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

06.20.18

What Use Are 10 Million Patents That Are of Low Quality in a Patent Office Controlled by the Patent ‘Industry’?

Posted in America, Courtroom, Law, Patents at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“To technology companies, NPEs [patent trolls] are a drag on innovation, taxing them tens of billions of dollars every year while achieving no social purpose” –Mark Lemley and Robin Feldman

Mark Lemley
Image source: Stanford Law School

Summary: The patent maximalists are celebrating overgranting; the USPTO, failing to heed the warning from patent courts, continues issuing far too many patents and a new paper from Mark Lemley and Robin Feldman offers a dose of sobering reality

THIS post is not another rant about the EPO but purely about the USPTO, which is now being run by patent maximalists (see/recall the Director's selection, which seems to have involved nepotism). As the USPTO’s “CIO Watchdog” put it yesterday (amid pretty substantial rumours of endemic USPTO nepotism): “PTO is sending Patent SES (David Wiley) back to Patents and bringing another (Debbie Stephens) to serve as the DCIO for a couple of months, this sounds odd? Rumors are flying about a new CIO selection but nothing official. Wiley seemed to be well thought of, Stephens not sure?”

“A meaningless — symbolic at best — ‘milestone’ will be celebrated. 10 million patents!”Nobody in the media has been covering the spousal connections there; barely anyone bothered pointing out that the USPTO’s new Director headed a firm that used to work for Donald Trump before Trump nominated/appointed him. Either way, the news sites will be full of pieces like this one in the coming days. A meaningless — symbolic at best — ‘milestone’ will be celebrated. 10 million patents! As one site put it (the first we have seen on this):

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued its 10 millionth patent.

The patent, Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection, was the first to receive a new patent cover design, which was unveiled back in March.

The first patent was signed 228 years ago by George Washington in 1790. It was issued to Samuel Hopkins and was for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.

Commenting on the historic occasion, Wilbur Ross, secretary of commerce, said: “Innovation has been the lifeblood of this country since its founding.”

Wilbur Ross has been part of the so-called ‘swamp’ which put a Trump-connected patent maximalist in charge of the Office. And 228 years after it all started the USPTO issues patents at a laughable scale/pace which makes it rather clear that it issues a lot of patents wrongly. It has financial incentive to do so.

Examiners who try to do a good job and properly scrutinise applications receive “shaming” treatment from patent extremists like Anticipat, which now (yesterday) advises wrestling with patent examiners over rejections as if anything that renders patents void — like PTAB for the most part — is an abomination and wrong. Anticipat if just looking to profit from patent extremism. ‘Stalking’ examiners, too. Doxing next? Here’s what they wrote:

The Examiner Answer can be a very important stage of the ex parte appeal process. It is at this stage that Examiners may want to make up for weak Office Action positions and set themselves up for getting affirmed at the Board. Understanding the incentives and tactical options, however, can give the patent practitioner the upper hand.

The Examiner Answer is technically optional (“The primary examiner may, within such time as may be directed by the Director, furnish a written answer to the appeal brief.” 37 CFR 41.39). Examiners usually prepare them because of the disposal credits that they receive. Outside of this most obvious incentive, Examiners also have an opportunity to present their case most favorably to the Board panel that will decide the case. Sometimes these analyses can improperly go out of bounds. Since an appellant only gets 60 days to respond to an Examiner Answer (no extensions), a timely assessment of the Examiner Answer is critical.

Professor Lemley (whom patent extremists hate) and a co-author less familar to us, Robin Feldman, have meanwhile published this new paper. “My latest paper with Robin Feldman,” Lemley wrote, “surveys tens of thousands of companies about the patent licensing demands they receive (fewer than you think) and whether those patent licenses drive innovation (not often).”

From the abstract:

Patent reform is a hotly contested issue, occupying the attention of Congress, the Supreme Court, and many of the most innovative companies in the world. Most of that dispute centers on patent enforcement, and in particular on the role of non-practicing entities (NPEs) or “patent trolls” – companies that don’t themselves make products but sue those that do. To technology companies, NPEs are a drag on innovation, taxing them tens of billions of dollars every year while achieving no social purpose. To NPEs and their supporters, they are enabling the first inventor to get paid and creating a working market for the transfer of technology.

Which is it?

In this paper, we present the first full empirical of the effect of patent licensing demands on the economy. With the help of a National Science Foundation grant and experts in survey design, we sent our survey out to every US-based business with at least one employee and revenue of $1 million or more – over 45,000 companies. Our results provide important insights into the nature and limits of patent licensing demands and their role (or lack thereof) in driving innovation.

So the bottom line is, this whole Cult of Patents as we habitually call it does not actually help innovation; it mostly helps the patent ‘industry’, which conflates litigation with innovation. How about a saner patent system which actually seeks to maximise innovation rather than the number of granted patents?

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 19/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC3, New Fedora ISO, GNU OrgaDoc 1.0

    Links for the day



  2. A Fresh Look at Recent 35 U.S.C. § 101 Cases Reveals Rapid Demise of Software Patents Even in District (Lower) Courts

    Contrary to narratives that are being spread by the patents and litigation 'industry', there's anything but a resurgence of patents on algorithms; in the United States they're almost always rejected by courts at all levels



  3. All the Usual Suspects Are Still Working Hard to Harm the Legitimacy if Not Existence of Patent Quality Control

    With David Ruschke out of his role and other former judges leaving the Office one wonders if the new Office leadership is just scheming to hide a decline in patent quality by simply removing quality assessors



  4. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Must Be Based on Justice, Not Profits

    With obviousness grounds, prior art and tests for how abstract ideas may be, there's no excuse left for patent maximalism; will patent offices listen to courts or defy caselaw (in pursuits of fulfilling greed)?



