Representative Kiley Leads Letter to United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Concerning Anti-Israel Bias in Patent Examination

WASHINGTON – Today Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) led a letter to United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal raising concerns regarding anti-Israel bias in the patent examination process after a self-identified patent examiner posted on an internet message board that they might deny a patent because it was for Israeli defense technology. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee, and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee also signed the letter to USPTO Director Vidal.

“Patent examiners are civil servants and they may not let their personal opinions or ideology interfere with their work, which is to assess patent applications according to statute, judicial interpretation, and USPTO guidance. Our nation is blessed to have the most robust intellectual property system in the world, in no small part due to USPTO’s assessment of intellectual property applications.

To protect the probity of the patent examination process and reassure innovators, we urge you to quickly conduct a thorough investigation into this matter by ensuring that review continues for all patent applications. Additionally, we would also ask you to conduct a broader investigation into whether there is a pattern of patent examiners substituting their own preferences and beliefs for the law and USPTO guidance. Innovation cannot flourish without a transparent and robust set of rules, which this unnerving claim undermines,” the letter read.

Click here to read the full letter.

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