President Obama broached the issue of intellectual property protection several times in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. But as Congress continues its debate of controversial digital piracy legislation, at least one expert is suggesting that businesses may be better served by a reorganization of the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The president touched on the role of patent protection in global economic competitiveness several times in his speech, but according to Politico, mentions of the polarizing Stop Online Piracy Act were left absent. Despite the fervor over the proposed legislation seen just days before in the same congressional chamber, such provisions did not register on the final list of talking points.
However, University of Missouri School of Law professor Dennis Crouch suggested that the current awareness of IP management issues has created a climate that could facilitate separate reforms.
In his latest column for PatentlyO, Crouch explained that it may be the perfect time to reintroduce the idea of a U.S. Intellectual Property Organization. Creating a centralized federal authority regarding IP issues could help cure the "fractured administrative structure" that may be inhibiting innovation and letting crucial considerations fall in the cracks between offices. Although the issue hasn't been discussed in more than a decade, Crouch said, it could also facilitate closer alignment with international IP authorities.