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. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  2. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  3. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  4. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  5. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  6. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  8. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  9. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  10. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  12. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  13. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  14. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  15. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  16. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  18. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  19. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  20. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  21. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  22. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  23. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  24. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  26. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  27. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  29. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019


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