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

04.12.18

The USPTO Has a Nepotism and Lobbying Problem That Jeopardises the Rationality of US Patent Law

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Office is now being run, almost literally, by the patent microcosm (Andrei Iancu)

Washington sights

Summary: The influence games of Washington are spilling over to the US patent office and poisoning/harming its ability to conduct professional operations without corporate influence (from either side, both corporations and law firms)

THE USPTO has a big — and growing — problem in its hands. It’s nowhere as severe as EPO scandals, but it could potentially develop over time. There is almost one single issue we habitually criticise the USPTO for and it’s to do with former officials, several of whom seem to have become lobbyists, typically for the patent microcosm. Lobbying is quite an epidemic in Washington (DC); it’s renowned if not notorious for it. There are no effective restrictions on such behaviour/operations because it’s “big business” in DC.

“There are no effective restrictions on such behaviour/operations because it’s “big business” in DC.”Lobbyist David Kappos keeps meddling, this time in a largely Microsoft-sponsored (Kappos’ sponsor also) think tank, Fordham IP. Why does the USPTO not intervene? Do they even understand how terrible this looks? He came from IBM and now he lobbies again for IBM among others like Microsoft. He uses his connections (which he acquired during his time as USPTO Director) to steer agenda. Watch last night’s article (titled “US intellectual property in the age of Trump”) which says:

President Trump has already made his mark by appointing a USPTO director and taking a stand against China. Panellists [sic] at the Fordham IP Conference, including David Kappos and James Pooley, assessed the impact Trump could have on IP

Pooley isn’t too bad (we wrote about him in the past), but what on Earth does Kappos do there? Panelist?

“He might be ready to do some damage (to patent reform).”Thankfully, for a number of years Kappos was replaced by Michelle Lee, who helped clean up the mess. But she didn’t last long. Now there’s a new boss (after a temporary one, Matal) and the mask fell off some time earlier this week. He might be ready to do some damage (to patent reform).

Baker Donelson’s Micheline Kelly Johnson, in a sponsored self-promotional piece (published at IAM today), comments on an older talk by Iancu in which he mentioned Section 101. At the time he said nothing too threatening to patent reform. Earlier this week, however, his tune changed somewhat. He adapted to a rather extreme audience. Michael Loney, who is based in New York and edits a patent maximalists’ site, wrote this: “Andrei Iancu has declared “we must change the dialogue surrounding patents”, and revealed the USPTO is looking to simplify the eligibility determination for its examiners and assessing PTAB issues such as how proceedings are instituted [...] USPTO director Andrei Iancu yesterday gave a strident speech at the US Chamber of Commerce Patent Policy Conference, acknowledging criticism of the patent system and stressing the need to improve the accuracy of patent grants.”

“He came from a firm that had worked for Trump.”Dennis Crouch wrote about it some hours ago. “USPTO Director Andrei Iancu gave the keynote address at the April 11, 2018 Patent Policy Conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” he said. Well, that’s what happens when the Trump-appointed ‘head of patents’ takes guidance from lobbyists and extremists of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AIPLA. He came from a firm that had worked for Trump.

Watchtroll (Gene Quinn) wrote about this with excitement. The headline is preceded by “BREAKING:” (yes, all CAPS!). A USPTO Director went to think tanks’ events lately (U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AIPLA, soon IAM too), so Watchtroll is now quote-mining for him. He’s hoping this will help derail the patent reform. “We are at an inflection point with respect to the patent system itself. As a nation, we cannot continue down the same path if we want to maintain our global economic leadership. And we will not continue down the same path,” Iancu is quoted as saying. There’s a full transcript.

“The government-to-lobbying (or vice versa) pipeline is a highly disturbing one, but it’s not uniquely American.”It’s worth noting that Watchtroll has also just quoted the lobbyist-turned-official Makan Delrahim, trying to twist some words for the maximalists’ agenda. “While I believe in a very restrained approach to antitrust enforcement when it comes to the legitimate exploitation of valid IP rights, the Division will not hesitate to enforce against anticompetitive collusive conduct,” Delrahim is quoted as saying.

The government-to-lobbying (or vice versa) pipeline is a highly disturbing one, but it’s not uniquely American. The USPTO might want to do something about that, but currently its boss may be part of the problem; his firm had worked for Trump before Trump nominated him for this position.

