Patent Reform Moving Forward

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced this morning that a “tentative agreement” has been reached on the patent reform bill with Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). “No one will think this is a perfect bill, but we are close to a comprehensive patent reform bill that benefits all corners of the patent community.” Leahy did not provide any further details except that the compromise will “address” the issues of “runaway damage awards” and patent quality.

The reform bill has already been passed by the House.

93 thoughts on “Patent Reform Moving Forward

  1. True Title of this Post should be:

    “Patent Deform Moves Forward,
    America Steps Back”

    (… blindly and sheepishly towards the cliff)

  2. John Nagle, that’s the point I was making above. With the other recent decisions, this will make patent infringement suits unavaiable to small businesses and independent inventors who depend on large damage awards to get contingency fees with the litigating attorneys. This won’t affect the big companies at all though since they pay hour lititgation rates.

    In effect, it removes the patent system from the little guys and makes it the sole province of large businesses.

    This is very bad for American enginuity.

  3. “You mean like 30 year professionals who say that many prosecution has become far harder regardless of the merits of the invention.

    I’ve noticed that prosecution getting much easier, actually.”

    Sounds like this may be a problem peculiar to NWPA’s particular skill set, as opposed to a PTO problem.

  4. You mean like 30 year professionals who say that many prosecution has become far harder regardless of the merits of the invention.

    I’ve noticed that prosecution getting much easier, actually. Since Kappo has come in, examiners are calling me up with suggested amendments or asking for a clarification. Rather than issuing an office action, we get a notice of allowance. They have been incredibly reasonable, professional and helpful. Even if we can’t agree on the broader claims, we can still get something allowed and revisit the broader claims in a continuation.

    To that end I strongly support ESDs: examination support documents. It is evidence of due diligence.

    Exactly. Drug companies have to submit evidence of their drug’s safety and efficacy when submitting it to the FDA, which still has to independently determine the drug’s safety and efficacy.

    If given the power to require an ESD (I imagine that’s what they’re referring to with respect to “patent quality”), the USPTO should be able to come up with a better version of ESD requirements that strengthen the patent examination process without overburdening applicants.

  5. “most of the rest of us do”

    …most being the multi-headed pseudonym hydra.

    Or you can be your own man and continue your fine work.

  6. Max, I suggest using the course of action that most of the rest of us do: before reading a comment, look down at the “Posted by:” line, and if it says “Noise above Law,” scroll past.

  7. I’m sorry to embarrass you, but Mr. Hobbes is only correct to a point.

    The credit firmly belongs to you, as you have attempted to engage your critical faculties prior to posting. The easy part is the assailing – you deserve the credit for the work.

    As to: “Alternatively, are you supposing that I have more than one pseudonym, and the correction came from that other pseudonym?” and “You mean you like it,…”

    No, I do not like it when I make mistakes – but I do like your (and yes, it was the MaxDrie monkier) measured insistence that my grammar was errant. And it was ambiguous (the thread was dealing with the standards expertise of Malcolm).

    Your kudos are deserved.

  8. We’re all proud of you, Max. You’ve come a long way under Noise’s tutelage and steady diet of admonitions and measured assailing.

    And Ken Brooks is a meanie.

    And so is Falsely Marked.

  9. Noise, I’m even more puzzled now. You mean you like it, when people expose your spelling lapses?

    Much as I am very often tempted to pick up on your spelling and grammatical lapses, I had thought I always refrained. There are several reasons for that. Substance more important than form. Spelling rules not absolute. Keeping the thread compact. Why be catty, just for the sake of it. People in glasshouses etc.

    Perhaps I did on one occasion attempt a joke, that involved such a correction, but have now forgotten all about it?

    Alternatively, are you supposing that I have more than one pseudonym, and the correction came from that other pseudonym?

    Or did I correct the posting of another? Do you perhaps write under more than one pseudonym?

    But can we stop this now? It’s getting embarrassing.

  10. My message got caught in the filter – so here’s another try:

    MaxDrei, I understand the trepidation. I should have added more detail.

    My missive was indeed a compliment. In regards to my earlier admonitions to you regarding your posting style and how you came across and how you desired to be taken seriously, your statement above reflects an internalization and application of that principle that indicates that you do indeed want to be taken seriously.

