02.28.17

Yes, Michelle Lee is Still in Charge of the US Patent Office, in Spite of the Patent Microcosm’s Endless Attacks on Her

Posted in America, Patents at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michelle K. Lee
Reference: Wikipedia (as of minutes ago)

Summary: In spite of many attacks on Michelle Lee — all of which courtesy of rude patent maximalists — she remains in charge of the Office and we wish her continued success in that role

SINCE the beginning of this year we have seen many false rumours about Michelle Lee. Evil tongues had been attempting to brew a scandal out of nothing, or simply ended up spreading misinformation so as to promote and usher in corrupt people like Rader into Lee’s position. This served to remind us just how disgusting, cruel and dirty our opposition (idealogical or professional) really is.

“It should be widely recognised that patents are a time-limited monopoly but not a property.”According to this update from one with many connection in and around the USPTO, “Michelle Lee appears to still be leading the PTO and again signed this week’s patents.” That has been the case for quite a while, in spite of Watchtroll’s fake news and perpetual attack pieces on the Director of the USPTO, Michelle Lee ([1, 2, 3, 4]. Are they really so eager to alienate themselves, casting themselves as enemies of the system? Because that’s just what they are accomplishing. “Meanwhile,” as Patently-O put it today, “Michelle Lee appears to still be leading the PTO and again signed this week’s patents. A somewhat odd and steady steady drumbeat from several sources has been demanding Michelle Lee’s resignation or removal. Lee has acted in pro-patent-applicant ways in several respects. Notably, she has issued more patents per year than any other USPTO director in history; acted to limit the much of the impact of the Supreme Court’s Alice/Mayo on patents being prosecuted (except in the business method area); and has substantially reduced patent application pendency. The calls for her removal, however, appear to be coming from the PTO’s new role as arbiter of patent disputes at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Still, during her tenure, the PTAB has been somewhat tamed as compared to its initial cancellation pace under Director Kappos. The problem largely seems to be that Lee has not been an outspoken advocate of patents-as-property.”

That last part about “patents-as-property” (a term that Crouch has been using a lot lately) is pure nonsense and we wrote about this recently. It should be widely recognised that patents are a time-limited monopoly but not a property. Things that are intangible are a mere concept, so calling them property is misleading and rather ingenuous. Watch today’s MIP article about Taiwan, where people are apparently being compelled to pay the toll several times over, paying tax on imaginary things! To quote the key part (the rest is mostly behind a paywall anyway): “Christopher M Neumeyer reviews the lessons to be learned from two recent cases where Taiwan companies were ordered to pay taxes on licensing fees paid to a foreign licensor” (the flow of money here makes no sense at all, for numerous reasons).

“The one thing that the patent microcosm really hates right now is PTAB, and a lot of these patent maximalists view Lee as PTAB’s enabler or embodiment; that’s why they want her ousted, by any means possible (even lies, distortions and conspiracy theories).”The above from Patently-O also mentions PTAB, referring to the (in our opinion) corrupt David Kappos, who now receives money from large corporations in order to pull strings and lobby the Office he once led. Lee actually managed to get PTAB to work effectively and quickly, to the point where it eliminated thousands of patents and received the Federal Circuit‘s consent almost all the time. In one of the rare cases (about one in five) where CAFC does not agree with PTAB it not necessarily reverses but often just nullifies a decision. Patently-O has just covered one such decision, noting: “In a new pair of decisions, the Federal Circuit has again rejected the PTAB’s obviousness findings as inadequate and remanded for further proceedings. As she has done in the past, Judge Newman agreed with the merits dissented from the remand – arguing that the challenger should not be so freely given what amounts to a new trial.”

The one thing that the patent microcosm really hates right now is PTAB, and a lot of these patent maximalists view Lee as PTAB’s enabler or embodiment; that’s why they want her ousted, by any means possible (even lies, distortions and conspiracy theories). To them, ends justify nefarious means. Reformers, as in those looking for reformist changes in the patent system (Lee repeatedly spoke of her displeasure at the sight of trolls, i.e. the very opposite of Rader) need to get involved and help protect Lee from these literary thugs, who sometimes send letters to officials, using terms like “swamp” in reference to Lee (not necessarily because she looks ‘foreign’ and is of the gender that Donald Trump belittles).

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