Isles host debate on future of patents
Patent officers from the United States, Europe and Asia met recently in Hawaii to discuss the future of innovation and the growing number of international patents being sought.
Jon W. Dudas, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, wrapped up the meetings over the weekend with his counterparts from the European Union, Japan, China and Korea. Dudas said the meeting was to discuss "the future of innovation."
"We're facing increased patent applications, which is wonderful because it's more innovation, but we're also seeing that it's a crisis in terms of backlogs and how long it takes (to get a patent)," Dudas said yesterday. "The worst thing you can tell a small inventor is, 'It's going to take you years and years before you find out if you really have something or not.'
"That's a problem throughout the world."
Dudas said he worked out the details for holding the meeting in Hawaii when he met with Gov. Linda Lingle during her recent trip to Washington, D.C.
Also yesterday, Lingle was hosting Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway transporter, who has been helping her administration with the innovation package of legislation introduced this year. It focuses on promoting math, science and engineering skills in the state's schools and work force.
Kamen was in Hawaii yesterday for a rally serving as a kickoff for the 2008 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Hawaii Regional. The regional, which will feature an international competition of high school robotics teams, is scheduled for Hawaii in March.