    That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy your more fun posts (your corrections of my grammar and spelling come to mind), but rather, it is to say: Good Job.

  11. I understand the trepidation, MaxDrei – I should have added more detail.

    My missive was indeed a compliment, and stems from my earlier admonitions to you on posting in such a way to maintain credibility so that others take what you say seriously.

    Your statement indicates a grasp of that notion and an internalization that shows your effort to be taken seriously.

    That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy your more fun posts (your corrections of my spelling and grammar come to mind), it is to say: Good Job.

  12. Noise, sorry to be so dim but, again, I don’t understand. You are not my parent, guardian or teacher. So, on what basis are you proud “of” me? I don’t want to appear churlish, but am I required to take your remark as a compliment?

    Perhaps you are, conversely, being sarcastic, trying to suggest that I am the one failing to make myself understood. Are you? I don’t get it.

    And rest assured, by the way, I’ve thought a lot, before making this posting.

  13. “the issue whether he succeeds in making himself understandable to others is about the most important issue there is.”

    MaxDrei – I am so proud of you.

  14. Ken, I’m now even more puzzled. I had thought that, for any self-respecting lawyer, the issue whether he succeeds in making himself understandable to others is about the most important issue there is.

    So, how do you explain your lack of concern about your own ability to make yourself understood? Perhaps you aren’t a practising lawyer?

    But Ken, I don’t want to end on a mean note. I congratulate you on your invention of a new name for me: “MaxCrei”. I liked that, even though I’m not crying. Quite the opposite, you’ll be relieved to hear.

  15. MaxCrei:
    I mean what I write and I write what I mean. Your inability to comprehend the words is of no concern of mine.

  16. “Posted by: PecuniaryPete “What a sad ipecunate freak you are Mooney.”

    What do “impecunate” mean?

    Inquiring minds wannanknow, ya’know, youbetcha.

  17. Much cluelessness above.

    First, Leahy is talking about is S.515 and H.R. 1260 again. It’s not a new bill he’s introducing. Bills expire at the end of the Congress, not the session. This is the 111th Congress, second session.

    Here’s Sen. Leahy’s press release:
    “http://leahy.senate.gov/press/press_releases/release/?id=971907e8-425c-489a-ab48-b1eb307be795″

    What he seems to be describing is patching up the differences between S.515 and H.R. 1260, and enacting that.

    Provisions include first-to-file, “post-grant review” up to 12 months after issue, narrower definition of “willful infringement”, and more restrictive language on damages.

    The overall effect is to make patents less valuable and more expensive to enforce.

  18. “It’s about greed and getting a hold of somebody’s money and putting it into your pocket.”

    Isn’t that what everyone does when it gets down to it?

    No. But I do understand that many people share your confusion.

  19. Ken, with your second sentence you do yourself no credit. What has the “insofar as” qualification got to do with it? I suppose it makes you feel better about yourself but does it not might make you look even more ridiculous?

    I’m still wondering, was your original mis-attribution careless or deliberate. I had thought till now that it must have been pure carelessness, but now I have to suppose it was deliberate. Pathetic (if you don’t mind me voicing my opinion).

    But I don’t want to be thought churlish, even about the grudging form “you have my apology”. So, thanks, from the bottom of my heart for your unequivocal unqualified much appreciated first sentence, which I shall long treasure (and hope to quote over and over again).

  20. “It’s about greed and getting a hold of somebody’s money and putting it into your pocket.”

    Isn’t that what everyone does when it gets down to it? When I go to the store to buy an apple, don’t they “get a hold” of my money and put it in their pocket?

    What a sad ipecunate freak you are Mooney.

  21. “I thought the juxtaposition of your name with mine at the bottom of my post would make the point.”

    You thought wrong.

    Seems to be the modus operandi delight of yours.

  22. MaxDrei, you are correct. Therefore, in so far as your ideology is incongruent with the statement in question by IANAE you have my apology.

  23. I don’t understand why IANAE wrote into his posting the words “Sincerely, MaxDrei”.

    It was my whimsical attempt to point out that I was in fact the person he was quoting. I thought the juxtaposition of your name with mine at the bottom of my post would make the point.

