osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Link Harvest: USPTO Says Fair Use To Get A Patent

An interesting controversy at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Inventors frequently submit academic articles and other "copyrighted non-patent literature (NPL)" as part of a patent application. Recently, academic journals have begun to demand that patent applicants pay a license fee for this purpose. The USPTO has issued a memo saying that the doctrine of fair use (as embodied in Section 106 of the Copyright Act) permits the following uses without payment of any licensing fee:

1. Applicants may submit NPL.

2. USPTO may make NPL available to the public, for a fee, of NPL as incidental to providing a certified copy of the patent file.

3. USPTO may, on its own, provide an Applicant with NPL to explain its response to a patent application.

Link to article on controversy: http://paidcontent.org/article/419-patent-office-inventors-dont-have-to-pay-for-science-submissions

Link to memo: http://www.uspto.gov/about/offices/ogc/USPTOPositiononFairUse_of_CopiesofNPLMadeinPatentExamination.pdf

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