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

02.06.18

Andrei Iancu’s Firm Has a History Working With Trump, But Senate Says OK to Him Becoming USPTO Director

Posted in America, Patents at 4:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US Senate is still in rubber-stamping mode (even Sen. Claire McCaskill, who should certainly know better)

18 Senate Dems Who Should Turn in Their '#Resistance' Membership Cards
Reference: 18 Senate Dems Who Should Turn in Their ‘#Resistance’ Membership Cards

Summary: Having lost its ability to actually assess and scrutinise Trump’s picks (Neil Gorsuch for instance), US Senate just lets Iancu become the Director of the USPTO, without any scrutiny whatsoever

THE risk of conflicts and nepotism are high when working for a large firm/employer. Yesterday, for example, when Saurabh Vishnubhakat wrote this article about § 143 at the USPTO he was careful to disclose that he had been “advisor at the USPTO until June, 2015″ (he emphasised upfront that his words should not be mistaken for the Office’s).

The upcoming Director of the USPTO also has some questions regarding his appointment. As The Hill put it late last night:

Iancu is an intellectual property lawyer at the firm Irell & Manella, which once defended Trump, Mark Burnett Productions and NBC Universal in a case involving copyright claims over the reality TV show “The Apprentice.”

We watched the process closely, only to realise that Iancu's potential issues weren’t even raised in the meeting. What is even the point of an appointment process if nothing whatsoever is being scrutinised? It’s like watching Senate reauthorising (and even broadening) mass surveillance for another 6 years. As one watcher put it: “49, 50, 51! Andrei Iancu just got Senate majority vote to become next @USPTO director. Zero no votes so far.”

Trump nominated a person, then Senate voted 94-0. So much for “The Resistance”. There’s no opposition at all. Nothing substantial was even being asked. The first article about it seems to have come from Jan Wolfe, who recently gave a platform to patent extremists. The original and licensed copies thereof said absolutely nothing about the issues. To quote:

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed lawyer Andrei Iancu as the next head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, clearing the way for him to lead an agency tasked with deciding who owns the rights to inventions in areas like software, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

The Senate voted 94-0 to confirm Iancu, 49, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in August.

[...]

Iancu is regarded as a “consensus pick” who will balance the rights of patent owners with the concerns of large technology companies often accused of infringement, said Robert Stoll, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath and former patent office official.

[...]

Iancu will succeed interim director Joseph Matal, who took over from Michelle Lee, a former patent lawyer at Google nominated by President Barack Obama to the position in 2014. Lee resigned in June 2017 following months of uncertainty about whether Trump would keep her in the position.

Did they even check and scrutinise the choice, or did they just take the word of Watchtroll-connected loudmouths like Robert Stoll? They’re all patent maximalists. That’s like asking oil companies for their opinion while passing a bill to un-tighten drilling regulations.

This patent microcosm ‘mole’ “has been welcomed by associations” of the patent microcosm, wrote Managing IP, quoting a bunch of them. Patent maximalist Dennis Crouch posted a fairly neutral comment, noting that “Iancu takes over from Joseph Matal who was instrumental in development and passage of the America Invents Act in his role as General Counsel of the Judiciary Committee under Republican Jeff Sessions.”

Watchtroll said that “Joe Matal, who has been in charge at the USPTO in a quasi-Acting capacity is expected to ultimately become the next Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

Matal only became the leader after Watchtroll et al had bullied Michelle Lee (a scientist) out of her job.

So where are the actual voices of opposition? Any balancing act?

The CCIA wrote about Iancu early yesterday, in a post titled “Dear Director Iancu” before he was even confirmed! The CCIA is trying to pressure him on PTAB instead of attempting to antagonise the appointment (while still possible). To quote:

So, you’re Andrei Iancu, about to be the newly confirmed Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. What are the first things you put on your agenda?

I have some suggestions.

Eliminate Contingent Amendments

As an initial matter, the PTAB’s practice of allowing contingent amendments needs to end. Essentially, this allows patent owners multiple bites at the apple; if their first version of a claim isn’t patentable, well, they can try again with their contingent amendment.