    I don’t know why people here keep thinking that I’m other posters.

  24. Butt you are entirely correct. It’s me that is confused. You could do me a favour here. I don’t understand why IANAE wrote into his posting the words “Sincerely, MaxDrei”. Perhaps he could explain. Or you could. Would appreciate that. Yours sincerely, MaxDrei.

  25. To MaxDrei,
    Might want to see the post by IANAE at 03.08, which is signed, “Sincerely, Max Drei”.

    Seems someone is confused.

  26. To Ken Brooks: You begin your post at 03.02 with a quote from IANAE at 01.53 and wrongly attribute it to me. Why? Deliberate or careless? Either way, an apology would be appreciated.

  27. Just because it’s been around since 1952 and only now catching on

    Heh.

    Posted by: Malcolm Mooney | Feb 26, 2010 at 03:22 PM

    a fine example of trolling for trollings sake. here the fighter against patent abuse is fighting action that fights patent abuse.

    sort of like watching a man with a sock on each hand punching himself.

  28. Do a trial attorney file a cause of action without obejctively viable evidence from a client? NO!.

    Yeah, that’s never happened. In any event, if the standards for an ESD are to be analogized to the Rule 11 standards, as currently (not) enforced by the courts, then there’s no point in an ESD requirement.

  29. “Malcolm, I don’t suppose you’d be at all receptive to the argument that patent trolls simply remove an inefficiency in the patent system by asserting causes of action that other people either were unaware of or did not have the means or desire to assert? ”

    Removing an inefficiency in the “patent system” (as you use it here) has the same effect as putting into place new inefficiencies in the economy :(

    But I’m sure MM is receptive to that argument.

    “a sort of market maker for patent royalties. ”

    That may be true, which is why its creation is so horrible since such a market is a bad thing :(

    Overall, your argument is accepted by me if not by MM. You have successfully convinced me that trolling is a bad phenomena.

  30. “Sincerely, MaxDrei Posted by: IANAE | Feb 26, 2010 at 03:08 PM”

    And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids and their dog.

  31. Malcolm, I don’t suppose you’d be at all receptive to the argument that patent trolls simply remove an inefficiency in the patent system by asserting causes of action that other people either were unaware of or did not have the means or desire to assert? They’re a sort of market maker for patent royalties. We wouldn’t have any problem if someone bought up unused plots of land and built a shopping mall or something for profit.

    I was going to say “it’s not like they created the patents in the first place”, but then I remembered that study about how they prefer to acquire pending applications.

  32. what the f’n h does “Heh.” mean?

    It means this is just another form of patent trolling.

    Yes, these people exist: they look for ways to make money by exploiting patents.

    Exploiting patents? I thought that the money here was made for catching those exploiting patents, you know, the ones breaking the law regarding patent marking. Are you against exploitation or are you for exploitation?

    Just because it’s been around since 1952 and only now catching on doesn’t mean that its not the law.

  33. It isn’t like getting rid of patent trolls will do anything to assist the economy.

    Depends on how you do it.

  34. All I am saying is that by providing an incentive to grant monopolies on safety features a manufacturer would have a greater incentive to introduce the same as opposed to seeing the introduction of technology that may provide additional safety as being something avoided, because it hurts their profits.

    What you’re saying is wrong.

    If car companies don’t already want to develop and use safety features, they’re certainly not going to develop and use them if it costs extra to patent them, and their patents would be worthless because nobody else wants to use those features either.

    The Corvair situation makes clear that companies are willing to deal with the bad PR and anything else so long as they keep their bottom line up.

    Dunno if you remember the Pinto, but the courts already made it clear to car companies that they’d skew the economic incentives to discourage that.

    Sincerely,

    MaxDrei

  35. Your anti-patent stance is interesting.

    I don’t have an “anti-patent” stance. Patents are important for promoting innovation and I applaud the granting of patents to deserving inventors.

    I’m not sure what’s “anti-patent” about that stance.

  36. IANAE: “Have you tried explaining the merits of the invention to the examiner? Because he’s not convinced it has any. That is your job, after all. Sorry it suddenly got hard to do.”

    You sound like an examiner, although I’m guessing from your moniker that you’re saying you’re not.

