Bob Stoll, partner and co-chair of the intellectual property group in Washington, D.C., contributed to an IP Watchdog article, “Looking Forward: Predictions and Thoughts about 2018.” In the post, he offers his predictions for the patent landscape in 2018, along with other intellectual property leaders and veterans in the industry.
Bob states that he is optimistic for the patent world in the U.S. for 2018, noting in particular that the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu has many ideas in mind to improve the patent system, such as ensuring that USPTO funds are properly used, updating guidelines for patent subject matter eligibility and updating post-grant procedures. Regarding Congress, Bob does not expect much to occur on the patent legislation front, except for potential patent right sovereignty issues for Native American tribes, one of the few issues that could draw action across the aisle. He predicts that the Supreme Court will maintain the status quo in the important patent decisions of Oil States and SAS, rather than risking the fallout from finding that Patent Trial and Appeal Board procedures for revoking patents are unconstitutional and requiring written decisions on claims where the inter partes review was not instituted. Regarding the Trump administration, Bob predicts that the administration’s focus on job creation and trade treaties indicates that they will be supportive of strong patent enforcement.