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. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  2. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  3. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  4. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  5. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  6. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  7. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  8. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  9. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  10. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  11. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  12. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  13. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  14. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  15. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  16. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  17. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  18. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  20. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  21. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  22. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  23. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  24. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  25. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  26. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  27. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  28. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  29. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  30. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions


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