    Why is it that the BPAI has agreed in each case (talking about my cases, that is) that the invention does have merit?

    It’s not that the job “got hard to do”, as you so condescendingly put it. It’s that the examiners don’t actually appear to be doing their job. Or their SPEs won’t let them (same difference).

    Why is the BPAI being forced to do the job for the examiners?

  37. MaxDrei says: “You don’t think it’s motivation enough to not kill the person who makes the buying decision?”

    I have a one word response to that MaxDrei: CORVAIR.

    I think that you should read the book “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile”. All I am saying is that by providing an incentive to grant monopolies on safety features a manufacturer would have a greater incentive to introduce the same as opposed to seeing the introduction of technology that may provide additional safety as being something avoided, because it hurts their profits. The Corvair situation makes clear that companies are willing to deal with the bad PR and anything else so long as they keep their bottom line up.

  38. Gee! I should of thought of that!

    Clearly you’re doing it wrong.

    Hope you’re having more success with that breathing thing.

  39. Malcom Mooney:
    Your anti-patent stance is interesting. Is there anything you like about patents? If you as so interested in stopping patent trolls all that is need is for Congress to pass a law that states in any action that includes results in the adjudication of patent infringement issues the loser pays all. However, that would substantially reduce the work of patent litigators.

  40. >>Have you tried explaining the merits of the >>invention to the examiner?

    Gee! I should of thought of that! Wait I didn’t forget that nor how to breath.

    Sheesh, the baboons are getting thick this Friday afternoon.

  41. People? Or inventors?

    People who have invented something. I thought that was understood.

    Are you suggesting that innovation would be slowed or harmed if laws were passed that greatly reduced patent trolling? That would be an interesting thesis to defend.

    I’m not suggesting that, but I could if you like. To the extent that patent trolls are buying patents from people who are otherwise unable to assert them, those people are getting a greater reward for their innovation.

    Mostly though, my point was the more general one that 35 USC is meant to be an economic incentive, and we shouldn’t be surprised or necessarily upset that PEs and NPEs alike use it as a tool to extract money.

  42. It is all about where you want the money to flow. Without safe technology, the money flows to litigators in tort cases. Without a viable economy the money flows to bankruptcy attorneys for client who don’t have to pay their obligations.

    It isn’t like getting rid of patent trolls will do anything to assist the economy. It will simply allow money to flow to another segment. With respect to patents, the real importance is that nothing is filed with the USPTO that is not meritorious. To that end I strongly support ESDs: examination support documents. It is evidence of due diligence. Do a trial attorney file a cause of action without obejctively viable evidence from a client? NO!. Whey should a patent be filed without objective evidence to support patentability.
    The PTO performs a very important function, as do the people who work with it. We are here to advance the useful arts. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  43. You mean like 30 year professionals who say that many prosecution has become far harder regardless of the merits of the invention.

    Have you tried explaining the merits of the invention to the examiner? Because he’s not convinced it has any.

    That is your job, after all. Sorry it suddenly got hard to do.

  44. You mean like 30 year professionals who say that many prosecution has become far harder regardless of the merits of the invention.

    Maybe time to retire, Martin.

  45. whole point is that individuals’ lust for gold will somehow incidentally encourage innovation

    “Somehow incidentally”? No, I don’t think it’s that mysterious, or so all-encompassing.

    Congress (not “we the people”) is supposed to promote the useful arts by giving people profitable exclusive rights

    People? Or inventors?

    Those people are supposed to exist.

    Are you suggesting that innovation would be slowed or harmed if laws were passed that greatly reduced patent trolling? That would be an interesting thesis to defend.

  46. A baboon wrote: >>Unbelievable that it’s 2010 and we still have >>chickenlittles here whining about KSR.

    You mean like 30 year professionals who say that many prosecution has become far harder regardless of the merits of the invention.

  47. Yes, these people exist: they look for ways to make money by exploiting patents. Their business has nothing to do with “promoting progress in the useful arts” or “innovation” anything else. It’s about greed and getting a hold of somebody’s money and putting it into your pocket.

    Those people are supposed to exist. Patent policy doesn’t depend on individuals wanting to promote the useful arts. Congress (not “we the people”) is supposed to promote the useful arts by giving people profitable exclusive rights. The whole point is that individuals’ lust for gold will somehow incidentally encourage innovation and promote the useful arts in society as a whole.

