01.14.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

USPTO Doubled the Number of Granted Patents in Just a Few Years, Demonstrating Very Sharp Decline in Patent Quality

Posted in America, Patents at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The higher one goes, the lesser/lower the quality

Graph

Summary: Numerical evidence of the great decline in US patents quality, which in recent years gave way to a lot more patent litigation, patent trolls (that exploit software patents), complaints about the patent system, and invalidations inside US courts

BOTH the EPO and the USPTO pretend that more patents would be better. It’s a dangerous, popular but nevertheless wrong assumption. IP Watch wrote yesterday that:

The number of patent applications filed worldwide continues to increase, up by 4.6 percent in 2014 for a total of nearly 2.7 million, according to the 2015 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators. The increasing number of patents filed worldwide demonstrates the strength of ongoing innovation and the value companies put on protecting their intellectual property where they wish to do business. The filing numbers would likely be even higher, and across more countries, if the filers were more prepared for the costs associated with filing patents.

An article by Dennis Crouch says that “the Federal Circuit has ruled that the IPR procedure allowing the same PTAB panel to both institute an IPR and issue the final decision cancelling the claims. in the process, the divided court rejected both a constitutional and statutory challenge.” Another new piece from Crouch says: “As expected, the USPTO issued just under 300,000 utility patents in calendar year 2015. The new number represents a drop from 2014 – the first drop since President Obama took office and appointed David Kappos as USPTO Director. Barring a new radical transformation of the Office, I expect that the grant numbers will hover around this mark for the next several years.”

“IBM has a history of patent aggression and it promotes software patents in Europe and in New Zealand, not just in the US.”Under David Kappos, the Office has been pressuring examiners to just approve faster, leading to the unbelievable situation where 92% of applications are ultimately approved. What’s even the point of examination with such high acceptance rates? Innovation didn’t accelerate, but the number of patents nearly doubled, which means that the quality of patents went down considerably (unless one has another explanation; the economic downturn definitely wasn’t it).

“IBM tops US patent list for 23rd year,” WIPR wrote yesterday, noting that “IBM has topped the list of recipients of US patents in 2015, beating Samsung and Canon to the top spot, but there has been a slight decline in the overall number of patents granted since 2014.”

IBM has a history of patent aggression and it promotes software patents in Europe and in New Zealand, not just in the US.

Here is what Reuters wrote about it: “International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) was granted the most U.S. patents for the 23rd year in a row in 2015, according to a ranking by patent analysis firm IFI Claims Patents Services.

“There were 298,407 utility patents granted in 2015, down slightly from 2014, IFI Claims said on Wednesday. IBM gained 7,355 patents last year. Utility patents cover function rather than design.”

Who on Earth can conceivably keep track of this many patents. The whole purpose of this system is lost due to overload. It’s good for patent lawyers (and their richest clients), bad for everybody else.

Over at TechDirt there’s a summary of some of these issues, based on a writeup from Masnick. “Qualcomm Says It’s Fighting For The Little Guy, While Really Blocking Patent Reform That Would Help The Little Guy” is the headline. To quote a part which covers trolls and Alice: “Three out of the five panelists — Kate Doerksen, Lee Cheng and Brian Mennell — represented victims of patent trolls. Kate and Brian both have experienced the perils of being a small startup and getting hit with patent lawsuits that have the potential to destroy their businesses. You can read Kate’s story here, in which she’s being sued by a large company trying to keep her startup from competing altogether. It’s even reached the point where Kate agreed to something of a deal with the devil: Erich Spangenberg. As we’ve discussed, Spangenberg, who was one of the most aggressive patent trolls, recently shifted his business into being a sort of reverse patent troll, where he makes deals with small companies like Kate’s, taking an ownership stake in the company in exchange for “helping” the company deal with patent trolls, usually by seeking post-grant review to invalidate the patents being asserted against the startups.

“Mennell has the classic patent troll story of running a startup and getting hit by a patent troll that undermines the ability of the company to stay in business (and also notes that the Supreme Court’s Alice decision made him lose a business method patent, though he doesn’t seem to see that as problematic).”

In this current landscape of patents/patenting it is only good to be a massive corporation such as IBM, a patent troll, or a patent lawyer. Finjan, which has become a bit like a patent troll, isn’t doing too badly.

If examiners are led to believe that more patents mean more “success”, then they probably need to reassess their views. More patents typically mean lower barrier to acceptance or, in other words, lower quality of patents.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  2. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  3. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  5. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  6. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  7. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  9. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  10. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  13. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  14. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day



  15. [Teaser] What Miguel de Icaza Really Thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Following the opening of a new series about Microsoft GitHub we drop a little teaser today; we expect dozens of parts to be released in the coming weeks/months as facts are being validated and organised



  16. Splitting the Time to Cover More Leaks and Exposés

    We take stock of Part 11 of the ongoing EPO series (“EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion”) and explain what caused various delays yesterday; we may have to up our pace a little in order to keep up with an influx of leaks and whistleblowers



  17. [Meme] Destroying the Workplace

    The working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative CouncilThe working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative Council



  18. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists

    Today we commence a new series that implicates Microsoft, GitHub, Copilot, and Team Mono



  19. EPO Management Tricks EPO Staff Into Taking More Paycuts

    “Education and childcare reform” [sic] is an António Campinos "reform" in the same sense regressive salary reductions are just “adjustments” (euphemism); Electronic opt-in gaffes, according to staff representatives, show that the tradition of Benoît Battistelli carries on at the Office, taking away from staff for a few corrupt officials to milk the institution to death



  20. Links 14/10/2021: Whisker Menu 2.6.1 and KDE's Birthday

    Links for the day



  21. Links 14/10/2021: DragonFly 6.0.1 Released and Red Hat Loses Another Top Executive

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 13, 2021



  23. Süddeutsche Zeitung Became a Propaganda Arm of EPO Management (and by Extension Software Patents/Patent Lobbyists)

    EPO ‘genius’ António Campinos enjoys shallow press coverage, which echoes or resembles Benoît Battistelli‘s corruption of the media (paid-for fluff)



  24. GNOME (and Debian) Infringe Human Rights by Shipping Parental Control Software (Internally Called “Malcontent”)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  25. No, JWZ, Discord is Not “IRC With Pictures”

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” - Battistelli's Swiss Apprentice?

    The António Campinos-led EPO won’t be subjected to real oversight by the Administrative Council, which ‘met’ (online) earlier today; so we look at who in the Administrative Council did what; today we wrap up the parts about Switzerland (third part of three)



  27. Links 13/10/2021: Sparky 2021.10 and New Archcraft

    Links for the day



  28. Links 13/10/2021: Firefox Keylogger on (By Default), GNOME Platform Design Discussed

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] Swiss Alexandre Benallas

    The EPO‘s French dictator, Benoît ‘Vichy’ Battistelli, might be relieved to hear that his enabler in the adjacent Switzerland also enlisted armed bullies to keep the population down (the father of António Campinos might know a thing or two about those; it’s why he fled to France)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 12, 2021


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