02.14.18

Andrei Iancu Begins His USPTO Career While Former USPTO Director (and Now Paid Lobbyist) Keeps Meddling in Office Affairs

Posted in America, Patents at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos can’t keep out of affairs he has no business in (other than his lobbying business)

David Kappos
Source: David Kappos 2013 interview

Kappos PAI

Summary: The USPTO, which is supposed to be a government branch (loosely speaking) is being lobbied by former officials, who are now being paid by private corporations to help influence and shape policies; this damages the image of the Office and harms its independence from corporate influence

THERE’S one aspect at the US patent system which resembles EPO scandals.

Linking to his official new page, the USPTO has just announced Andrei Iancu’s arrival. It said: “It’s official! Andrei Iancu is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO…”

“On February 13, 2018, the USPTO issued 6,825 patents, including 6,152 utility patents — Each signed by the new USPTO Director Andrei Iancu (albeit via automated electronic process),” Crouch wrote some hours ago, having recently noted — as did others — that “USPTO Budget Holds Steady at $3.4B under Trump Budget”. Quoting Crouch:

The Trump proposed budget for FY2019 appears to be essentially flat as compared with FY2018. The proposed budget would permit the USPTO to spend up to $3.459 billion in FY 2019 (year beginning October 1, 2018). We are approaching the 1/2 way mark for FY 2018. In the most recent PPAC meeting, PTO Chief Financial Officer Tony Scardino reported expected FY2018 spending of $3.444 billion.

Watch how the USPTO spends its budget. Today there’s this marketing video for Valentine’s Day, as covered by patent maximalists for the most part, e.g. [1, 2, 3].

Nothing seriously wrong with that. They’re not really lobbying for anything and unlike the FBI and patent maximalists they aren’t engaging in China-baiting (for the sake or some agenda). What actually worried us a lot more was IAM; shortly before posting this sponsored piece from China (“Revised Anti-unfair Competition Law enters into force”) it actually helped paid lobbyist David Kappos (he profits from lobbying, in effect converting his time as USPTO Director into ‘influence’ cash) in pushing antitrust agenda along with Paul Michel (who even in his ‘retirement’ keeps meddling in courts’ affairs, promoting patent maximalists’ agenda). Kappos is connected to IBM and to IAM (he writes pieces there). IAM said that a “[g]roup of academics and senior IP figures write to DOJ antitrust chief to voice their support for focus on IP and antitrust” (what they mean by “IP” is patents).

As the article itself makes clear, they actively antagonise actual companies that make things; instead they promote the agenda of parasitic law firms. To quote:

A high-profile group of academics and senior IP stakeholders – including former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Paul Michel and former USPTO Director David Kappos – have written to Department of Justice antitrust head Makan Delrahim to voice their support for what they characterise as his commitment to apply antitrust law equally to both those who develop patented technology and those who implement standards-based technology.

The group also criticises a letter sent to Delrahim late last month from a collection of mostly tech companies – including Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung – which expressed concern over parts of a speech given by America’s antitrust czar in November last year.

The USPTO ought to get formal officials under control. It’s not just Kappos who keeps meddling; Robert Stoll comes to mind too (he’s supposed to have ‘retired’ 7 years ago after 29 years of service).

The USPTO has a serious lobbying problem. Is it aware of it? Is Iancu already noticing?

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