    The trick is to not give people monopolies on KSR-type “inventions” that are just taking something that already exists and putting a clock in it. You don’t encourage innovation by paying people for things that are obvious.

  48. Patent reform is happening because of all the junck that has issued (and continues to issue) in the bizmethod and software areas. Really just the inevitable result of trolls taking things to the limit with their “new paradigms” and whatnot. Rabid dogs may howl about patent trolling is just the American way and patents are the answer to everything, but at the end of the day people want to get some sleep. Old Yeller was cute, though, wasn’t he?

    Happy Friday.

  49. because engineers will say FU I’m going over here to ECU design where I can get some patents attributed to my name (and my wallet).

    You don’t think car companies will pay engineers to design cars that won’t kill the driver? You think they’ll hold out for some patent protection?

    Also, what if it’s true that any person off the street can design a pedal assembly? After all, lots of cars have perfectly serviceable pedal assemblies. Why should patents issue for things that are obvious?

  50. Hairball IF the SupCt wants to essentially tell engineers that any person off the street can design a pedal assembly

    Except the Supreme Court doesn’t want to do that, and hasn’t done it.

    Unbelievable that it’s 2010 and we still have chickenlittles here whining about KSR.

  51. what the f’n h does “Heh.” mean?

    It means this is just another form of patent trolling.

    Yes, these people exist: they look for ways to make money by exploiting patents. Their business has nothing to do with “promoting progress in the useful arts” or “innovation” anything else. It’s about greed and getting a hold of somebody’s money and putting it into your pocket.

    As we know, for a few commenters here, that’s all that matters: getting a hold of someone’s money. The easier it is to do that, the better for them, and screw everybody else. To the extent the PTO isn’t helping them achieve this goal, the PTO is the “enemy”.

    That’s what “heh” means. Now watch the ambulance chasers here perform their usual routine.

  52. …why? you ask, because engineers will say FU I’m going over here to ECU design where I can get some patents attributed to my name (and my wallet).

  53. INANE (Mooney)

    IF the SupCt wants to essentially tell engineers that any person off the street can design a pedal assembly, then you will get sub-standard pedal assemblies. That’s the bottom line.

  54. Priorsmart, “Yeah, I’d love to know the backstory on this Thomas Simonian guy filing 10+ cases/day in ILND”

    See fer yerself, neighbor. ND IL is one of those civilized Districts having complaint PDFs available same day.

    You’ll find 27 now by Simonian himself and one by another Plaintiff, O’Neill. But if you look at the representation at the bottom of the complaints, the plaintiffs appear to be stand-ins for the same group of 3 law firms in all 28 cases.

    link to ilnd.uscourts.gov

  55. >60-odd “false marking” cases filed in the last few months, compared to 25 or so in the last few years.

    Yeah, I’d love to know the backstory on this Thomas Simonian guy filing 10+ cases/day in ILND. jeeez.

  56. Ken Brooks However, the incentive provided by the patent system would probably have avoided the deaths had not KSR sought to foreclose the incentive to provide better throttle control technology.

    Or maybe that butterfly in South America could have flapped its wings three times instead of two.

  57. When did patent attorneys turn into ambulance-chasers?

    Posted by: FalselyMarked | Feb 26, 2010 at 01:41 PM

    Heh.

  58. The natural result of the KSR analysis is the Totyota problem of people dying in their cars, because of a fautly throttle control design. Why is it fauly: maybe they were not provided sufficient benefit to develope a safe one without the ensuing deaths of my fellow citizens.

    You don’t think it’s motivation enough to not kill the person who makes the buying decision?

    It’s costing them a bundle in PR, recall-related expenses, and potential lawsuits to fix their cars. They don’t need the patent system to motivate them to not kill people. Besides which, there’s lots of Toyota prior art that doesn’t kill people.

    It always amuses me when someone finds new ways to claim that laws they don’t like are killing people. I thought the “death panels” thing was creative, but it’s nothing compared to “the KSR case makes Toyotas broken because now it’s obvious how to build them properly”.

