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Monday, 16 December 2013 12:18

Google takes control of the patent office

Written by Nick Farrell



At least it was not Apple

The cosy relationship between big business and US corporates became a little obvious today after Google's former top patent lawyer has been at top job working for America's patent and trademark office (USPTO).

Given the fact that most corporate battles are between companies pretending they invented things before their rivals, control of the patent office would be a good win for any of the big corporates. Michelle Lee was made a deputy director of the USPTO and will run the outfit while it hunts for a new boss.

Lee left Google in June 2012 but said the opinions of her former employer would not guide her work. In fact, chances are that she will not be allowed to be involved in any rulings that are directly connected to Google. Lee claims that her first job will be tackling its huge backlog of patents. There are almost 600,000 patents awaiting assessment by its examiners.

Lee also wants to improve the quality of patents being approved in a bid to reduce the number of patent trolls who sue based on poorly worded and wide briefs.

Nick Farrell

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