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02.24.18

Not Just EPO: USPTO Too Will See Patent Filings Declining

Posted in America, Patents at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO already lowered the fees (we assume in order to artificially inflate the numbers again)

Going down the drain
Up the quality, down the drain bad patents

Summary: The retreat from patent maximalism, as well as the lowered perceived value of patents, may mean that fewer people/companies now pursue patents or bother with litigation (they work on technology instead)

THE EPO saw a decline in the number of patent applications in spite of — or because of — ‘dilution’ of patents and harm to the reputation of European Patents (EPs). The USPTO too is said to be expecting this in spite of — or because of — decline in the perceived value of US patents. Far too many had been granted over the past decade or two, including a lot of software patents which now turn out to be worthless.

As William New put it 4 days ago:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is predicting a slight decline in some patent filings for 2018 and 2019, including through the international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Trademarks, meanwhile, will likely see slowing growth.

WIPO still claims some sort of all-time record, hailing China with its low-quality, government-supported patent gold rush.

Does that mean that the US is losing it? Not at all. It just means that the litigation ‘industry’ is losing it. It’s less capable of harassing productive companies with frivolous litigation (at both ends).

4 days ago and again yesterday the CCIA wrote about the patent ‘industry’ claims that tougher patent regulations/rules ruin the economy; facts are not on their side.

To quote Patent Progress (CCIA):

After examining the evidence for U.S. innovation as shown by startups and venture capital, and by R&D spending, I want to look at patenting activity—new patent applications and new patent grants. Particularly given accusations that the U.S. patent system has fallen behind other systems worldwide—accusations based on extremely questionable analysis—it’s worth looking at what patent activity can tell us about innovation.

Overall, patent activity is an inaccurate indicator of innovation and of future innovation—after all, an environment in which billions of incremental patents issued would quickly cease to show any innovation as patent hold-up ground inventive activities to a halt. With that in mind, changes in new patent applications and grants likely do have some level of correlation to changes in the amount of innovative activity.

This upsets nobody but patent trolls.

The latter article is titled “A New § 101 Trio Shows That We Don’t Need § 101 Legislation” and it’s about a couple of (or three, albeit most name just two) cases we recently wrote about. To quote:

The Bilski, Alice, Mayo, and Myriad cases are sometimes referred to as a § 101 quartet because they set forth the Supreme Court’s test for patentable subject matter under § 101. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a new trio of § 101 cases emerge from Federal Circuit panels—Berkheimer, Aatrix, and Automated Tracking.

Like we said in our last post, these decisions hardly changed anything, but they certainly get hyped up by those looking to undermine Section 101.

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