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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2013/04/09/uspto-reboot/

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. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  2. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  3. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  4. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  5. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  6. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  8. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  9. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  11. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  13. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  14. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  15. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  16. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  17. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  18. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."



  21. Richard Stallman's Honors and Awards (and Why He Resigned in 2019)

    Reproduced with permission



  22. Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  24. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  25. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic



  26. Who is Richard Stallman?

    Reproduced with permission



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 13, 2021



  28. Links 13/4/2021: FreeBSD 13.0 Final, Slackware 15.0 GNU/Linux Beta Release and OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 Plans

    Links for the day



  29. IBM Stroking the Masters

    IBM continues to diminish its weakly-supported thesis about the word “Master” being inadequate in all contexts and IBM’s front group, the Linux Foundation, has just promoted more of that same self-serving agenda in the corporate media (screenshot below from 5 minutes ago)



  30. The 'Stallman Support' Web Site and How You Can Support Truth, Not Just Software Freedom

    The Stallman Support Dot Org Web site (stallmansupport.org, "In Support of Richard Stallman“), endorsed by Stallman himself, sets the record straight while the corporate media keeps peddling lies and distortions


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

Recent Posts