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

12.31.17

Michael Frakes and Melissa Wasserman Complain About Low Patent Quality While Watchtroll Lobbies to Lower It Further

Posted in America, Patents at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New paper from Michael Frakes speaks of the USPTO‘s incentive to grant patents irrespective of merit (e.g. quality/prior art)

Michael D. Frakes

Summary: A new paper, composed by Michael D. Frakes and Melissa F. Wasserman, explains that the way things are working in the United States may mean that patent examiners have an incentive to grant low-quality patents — the very thing the patent microcosm wants as it leads to increase in litigation rather than innovation

THE year is ending today and we have broadened our scope for observing news about software patents. Expect more next year than in the past year.

A couple of weeks ago this scholarly paper was published, but we have not noticed it until more recently (when the media mentioned it). We thought it’s worth propagating the outline as follows:

Problem

There is general agreement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues too many invalid patents—those patents issued on an existing technology or on an obvious technological advancement—that are unnecessarily reducing consumer welfare, stunting productive research, and discouraging innovation. However, there has until recently been little to no compelling empirical evidence that any particular feature of the patent application system causes the Patent Office to allow the granting of invalid patents, making it difficult to fully reform the patent system.

Proposal

Frakes and Wasserman build upon new empirical evidence to propose three changes to the patent system that would reduce the issuance of invalid patents: (1) restructuring the Patent Office’s fee schedule to minimize the risk that fee collections will be insufficient to cover its operational costs, while also diminishing its financial incentive to grant patents when collections are insufficient; (2) limiting the number of repeat applications that applicants can file for the same invention; and (3) increasing the time examiners spend reviewing patent applications.

Abstract

There is general agreement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is issuing too many invalid patents that are unnecessarily reducing consumer welfare, stunting productive research, and discouraging innovation. In this paper, Frakes and Wasserman build upon new empirical evidence to propose three changes to the patent system that would reduce the issuance of invalid patents: (1) restructuring the Patent Office’s fee schedule to minimize the risk that fee collections will be insufficient to cover its operational costs, while also diminishing its financial incentive to grant patents when collections are insufficient; (2) limiting the number of repeat applications that applicants can file for the same invention; and (3) increasing the time examiners spend reviewing patent applications.

The EPO has, in recent years, been seduced into a similar trap. What is it that should be measured? What is the yardstick of growth? Is growth even necessarily desirable? This is about monopolies.

As longtime readers may know (some people have been reading the site for over a decade), we are not against patents. We are against software patents. We are pro-software copyrights (or copyleft). So the other day when we saw a British site stating that “Quiptel’s technology and software patents will now drive the company’s primary business focus” we were rather miffed. Why does Quiptel keep bragging about software patents? We have shown other examples in recent weeks. These patents are bunk and nothing to brag about.

“As longtime readers may know (some people have been reading the site for over a decade), we are not against patents. We are against software patents.”Always remember that some of the heaviest lobbying for software patents comes from Watchtroll. So we have decided to watch it a little more closely in the coming year. Towards the end of the year this site/front group had mostly summaries/meta (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), but it also said: “In recent years, life as an IP strategist admittedly has been turbulent. Pivotal judicial decisions, the America Invents Act, and their application in the USPTO and the courts have been widely viewed as reducing the value of patents in the United States.”

No, the America Invents Act (AIA) brought PTAB, which actually improved patent quality and increased the value of remaining — not collective — patents. The more bogus patents get granted, the lower the value of the whole on an individual basis. We explained this repeatedly in the context of European Patents (EPs) and the EPO.

“The more bogus patents get granted, the lower the value of the whole on an individual basis.”As we shall show later today, Watchtroll carries on with PTAB bashing, courtesy of the patent microcosm’s echo chamber (people who profit from lawsuits). Here is Watchtroll boosting Paul Morinville, one of the most radical among PTAB bashers. Isn’t it incredible that some law firms and even IBM are willing to associate with such people?

By contrast, Juristat offered a more objective annual review and Mark Summerfield down under has shared some statistics and thoughts. Here’s what he wrote yesterday:

The coming year promises to be another interesting – and potentially turbulent – one for the Australian patent system. Public consultations have already taken place in relation to proposed changes to patent (and other IP) laws in response to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) review of Australia’s IP arrangements. These changes include potential substantive amendments to the law of inventive step, while draft legislation has already been published in relation to other PC recommendations, including abolition of the innovation patent. It is likely that some, if not all, of these legislative changes will be passed during 2018.

This does — among other things — end software patents. They were never quite blessed by the system anyway, but now there are even stricter regulations in place (or rules in the Australian patent office) to prevent patenting of software. Australia seems to have gotten more serious about patent quality rather than quantity.

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. Organising Techrights

    We're tidying up the site so as to make it easier to find past material (by clustering topics programmatically)



  2. Links 26/5/2019: GNOME 3.33.2 and OSS Catchup

    Links for the day



  3. Much Ado About Senators Tillis and Coons (Who Failed in 2017 and in 2018)

    The patent microcosm is attempting to buy laws that supersede the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and remove/weaken U.S.C. § 101 as well as PTAB while their blogs and sponsored 'articles' serve as lobbying vehicles



  4. European Patents Are Eventually Being Revoked. But at Great Expense to Everyone Except Law Firms.

    European Patent EP2724461 is revoked; but the cost of this chaos, which included an invalid embargo, could well be measured in billions, not millions



  5. Team Campinos Will Try to Make It Difficult to Go on Strike (But Won't Manage to Prevent It)

    The European Patent Office has a long and growing tradition of failing to respect staff's rights, including the right to go on strike (over violations of other rights of staff)



  6. Links 25/5/2019: Wine 4.9 Released, FreeBSD 11.3 Beta, Telegram Launches Fift

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/5/2019: PostgreSQL 12 Beta 1 and Rust 1.35 Released

    Links for the day



  8. EPO Strikes Further Diminish Chances of UPC Ever Materialising (in Any Shape or Form)

    The EPO crumbles under the weight of its own corruption while an increasingly-insane Team UPC pretends all remains normal and a patent trolls-friendly system is ready to take off



  9. EPO Allegedly Becoming Insolvent (Pretext for Cuts), So Staff Gets Punished While Management Takes the Jackpot

    The corporate 'logic' at the EPO follows the "shareholders' value" propaganda line as if the EPO is a private company looking to maximise revenue rather than serve the public



  10. EPO President Still Not Obeying Courts' Rulings

    Federation of International Civil Service Associations (FICSA) sent a message to António Campinos yesterday (the same day SUEPO publicly made a call for strike)



  11. António Campinos Has Run Out of Time and EPO Staff is Going on Strike (Skipping Mere Protests)

    European Patent Office strikes are to resume; as SUEPO recently put it, people have come to accept that EPO leadership has not really changed and none of the underlying issues is being tackled



  12. Links 23/5/2019: Elisa 0.4.0, OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  14. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  15. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  16. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  18. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  19. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  20. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  21. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  22. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  23. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  25. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  27. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  28. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  29. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  30. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts