Washington, D.C., partner Mike Remington co-authored an article published on September 2nd by the BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal with Ellen Jalkut, a consultant in intellectual property law to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Mike serves as DC Counsel to WARF.
The article, "Prior User Rights Expansion: Congress, the Courts, and Constitutional Considerations," notes the number of wise proposals embraced by congressional leaders that would bring the U.S. patent system into the 21st Century.
As patent reform legislation nears completion, Mike -- a member of the Intellectual Property and Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Groups -- and Ellen argue that serious consideration should be given to constitutional questions that arise from proposed statutory language regarding prior user rights expansion that may be enacted into law.
Mike and Ellen discuss proposed changes to prior user rights, the role of Congress in constitutional adherence, constitutional underpinnings for U.S. patent law, constitutional dictates, and the consequences of prior user rights expansion.
They conclude that Congress’ commitment to constitutional principles and concern about constitutional adherence is commendable. However, "broadening the prior user right from limited and problematic business method patents to all patents [for an unlimited time-period] will chill publication/disclosure with serious consequences to the progress of science."