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

08.25.18

‘Cult of Patents’ Has Cheapened Patents and Nowadays Patent Law Firms Are Collapsing

Posted in America, Patents at 11:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents are becoming toothless, clawless

A male lion

Summary: The decline in patent quality is counterproductive in the long run; it assures that the patent system, especially the patent lawsuits element of it, loses momentum

THE concerns expressed by large law firms about EPO scandals aren’t out of date; they’re still applicable because António Campinos hasn’t changed anything at all; what about the USPTO, whose patents (that it grants) are often found to be invalid in patent courts, such as the Federal Circuit and sometimes SCOTUS too? The matter of fact is, if patents are improperly being granted, people will lose confidence in them. And this, in turn, would reduce demand for them, perceived value of them, and ultimately cause the collapse of patent law firms (which in turn get absorbed by one another in order to get enough ‘business’ such as litigation flowing). Last year we wrote several articles about the demise of patent law firms and patent trolls. The patent bubble had burst. We have not seen any potent rebuttal to this, albeit days ago Patently-O wrote about that old strategy of firms getting absorbed when they’re defunct. “One Example,” Patently-O said, came on “August 21, 2018 – Venable LLP, an American Lawyer Global 100 firm, and Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, one of the world’s leading intellectual property firms, have reached an agreement for Fitzpatrick to join Venable.”

“Last year we wrote several articles about the demise of patent law firms and patent trolls.”Are patent lawyers a dying breed? Trying hard to find work and getting ‘bought’ as a publicity stunt for mere hirings? This is commonly done in the technology sector (hirings disguised as takeovers). There are even catchy words and phrases that describe these routines. Here is another new example that is only days old (“Stinson Leonard Street combines with St. Louis intellectual property firm”). M&A as publicity stunt? How about this (“Apprenda attempting to sell its assets after business shuts down”) from 5 days ago? Well, patents are not really “assets”; this metaphor just isn’t helpful at all.

“People who do patents for a living (not invention but mere patents) may think or even lie to themselves about doing ‘humanitarian’ work; but those on the receiving end of patent lawsuits and blackmail from patent trolls would beg to differ.”We remain convinced that in order for the patent system to maintain a sense of legitimacy it will need to improve patent quality. Days ago Managing IP wrote about the low quality of patents granted in China and Patently-O wrote about “USPTO China IP Roadshow at the University of Iowa College of Law”. China’s SIPO — like WIPO — demonstrates patent maximalism gone extreme. They don’t seem to care about patent quality at all. All they care about is numbers!

Not too long ago the USPTO celebrated 10 million patents (never mind if the ten millionth might be invalid). The USPTO even made a special subsite to mark this ‘event’ and IP Kat currently continues its dance with the ‘Cult of Patents’ (people who believe that the more patents the merrier, irrespective of their merit/quality). A few days ago the patent microcosm published this article which said:

The 10 millionth U.S. patent will largely be a celebratory event, but it has warranted a lot of preparation at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Especially its IT department.

For the first time in more than 100 years—and for the first time in the computer era, of course—the patent office will issue patents with eight digits. The situation could be likened, somewhat, to the end of the 20th century and the Y2K scare—when old software code had to be upgraded so that software systems throughout the world would function properly when the year 2000 arrived.

Look how many patents used to be granted in the US 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 20 years ago and so on. It’s not innovation that’s accelerating. It’s just patenting activity that’s soaring.

The USPTO is well aware of the situation. It knows that it has become just a patent-granting ‘machine’ and Donald Zuhn — himself a patent maximalist — is one among several people who are now scrambling to paint a patent monopoly as a humanitarian thing. They have this thing called “Patents for Humanity,” again backed by the USPTO (like celebration of 10 million patents). To quote:

Earlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced the latest winners of the Patents for Humanity program. The Patents for Humanity program, which was launched by the Office in February 2012 as part of an Obama Administration initiative to promote game-changing innovations to solve long-standing development challenges, is a competition recognizing innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges. Entrants are divided into five categories: medicine, nutrition, sanitation, household energy, and living standards. The Office noted that in this latest round, there were nine winners and six honorable mentions. Winners receive an acceleration certificate to expedite select proceedings at the USPTO (i.e., a patent application, ex parte reexamination, or an ex parte appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board) in addition to public recognition for their work.

