09.02.17

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Patently-O’s War on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Continues

Posted in America, Patents at 10:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patently-O or Trolly-O?

Trolly-O Patently-O

Summary: Patently-O stoops to the level of Watchtroll and becomes an attack dog at the service of patent parasites, trolls, and extremists

WRITING about the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the USPTO isn’t a new thing at Patently-O; the constant PTAB bashing, however, is pretty new. We first took note of it earlier this year and since then we’ve written close to a dozen articles about it. This PTAB-bashing blog (a friend of patent trolls these days) conveniently omits briefs in support of PTAB. How much clearer can the bias get? Hardly a scholarly thing to do; it’s more like lobbying. We know whose (or in whose favour).

“Hardly a scholarly thing to do; it’s more like lobbying.”There is a lot at stake right now because the Supreme Court is getting an opportunity to abolish or weaken PTAB — something which we certainly don’t hope (nor expect) it will do. There’s also impending change of leadership at the USPTO. As Professor Robin Feldman from UC Hastings College of the Law put it in a message to IAM last week:

In the patent policy battles that have dominated recent headlines—patent trolling and PTAB challenges of pharma patents—Iancu is an unknown quantity. Having represented successful plaintiffs and successful defendants, patent holders and lawsuit targets, he brings the perspective of both sides of the table.

In addition, Iancu’s written works show a respect for software, along with scepticism of some of the judicial tests that allow patenting of software. In other words, at this point, he seems able to walk down the middle of the aisle.

For an incoming USPTO director, I would expect patent quality to be job #1. The USPTO has taken a beating over that topic, from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report several years ago, from commentators and from policy makers. His background suggests a disciplined pragmatist, and I would expect that discipline to focus on quality of the product.

Notice the part there about software patents, which relate to Section 101/Alice. There are several dimensions of lobbying right now (at least 3), or angles attempted by the patent microcosm to thwart the Alice effect. They want software patents to be “great again”.

“PTAB-bashing blogs like Watchtroll and Patently-O would have us believe that PTAB is crooked, but it’s a financially-motivated lie.”Jonathan Szarzynski‏ wrote: “Last week CAFC overturned Andrews killing Visual Memory on [Section] 101, yesterday he finds Acceleration Bay eligible.”

A PTAB basher, J Nicholas Gross, used that to say: “That’s what we get with “Alice in judicialland” precedent – completely random decisions” (they’re not random at all, but the attempts to discredit PTAB now claim the judges to be crooked or incompetent, sometimes even "impotent").

PTAB-bashing blogs like Watchtroll and Patently-O would have us believe that PTAB is crooked, but it’s a financially-motivated lie. We’ve noticed recently that Watchtroll and Patently-O work more closely together and link to each other. That says a lot about what happened to Patently-O, which was once a respected blog, unlike Watchtroll.

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