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

07.26.16

Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Without patent quality, convergence is reached near registration/filing rather than proper examination (but with a hefty price tag)

On quality
I left my bank when it bragged about giving a mortgage to nine out of ten applicants

Summary: The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet ‘production’ goals

THE USPTO has been scrutinised here for a number of years primarily because of patent quality (or lack thereof). Few people can honestly say that it’s hard to get granted a patent at the USPTO (there are like 10 million of them and one single company like IBM can gain 7,355 patents in just one year). Recent figures suggest that eventually 92% of applications are “successful”, so what kind of quality control is that? Engineers at Sun once joked about how silly an application can be accepted and even competed over this as applicants (to see who gets the stupidest patent claims through the examiners). A lot of granted patents are simply dubious, but small companies would not be able to afford challenging them in court (or it would be a lot more expensive than simply settling).

“When the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asks for improvement in patent quality it also alludes to patent scope and software patents explicitly.”Matt Levy, who habitually complains about patent trolls and even about software patents (in his more recent articles), has just mentioned the US Government Accountability Office's rant about US patent quality (which we first wrote about last week). He says [1, 2] that “[e]ven if you’re not a patent lawyer, you’ve probably noticed that patents have been in the news more. The growing problem of patent trolls, companies who make their money by suing other companies for patent infringement, has been the primary reason. Patent trolls now account for nearly two-thirds of all patent infringement lawsuits, draining billions of dollars away from productive companies.”

According to this article (behind paywall) a “US High Court Restores Treble Damages For Patent Infringement,” which means that things are not necessarily improving.

When the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asks for improvement in patent quality it also alludes to patent scope and software patents explicitly. Benjamin Henrion said that “improving quality does not mean much for the average programmer, just more spam.” Well, in practice, raising the bar may mean that few software patents would be authorised at all (both at the courts and the patent office). That’s definitely a step forward. IBM’s Manny Schecter, a longtime proponent of software patents, was yammering that: “Backlog easy to measure, quality not, but…”

Backlog depends on the number of examiners or the lenience of examination. There are some correlations there and under David Kappos, who had joined from IBM, the USPTO tackled backlog by just granting lots of things faster (basically the same error Battistelli and his goons make at the EPO).

Here is a good article about the GAO report. It says: “The Patent and Trademark Office, at a time of rising lawsuits charging patent infringements, needs to improve quality and better monitor examiners’ work, a watchdog found.

“This is not a sign of innovation. Quite the contrary.”“In a pair of reports and staff survey released on Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office said that patent examiners report being pressed for time as they process patent applications without a consistent and clear definition of quality.

““District court filings of new patent infringement lawsuits increased from about 2,000 in 2007 to more than 5,000 in 2015, while the number of defendants named in these lawsuits increased from 5,000 to 8,000 over the same period,” GAO wrote in one report addressing quality in intellectual property protections.”

This is not a sign of innovation. Quite the contrary. A patent trolls expert (he conducted academic studies on the subject), Professor James Bessen, said: “The GAO finds Patent Office issues 1000s of “unclear & overly broad” patents, causing excessive litigation” (“Stop issuing Software Patents & there wouldn’t be a backlog” was one response to this).

“Most disputes concern new computer technology and software,” according to another new article about the GAO study/reports. Just like in the EPO, the US office is “focusing too much on the timeliness of reviews, customer service and “process or production goals” rather than quality.”

It’s added that “[e]xaminers are rated largely on their production, auditors said, and they are given different times” and “GAO recommended that the agency define what is a good patent, update its performance goals for reviewers” (the same should be done at the EPO).

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 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  2. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  3. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  4. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  5. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  6. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  7. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  8. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  9. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  10. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  11. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  12. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  13. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  14. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  15. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  16. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  17. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  18. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  19. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  20. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  21. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  22. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  23. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  24. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  25. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  26. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  28. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  29. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)



  30. What IAM Says About AST, RPX, Ericsson, and IBM

    IAM, the trolls' mouthpiece (also the EPO's mouthpiece, but that's another story), provides updates on trolls and troll-like entities, but further commentary is needed to clarify and counterbalance the promotional language


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