Improve the notice function
Patent owners often do not keep their records up-to-date at the Patent Office, making it nearly impossible for potential defendants to know what patents they infringe and appropriately make risk analyses before they move forward with a product. Patents are supposed and their related documents should be public to put parties on notice of what they can and cannot do; when those records aren’t public, inventors bear the cost.
All patent owners should be required to keep their disclosures up to date throughout the life of the patent, or else the patent will be unenforceable. For example, patent owners should be required to update ownership and litigation records in a timely fashion. And, with the exception of relevant trade secrets, licenses to a patent should be reported within six months of their effective date.