistant Secretary. Accordingly we support the corresponding provision in S. 1957 introduced by Senator McClellan.
The AIA would like to make two additional general comments for the record. The first pertains to an inference during the hearings as to a lack of interest by industry as to the matter of general patent law revision. Industry generally, and the AIA, in particular, as evidenced by its frequent statements to the Subcommittee, is vitally concerned with having a strong patent system and one in which there is public confidence. The second is to request an opportunity to comment upon the forthcoming Administration bill referenced in the testimony of both the Department of Commerce and the Department of Justice. This request is particularly directed to any new concepts and provisions within the Administration bill that may have previously been studied and discussed in connection with general patent law revision matters before the Subcommittee.
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION,
Chicago, Ni., September 26, 1973. Re: S. 1321 Hon. JOHN L. MCCLELLAN, Senate Subcommittee on Patents,
Trademarks and Copyrights, Washington D.O.
DEAR SENATOR MCCLELLAN: On behalf of the Amercan Bar Association, I wish to supplement the statement previously filed with the Committee.
We wish to make of record positions of the Association with respect to features of S. 1321 not previously discussed. Obviousne88.-A.B.A. approves revision of 35 USC 103 to read :
"A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described in the prior art as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and such prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole was obvious from such prior art to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made, nor because the invention has simplicity or is the last step in an evolutionary development, nor because it is not revolutionary, basic, scientific or technical in character. Claims for a new combination or assemblage of known mechanical or other elements shall be subjected to the same "standard of patentability as is applied to claims for other types of subject matter."
Further, the A.B.A. recommends the amendment of Section 103 by adding after "pertains” the phrase at the time the invention was made
The Association favors imposition on parties challenging the validity of a patent, the burden of establishing obviousness with clear and convincing evidence.
Utility.--The A.B.A. approves the statutory definition of the utility requirement for patentability to include utility in agriculture, commerce, industry, health, and research. Antitrust.—The following positions have been adopted by the A.B.A.:
(a) Disapproval of the prohibition of patent assignment and license restrictions as to selling price, geographical area, production and use, and authorizing the Section to oppose legislation for enacting any of such prohbitions. Such legislation was recommended on pages 16–18 of the report of the Temporary National Economic Committee, by a Section referendum in which 488 members opposed any such prohibition while 53 favored some degree of prohibition in one form or another.
(b) The A.B.A. approved amendment of the Sherman Act to give legislative sanction to types of limitation in patent licenses now recognized as lawful, such as limitations to quantity, type, field of use, etc. Section 35 provides that patents in antitrust cases shall be presumed to be valid unless previously declared invalid, or unless person relying on patent is on reasonable notice that patent is invalid. Section 36 denied to the Government any retroactive holding that the patent is held invalid in an antitrust case.
(c) The A.B.A. approves, legislation by which the licensable nature of patent rights should be clarified by specifically stating in the patent statute that applications for patents, patents, or any interests therein may be licensed in the whole, or in any specified part, of the field of use to which the subject matter of the claims of the patent are directly applicable, and FURTHER, that a patent owner shall not be deemed guilty of a patent misuse merely because he agreed to a contractual provision or imposed a condition on a licensee, which has (a) a direct relation to the disclosure and claims of the patent, and (b) the performance of which is reasonable under the circumstances to secure to the patent owner the full benefit of his invention and patent grant; and FURTHER, that the Section approves of legislation by which it is made clear that the “rule of reason" shall
consititute the guideline for determining patent misuse. Fees.—The A.B.A. basic position is that the Patent Office should be supported adequately to insure first class staffing, housing and equipment, that the Office should not be self-sustaining, and that fees charged should be reasonably apportioned according to the cost of providing particular services. I has opposed granting to the Commissioner a right to fix fees.
Assignee Filing.-A.B.A. has adopted a resolution favoring this principle providing that the inventor or inventors be named in the lication.