  59. Can anybody doubt that the most bizarre example, to date, of wishful thinking is the above utterance from Ken Brooks:

    “The natural result of the KSR analysis is the Totyota problem”

    Throughout the last 40 years, the motor manufacturer most assiduous in building its patent portfolio is the company known as TOYOTA.

  60. Paul, I put it to you that the uncertainty in Europe is not getting worse but rather lessening. Look at recent Decisions and how increasingly often the brotherhood of judges is straining for internal agreement. Show me evidence to the contrary if you can, please. Of course there are cases where courts differ. When one does discovery and cross-examination and the other doersn’t, what can one expect? But the differences between courts in the same country, by now, might be greater.

    Besides, you need to factor in the point that one Decision in a major jurisdiction and it’s mostly a done deal. How many European countries have more than 50 million residents? How many have less than 10 million?

    Malcolm the uproar “was” indeed loud and is not getting any less. With the new Rules shockingly complicated, the EPO is attempting to adjudicate between those who want “something pending” throughout the lifetime of the patent, and those investors who, before they invest, would like to have a meaningful clearance opinion.

    Some people in Europe still adhere to the quaint belief that meaningful clearance opinions are possible. Do they need disabusing of that, gentle readers?

  61. Patents are important. They are very important. Let’s take an interesting case about throttle control technology. One of the quotes are as follows:
    “A person of ordinary skill is also a person of ordinary creativity, not an automaton . . . and “who could find motivation “implicitly in the prior art.” Justice Kennedy KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex, Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007). Aparrently the motivation to develop technology that saves lives is not sufficient reason to grant a monopoly on the same to induce its development. Rather, given the cost benefit analysis, it would be sufficient motivation to provide implicit motivation based upon the prior and thereby support denying a grant of a patent. The natural result of the KSR analysis is the Totyota problem of people dying in their cars, because of a fautly throttle control design. Why is it fauly: maybe they were not provided sufficient benefit to develope a safe one without the ensuing deaths of my fellow citizens.

    At least the class action attorneys and tort lawyers will derive benefit from the deaths of these individuals. However, the incentive provided by the patent system would probably have avoided the deaths had not KSR sought to foreclose the incentive to provide better throttle control technology.

    Maybe now we should revisit KSR and the entire patent system to ensure that we are focused on the proper motivation for allowing limited monopolies. The advancement of the useful arts. To me it seems useful to provide technology that saves lives, even if it costs the avid supporters of our elected officials a drop in their profits; however, I happen to be an individual who cares about his fellow human being, espeically ones who are my fellow citizen. How about you?!!!

  62. Anyone ask Sen. Leahy if they’re going to amend or repeal 292(b)?

    60-odd “false marking” cases filed in the last few months, compared to 25 or so in the last few years.

    When did patent attorneys turn into ambulance-chasers?

  63. MD Why, if any politician were ever to suggest tampering with the substantive patent law provisions of the European Patent Convention there would be just as great an uproar, from every patent practitioner in Europe.

    Was there a lot of uproar about the limits on the timing of divisional filings that we have to deal with now?

  64. Max, it is hard to imagine how European patent enforcement litigation could be made any worse than it is already, with different countries having different courts for infringement and validity, some of which are reportedly so slow the patents expire first.
    [Unless perhaps it would be run like European antitrust enforcement, in which, reportedly, you can get convicted and heavily fined without any trial or normal "due process" by a single combined investigative/prosecutorial/judicial agency.]

  65. I sympathise with you all. Why, if any politician were ever to suggest tampering with the substantive patent law provisions of the European Patent Convention there would be just as great an uproar, from every patent practitioner in Europe.

    Then again, those who make a living from patent litigation would be very pleased, if more complexity and uncertainty could somehow be injected into our European patent law.

    You can see how Europe’s politicians have made no progress, over 50 years now, to simplify patent litigation in Europe. In my opinion, whatever they have suggested thus far will exacerbate rather than reduce the uncertainty of litigating patent disputes in Europe.

  66. Re: “keep anyone with any business experience out of government.”

    That is what we just had for the PTO under Rogane and Dudas.
    Were you here?

  67. and please. The LAST thing the PTO needs to deal with is more “QUALITY” efforts. The rejection office is working fine, hence the backlog and low morale.

