Bonum Certa Men Certa

Michael Frakes and Melissa Wasserman Complain About Low Patent Quality While Watchtroll Lobbies to Lower It Further

New paper from Michael Frakes speaks of the USPTO's incentive to grant patents irrespective of merit (e.g. quality/prior art)

Michael D. Frakes

Summary: A new paper, composed by Michael D. Frakes and Melissa F. Wasserman, explains that the way things are working in the United States may mean that patent examiners have an incentive to grant low-quality patents -- the very thing the patent microcosm wants as it leads to increase in litigation rather than innovation

THE year is ending today and we have broadened our scope for observing news about software patents. Expect more next year than in the past year.



A couple of weeks ago this scholarly paper was published, but we have not noticed it until more recently (when the media mentioned it). We thought it's worth propagating the outline as follows:

Problem

There is general agreement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues too many invalid patents—those patents issued on an existing technology or on an obvious technological advancement—that are unnecessarily reducing consumer welfare, stunting productive research, and discouraging innovation. However, there has until recently been little to no compelling empirical evidence that any particular feature of the patent application system causes the Patent Office to allow the granting of invalid patents, making it difficult to fully reform the patent system.

Proposal

Frakes and Wasserman build upon new empirical evidence to propose three changes to the patent system that would reduce the issuance of invalid patents: (1) restructuring the Patent Office’s fee schedule to minimize the risk that fee collections will be insufficient to cover its operational costs, while also diminishing its financial incentive to grant patents when collections are insufficient; (2) limiting the number of repeat applications that applicants can file for the same invention; and (3) increasing the time examiners spend reviewing patent applications.

Abstract

There is general agreement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is issuing too many invalid patents that are unnecessarily reducing consumer welfare, stunting productive research, and discouraging innovation. In this paper, Frakes and Wasserman build upon new empirical evidence to propose three changes to the patent system that would reduce the issuance of invalid patents: (1) restructuring the Patent Office’s fee schedule to minimize the risk that fee collections will be insufficient to cover its operational costs, while also diminishing its financial incentive to grant patents when collections are insufficient; (2) limiting the number of repeat applications that applicants can file for the same invention; and (3) increasing the time examiners spend reviewing patent applications.


The EPO has, in recent years, been seduced into a similar trap. What is it that should be measured? What is the yardstick of growth? Is growth even necessarily desirable? This is about monopolies.

As longtime readers may know (some people have been reading the site for over a decade), we are not against patents. We are against software patents. We are pro-software copyrights (or copyleft). So the other day when we saw a British site stating that "Quiptel's technology and software patents will now drive the company's primary business focus" we were rather miffed. Why does Quiptel keep bragging about software patents? We have shown other examples in recent weeks. These patents are bunk and nothing to brag about.

"As longtime readers may know (some people have been reading the site for over a decade), we are not against patents. We are against software patents."Always remember that some of the heaviest lobbying for software patents comes from Watchtroll. So we have decided to watch it a little more closely in the coming year. Towards the end of the year this site/front group had mostly summaries/meta (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), but it also said: "In recent years, life as an IP strategist admittedly has been turbulent. Pivotal judicial decisions, the America Invents Act, and their application in the USPTO and the courts have been widely viewed as reducing the value of patents in the United States."

No, the America Invents Act (AIA) brought PTAB, which actually improved patent quality and increased the value of remaining -- not collective -- patents. The more bogus patents get granted, the lower the value of the whole on an individual basis. We explained this repeatedly in the context of European Patents (EPs) and the EPO.

"The more bogus patents get granted, the lower the value of the whole on an individual basis."As we shall show later today, Watchtroll carries on with PTAB bashing, courtesy of the patent microcosm's echo chamber (people who profit from lawsuits). Here is Watchtroll boosting Paul Morinville, one of the most radical among PTAB bashers. Isn't it incredible that some law firms and even IBM are willing to associate with such people?

By contrast, Juristat offered a more objective annual review and Mark Summerfield down under has shared some statistics and thoughts. Here's what he wrote yesterday:

The coming year promises to be another interesting – and potentially turbulent – one for the Australian patent system. Public consultations have already taken place in relation to proposed changes to patent (and other IP) laws in response to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) review of Australia’s IP arrangements. These changes include potential substantive amendments to the law of inventive step, while draft legislation has already been published in relation to other PC recommendations, including abolition of the innovation patent. It is likely that some, if not all, of these legislative changes will be passed during 2018.


