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A Proposed “U.S. Public Patent Pool”

Robert M. Kunstadt, Esq.

R. Kunstadt, P.C., Managing Attorney, New York, NY, USA

Ilaria Mazzioni, Esq.

R. Kunstadt, P.C., Attorney, New York, NY, USA

I. The Recognized Need for Patent Law Reform

Congress is now considering substantial modifications of the patent law. Most everyone recognizes that the patent system needs to be rationalized to make it function more efficiently, reducing obstacles that now impede inventors, the public and the courts. Reforms now under consideration— such as moving to first-to-file, improving post-grant review and fine-tuning standards for damages awards—represent political compromises among various industry groups, according to the ABA’s Intellectual Property Law Section. As such, they might not suffice for complete rectification.

Hence in the context of the current interest in patent law reform, it behooves commentators also to consider more thorough approaches, including even a rethinking of first principles underlying the entire concept of, and mechanism for, protection of inventors’ work product. In that spirit, we offer this suggestion for a “U.S. Public Patent Pool,” modeled after industry pools such as those used for facilitating the creation of CD hardware. The proposal also borrows philosophically from the recently-enacted federal health insurance mandate, in that in its strongest form it compels all inventors to participate—since 100 percent participation is essential to effective patent reform under this plan.

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