03.18.19

Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Patents at 2:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A funny dog

Summary: As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is run by a patent maximalist. It’s not entirely new/s and more people/groups speak about it.

Being a patent maximalist, he opposes Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), which generally reduce the number of patents and may, in turn, impact confidence in US patents. He also dislikes most Federal Circuit decisions, hence he chooses to ignore these. He does not like 35 U.S.C. § 101 or Alice (SCOTUS), hence he attempts to rewrite the rules.

“Being a patent maximalist, he opposes Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), which generally reduce the number of patents and may, in turn, impact confidence in US patents.”As if squashing bad patents (like software patents) is a bad thing, IAM has just published this inane tweet about PTAB and the USPTO amplified the latest nonsense from its Director, Mr. Iancu. Well, Iancu used to work for patent trolls (and his firm had worked for Trump also… before he got this USPTO job from Trump), so why should we not expect this attitude? As quoted/paraphrased here, Iancu said: “We should focus on addressing areas of patent abuse, but it is counterproductive to use pejorative terms like ‘patent troll’ that paint with a broad brush.”

“Yes, we wouldn’t want to hurt the feelings of people who extort money with bogus patents that should never have been granted,” Professor James Bessen wrote about patent trolls, alluding to the above. Bessen had spent years of his career conducting studies on the economic impact of trolls before he wrote several high-profile articles on the subject. Bessen is highly regarded and is considered reliable, credible.

“Iancu is, to them, like an insider or a “mole”. He’s also a proponent of software patents (and has been for a long time).”Nothing (none of the above) surprises us. We foresaw this all along, even before Iancu got the job. Patent trolls are loving it. Iancu is, to them, like an insider or a “mole”. He’s also a proponent of software patents (and has been for a long time).

We kindly take note of this new article from Anders Fernstrom and Christopher Hutter (Cooley LLP, representative of many patent trolls), which uses the term “Computer-Related Patents” and says that Iancu’s “USPTO Revised Patent Eligibility Guidelines Significantly Eases Path to Obtaining” them. They’re missing the point, perhaps intentionally, that actual patent courts would reject virtually all of these patents. So the USPTO is handing out duds — worthless patents that only have use outside the courts, e.g. in the hands of trolls who engage in extortion campaigns against small businesses.

“The truth of the matter is, what we saw at the EPO now happens at the USPTO. Judges are being ignored and besieged for the Office to just grant lots of bogus patents that mostly trolls can exploit (outside courts).”Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz’s Caleb Pollack and Nathan D. Renov have also just published “USPTO’S Revised Software Eligibility Guidelines Give Applicants Hope and Examiners More Ability to Allow Applications” (which courts, once again, will reject).

Days ago we noticed this ‘ad’ from Knobbe Martens, a litigation giant, disguised as an ‘article’. It said “Strategies for Obtaining Patents on AI Inventions in the U.S. and Europe” (they’re calling software patents “AI”; they’re bunk, void and invalid both in Europe and the US).

“At the end of the day, the trolls’ lobby seems very much eager to lower patent quality; Iancu is 100% with them.”The truth of the matter is, what we saw at the EPO now happens at the USPTO. Judges are being ignored and besieged for the Office to just grant lots of bogus patents that mostly trolls can exploit (outside courts).

The patent trolls’ lobby, IAM, has just published this article about “new research” (possibly from Koch-funded 'scholars' who push the Koch's patent agenda). Behind IAM’s paywall: “Academic calls for Congress to act on 101 “to restore investor confidence” with private equity and VC players clear that doubts over patentability…”

We can imagine which scholars those are, but the paywall makes it hard to be sure. At the end of the day, the trolls’ lobby seems very much eager to lower patent quality; Iancu is 100% with them.

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