This does -- among other things -- end software patents. They were never quite blessed by the system anyway, but now there are even stricter regulations in place (or rules in the Australian patent office) to prevent patenting of software. Australia seems to have gotten more serious about patent quality rather than quantity.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Julian Assange’s Brother Gabriel Shipton Explains the Logistics of 'Smuggling' Julian Out of the United Kingdom
a lot of new information and prison stories
[Video] Why Wikileaks Publishing War-Related Documents Was Both Important and Justified
It's important to remember the principle which says privacy is for the powerless, whereas the powerful (like those with the power to kill) deserve not privacy but transparency
[Meme] Attacking the "G" in GNOME (Since 2009) Was a Mistake
Spending 50,000 pounds to sue women of racial minority
Difficult Times in GNOME Foundation
GNOME Foundation is in "crisis management" or "face-saving" or "damage control" mode
 
Links 13/07/2024: Patent Trolls in UK Court of Appeal, Eric Schmidt Continues so Show Womanising at Google
Links for the day
Links 13/07/2024: Not Quite Dead Yet After All and Unfederated E-mail
Links for the day
Holly Million, GNOME Foundation departure after Albanian whistleblower revelations
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Like They Got Rid of Molly (and Now Holly)
Pay over 100,000 dollars a year for someone without any background in tech (to "lead" a tech project)
Microsoft Windows Falls to Almost 10% in Palestine (It Was Measured at 100% Just 15 Years Ago)
quite a big drop
Guardianship of the Licence is Not Enough (the Case of Systemd and Microsoft)
Whether the GPL gets enforced or not, if people adopt lousy software, that will have negative consequences
Speaking Out and Spreading the Message of GNU
Free Software Foundation (FSF) got 112 new members since 2.5 weeks ago
3.5 Years in Gemini
It's important to speak about and spread the word (about software freedom, BSD, GNU/Linux, patents etc.) in a medium that's strategic and growing
[Meme] Whoever in GNOME Decided to Attack the G (GNU), It Was a Foolish Miscalculation
How could they expect any outcome other than GNOME's own collapse?
Windows Down to Unprecedented Low in Czech Republic, Android Rises to New Record
From 98% in July 2009 (15 years ago) Windows is down to all-time low of 38% and well below Android
GNOME Foundation Lost Nearly a Million Dollars in 2 Years, IBM and GAFAM Won't Bail It Out Anymore
Seems like a suicide mission
Google News Has Become a Big Pile of Garbage
The issue predates chatbots, but these SEO tricks were accelerated somewhat by slop
OpenAI and ChatGPT Could Very Well Collapse and Shut Down Later This Year (Huge Losses, Sagging Usage Levels, and Massive Debt)
we illuminate the suppressed observations that Microsoft-sponsored publishers and cheaply-made slop (LLM spew disguised as "news") try to distract from
Links 13/07/2024: TikTok Interferences, YouTube Throttled in Russia
Links for the day
Kathy Lette on Julian Assange Staying at Her Attic, Why His Release Matters So Much, and Jen Robinson Staying Over Yesterday
They talk a lot about politics, but the segment mentions publishers, including Rushdie
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 12, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, July 12, 2024
Microsoft Windows Down to a New Low in Canada (Only a Third)
Very steep decline a decade ago
Links 12/07/2024: EU/China Tensions and Ukraine War Updates
Links for the day
EPO Staff Reps: "Until now, Mr Campinos is still leaving the appellants in the dark about the exact content of the opinion of the Appeals Committee on the EPO salary adjustment procedure."
Campinos chooses to lawyer up rather than listen up
EPO Staff Representatives Say It Has Gotten Very Hard to Get Promoted (Forget About Getting Rewarded for Hard Work)
This has long been a problem
[Meme] That Time EPO Workers Were Panicking Because the Elevators Kept Getting Stuck
Many people forgot that
Occupational Health, Safety and Ergonomics Committee (LOHSEC) at the European Patent Office (EPO)
nobody in EPO management ever gets punished for crimes, no matter how severe
[Video] Julian Assange's Brother Gabriel Shipton on How the Convoy to the Airport Was Arranged, Being at the Beach With Julian Assange After Release (He's Doing Well), and How Taylor Swift Has 'Helped' Julian
At the airport he was greeted by many press crews, but they were not there for him. They were there because of Taylor Swift.
[Meme] Financial Disinformation From Chatbots Controlled by the Manipulator (Rigger)
ChatGPT, the media is starting to say you're all hype...
