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Microsoft-Captured USPTO Doubles the Fines for Patent Applicants That Don't Use Microsoft

microsoft-uspto

Summary: The latest from the USPTO, based on a communication from yesterday afternoon, may serve to suggest the blowback is growing and applicants aren't happy to be forced to use Microsoft's OOXML (or face severe penalties)

A reader who is a GNU/Linux user has alerted us that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is still working to impose Microsoft's monopoly and proprietary formats by means of penalising those who don't 'play ball'. We've long written about this injustice, to put it mildly (more like overt corruption considering what likely led to it; akin to the EPO outsourcing everything to Microsoft, which isn't even a European company).

Here's a message sent by the USPTO yesterday (less than a day ago):

USPTO to delay the effective date of the non-DOCX filing fee

From: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Reply-To: subscriptioncenter@subscriptions.uspto.gov Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 1:42 PM

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Patent Alert



USPTO to delay the effective date of the non-DOCX filing fee

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a final rule that delays until January 1, 2023, the effective date of the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(u) for any nonprovisional utility patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111, including any continuing application, that is not filed in DOCX format. Prior to this final rule, the fee was set to take effect on January 1, 2022. The delay will enable the USPTO to undertake enhanced testing of its information technology systems as more users file in DOCX, and it also will give applicants more time to adjust to filing patent applications in DOCX format.

You can find the full text of the final rule in the Federal Register and on the USPTO’s Patent Related Notices webpage.


We've included a screenshot at the top.

To put all this in context, our reader explains: "I just got an e-mail from the USPTO saying that they were going to delay the $400 penalty for using pdfs instead of DOCX. I recently discovered from Techrights that the USPTO's DOCX plot includes forcing application files to pay a $400 penalty for using pdfs. First, it was the $200 penalty - the "Electronic Filing Incentive" - to force paper filers to file electronically, which would be with pdfs. Now, the plot is a $400 penalty for using pdf."

This reader has meanwhile complained [PDF] about David Kappos, who is alleged to be connected to this mess (Microsoft and IBM controlled the USPTO at the time; Kappos lobbies for both now).

"One of the perks that they gave Kappos for corrupting the USPTO," the reader explains, "is a teaching position at the prestigious Columbia Law School, and I decided to write to the dean, so on 11/11/21 I sent her e-mails - I had sent a paper letter a few days earlier - telling her about Kappos, and suggesting that she could help getting him disbarred, or at least she could fire him. inviting her to help me get Kappos disbarred, or at least fire him."

He told her about Microsoft and DOCX: "Paper is the thin end of the wedge. I suppose you might not care about somebody who puts a patent application on paper. But, what about a pdf? Do you use pdfs? Would you be surprised that, with their success in penalizing patent application filers for using paper, the Kappos-corrupted USPTO is now planning to penalize patent application filers for using pdfs? See the accompanying “The problem with the USPTO’s proposed non-DOCX penalty.” [See https://blog.oppedahl.com/?p=4623 , and much more here https://blog.oppedahl.com/?p=7101] Having penalized patent application filers for using the ubiquitous paper to force them to use Microsoft Windows, now the plot is to penalize patent application filers for using the ubiquitous pdfs to force them to use Microsoft’s proprietary DOCX software. And, do you think they will stop there? Why should they, now that Kappos has corrupted the USPTO for them? Will they develop a proprietary Microsoft keyboard that must be used, because there are newly-developed symbols or codes that they come up with and that must be used?"

It's very plausible that other people have complained, hence the delay. They kick the can down the road for a little while longer. Maybe the next USPTO Director (there's none at the moment; it is a 'placeholder' ad interim) will reverse this awful decision, seeing that Microsoft is floundering anyway. It's truly insane to do such a thing in 2021!

"I would like to think that she got angry and contacted Kappos and Kappos contacted the USPTO," the reader notes. "I KNOW that didn't happen, but you never know: if the right person makes a certain phone call, things can happen. Again, I know that didn't happen, but it's good to see DOCX is being delayed."

Usually it's a sign of problems, like the US military delaying the implementation of HoloLens (a truly ridiculous rollout of a product from a company whose entire staff Microsoft sacked!). It was all along just a sort of bailout (or grifting), in effect President Biden misusing "defence" budget to prop up Microsoft, the password-stealing company, in the same way Trump had done that with JEDI. Trump passed billion of dollars to Microsoft and to Bill Gates in a number of other ways, as we noted here before. They're misusing taxpayers' money (or growing national debt) to feed grifters and crooks.

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