From the category archives:

IP Risk

Patent Pending

by Rob Harrison on 1 May 2010

Denis Crouch over at the Patently-O blog has done an interesting piece of calculation showing that the average pendency of patents in the USPTO is around 4.1 years for those patents not claiming priority to a US provisional application.

Now there’s a number of companies out there who are happy that their patents take a long time to come through the system. It means that there’s no need to commit oneself to one version or other of the patent claims for a long while – and hopefully sufficient time to see what a competitor is up to. And there’s the rub – the poor competitor really has difficult in trying to evaluate what is going on. What intellectual assets are going to be obtained which might hinder its business – is a licence fee payable (which is after all just a hit on the bottom line) or will an injunction follow. Ii’s unsatisfactory to investors who have to wade through the morass of competing claims and cannot be good for business. Let’s hope the issue is taken seriously soon.

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