05.05.11

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The USPTO Has Gone Corrupt

Posted in America, Patents at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Greedy film

Summary: Now that the USPTO is managed by none of the people whose interest is science and technology this establishment is, by definition, corrupted

Red Hat is trying to gather opinions about the patent system using a poll, which is obviously warped in favour of the readership of a blog called opensource.com (site address picked by Red Hat). 92.7% (506 votes) of the respondents so far think that software patents do not encourage innovation. Where is the USPTO? Is it listening at all? It is clear that the US patent system is broken. Even people inside this system say so. The USPTO is terminally ill and nonetheless, it is unwilling to heal itself because of greed. Greed. Boundless greed. This shameful establishment is run by the wrong people and it keeps getting worse with improper appointments that assume the USPTO exists for lawyers, not for science. Yes, instead of scientists being at the top, it is just a bunch of people who carve out derivatives from other people’s work. This latest report says: “The upper management of the USPTO is now solidly in the hands of patent law professionals with extensive experience in corporate patent law and management practice.”

This has got to be revealing. So “patent law professionals” run this place; these are the people whose family and friends make money from granting monopolies for people who actually do little thinking, sometimes even patent trolls. Chicken and fox spring to mind.

In other news, TechDirt shows “How One Startup Used Patents To Kill A (Better) Competitor”. How on Earth is this supposed to improve anything? To quote:

This sort of story is more common than you might imagine. I recently had a conversation with a serial entrepreneur who told a similar story. One of his previous companies had been quite successful, and was on the verge of being acquired for upwards of $70 million. Days before the deal was to be closed, one of their competitors got wind of the deal, and filed a patent infringement lawsuit against them, leading the acquirer to drop the deal. Without the funds to fight the lawsuit, the entrepreneur had no other option but to sell his company to the company who sued him for less than $5 million.

The USPTO needs a hard reboot. The people who manage the USPTO are like predators in a hen house. They don’t care about innovation, they care about patent revenue. They do nothing to address issues that they definitely acknowledge, so they can’t plead ignorance.

“[Y]ou’re creating a new 20-year monopoly for no good reason.”

David Kappos, Director of the USPTO

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