02.06.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  3. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  4. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  5. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  6. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  7. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  9. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  10. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  11. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  12. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  13. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  14. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  16. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  17. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  18. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  19. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  20. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  22. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  23. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  24. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  25. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  26. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  27. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  29. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    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