  5. The European Patent Office is Attracting Patent Trolls

    Enforcement of software patents in Europe by the large patent troll (disguised as a pool) MPEG-LA means that European software developers cannot develop software with full multimedia support (not without sudden disruption to their peace)



  6. Patent Maximalists Are Still Upset at the US Supreme Court (Over Alice) and the US Patent Office Carries on As Usual

    In spite of the courts’ continued rejection of software patents — perfectly in line with what the high courts are saying — abstract ideas are still being covered by newly-granted patents



  7. Links 18/11/2018: Cucumber Linux 2.0 Alpha and Latest Outreachy

    Links for the day



  8. The European Patent Office Comes up With a Plethora of New Buzzwords by Which to Refer to Software Patents

    The permissive attitude towards software patents in Europe is harmful to software developers in Europe; the officials, who never wrote a computer program in their entire life, pretend this is not the case by adopting marketing techniques and surrogate terms



  9. Patent Maximalists in Europe Keep Mentioning China Even Though It Barely Matters to European Patents

    EPO waves a "white flag" in the face of China even though Chinese patents do not matter much to Europe (except when the goal is to encourage low patent quality, attracting humongous patent trolls)



  10. Team UPC Has Been Reduced to Lies, Lies, and More Lies about the Unified Patent Court Agreement

    With the Unified Patent Court Agreement pretty much dead on arrival (an arrival that is never reached, either) the UPC hopefuls -- those looking to profit from lots of frivolous patent litigation in Europe -- resort to bald-faced lying



  11. Links 17/11/2018: Mesa 18.3 RC3, Total War: WARHAMMER II, GNOME 3.31.2

    Links for the day



  12. Links 16/11/2018: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, Mesa 18.2.5, VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  13. Berkheimer or No Berkheimer, Software Patents Remain Mostly Unenforceable in the United States and the Supreme Court is Fine With That

    35 U.S.C. § 101, which is based on cases like Alice and Mayo, offers the 'perfect storm' against software patents; it doesn't look like any of that will change any time soon (if ever)



  14. Ignoring and Bashing Courts: Is This the Future of Patent Offices in the West?

    Andrei Iancu, who is trying to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 while Trump ‘waters down’ SCOTUS (which delivered Alice), isn’t alone; António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is constantly promoting software patents (which European courts reject, citing the EPC) and even Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ is dissenting against Australian courts that stubbornly reject software patents



  15. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Figure Out How to Stop PTAB or Prevent US Patent Quality From Ever Improving

    Improvements are being made to US patents because of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which amends/culls/pro-actively rejects (at application phases) bad patents; but the likes of Andrei Iancu cannot stand that because they're patent maximalists, who personally gain from an over-saturation of patents



  16. Links 15/11/2018: Zentyal 6.0, Deepin 15.8, Thunderbird Project Hiring

    Links for the day



  17. A Question of Debt: António Campinos, Lexology, Law Gazette, and Sam Gyimah

    Ineptitude in the media which dominates if not monopolises UPC coverage means that laws detrimental to everyone but patent lawyers are nowadays being pushed even by ministers (not just those whose clandestine vote is used/bought to steal democracy overnight)



  18. Science Minister Sam Gyimah and the EPO Are Eager to Attack Science by Bringing Patent Trolls to Europe/European Union and the United Kingdom

    Team UPC has managed to indoctrinate or hijack key positions, causing those whose job is to promote science to actually promote patent trolls and litigation (suppressing science rather than advancing it)



  19. USF Revisits EPO Abuses, Highlighting an Urgent Need for Action

    “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases” — a message circulated at the end of last week — reveals the persistence of union-busting agenda and injustice at the EPO



  20. Links 14/11/2018: KDevelop 5.3, Omarine 5.3, Canonical Not for Sale

    Links for the day



  21. Second Day of EPOPIC: Yet More Promotion of Software Patents in Europe in Defiance of Courts, EPC, Parliament and Common Sense

    Using bogus interpretations of the EPC — ones that courts have repeatedly rejected — the EPO continues to grant bogus/fake/bunk patents on abstract ideas, then justifies that practice (when the audience comes from the litigation ‘industry’)



  22. Allegations That António Campinos 'Bought' His Presidency and is Still Paying for it

    Rumours persist that after Battistelli had rigged the election in favour of his compatriot nefarious things related to that were still visible



  23. WIPO Corruption and Coverup Mirror EPO Tactics

    Suppression of staff representatives and whistleblowers carries on at WIPO and the EPO; people who speak out about abuses are themselves being treated like abusers



  24. Links 13/11/2018: HPC Domination (Top 500 All GNU/Linux) and OpenStack News

    Links for the day



  25. The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

    The whole "patent quality" propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator



  26. Yannis Skulikaris Promotes Software Patents at EPOPIC, Defending the Questionable Practice Under António Campinos

    The reckless advocacy for abstract patents on mere algorithms from a new and less familiar face; the EPO is definitely eager to grant software patents and it explains to stakeholders how to do it



  27. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

    The patent trolls' propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)



  28. Team UPC, Fronting for Patent Trolls From the US, is Calling Facts “Resistance”

    The tactics of Team UPC have gotten so tastelessly bad and its motivation so shallow (extortion in Europe) that one begins to wonder why these people are willing to tarnish everything that's left of their reputation



  29. The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

    New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there's still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation 'industry' (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)



  30. Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again

    Links for the day


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