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. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 24, 2020



  2. Links 24/1/2020: GNU/Linux in Russia and More New Openings

    Links for the day



  3. When EPO Press Coverage Boils Down to Lobbying, Press Releases, EPO Lies, and Bribery

    Any attempts to properly assess and explain what happens in Europe's patent landscape are being drowned out by EPO-bribed and law firms-connected media; to make matters worse, the EPO's bribes have expanded to academia, so even scholarly work in this domain is corrupted by money of special interest groups



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 23, 2020



  5. Links 23/1/2020: Qubes OS 4.0.3, EasyOS 2.2.5, GhostBSD 20.01

    Links for the day



  6. Passion of the Microsoft

    A rough timeline of Microsoft’s interactions with Linux and the Linux Foundation since 2015



  7. The Patent Microcosm is Really Panicking as European Patents on Life and Other Spurious Junk (Invalid Patents) Are Successfully Rejected

    European Patents (EPs) may be revoked en masse if what we're seeing is the gradual emergence of 'European Mayo' (and maybe soon 'European Alice')



  8. Distractions From Microsoft's Gigantic Tax Evasion and Contribution to Denial of Climate Science

    Microsoft (connected to oil companies) wants us to think of it as a "green" company; not only does it contribute to climate denial but it also evades tax, which is a serious crime that costs tens of billions of dollars (the public pays this money instead)



  9. Confirmation: System1/Startpage Offered Pay to People Who Pushed for (Re)Listing in Privacy Directories

    The debate is now settled; those arguing in favour of listing Startpage as privacy-respecting are in fact secretly 'compensated' by Startpage (in other words, they're Startpage 'shills')



  10. Vandana Shiva: “Bill Gates is Continuing the Work of Monsanto”

    A recent interview on what Bill Gates is really up to in that sham ‘charity’ of his



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 22, 2020



  12. Extending Linux With DRM, Azure and exFAT

    An insufficiently 'conservative' Linux ceases to be freedom-respecting



  13. Linux Foundation (LF) Now Dominated by Lots of Microsoft People and LF Chiefs Join Microsoft in Smearing GPL/Copyleft

    We continue to see additional evidence which serves towards reinforcing our view that the so-called 'Linux' Foundation is actually hostile towards many things that are associated with Linux (unlike those looking to exploit/hijack Linux for proprietary ends)



  14. Links 22/1/2020: Wayland 1.18 Alpha, ODF 1.3 Approved

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 21, 2020



  16. Poor Excuses for Granting Poor (and Often Illegal/Invalid) Patents

    A quick look at some of the latest examples of software patents advocacy (not by actual software professionals, obviously) and why it's deeply misguided (or guided solely by greedy law firms)



  17. A Simple Plan For a Universal Free Software Community

    "For software to be free as in freedom, we need more people to care personally about software freedom."



  18. Links 21/1/2020: Wine 5.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  19. Startpage/System1 Almost Definitely Pay for People to Lie About Their Surveillance

    A longterm investigation suggests that there are forces in the debate that aren't objective and are being super evasive and dodgy; this typically happens only when somebody has much to hide



  20. The Internet is an Appalling Medium for News and It Has Only Gotten Worse

    Something ought to change in the way people gather and assess news; at the moment — as proper journalism runs out of steam (and budget) — things only deteriorate and quality suffers; this rapidly exacerbates as people come to rely on — and then relay — hearsay, not fact-checked bodies of work



  21. Media Reactions to the EPO Coming to Grips With Fake Patents That It Granted (Spoiler: the Media is Controlled by Lawyers of Monopolists and EPO Partners)

    Appalling quality of reporting and truly awful bias in the media, primarily owing to the fact that it is dominated/manned not by actual reporters but the firms looking to patent life itself; they use their lawyers and operatives who are literally funded by these lawyers (wearing "journalist" badges to mislead)



  22. Links 21/1/2020: EarlyOOM Fedora Decision and AMD Zen 3 Microcode

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, January 20, 2020



  24. Links 20/1/2020: MNT Reform, Linux 5.5 RC7, KMyMoney 5.0.8

    Links for the day



  25. Mansion of Pedophilia – Addendum: Accessing and Assessing Court Documents

    How anyone out there can do the job the media failed to do (after an apparently unprecedented arrest at the home of Bill Gates)



  26. Mansion of Pedophilia – Addendum: Progress on Police Request

    9 updates from the police department of Seattle but still nothing material/concrete, only promises and major delays



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 19, 2020



  28. Mansion of Pedophilia – Part VIII: More Than 4 Months of Waiting for Police Department to Send Over the Files They Claim to Have an Issue Opening

    The police department (PD) of Seattle is unable to open its own files about arrest for pedophilia at Bill Gates' home; it has been unable to open these files for several months, it claims...



  29. Starting a GNU Replacement for GitHub, Possibly Based on GitLab

    "It might be easier if we start from the GitLab software," Stallman said



  30. European Commission Pushes for Even Greater Patent Maximalism Instead of Rationality, Patent Zealots' Site Cherry-Picks China as Whipping Boy

    Fear of China is being leveraged to promote an agenda of patent maximalists; the general idea they promote is that granting millions of low-quality patents is the only way to compete, even if in reality that merely handicaps the whole market


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