People who do patents for a living (not invention but mere patents) may think or even lie to themselves about doing ‘humanitarian’ work; but those on the receiving end of patent lawsuits and blackmail from patent trolls would beg to differ.

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 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  3. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  4. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  5. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  6. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  7. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 03, 2019



  9. Links 3/12/2019: elementary OS 5.1 Hera, Plasma 5.17.4, Firefox 71

    Links for the day



  10. Laundering the Reputation of Criminals: That's an Actual Job

    An important reminder that the manufactured, paid-for (media is being bribed) image of Bill Gates is the product of the PR industry he enlisted to distract from his endless crimes



  11. 'Priceless' Tickets to the EPO's Back End and Team UPC

    CIPA's and the EPO's event (later this week) is more of the same; the EPO exists not to serve European businesses but a bunch of law firms and their biggest clients (which usually aren't even European)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 02, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 02, 2019



  13. New EPO Leak Shows That the Rumours and Jokes Are Partly True and We Know Who 'Runs the Show'

    Europe’s second-largest institution is so profoundly dysfunctional, a reprehensible kakistocracy of tribalism, money-grabbing career-climbing autocrats and possibly major fraud; today’s leak looks at what motivated and enabled the formation and latest incarnation of “Team Campinos”



  14. Links 2/12/2019: Linux Mint 19.3 Beta, DPL Sam Hartman Talks About SystemD

    Links for the day



  15. What Former Debian Project Leader (Second to the Late Ian Murdock) Thinks About SystemD in Debian GNU/Linux

    Now that Debian is debating and voting on diversity in the technical sense the thoughts of Bruce Perens merit broader audience/reach



  16. Free/Libre Software Will Eventually Become the Norm, 'Open Source' is Just Proprietary Software Trying to 'Buy Time'

    More people are starting to ask questions about Free software while “Open Source” languishes (people can see it’s just a mask for proprietary software); it was a two-decade delaying tactic that’s wearing off (people see GitHub and the OSI/Linux Foundation for what they really are)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 01, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 01, 2019



  18. Richard Stallman is Active and Doing Well

    The rumour mill may still be humming along; but against all odds — as Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project — Stallman keeps fighting the good fight (in the face of growing resistance)



  19. Banning Former Microsoft Employees Who Complain About Microsoft Lies, Abuses and Crimes

    The official account of Windows Insider is banning people whom it never even spoke to; this seems like a way of 'punishing' people who are not 'true believers' in Microsoft



  20. Wikileaks: Thierry Breton May Have Misused Regulatory/Government Positions to Attack His Competition (in the Market)

    Thierry 'revolving doors' Breton as seen by the United States government



  21. 13 Years of UPC Promises

    The anatomy of UPC 'fake news' or lobbying tactics along the lines of self-fulfilling prophecies and false predictions



  22. Is Water Wet?

    The criteria for patent eligibility reduced only to this question: will allowing these patents increase ‘production’ (number of patent grants)?



  23. The EPO's President Admits He's Illegally Granting Software Patents (CII, 4IR, IoT, AI and Blockchain Mean Software Patents at the EPO)

    The EPO's chief liar is openly and proudly promoting software patents using buzzwords and hype waves (and mysterious acronyms that are rather meaningless but spread by the media in exchange for money received from the EPO)



  24. Tone Policing and the Linux Foundation

    A timely example of situations where the Linux Foundation can seemingly 'cancel' people (using the Code of Conduct) for political opinions



  25. It EEEsn't Just a Microsoft Thing Anymore

    The EEErosion of Python's independence is a known problem and Microsoft is not the sole culprit



  26. Links 1/12/2019: KDE's GTK CSD Support, Skrooge 2.21.0

    Links for the day



  27. Links 1/12/2019: Genode OS 19.11 Release, Sam Hartman (DPL) Speaks Out on SystemD

    Links for the day



  28. Maximalists Cherry-Picking the So-Called 'Corbyn' 'Leak' for Their Patent Agenda While the US Lobbies Britain for Software Patents and Worse

    A quick look at what last week's media coverage may have missed and what patent maximalists don't want to tell us about confidential trade-related documents



  29. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 30, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 30, 2019



  30. Microsoft Loves Linux Because It Pays for It

    Microsoft cannot ‘buy’ Linux itself, so it has been buying (bribing) all the ‘right’ people while telling them (and then they tell us, too!) they “love Linux” (which they don’t even use!)


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