It’s also contrary to the statutory language. The statute says that a patent owner can propose a “reasonable number of substitute claims.” Let’s engage in a little bit of statutory construction here. Substitute means, per Merriam-Webster, a “thing that takes the place or function of another.” What it doesn’t mean is an alternative possibility, or a backup that takes the place only when the first one fails. The statute says a claim that takes the place of another claim, and that’s exactly what should be allowed.

If a patentee would prefer an amended claim, let them make their substitution and show why that substituted claim is patentable. But they need to decide whether they want to stand on their claims or ask for different ones—allowing them to do both is contrary to the statute’s expressed intent and imposes unnecessary additional burdens on parties and the Board.

We certainly hope that things won’t turn out as badly as we expect, but Iancu — being loyal to the patent microcosm he came from — is not likely to change things for the better. Already, under Matal, the costs of PTAB were raised (that was effective less than a month ago), thereby reducing access to a pretty essential procedure (IPR) that startups threatened by patent trolls must rely on.

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 20/10/2018: Mesa 18.2.3 Released, FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 1

    Links for the day



  2. Unified Patents Demolishes Some More Notorious Patent Trolls and Offers Bounties to Take Down More of Them

    Even though the new management of the US patent office treats patent trolls as a non-issue, groups that represent technology firms work hard to improve things (except for the litigation zealots)



  3. The Identity Crisis of the European Patent Office, Wrongly Believing It Exists to Serve Lawyers and Patent Trolls Outside Europe

    The European Patent Office doesn’t even feel like it’s European anymore; it’s just an international patent office that happens to be based (primarily) in Munich; insiders and outsiders alike need to ask themselves what these ‘European’ officials (employing firms outside Europe) have turned the Office into



  4. Links 19/10/2018: OpenBSD 6.4 and OpenSSH 7.9 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Ingve Björn Stjerna Has Just Warned That If Team UPC and the European Patent Office Rigged the Proceedings of the German Constitutional Court, Consequences Would be Significant

    The EPO is back to mentioning the Unified Patent Court and it keeps making it abundantly clear that it is only working for the litigation 'industry' rather than for science and technology (or "innovation" as they like to euphemise it)



  6. Links 18/10/2018: New Ubuntu and Postgres

    Links for the day



  7. It's Almost 2019 and Team UPC is Still Pretending Unitary Patent (UPC) Exists, Merely Waiting for Britain to Join

    Refusing to accept that the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) has reached its death or is at a dead end, UPC proponents — i.e. lawyers looking to profit from frivolous litigation — resort to outright lies and gymnastics in logic/intellectual gymnastics



  8. IAM and IP Kat Are Still Megaphones of Battistelli and His Agenda

    IAM reaffirms its commitment to corrupt Battistelli and IP Kat maintains its stance, which is basically not caring at all about EPO corruption (to the point of actively deleting blog comments that mention such corruption, i.e. 'sanitising' facts)



  9. The EPO Under António Campinos Relaxes the Rules on Software Patenting and the Litigation 'Industry' Loves That

    EPO management, which is nontechnical, found new terms by which to refer to software patents -- terms that even the marketing departments can endorse (having propped them up); they just call it all AI, augmented intelligence and so on



  10. Links 17/10/2018: Elementary OS 5.0 “Juno” Released, MongoDB’s Server Side Public Licence

    Links for the day



  11. Improving US Patent Quality Through Reassessments of Patents and Courts' Transparency

    Transparency in US courts and more public participation in the patent process (examination, litigation etc.) would help demonstrate that many patents are being granted — and sometimes asserted — that are totally bunk, bogus, fake



  12. Ask OIN How It Intends to Deal With Microsoft Proxies Such as Patent Trolls

    OIN continues to miss the key point (or intentionally avoid speaking about it); Microsoft is still selling 'protection' from the very same patent trolls that it is funding, arming, and sometimes even instructing (who to pass patents to and sue)



  13. Links 1610/2018: Linux 4.19 RC8, Xfce Screensaver 0.1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  14. Judge-Bashing Tactics, Undermining PTAB, and Iancu's Warpath for the Litigation and Insurance 'Industries'

    Many inter partes reviews (IPRs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) leverage 35 U.S.C. § 101 against software patents; instead of putting an end to such patents Director Iancu decides to just serve the 'industry' he came from (a meta-industry where his firm had worked for Donald Trump)