  68. In other news, Congress is considering the “Bank Robbery Reform Act of 2010″, providing that bank robbers who are caught must only pay the bank the interest on the stolen money as if they had obtained a loan from the bank, over a reasonable term of repayment.

  69. With all the other problems in the world today, why are some so anxious to twiddle with the PTO.

    Unlike most other problems in the world, the problem with the PTO (for many people) is “this system is not making me enough money”.

  70. “Leahy did not provide any further details except that the compromise will “address” the issues of “runaway damage awards” and patent quality.”

    Sounds (thankfully) like typical politician blather…

    interpretation: “patent reform? what patent reform? What? Oh, yeah… ‘we need to “address the issues” blah blah blah”

  71. “reform” has been “moving forward” for decades. With all the other problems in the world today, why are some so anxious to twiddle with the PTO. It probably can be fixed without a lot of congressional intervention and gratuitous intermeddling, vis a vis lawmaking.

    Gak.

  72. “There. Have I missed anything?”

    yeah, you did

    7) Get rid of corporate stooges in all branches of our government

    That would include Mr. Kappos

    Make sure business and government are completely separated

    Such nonsense as appointing former IBM patent lawyer as head of PTO or former Goldman Sacks exec as head of US Treasury should be a NO-NO

    Ii fact, I think that until a constitutional amendment is passed that explicitely prohibits any intersection between government and business this country will continue to slide into Hell.

    Period.

  73. I thought the Constitution was put in place to define the role of the govn’t, but apparently there’s nothing this Congress can’t ruin.

    “runaway damages”? Most cases aren’t even worth pursuing because you can’t get anything resembling a fair award, especially for smaller inventors and their inventions (i.e., not enough revenue to make the costs worth pursuing the suit).

    So:
    No injunctions (ebay)
    No treble damages (seagate)
    Everything is obvious (PTO interpretation of KSR)
    Reject, reject, reject
    Fee increases (yearly rule changes)

    And now…… NO damages.

    So, what’s the point of patents again?

    “To grant for a limited time, exclusive rights…”

    What exclusive right is granted if all patents are unenforcable?

  74. If this current version of S.515 addresses only the issues present in the prior version of this bill (which I suspect it does), it’s still not “patent reform” or even close. And with the current debacle in the pending health care legislation, I don’t trust Congress one iota to get “patent reform” anywhere near where it should be. Another American innovation and job killer in the making.

  75. Dennis, an error – that was the House of the LAST Congress. That bill died in January 2009. This is a new bill, which hasnt even seen the House Judiciary Committee yet.

  76. We have had a number of SupCt patent decisions in the past few years, Bilski is coming up, we have a new PTO director — let’s wait a year or two for the dust is settled before making statutory changes.

  77. Dear Professor Crouch,
    Thank you for reminding us we have more than Bilski to worry about.
    I await the Court’s wise application of stare decisis in the information age (Ecclesiates 1:9).
    Your post of nearly a year ago was a good refresher:
    link to patentlyo.com
    Oh, well; back to sowing and reaping. (Ecclesiastes 11;14).

  78. “There. Have I missed anything?”

    Yea, you forgot this is the government you’re dealing with. Good luck with each item, especially #6.

  79. Anyone want to take odds on the Patent Reform Bill giving the USPTO the ability to require Examination Support Documents?

  80. 1. Give the examiners the tools and the time they need to conduct comprehensive and complete prior art searches.

    2. Insist that all inventions deserving of an allowance are allowed … and that all those that aren’t, aren’t.

    3. Give anyone and everyone involved in the examination and appeal process an immediate 20% raise … to improve retention & meet hiring needs.

    4. Greatly expand hoteling for those qualified to handle it.

    5. Immediately wire a 1 billion dollar check from the TARP funds to the PTO so Mr. Kappos can make the tech changes he wants and needs to do.

    5. Hire and give Greg Aharonian the the power to ride heard on the entire operation.

    6. Stop stealing PTO funds; and give back every dollar (with interest) that you (Congress) have stolen in the past.

    There. Have I missed anything?

  81. Senator Leahy (D-VT) announced this morning…”No one will think this is a perfect bill, but we are close to a comprehensive patent reform bill….”

    Dear God they’re at it again.

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