EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.09.13

USPTO is Out of Control and Needs to be Rebooted (or Booted Out)

Posted in Patents at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos

Summary: More stories about the US patent system granting monopolies on too broad a range of ideas

The patent boosters say that Twitter, which promised not to sue with patents, claims to have ‘invented’ tweeting. Maybe it’s just not aware of syndication and SMS, which predate Twitter. To quote the patent boosters:

Now those of you who know me and have read my posts in the past, know that I am not a patent attorney myself (although I am married to one who is rather well known). Rather, I am a social media strategist — sometimes called The Social Media Diva™ — who uses Twitter and other social media platforms to assist my clients in their online marketing strategies. Quite frequently we will feature posts that analyze the technologies of an issued patent from the IP attorney perspective. We thought it would be fun for me to analyze this patent from a non-attorney standpoint as it pertains to social media platforms as a whole.

Rather than promising not to sue, as we said last year, Twitter could just refuse to patent. This is of no use against trolls anyway.

Rackspace, which is fighting patent trolls these days, is getting a hand from some lawyers who search for prior art along with geeks in Groklaw:

Rackspace is going after a troll, Parallel Iron and its “agent”, IP Navigation (or IPNav), bringing a declaratory judgment of noninfringement action against Parallel Iron, because it owns the patents and is asserting them against the Open Source Hadoop distributed file system ( Parallel’s patents being on storage-area-network and network-attached-storage equipment) and a breach of contract action against both. Since Rackspace says, as the H Online reports, one goal is “to highlight the tactics that IP Nav uses to divert hard-earned profits and precious capital from American businesses”, I thought we could pitch in and spread the word.

Why are those patents granted in the first place? Quite simply, the USPTO decided to give up on quality assessment and now it just grants almost everything. It’s the guilty until proven innocent mentality. Here is new analysis from Ars, citing a study of the backlog:

When David Kappos announced his resignation as head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) late last year, one of his most touted accomplishments was a significant reduction in the backlog of pending patent applications. Kappos’s fans have attributed this to the hiring of hundreds of additional patent examiners.

But a new study suggests another explanation for the declining backlog: the patent office may have lowered its standards, approving many patents that would have been (and in some cases, had been) rejected under the administration of George W. Bush. The authors—Chris Cotropia and Cecil Quillen of the University of Richmond and independent researcher Ogden Webster—used Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain detailed data about the fate of patent applications considered by the USPTO since 1996.

Watch what the USPTO has been causing. As covered by Ars as well:

Starting late last year, hundreds of US businesses began to receive demand letters from secretive patent-holding companies with six-letter gibberish names: AdzPro, GosNel, and JitNom. The letters state that using basic office equipment, like scanners that can send files to e-mail, infringes a series of patents owned by MPHJ Technologies. Unless the target companies make payments—which start at around $9,000 for the smallest targeted businesses but go up from there—they could face legal action.

The USPTO should be slammed for enabling extortion by granting a government-endorsed monopoly (privatisation) on scanning. Rather than slamming the trolls we should target the system which enables those trolls and call for its reform or complete demise. There is a coup going on against creativity, innovation, and freedom of thought. We need to defend ourselves from this corporate coup which passes fees from customers to some billionaires at the top (patent hoarders like Intellectual Ventures).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Software Patents Continue Their Invalidation Process, But Patent Law Firms Try to Deny This in Order to Attract Misinformed (or Poorly-Informed) Clients

    A roundup of news about software patents and demonstration of the sheer bias in the media, which is mostly controlled or steered by the patent microcosm rather than actual inventors



  2. Patent Trolls of Microsoft and Ericsson Are Trying to Tax Everything, Especially Linux Devices

    An update on Intellectual Ventures and Unwired Planet, whose operations pose a growing problem for Free software and Linux-based products (e.g. Android)



  3. Asia's Patent Litigation Chaos Getting Worse, Reaching Countries in the West, and Sites Like IAM Actively Promote This

    The race to the bottom (of patent quality) in China, the growth of patent trolls in the region, and the ruinous litigation strategy which now spills over even to the US -- through the Eastern District of Texas -- and may inevitably come to Europe (especially if the UPC ever becomes a reality)



  4. More French Politicians Are Complaining That Benoît Battistelli is a Disgrace to France and Urge for Action

    The backlash against Battistelli spills well outside the EPO and is now apparent even at the French National Assembly



  5. Links 3/12/2016: Mageia 5.1 Released, Mozilla Revenue at $421.3M

    Links for the day



  6. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Sees Decline in Patent Applications and It May Actually be a Good Thing

    Challenging the false belief that the more patents society has the better off it will be, citing examples and news from north America