  15. 'Cloud', 'AI' and Other Buzzwords as Excuses for Granting Fake Patents on Software

    With resurgence of rather meaningless terms like so-called 'clouds' (servers/hosting) and 'AI' (typically anything in code which does something clever, including management of patents) the debate is being shifted away from 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101); but courts would still see past such façade



  16. Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Patents Properly and Our New Hosting Woes

    A status update about EPO affairs and our Web host's plan to shut down (as a whole) very soon, leaving us orphaned or having to pay heavy bills



  17. Links 15/10/2018: Testing Ubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates, KaOS 2018.10 Released

    Links for the day



  18. USPTO FEES Act/SUCCESS Act Gives More Powers to Director Iancu, Supplying Patents for Litigation 'Business' and Embargo (ITC)

    Corruption of the US patent system contributes to various issues which rely on the extrajudicial nature of some elements in this system; companies can literally have their products confiscated or imports blocked, based on wrongly-granted patents



  19. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Decides That USPTO Wrongly Granted Patents to Roche

    Patent quality issues at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — motivated by money rather than common sense — continue to be highlighted by courts; the USPTO needs to raise the bar to improve the legal certainty associated with US patents



  20. Even Judge Gilstrap From Texas is Starting to Accept That Software Patents Are Invalid

    Amid new lawsuits from Texas (e.g. against Citrix) we’re pleased to see that even “reprehensible” Rodney Gilstrap (that’s what US politicians call him) is learning to accept SCOTUS on 35 U.S.C. § 101



  21. Federal Circuit Doubles Down on User Interface Patents, Helps Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Curtail the Prime Competitor of Microsoft Office

    Patent trolls that are connected to Microsoft continue to sue Microsoft rivals using old patents; this time, for a change, even the Federal Circuit lets them get away with it



  22. Let's Hope Apple Defeats All the Abstract Patents That Are Leveraged Against It

    Apple can be viewed as a strategic 'ally' against patents that threaten Android/Linux if one ignores all the patent battles the company started (and has since then settled) against Android OEMs



  23. EPO Insider/Märpel Says President Campinos Already Acts Like Battistelli

    Unitary Patent (UPC) is a step towards making the EPO an EU institution like the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO); but it's not making any progress and constitutional judges must realise that Campinos, chosen by Battistelli to succeed him, is just an empty mask



  24. Quality of Patents Granted by the EPO is Still Low and Nobody Will Benefit Except Lawyers, Jubilant Over Growing Lenience on Software Patents

    Deterioration of patent quality at the EPO — a serious problem which examiners themselves are complaining about — is becoming rather evident as new guidelines are very lenient on software patenting



  25. 100 Days Into the Term of Campinos There is Already an EPO Suicide

    A seventh known suicide at the EPO since the so-called 'reforms' began; the EPO continues to pretend that everything is changing for the better, but in reality it's yet more nepotism and despotism



  26. Links 13/10/2018: Ubuntu Touch OTA-5, MidnightBSD 1.0 Ready

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/10/2018: PostgreSQL 11 RC1 Released, Librem 5 Loves GNOME 3.32

    Links for the day



  28. Friend Brings a Friend, Boss Becomes Subordinate: the EPO Under António Campinos is Starting to Look a Lot Like Team Battistelli 2.0

    The new President of the EPO contributes to the perception that the Office is a rogue institution. Governance is all in reverse at the Office because it still seems like the Office President bosses the Council rather than be bossed by it (as intended, as per the EPC)



  29. UPC Cowardice: Team UPC Uses Cloaks of Anonymity to Discredit Authors of Scholarly UPC Paper They Don't Like

    Team UPC has sunk to the bottom of the barrel; now it uses anonymous letters in an effort to discredit work of Max Planck Institute staff, in the same way (more or less) that ad hominem attacks were attempted against the filer of the constitutional complaint in Germany



  30. New EPO Guidelines: Granting European Patents on Business Methods, Algorithms, Mental Acts and Other Abstract Stuff

    Keeping so-called 'production' high and meeting so-called 'targets' (allegedly set by Battistelli), Campinos relaxes the rules for "computer-implemented inventions" (one among many misleading terms that mean software patents in Europe)


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