Microsoft is Actually Quite Worthless, Its Valuation is Based on Lies and Consistently Defrauding Shareholders
Microsoft's future is not what Wall Street "tells" us
Links 12/07/2024: Nations That Already Ban TikTok and Russia's 'Shadow War' Online
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/07/2024: Changing and the WIPO Lunacy
Links for the day
Let's Encrypt Continues to Collapse in Geminispace and That's Good News for Free Speech (Among Other Things)
due to the way modern Web browsers work, many sites have no option but to use Let's Encrypt or pay for some other CA to issue some worthless-but-glorified bytes
Microsoft Falls Below 20% in Montenegro - Plunging to All-Time Low
sharp drop
[Meme] The Free Speech Absolutist From Apartheid South Africa
What will it take for all sensible people to quit X/Twitter?
The Final Demise of Social Control Media May be Upon Us (It Ought to be Collectively Abandoned for Society's Sake)
If it keeps going down, prospects of a turnaround or rebound are slim
Linux is Displacing Microsoft and Replacing Windows in Germany (Android Surge and New Highs for ChromeOS+GNU/Linux in Germany)
Germany is upgrading to GNU/Linux, not to latest Windows
The Latest NDAA Amendment Can (or Should) Allow the United States to Remove Microsoft Even Faster From Its Infrastructure (Which Routinely Gets Cracked Completely by Russia and China, Thanks to Microsoft)
It's time to move!
Reorganising for Better Efficiency and More Publication (Original Material)
XBox "journalism" these days is mostly slop (chatbot spew disguised as news), so studying this matter isn't easy
Software Freedom is Still the FSF
At the moment the best advocacy group for Software Freedom is the FSF
Links 12/07/2024: XBox in Trouble, Crackdowns in UAE
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/07/2024: Make Tea Not War, Considering Guix
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 11, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, July 11, 2024
Links 11/07/2024: Intuit Layoffs, Companies Keep Bricking Products
Links for the day
Gemini Links 11/07/2024: Switch to a Dumbphone and Development Frustrations
Links for the day
Starting in 5 Minutes: Stella Assange on the Latest...
We might update this page with a WebM copy (local) if there is something important
The Race to GNU/Linux in Moldova
12 years ago Microsoft was still measured at 99%
EPO: Special Permission Needed to be Ill or Care for the Ill When Issuing Monopolies to Foreign Corporations is a Paramount Priority
It's 'production' 'production' 'production'!
[Meme] A Special Patent Office, the EPO
"I have no death certificate yet"
Links 11/07/2024: Internet Phone Book and Intense Mind Control/Censorship by Social Control Media
Links for the day
Andreas Tille, Chris Lamb & Debian sexism, not listening to real female developers
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
GNU/Linux Expanding in Russia, But Not Exactly Invading the Market
Russian spies work at Microsoft
[Meme] GPL is Still an Alien Concept to the Boardroom of IBM
stomp all over copyleft while blackmailing the FSF into inaction
ChromeOS and GNU/Linux Also Leapfrog and Surpass Apple in Kenya
ChromeOS is at about 1% there, so 6% total (more than Apple)
[Meme] Pay Cash, Avoid Hidden Fees
Cashless society means a less free society
5 Weeks Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby (ejb) Scandal or 'Gate' Started. Debian Has Not Yet Responded in Any Way Whatsoever (to Quell Concerns/Fears).
still an ongoing series
The Media Cannot Use the B Word (Bribe) Anymore?
That might "offend" Microsoft
99 More to Go (in 9 Days)
Unless the FSF extends the 'cutoff' date as it usually does
Microsoft Windows in Bulgaria: From 99% to Barely a Quarter
Only 15 years ago it seemed like Windows had cemented its 'lead'
[Meme] Changing How We Think of Patents
they're only about serving and protecting powerful people
Our Most Productive Summer Since We Started (2006)
We have over 10,000 lines of written notes and drafts
Compare WIPO to ADR Forum
it is "rude" not to hire lawyers
[Meme] GPL Circumvention by IBM (Red Hat)
"GPL? All mine!"
GNU/Linux and ChromeOS in Costa Rica: Over 4% Now
Desktop (or Laptop) & Tablet & Mobile combined would be about 50% "Linux"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 10, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Links 11/07/2024: Space Programs, Education, and Mass Layoffs
Links for the day
Fellowship indexing pages by person
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
US State Department admitted General Hugh S. Johnson went off-topic, Andreas Tille called for punishments
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 11/07/2024: Shifting Interests and It's All Books Now
Links for the day