The Patent Microcosm Resorts to Fake News and Misinformation in a Desperate Effort to Convince Trump to ‘Pull a Reagan’ (Patent Maximalism)
Dirty tactics from the meta-industry of litigation and virtual (immaterial) ‘assets’
Summary: “The swamp” which is patent maximalists attempts to portray patent sanity as a “swamp”, then lobby the US government to bring back the Reagan era of endless patents on everything
Mr. Mullin from Condé Nast has produced an article about this, including the attempts by IAM, Watchtroll and other mouthpieces for patent maximalism to install Rader (basically a crook) as USPTO Director.
A patent blog that closely watches USPTO internal politics, IP Watchdog, raised the question earlier this week. Reports last month from Politico and The Hill indicated that Michelle Lee, a former Googler who was appointed in 2014 and is favored by the tech sector, would stay on under the administration of President Donald Trump.
Those reports, published right around Trump’s inauguration, seem much less reliable now. IP Watchdog reports that Lee continues to be seen on the 10th floor of the Madison building, where the USPTO director’s office is. Yet others continue to advocate for themselves, and on February 3, Lee canceled a scheduled speaking appearance in San Francisco. Since at least February 6, the Commerce Department’s website has listed the position of USPTO Director as “vacant” (screenshot by IP Watchdog).
Mullin has been too gentle there with his words. He hardly even mentions Rader’s scandals and maybe he decided to omit what would come across as seemingly impolite. But it’s absolutely essential that people are made aware of Rader’s scandals and don’t let him ruin the USPTO in the same way he ruined CAFC (still recovering).
“…it’s absolutely essential that people are made aware of Rader’s scandals and don’t let him ruin the USPTO in the same way he ruined CAFC…”In a separate article, Mullin shows that patent trolls are down, but not out (or dead), at least not yet. Software patents are now being used by some troll called Blackbird Technologies. We already mentioned this article last week and now it’s TechDirt that writes about it. To quote: “Joe Mullin over at Ars Technica has the story of a patent troll, Blackbird Technologies, which was founded by (of course) two patent attorneys to buy up patents and shakedown companies with legal threats. Blackbird Technologies has now sued Netflix, Soundcloud, Vimeo and a variety of other companies over US Patent 7,174,362, issued in 2007 (filed for in 2000) on a “method and system for supplying products from pre-stored digital data in response to demands transmitted via computer network.””
This is a result of low patent quality. These are software patents. They should never have been granted in the first place. President Reagan lowered patenting standards to the point where the USPTO got filled to the rim with nonsensical patents, then came the patent trolls and exploited this (the first to do so, Ray Niro, is dead now, just like his firm). What Watchtroll et al want Trump to do now is ‘pull a Reagan’ and appoint a crooked patent maximalist, undoing all the progress that has been made under Lee.
“What Watchtroll et al want Trump to do now is ‘pull a Reagan’ and appoint a crooked patent maximalist, undoing all the progress that has been made under Lee.”Edward Lanquist Jr., a “Guest Blogger”, mentioned “National Inventors Day” the other day in the corporate media. This day is not about inventors but about patents, at least to him (the headline says, “National Inventors Day helps stress the importance of patent law”). What we have here is a bunch of patent law firms hijacking the word “inventor” to lobby on patents. To quote: “President Ronald Reagan proclaimed Feb. 11, 1983, as the first National Inventors Day to recognize the achievements of inventors who have contributed so much to our economy. Feb. 11 is the birth date of Thomas Edison, who held more than 1,000 patents. As we recognize the accomplishments of inventors and encourage future inventors, we should also take this moment to look to the current and future state of invention and our patent system.”
Lanquist then attacks the status quo by interjecting his agenda: “Software is patentable. Regularly, someone tells me, “According to the Supreme Court, software is no longer patentable.” This belief is held by many, including CEOs, CTOs and persons involved in technology transfer and development. While some software is not patentable, the broad pronouncement that no software is patentable is just wrong. Software patents continue to be allowed and issued. Additionally, though current software patentability is not as broad as it once was, that will likely change. The patent system swings between broad and narrow protection. Patent protection may now be narrower, but history dictates that it will swing back. Decisions made now to not investigate software patentability will likely be viewed as mistakes later.”
“This is fake news, or lobbying disguised as some sort of news.”Actually, Lanquist seems to be little more than an undisclosed shill. There is no disclosure in the article, but a quick lookup reveals that he “practices patent, trademark and copyright litigation, intellectual property counseling and trademark prosecution.”
Why did the publication not mention this? This is fake news, or lobbying disguised as some sort of news.
Is This The Exact Day That IP Australia Turned on ‘Business Method’ Patents?
One thing that is immediately notable is that it appears to have been getting ‘harder’ to obtain a patent in Australia during the period prior to mid-2009, with the proportion of applications lapsing or rejected rising from around 20% to a little over 30%. However, this trend seems to have abruptly reversed with lapsed/rejected rates falling below 2006 levels by the end of 2013. I do not presently have an explanation for this apparent break in the data, and would welcome any suggestions. (Additionally, if you are interested in an analysis of the break establishing its statistical significance, see the Appendix at the end of this article.)
Patent maximalists will attempt to do whatever they can to patent everything under the sun. It means money for them and it’s clear at whose expense. We need to fight back, or else we risk going back into the dark ages of patent trolls, software patents, and ‘legalised’ extortion. █