Sunday, December 11, 2011

Looking for Assignees - Again

USPTO has issued a Request for Information on enhanced reporting of assignee information on patent and patent application ownership. The need for improved patent assignee data is compelling. If you are manufacturing a product and you figure out that you need a license to a piece of technology, a daunting task by itself, you should be able to at least find the real entity and the real people associated with the entity to see if you can get the license you need. At present, this is a challenge.

Take it from me, trolling the Secretary of State sites, Pacer, and countless other data sources to see who owns Obfuscation Patent Holdings, LLC of Nevada and its various subsidiaries, shell companies, and owners of record is a tiring pursuit. It's entertaining at times when you hit the jackpot and can figure out who owns the mysterious patent that keeps showing up in the cease and desist letters. Usually it's fruitless because hiding ownership of a patent is one of the easiest things you can do at USPTO. It's time for more transparency in patent assignee data and USPTO has provided an opportunity to provide your input on the subject.

Send in your comments, encourage full disclosure.

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