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

09.24.18

USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 4:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taken for a ride by large corporations and their lawyers

LRT Interior

Summary: The lingering issues with patent assessment at the US patent office, which unlike US courts isn’t quite so impartial an actor (it benefits more from granting than from rejecting)

THE PATENTS being granted by the USPTO are sometimes worrying for ethical reasons, not just economic/business/innovation reasons. Consider this new article. Companies now compete over who can best figure out what’s inside your mind based on photos you take (or are taken in, even without your consent). Suffice to say, from our point of view a big issue with this patent is that it’s a software patent. Why do examiners still grants these? As if 35 U.S.C. § 101 does not exist and as if the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) — assuming an inter partes review (IPR) got filed — would not invalidate it with the Federal Circuit‘s approval?

“They reject abstract things for not being patentable, for being mere thoughts, not “revolutionary”.”These patents are not at all “innovative”; the underlying ideas, moreover, are implementations in code, not innovation. Watchtroll’s David Wanetick wrote the other day that US “[p]atent examiners deem inventions to be “abstract” if they are too revolutionary” (Watchtroll actually wrote that nonsensical sentence last week!). What an utter lie. What lunacy. They reject abstract things for not being patentable, for being mere thoughts, not “revolutionary”. Here’s the full paragraph for more context:

Patent examiners deem inventions to be “abstract” if they are too revolutionary or “obvious” if the invention is less than revolutionary. Those patent applications that survive such prosecutorial rejections are likely to be clipped if they become subject to inter partes review challenges. For example, in Ex parte Hiroyuki Itagaki, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled that a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is an abstract idea and thus patent ineligible.

No, that wasn’t what actually happened. MRI machines are very old (I should know; I worked with these); the writer alludes to the claims by the wrong ‘wholesale’ description. And so something that somehow relates to MRI machines got rejected (as patent ineligible).

“There should never be patents on mathematics.”Yes, so? So what? This is generally the sort of “intellectual dishonesty” we’ve seen Watchtroll accused of online. Watchtroll now celebrates software patents (i.e. bogus, invalid patents) in “A Look at RSA Cryptography and the Seminal Patent that Landed the Inventors in the Hall of Fame,” but we don’t suppose the writer knows (or cares) that these algorithms are not inventions but implementations or applied mathematics. There should never be patents on mathematics. Few would attempt to dispute that.

It has meanwhile been noted by Dennis Crouch (a patent maximalist, albeit more moderate than Watchtroll) that the USPTO maintains the financial incentive to just grant and grant and grant. Giving large corporations monopolies and making a lot of money in the process (creating money out of a mere concept!) or in his own words:

S. 3416 An Act to amend the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to extend the period during which the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office may set or adjust certain fees.

Mr. Grassley (for himself, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Coons, and Mr. Hatch) recently introduced the USPTO FEES Act – Funds for Efficient and Effective Services Act. The primary clause in the provision would extend the USPTO feemaking authority for an additional eight years.

Why should the USPTO get to decide how much money it makes unless it is a private, pro-profit corporation? Going back to Watchtroll, yesterday it carried on pushing for legislation that would worsen patent quality. They said, “let us go on the record to say that we support: The TROL Act, R.6370; The STRONGER Patents Act, R.5340; The Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act, H.R. 6264, sometimes referred to as the Massie-Kaptur Act…”

“…what we have at the moment is a system that puts profit before public interest and therefore grants like mad.”All of these are awful and that last one we wrote about several times in summer [1, 2, 3].

What’s needed in the US is a patent system that prioritises public interest. Instead, what we have at the moment is a system that puts profit before public interest and therefore grants like mad. There’s also a profound issue with corruption.

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 24/8/2019: Wayland’s Weston 7.0 and More

    Links for the day



  2. Outsourcing to Microsoft and Openwashing as a Service (OaaS): This is the Linux Foundation in 2019

    The concept of "Open" at the Linux Foundation gives room for thought; are things really being opened or mostly marketed as "Open" and, if so, is the Foundation more like a marketing agency?



  3. Links 23/8/2019: Wine 4.0.2 Released, Removing Qt 4 From Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/8/2019: KDE ISO Image Writer, GNU Parallel ‘Jesper Svarre’

    Links for the day



  5. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates

    "This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software."



  6. Linux Foundation's Linux.com in 2019: Zero Articles (Nothing Original) and a Terrible, Rookie New Design

    Linux.com has become a curated syndicator of news (edited by one single Microsoft proponent); the site has also eliminated its traditional design in favour of something only 'hipsters' can appreciate



  7. Managing IP as Team UPC's Megaphone and Lobbying Front

    Managing IP is lying on behalf of Team UPC yet again; the site's long history promoting the UPC hasn't ended even when prospects of the UPC are slim to none



  8. No More Rights for EPO Staff?

    The oppression and the crackdown on labour rights in Europe's second-largest institution has deepened to the point where staff is paid as little as is legally possible



  9. Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

    Links for the day



  10. Some Patent Attorneys Dislike Techrights Not Because It's Wrong But Because Software Patents Are Wrong (and Sometimes Illegal)

    Odd rants which misuse common law and ignore alleged Fair Use (and misinterpretation of copyright law, for censorship purposes) would have people believe that we're wrong; but it's more likely that the person in question is jealous, insecure, or offended by our stance on patent scope, which is very much rooted in the law itself (and the views widely held by software developers globally)



  11. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Distro-libre and feature-schema

    "Every time a distro does not suit a user's purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one's own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born."



  12. Links 21/8/2019: Dell's XPS 13, Mesa 19.2 RC1, Librem Update

    Links for the day



  13. Links 21/8/2019: Open Source POWER, Alpine 3.10.2, Netrunner 19.08

    Links for the day



  14. Edward as a Nodder to Team UPC Kool-Aid

    Bristows LLP is at it again and it's getting pathetic, not just dishonest as usual



  15. Guest Post: António Campinos' European Patent Office Redefines Modern Slavery in the Heart of Europe in 2019

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) President António Campinos — like his predecessor Battistelli — emulates Chinese labour practices



  16. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: There is More Than One Iceberg Ahead

    "This strategy is not far from when Microsoft talked about "de-commoditizing protocols" in the late 90s, as part of their plans to control, dominate, and end Open Source and Free software."



  17. EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

    The EPO's long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it's difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework



  18. The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can't Get Food Without Being Spied on

    The infamous "War on Cash" has been 'won' at Europe's second-largest institution, where people's diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system



  19. To GNU/Linux, the Operating System, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) is Not the Threat. Microsoft is.

    Don't let Microsoft get away with its bogus narration; GNU/Linux is primarily under attack from Microsoft, whereas Software Freedom in general is under attack from many directions



  20. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  21. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  22. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  23. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  24. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  25. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  26. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  27. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  28. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  29. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  30. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."


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