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

01.14.16

USPTO Doubled the Number of Granted Patents in Just a Few Years, Demonstrating Very Sharp Decline in Patent Quality

Posted in America, Patents at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The higher one goes, the lesser/lower the quality

Graph

Summary: Numerical evidence of the great decline in US patents quality, which in recent years gave way to a lot more patent litigation, patent trolls (that exploit software patents), complaints about the patent system, and invalidations inside US courts

BOTH the EPO and the USPTO pretend that more patents would be better. It’s a dangerous, popular but nevertheless wrong assumption. IP Watch wrote yesterday that:

The number of patent applications filed worldwide continues to increase, up by 4.6 percent in 2014 for a total of nearly 2.7 million, according to the 2015 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators. The increasing number of patents filed worldwide demonstrates the strength of ongoing innovation and the value companies put on protecting their intellectual property where they wish to do business. The filing numbers would likely be even higher, and across more countries, if the filers were more prepared for the costs associated with filing patents.

An article by Dennis Crouch says that “the Federal Circuit has ruled that the IPR procedure allowing the same PTAB panel to both institute an IPR and issue the final decision cancelling the claims. in the process, the divided court rejected both a constitutional and statutory challenge.” Another new piece from Crouch says: “As expected, the USPTO issued just under 300,000 utility patents in calendar year 2015. The new number represents a drop from 2014 – the first drop since President Obama took office and appointed David Kappos as USPTO Director. Barring a new radical transformation of the Office, I expect that the grant numbers will hover around this mark for the next several years.”

“IBM has a history of patent aggression and it promotes software patents in Europe and in New Zealand, not just in the US.”Under David Kappos, the Office has been pressuring examiners to just approve faster, leading to the unbelievable situation where 92% of applications are ultimately approved. What’s even the point of examination with such high acceptance rates? Innovation didn’t accelerate, but the number of patents nearly doubled, which means that the quality of patents went down considerably (unless one has another explanation; the economic downturn definitely wasn’t it).

“IBM tops US patent list for 23rd year,” WIPR wrote yesterday, noting that “IBM has topped the list of recipients of US patents in 2015, beating Samsung and Canon to the top spot, but there has been a slight decline in the overall number of patents granted since 2014.”

IBM has a history of patent aggression and it promotes software patents in Europe and in New Zealand, not just in the US.

Here is what Reuters wrote about it: “International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) was granted the most U.S. patents for the 23rd year in a row in 2015, according to a ranking by patent analysis firm IFI Claims Patents Services.

“There were 298,407 utility patents granted in 2015, down slightly from 2014, IFI Claims said on Wednesday. IBM gained 7,355 patents last year. Utility patents cover function rather than design.”

Who on Earth can conceivably keep track of this many patents. The whole purpose of this system is lost due to overload. It’s good for patent lawyers (and their richest clients), bad for everybody else.

Over at TechDirt there’s a summary of some of these issues, based on a writeup from Masnick. “Qualcomm Says It’s Fighting For The Little Guy, While Really Blocking Patent Reform That Would Help The Little Guy” is the headline. To quote a part which covers trolls and Alice: “Three out of the five panelists — Kate Doerksen, Lee Cheng and Brian Mennell — represented victims of patent trolls. Kate and Brian both have experienced the perils of being a small startup and getting hit with patent lawsuits that have the potential to destroy their businesses. You can read Kate’s story here, in which she’s being sued by a large company trying to keep her startup from competing altogether. It’s even reached the point where Kate agreed to something of a deal with the devil: Erich Spangenberg. As we’ve discussed, Spangenberg, who was one of the most aggressive patent trolls, recently shifted his business into being a sort of reverse patent troll, where he makes deals with small companies like Kate’s, taking an ownership stake in the company in exchange for “helping” the company deal with patent trolls, usually by seeking post-grant review to invalidate the patents being asserted against the startups.

“Mennell has the classic patent troll story of running a startup and getting hit by a patent troll that undermines the ability of the company to stay in business (and also notes that the Supreme Court’s Alice decision made him lose a business method patent, though he doesn’t seem to see that as problematic).”

In this current landscape of patents/patenting it is only good to be a massive corporation such as IBM, a patent troll, or a patent lawyer. Finjan, which has become a bit like a patent troll, isn’t doing too badly.

If examiners are led to believe that more patents mean more “success”, then they probably need to reassess their views. More patents typically mean lower barrier to acceptance or, in other words, lower quality of patents.

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. Links 22/8/2019: KDE ISO Image Writer, GNU Parallel ‘Jesper Svarre’

    Links for the day



  2. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates

    "This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software."



  3. Linux Foundation's Linux.com in 2019: Zero Articles (Nothing Original) and a Terrible, Rookie New Design

    Linux.com has become a curated syndicator of news (edited by one single Microsoft proponent); the site has also eliminated its traditional design in favour of something only 'hipsters' can appreciate



  4. Managing IP as Team UPC's Megaphone and Lobbying Front

    Managing IP is lying on behalf of Team UPC yet again; the site's long history promoting the UPC hasn't ended even when prospects of the UPC are slim to none



  5. No More Rights for EPO Staff?

    The oppression and the crackdown on labour rights in Europe's second-largest institution has deepened to the point where staff is paid as little as is legally possible



  6. Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

    Links for the day



  7. Some Patent Attorneys Dislike Techrights Not Because It's Wrong But Because Software Patents Are Wrong (and Sometimes Illegal)

    Odd rants which misuse common law and ignore alleged Fair Use (and misinterpretation of copyright law, for censorship purposes) would have people believe that we're wrong; but it's more likely that the person in question is jealous, insecure, or offended by our stance on patent scope, which is very much rooted in the law itself (and the views widely held by software developers globally)



  8. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Distro-libre and feature-schema

    "Every time a distro does not suit a user's purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one's own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born."



  9. Links 21/8/2019: Dell's XPS 13, Mesa 19.2 RC1, Librem Update

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/8/2019: Open Source POWER, Alpine 3.10.2, Netrunner 19.08

    Links for the day



  11. Edward as a Nodder to Team UPC Kool-Aid

    Bristows LLP is at it again and it's getting pathetic, not just dishonest as usual



  12. Guest Post: António Campinos' European Patent Office Redefines Modern Slavery in the Heart of Europe in 2019

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) President António Campinos — like his predecessor Battistelli — emulates Chinese labour practices



  13. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: There is More Than One Iceberg Ahead

    "This strategy is not far from when Microsoft talked about "de-commoditizing protocols" in the late 90s, as part of their plans to control, dominate, and end Open Source and Free software."



  14. EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

    The EPO's long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it's difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework



  15. The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can't Get Food Without Being Spied on

    The infamous "War on Cash" has been 'won' at Europe's second-largest institution, where people's diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system



  16. To GNU/Linux, the Operating System, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) is Not the Threat. Microsoft is.

    Don't let Microsoft get away with its bogus narration; GNU/Linux is primarily under attack from Microsoft, whereas Software Freedom in general is under attack from many directions



  17. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  18. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  19. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  20. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  21. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  22. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  23. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  24. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  25. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  26. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  27. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  28. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  29. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  30. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money


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