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. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  2. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  3. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries



  4. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  5. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  6. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  7. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  8. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  9. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  10. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  11. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  12. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  13. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  14. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  15. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  16. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  17. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  18. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  20. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  21. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  22. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  24. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  25. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  26. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  27. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  28. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  29. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  30. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    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