1. Dennis Crouch at Patently O has a post on trends in the allowance and abandonment rates for patent applications in the USPTO. Bottom line: more applications are being allowed, and fewer abandoned, since David Kappos took over as Director of the USPTO. By the way, Kappos is leaving soon. In a related post, about half of the provisional patent applications filed every year are not converted into a non-provisional application within the 12-month time period.
2. Tim Carney on the GOP and copyright reform. Hard to argue with this:
The law and law enforcement around copyright has moved far beyond its purpose of promoting arts and sciences and has become a textbook case of collusion between big business and big government.
If Republicans took on this issue, they could make a play for younger voters while fighting for free enterprise. But that would require standing up to big movie studios and record labels — and that’s not really how Republicans roll…
This story is appalling but not really surprising:
On the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 16, the Republican Study Committee — the conservative caucus in the House — published a paper examining the problems with current copyright law. The paper suggested the current copyright regime is “corporate welfare that hurts innovation and hurts the consumer. It is a system that picks winners and losers, and the losers are new industries that could generate new wealth and add value.”…
The paper proposed lighter punishments for copyright infringements and suggested shorter terms for copyrights….
This paper upset some powerful interests. By Saturday afternoon, the RSC had pulled the memo from its website and officially retracted it….
The staffer who wrote the memo, an ambitious 24-year-old named Derek Khanna, was fired…
Do read the whole thing. There is a depressing bi-partisan consensus in Congress when it comes to copyright law: do whatever the big media companies and copyright holders want.
3. Megan McArdle on innovation in drug development and medical research more broadly. Key phrase: “Penicillin Envy.”