Bonum Certa Men Certa

Virtually the Whole Technology Sector Supports PTAB, But Dennis Crouch Supports Patent Trolls and Bullies Instead

When it comes to patent maximalism, the worst (for reputation) Conservative think tanks [1, 2, 3] including the Heritage Foundation and Dennis Crouch are on the same side

Heritage Foundation
Reference: Heritage Foundation



Summary: A radical patent policy which encourages deregulation and lack of patent quality assurance is being embraced by Patently-O, which has joined the lobby against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

THE US patent system has been improving, but all the improvements are constantly under threat. We need eternal vigilance because quality of patents isn't what the patent 'industry' strives for. Its economic motivations mean that infinite patent grants on any conceivable concept would be grand! It mirrors the activity of the copyright 'industry'.



As covered here last night and on Sunday, Andrei Iancu might be the next USPTO Director and his track record gives reasons for concern. He's part of that same pool of patent maximalists that trolls come from. Patent maximalists from Managing IP wrote about it today (or last night). To quote directly what the White House said (it has been known since Friday when there was a late night announcements dump): "Andrei Iancu of California, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property {sic} and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce."

"He's effectively siding with patent trolls and other malicious actors."Remember the role played by Dennis Crouch when there was a witch-hunt against Michelle Lee. It paved the way to this. On many occasions earlier this month we wrote about Dennis Crouch's meddling. It's not the meddling itself that bothers us the most but the side taken by Crouch. He's effectively siding with patent trolls and other malicious actors. He wants to see PTAB destroyed (or its authority profoundly limited). He has been doing a lot of that so far this year, but recently it became a lot more frequent. Here, in a post from yesterday, one can see Dennis Crouch boosting anti-PTAB arguments, removing pretenses of impartiality. Is he still an academic or just a trolls' lobbyist these days? Going more than two centuries back (and sometimes making errors, which he later publicly admits), he say that his "basic argument is historic — Inventors had a right to a trial by jury prior to 1791; those rights were guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution; and Congress cannot now eliminate those established rights."

AIA passed 6 years ago. Why has he not complained until now? On the very same day Dennis Crouch continued his long attack on the reputation of PTAB (echoing tactics from Watchtroll) in order to help patent trolls and other radical elements. It's like he's trying to suggest that PTAB is corrupt, in effect insulting the judges like Watchtroll habitually does.

Ultratec’s patents relate to systems for facilitating phone calls for deaf people. In eight parallel IPR proceedings, the PTAB found the challenged claims anticipated and/or obvious. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has vacated – holding that “the Board failed to consider material evidence and failed to explain its decisions to exclude the evidence.” As you might expect, the panel of Judges Newman, Linn, and Moore held the PTAB’s feet to the fire.


To us, as an independent site, it's rather sickening to see what academia in the US has become, with some professors turning into patent maximalists and it's clear for whose benefit. Even judge-bashing seems to be flirted with. Maybe Crouch has been receiving E-mails from people with a grudge and is thus acting as their courier. Whatever it is, what sort of patent academic seriously believes that patent quality (or quality assurance) is something to be challenged rather than supported? Every other patent academic seems to be on the other side of the argument, so is Crouch becoming somewhat of a "crank" here? Historically, the battle over patent scope was waged between greedy/corporate interests and academia; it's clear which side was protectionist and which one was rational. If Crouch has decided to crouch under the bridge with the trolls, we have no choice but to point it out. This past month alone, for example, Patently-O was reduced to little more than a PTAB-bashing blog. The mask totally slipped off.

"This past month alone, for example, Patently-O was reduced to little more than a PTAB-bashing blog."While Dennis Crouch protects patent trolls and bullies, it's actually large corporations that now express support for PTAB. But not the nefarious front groups. "Patent reform is critical to protecting American inventors," says the headline of this new column at The Hill, composed by Alden Abbott of the Heritage Foundation, in support of the anti-PTAB STRONGER Patent Act of 2017 (Crouch focuses on a Supreme Court case pertaining to PTAB). It's very strongly in favour of abolishing PTAB, i.e. an anti-reform 'reform'. To quote:

Throughout American history, patents have been key to making the United States the world’s leader in innovation. They have spurred the development of the telegraph, the telephone, electrical systems, automobiles, aviation, computers, smartphones, and numerous life-saving drugs.

But recent changes in U.S. patent law threaten to dethrone the United States as the world’s technology leader — and slow American economic growth.

Federal patent law has long granted American inventors a limited time right — currently 20 years from the date a patent application is filed – “to exclude others from making, using offering for sale, or selling” their novel inventions. Subject to certain conditions, the U.S. Patent Office must grant a patent to an applicant who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” This language on its face provides broad authorization for the grant of patents.

[...]

Patent experts (including leading judges, scholars, practitioners, and former PTO heads) have pointed out that PTAB’s record of overturning the vast bulk of patents presented for review is far out of line with historic rates of patent reversals by the courts. That high reversal rate, those experts say, shows that the PTAB process is seriously defective.

PTAB rulings have been a particular blow to small inventors, whose ability to attract seed capital to promote their innovative ventures is being seriously threatened.


When Heritage Foundation staff says "small inventors" it actually means patent trolls and sometimes large aggressors (may be be non-practicing) that shake down many of their small rivals. But don't let facts get in the way; hey, it's the Heritage Foundation -- the very antithesis of facts and opponent of reality. Isn't it funny that the Heritage Foundation basically cites patent maximalists to give the illusion of PTAB hostility? The vast majority of practitioners and the public support PTAB.

"When Heritage Foundation staff says "small inventors" it actually means patent trolls and sometimes large aggressors (may be be non-practicing) that shake down many of their small rivals."Remember that PTAB does not just invalidate any patent; it specifically targets patents that should never have been granted in the first place. So what's wrong with that? Those who like to stroke their ego over charts that show infinite growth in patents (accelerated rate of growth) aren't happy about it. Crouch might need to change career or reassess his views of patents. Many of his colleagues and fellow academics do not agree with him; they write many papers about patents going overboard and harming the US economy.

In simple terms, PTAB means less money for trolls. Abolishing PTAB would mean their resurgence.

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