Double Patenting.-The Association favors elimination of "double patenting" as a basis for refusing issuance of a patent where expiration will occur on the same date or as a result of a terminal disclaimer provided that the right to sue for infringement is maintained in the same legal entity. Publication.-A.B.A. has several positions.
(a) Disapproves publication of applications prior to allowance of the claims without authorization of an applicant, or after allowance without first giving applicant a reasonable time within which to elect whether or not to abandon the application, thereby preventing publication.
(b) Approves consideration by the Patent Office of patents and publications cited by the public within six months after publication of the application, provided that the applicant is given an opportunity ex parte to rebut any determination of unpatentability and also to amend the scope of any claim.
(c) Disapproves mandatory publication of applications before issue for opposition purposes.
(d) Approves a re-examination period of one year after the date of issue during which the public may cite prior art, with the opportunity given to applicants to rebut any determination of unpatentability and also
to amend the scope of any claim. Patent Court. The Association approves the appointment of lawyers experienced in patent law as judges of a federal court of record established under
Article III of the Constitution and the utilization of such judges to sit in any Court of Appeals.
It also favors revision of Titles 28 and 35, U.S.C. to confer sole jurisdiction to review Patent Office decisions on an Article III court of record (other than a District Court).
Term of Patent.-In contrast to the 12 year proposed in S. 1321, A.B.A. favors a 20 year term running from the filing date of the application.
Prior Art (Section 102).-The Association opposes inclusion of foreign knowledge, use or sale as prior art. Respectfully submitted,
T. L. Bowes, Chairman, Section of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law.
HUNTINGTON Woods, MICH., September 12, 1973. Hon. John L. MCCLELLAN, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR MCCLELLAN: In the little time that has been available since I was informed that, to be given full consideration, comments on Hart S.1321 “For the general reform and revision of the Patent Laws" should be submitted by September 15, time has not been available to prepare a finished presentation on the bill. I am, therefore, limiting myself to an outline of those provisions which I think are most objectionable.
My basic objection to the bill is that I am afraid that it will be self-defeating and tend to destroy, rather than improve, the Patent System by reason of the very provisions intended to implement the commendable but impracticable objective of Sec. 1 “to assure that United States patents are of high quality and reliable."
In the light of Sec. 41(b) (1) that “Fees shall be designed to affect an overall recovery in the range of 65 to 75 per centum of the costs of operation of the Patent Office" and the following and other implementing provisions, I am afraid that such a policy would make it prohibitively expensive and complicated to obtain a United States Patent:
Sec. 3(d) would establish a Public Counsel and provide that “he shall consider and review all proceedings in the Patent Office."
Secs. 23 and 24 would authorize the Primary Examiners and the Public Counsel to issue subpenas.
Sec. 41(c) (1) would provide that “Beginning the fourth year after a patent issues, the maintenance fee thereon shall be no less than $1,000, and shall increase annually by at least 25 per centum each year."
Sec. 122 (a) would provide for the publication of pending and abandoned applications.
Secs. 134 (c), 135 and 137 would establish opposition proceedings.
Secs. 191 and 192 would provide for deferment of examination unless such examination is requested within five years of the effective filing date of the application. Such examination may be requested not only by the applicant but by any other person at the expense of the applicant except for the base examination fee. If the request is made by the Public Counsel
or the United States, even this exception does not apply. The following provisions would, in my opinion, make unreasonable or excessive demands on applicants :
Sec. 112(a) and (b) would require that the specification contain in addition to what is now required a number of new features including "all know-how known to the inventor and applicant necessary or commercially required to make, use and work the invention."
Sec. 115(a) and (a) (3) would require not only the present oath by the inventor but reaffirmation of this oath after notice of allowance and further oath that she is aware of no prior art or other information that he . . . believes to be more pertinent than that considered by the Patent Office." This Section would also require the Attorney after notice of allowance to file a statement that he has no reason to believe the inventor not to be the original and first inventor and further statement to the same effect as the additional averment of the applicant's oath.
Sec. 131 (b) would provide that “The applicant shall . . . submit (1) copies of or citations to those patents, publications or other prior art or