  7. Blockchain Domain Infested With Software Patents, MasterCard Among the Culprits

    Worrying signs that an area of Free/Open Source software innovation is getting impacted by the plague of software patents



  8. Dutch Media Covers Latest EPO Scandals, German Media Totally Absent (a Media Blackout of Convenience)

    Our observations regarding the apparent media disinterest in EPO scandals, especially at the very core of the EPO (principal host country)



  9. Relocating the Boards of Appeal to Haar is a Poisonous Priority at Battistelli's EPO

    Revisiting Battistelli's effort to chop off the appeal boards that are necessary for ensuring patent quality at the EPO



  10. Links 2/12/2016: Mint Betas, Chrome 55, KDevelop 5.0.3, PHP 7.1.0

    Links for the day



  11. The Rule of Law and Justice Don't Exist Inside the EPO, Confirms the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    Further analysis of the latest rulings from the ILO -- decisions that were long expected



  12. A Day in the Life of... Battistelli's Banana Republic

    This is part 5 of a fictional diary from the EPO



  13. Links 1/12/2016: Devuan Beta, R3 Liberates Code

    Links for the day



  14. Two ILO Decisions on EPO Cases Are Released, at Least One Judgment is Considered Good for Staff

    Years later (as justice is too slow, partly because of the EPO, being the principal culprit that clogs up the ILO's tribunal system) there is a couple of new judgments about EPO abuses against staff



  15. Dutch and French Politicians Complain About the European Patent Office, British Media Coverage Regular Now

    Pressure from the political systems, the scientific community and from the media is growing, as it becomes abundantly apparent that the EPO cannot go on like this



  16. Links 30/11/2016: Git 2.11, GOG Surprise Tomorrow

    Links for the day



  17. The UPC Scam Part IV: Bumps Along the Road for UPC, With or Without the UK and Brexit

    A sobering reality check regarding the UPC, no matter what Lucy Neville-Rolfe says under pressure from Battistelli and some selfish law firms that are based in London



  18. The UPC Scam Part III: The “Patent Mafia”

    Bigwigs like Lucy Neville-Rolfe and Benoît Battistelli, together with Team UPC and its tiny minority interests (self enrichment), are conspiring to hijack the laws of Europe, doing so across many national borders with unique and locally-steered patent policy in one fell swoop



  19. The UPC Scam Part II: The Patent Echo Chamber at Work, Prematurely Congratulating Itself in Its 'News' Sites





  20. The UPC Scam Part I: EPO-Bribed Media Outlets Lie to Brits (and to Europeans) About the UPC

    An introductory article in a multi-part series about UPC at times of Brexit and Lucy Neville-Rolfe's bizarre sellout to Battistelli



  21. European Public Service Union Asks EPO Administrative Council “to Re-establish the Rule of Law at the European Patent Office”

    The chinchillas of the Administrative Council are assertively asked to tackle the abusive management of the EPO, which gets condemned not only by CERN but also EPSU, which is working with the Dutch government to end lawlessness at the EPO



  22. Links 29/11/2016: Core Apps Hackfest, MuckRock Goes FOSS

    Links for the day



  23. ILOAT Decisions: Upcoming Publication of Two EPO Cases (Abuse Against Staff)

    Reminder about tomorrow's "exceptional public delivery" from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and a request for additional information



  24. Mixing Politics and EPO: How Battistelli Defies the Very Basic Rules of the Office

    A reminder of the fact that Battistelli was entrenched in French politics even while he was serving at the EPO



  25. EPO DG1 Principal Director “Out of the Muppet Show”

    The ridicule of EPO management is a symptom of a poisonous work environment which now resembles an assembly line of bad patents, where employees are treated unfairly, severely, and in clear defiance of labour laws



  26. Learning From the Mistakes of the US Patent System (and More Latterly China) When Assessing Patent Maximalism

    The warning signs coming both from the East and from the West, demonstrating the pitfalls of a policy too permissive on patents and thus on litigation



  27. The International Labour Organisation Once Again Proves Useless for Labour of the EPO

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is once again failing too serve justice, instead just sending complaints elsewhere, in effect into a black hole



  28. CERN Slams the European Patent Office for Abuse of Employees

    The European Organisation for Nuclear Research known as CERN is openly condemning EPO management and the Administrative Council for violation of human/labour rights, not to mention the other abuses that are rampant under Battistelli's notorious regime



  29. Links 28/11/2016: X-Plane 11 Beta, Early Work For C++20, Microsoft Hole in RHEL

    Links for the day



  30. Patents Roundup: Patent Trolls, Patent Quality, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”)

    A week's roundup of patent news from the United States, where there's a mixture of good news, bad news, good reporting, and misleading (or selective) reporting


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts