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

06.25.17

The US Patent Office (USPTO) Should Now be Headed by Drew Hirshfeld, a Patent Examiner Who Rose to the Top, Not a Lawyer Like Joseph Matal

Posted in America, Patents at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drew Hirshfeld
Reference: Drew Hirshfeld at USPTO

Summary: Donald Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, pushes to the top the patent microcosm rather than technical people who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to run the Office as well as Michelle Lee did

WE were sad to learn about Michelle Lee leaving (she was likely pushed out), but her initial successor — even if only temporary — was somewhat of a relief to us given some of the potential candidates. Drew Hirshfeld, given or based on his official biography, looked like a decent person and a scientist without any obvious conflict of interest. We may be wrong (something may be conveniently omitted from the public record), but he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Sadly, however, that did not last long. Apparently he wasn’t enough of a “swamp” material for Trump’s administration.

“Drew Hirshfeld, given or based on his official biography, looked like a decent person and a scientist without any obvious conflict of interest.”Looking back at the past 3 weeks’ information, having taken stock of some of the press coverage and specialised blogs like Patently-O, we would like to report as succinctly as possible about the situation at the USPTO, which sets the pace for patenting in the world (more so than the EPO, even before Battistelli ruined it).

“The former Google lawyer with a reputation for fighting ‘patent trolls’ resigned as head of US Patent office,” said this report in its headline. We agree with this description of hers. We wrote over a dozen articles about her amid the witch-hunt and we are grateful for what she has done in the Office. She will be widely regarded among industry (maybe not the patent ‘industry’) as a good Director. Kudos for that!

“Apparently he wasn’t enough of a “swamp” material for Trump’s administration.”TechDirt too wrote about her departure, calling it “Unfortunate” (in the headline). To quote the relevant bit: “She seemed to be doing a great job all around — though patent trolls and the group of patent lawyers who love the trolls were campaigning about her — and it appeared she would stick around. That would be a good thing. For all the craziness going on in the government right now, having competent leadership at the USPTO would be one less thing to worry about. But… now it’s being reported that Lee has suddenly resigned and sent a goodbye email to staff. That’s bad news on the patent front.”

TechDirt then adds something about Trump: “As I type this, of the 559 key positions requiring Senate confirmation, Trump hasn’t even named a nominee for 431 of them. That number rises to 456 if you include nominees who have been announced but not formally submitted. And that doesn’t even get to the 63 nominations that haven’t yet been confirmed. Adding the new USPTO director to that pile may mean no new USPTO director for…. who the hell knows how long.”

So much for making things “Great” again…

“Coalition of Chaos” is what Brits might dub this.

“So much for making things “Great” again…”As Patently-O reminded us last month, there are ongoing cases involving Lee, e.g. Shore v Lee. Well, there’s also SAS Institute Inc. v Lee, which goes to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) — a subject we shall leave aside until another day or a later opportunity (it’s would be a distraction to delve into it if USPTO leadership is our main focus right now).

There were also these “Remarks By Director Michelle K. Lee at the George Washington University School of Law”. Here are the remarks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB): “What work lies ahead? Our top priority today is to make sure the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s AIA proceedings are as effective and as fair as possible–within our Congressional mandate.”

“Watchtroll is the leading source of personal attacks on Lee, including innuendo that she was corrupt in some ways.”AIA and PTAB have been very good. Industry generally loves both. Not the patent ‘industry’ but the real industry. Watchtroll is already attacking PTAB (personal attacks) again, as many times before. It spend a lot of time, space, energy etc. also attacking Lee. We’ll never forget what it did. It’s quite a vandalistic site, seeking to enrich the patent ‘industry’ (like patent trolls) at the expense of everyone else and at the expense of science, technology, medicine etc.

Patently-O was actually quite disturbed by Watchtroll’s style and wrote that “Mr. Quinn goes on at length about alleged personal unethical conduct, and makes some sharp accusations and personal attacks that I don’t want to leave any impression that I agree with.”

Watchtroll is the leading source of personal attacks on Lee, including innuendo that she was corrupt in some ways. We are deeply disgusted to see IBM, for example, aligning with this terrible site. It says a lot about IBM…

As for IAM, it is making no pretenses about its motivations in the above case. Yes, the trolls’ voice wants SCOTUS to rule for patent maximalism (which it probably won’t). Lee won’t be around to see the outcome (not at a professional capacity), but at least we now know who took/inherited her place, at least on a temporary basis (interim if not permanent upon confirmation).

“Lee won’t be around to see the outcome (not at a professional capacity), but at least we now know who took/inherited her place, at least on a temporary basis (interim if not permanent upon confirmation). “Patently-O initially wrote, some time earlier this month: “There has been no word from the White House or Commerce Department on a successor. It is unclear to me at this point whether Tony Scardino (current acting deputy director) or Drew Hirshfeld (current Commissioner of Patents) will be tapped as Acting Director.”

It then clarified by stating that Drew Hirshfeld is now the Acting Director of the USPTO. This sounded reassuring at the time, but then came some update from IAM and from Patently-O, saying (based on Trump’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross) that Joe Matal is the USPTO Director in the meantime (interim).

“They should choose technical people (like Lee or Hirshfeld), not the likes of Battistelli.”Lloyd, the software patents booster and pro-patent trolls spinner from IAM, bemoaned this (apparently a lack of ‘sufficient’ deform at the Office) and Patently-O soon clarified that it’s a patent lawyer, not an examiner who is technical. It said. “join me in welcoming a lawyer into the PTO senior management.”

This is bad. They should choose technical people (like Lee or Hirshfeld), not the likes of Battistelli. Enough of those lawyers!

Here is what Patently-O wrote:

But the skirting of guidance leading to Mr. Matal’s appointment isn’t one of those legal problems. I hope the Patent Bar will join me in welcoming a lawyer into the PTO senior management. Mr. Matal is a lawyer with recent stand-up court experience. I hope that he will translate his experience into infusing the PTO with an appreciation for the importance of procedure, and respect for rule of law, to fair and accurate decisionmaking.

He previously worked with the notorious Senator Jeff Sessions (AG under Trump), but he also was, according to his USPTO profile, “principal staff drafter and negotiator of legislation that became the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.”

His only academic background is a law degree. Not a good sign.

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 22/3/2019: Libinput 1.13 RC2 and Facebook's Latest Security Scandal

    Links for the day



  2. Why the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Cannot Ignore Judges, Whereas the EPO Can (and Does)

    The European Patent Convention (EPC) ceased to matter, judges' interpretation of it no longer matters either; the EPO exploits this to grant hundreds of thousands of dodgy software patents, then trumpet "growth"



  3. The European Patent Office Needs to Put Lives Before Profits

    Patents that pertain to health have always posed an ethical dilemma; the EPO apparently tackled this dilemma by altogether ignoring the rights and needs of patients (in favour of large corporations that benefit financially from poor people's mortality)



  4. “Criminal Organisation”

    Brazil's ex-President, Temer, is arrested (like other former presidents of Brazil); will the EPO's ex-President Battistelli ever be arrested (now that he lacks diplomatic immunity and hides at CEIPI)?



  5. Links 21/3/2019: Wayland 1.17.0, Samba 4.10.0, OpenShot 2.4.4 and Zorin Beta

    Links for the day



  6. Team UPC (Unitary Patent) is a Headless Chicken

    Team UPC's propaganda about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become so ridiculous that the pertinent firms do not wish to be identified



  7. António Campinos Makes Up Claims About Patent Quality, Only to be Rebutted by Examiners, Union (Anyone But the 'Puff Pieces' Industry)

    Battistelli's propagandistic style and self-serving 'studies' carry on; the notion of patent quality has been totally discarded and is nowadays lied about as facts get 'manufactured', then disseminated internally and externally



  8. Links 20/3/2019: Google Announces ‘Stadia’, Tails 3.13

    Links for the day



  9. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  10. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  11. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  12. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  13. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  14. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  15. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  17. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  18. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  19. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  20. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  21. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  22. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  23. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  25. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  26. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  27. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  28. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  29. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  30. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)


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