Today’s Inauguration of the 44th President, Barack Obama, holds heavy implications on every American political policy, including our domestic and foreign patent policies. The President is charged with the responsibility of appointing a Director of the PTO, who’s leadership could reflect a resurgence of innovation preeminence for the U.S. Also, Federal Circuit openings must be filled by the President over the next 4 years, and knowledgeable appointees will be a crucial element to a regained preeminence.
The PTO and the Federal Circuit have, at recent times, worked at odds and without a common goal in mind. It will be ever-so-important to the patent community, and to U.S. innovation, that Mr. Obama has a heady perspective of the patent system and takes these appointments seriously.
(For more quick reading on the need for PTO and Federal Circuit harmony and the importance of an IP-ready President, read “A Patent-Savvy Future President?” at ipFrontline)
President Obama will also be in office while IP management policies change dramatically. In the next year, the Intellectual Property Exchange International (IPXI) will commence its services to the IP community. IPXI calls itself “the world’s first financial exchange with an intellectual property focus”. It will unleash some of its products in the coming months, which purport to move IP closer to tradeable assets, and farther from arbitrary and ambiguous government-granted rights. Movements like that being pushed by IPXI will slowly commoditize IP, changing the public perspective of these rights to something like an investment tool or an annuity. We will all have to watch this movement closely, but perhaps no eyes on this development are as important as those of President Obama. His foresight and actions taken with respect to this change will facilitate the United State’s continued leadership in a worldwide knowledge society.