Patently-O Bits and Bytes: Patent Public Advisory Committee Nominations

  • Patent Public Advisory Committee Nominations: The PPAC includes a group of nine voting members appointed for three-year terms on a rolling-basis by the Secretary of Commerce. 35 U.S.C. 5. Director Kappos and Commissioner Stoll are making this an exciting time to be part of the USPTO and I have real hope for positive change on the patent side of the office over the next three years. That said, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done. Although my skills may not be so unique, I now have the time and the energy to be a part of that effort and am planning to submit my nomination shortly. (Nominations are due June 11, 2010).
  • Patent Public Advisory Committee and Open Government: Current members of the PPAC include Damon Matteo, Chair (chief intellectual property officer of the Palo Alto Research Center); Louis J. Foreman (CEO of Enventys and co-creator of Everyday Edisons on PBS); Scott Kieff (Professor at GWU); Marc Adler (independent IP strategist); Steve Pinkos (government lobbyist); Maureen Toohey (solo practitioner patent attorney); Benjamin Borson (solo practitioner patent attorney); Esther Kepplinger (director at Wilson Sonsini); Steven Miller (chief IP counsel for P&G). The terms of Scott Kieff and Louis Foreman will be complete at the end of 2010. I do believe that it is important to have a patent law professor as part of the PPAC – if only because our public pronouncements are not limited by our clients (we ordinarily do not have any clients) or our employers.
  • Patent Public Advisory Committee and Open Government: Thousands of attorneys, agents, inventors, and patent examiners read Patently-O on a daily basis. I also personally communicate with dozens Patently-O readers each week on matters of patent examination policy. One of my goals as a PPAC member would be to use these communication lines to shed more public light on patent office practices and to bring suggestions directly to the PTO from folks in practice. Although the PTO examiner union-chief takes part in PPAC discussions, that often confrontational avenue of communication usually misses many important examiner issues. As the current PTO administration realizes, the management of examiner moral and training has a critical role in overall PTO performance. I believe that I could add an important channel of information on that front as well. In the past, patent office directors have not appointed individuals to the PPAC who had a broad public voice on patent law issues and an established avenue of communication. I hope that historic closing-door approach has changed.
  • False Marking: Rep. Darrell Issa has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 4954) that would retroactively eliminate jurisdiction for false marking complaints except for cases where the complainant has “suffered competitive injury as a result of the violation.” (Hat tip Hal Wegner). The Bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Boucher (D-Va), Coble (R-NC), Cohen (D-Tenn), Conyers (D-Mich), Franks (R-Ariz), Lungren (R-Cal), and Smith (R-Tex).
  • False Marking: Two false marking case resources FalseMarking.net (MBHB) and Justin Gray’s Info (Foley).

21 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes: Patent Public Advisory Committee Nominations

  1. Since we know that Mooney and INANE are the same person, what does THAT tell you? (Notice the perfectly ordered posts…)

    Must be a slow post day, gotta gin up some intrigue and posting action…

  2. Cute, Dr. Zaius. When Obama’s Czars come to mind, I think of them as wearing the Bonnet Rouge and waving the Red Flags of La Révolution française.

  3. “The term “Czar” currently has some very serious baggage and it’s not always complimentary.”

    But the patent Czar would have a very cool and tall furry hat along with a ceremonial sword.

  4. “Dennis Crouch for Patent Czar!”

    Please, let’s not “tarnish” Dennis’s stellar image with such a title. The term “Czar” currently has some very serious baggage and it’s not always complimentary.

  5. “I do believe that it is important to have a patent law professor as part of the PPAC – if only because our public pronouncements are not limited by our clients (we ordinarily do not have any clients) or our employers.”

    Dennis: granted, replacing one patent law prof on PPAC with another could be seen as a wash, and I applaud you for trying to make the system better.

    However, while academics are arguably not ordinarily limited by client or employer issues, the last several years have shown that academics have not been particularly friendly to inventors, businesses and practitioners. Of course, I’m speaking mostly about the Rais, Lemleys and Moores. Their public pronouncements, e.g., strongly favoring limits on claims and continuations, have demonstrated a disconnect from life in the trenches. (And let’s not forget that some patent law professors, e.g., Mark Lemley, also have active ongoing relationships with law firms and thus would be potentially influenced by clients and employers through that route.)

    At least you have a Reg. No. and have worked inside the system, but implying that academics, by allegedly being free of client or employer influences, would somehow be more evenhanded in their PPAC duties is stretching things somewhat.

  6. I agree with everyone else that you would make an excellent choice, DC. I think this blog and its success says a lot about you:
    1. you’re motivated
    2. you’re neutral
    3. you’re knowledgeable
    4. you’re easy to get along with (as long as we don’t say bab**n in every single comment for two and a half years straight)
    5. you’re a giant among men – link to dunescle.com

  7. Dennis, I would be delighted to see you on the Patent Public Advisory Committee, but the member selection process does not seem favor selecting many members who will seek input from practitioners as to what needs to be fixed in the PTO and then hold the PTO’s feet to the fire to get it fixed.
    For, a few examples, the years PPAC has been letting the PTO get away (without any apparent public or Congressional reporting duty criticism) with phoney statistics on actual application pendancies, counting RCE’s as both new applications and disposals, gross violations of the statutory requirement of “special dispatch” for reexaminations, etc.

  8. I would hope the PTO tries to keep balance among its advisory board, choosing members not so much because of their expertise, but because of their interests. We have one law professor on the committee at present. He is retiring. We need to replace him with another professor.

    I do not see anyone on the committee who represents individual inventors and small businesses, aka, trolls. There appears to be no one their who knows, rather than speculates, what is wrong with reexaminations, with litigation and why the pending patent bill is a bad idea. Big business, on the other hand, seems well represented.

  9. His blog is so popular because his blog is far and away the best in terms of content with minimal commentary. Like CNN. To my knowledge only the docs and a distant third Hawk approach the level of content delivered. And the docs get too sidetracked with their bio mess, most people don’t care as much about that stuff. Eugene tries, and has good content, but his method of delivery is, hmmm, how to say, “entertaining” at the best of times. Kind of like Fox news, sure they present the facts correctly sometimes, but then they say something so blatantly opposite reality that one would assume it was a joke. But they rarely acknowledge it as such.

    Not to mention D has me :)

    If D keeps up the content and his delivery style I doubt if we’ll see him toppled anytime soon, regardless of his job. Although if he gets a “real job” then he might not be able to post as much.

  10. In other words, might you have a personal stake in changes being implemented at the PTO that might make some readers reluctant to verbalize criticism of those changes?

    I was thinking that Dennis would encourage open criticism of changes being implemented at the PTO, so he could have a better idea of which changes are the positive ones.

    Though, honestly, people here aren’t shy about criticizing things, and I don’t expect that to ever change.

  11. Dennis, I think one of the reasons your blog is so popular among members of the patent community is that it is hosted by a professor, and not by a patent practitioner or by anyone at the PTO.

    If you become a member of the PPAC, do you think that might have an impact on your readers’ perceptions of your impartiality?

    In other words, might you have a personal stake in changes being implemented at the PTO that might make some readers reluctant to verbalize criticism of those changes?

  12. Hey guys, I think I just inventloled something. Imagine if you will a website like amazon where you can mouse over the “buy” button and a list of your friends (coupled with their delivery address) from a social network (ala facebook) will come up below the button, you click their name to buy the item for your friend. It’s a fast track for gift giving. It’s one-click gift giving. The sale then becomes pending in case you made a mistake, and final after like an hour (unless you want to hurry up to finality, or have an option for instant finality).

    I know, I know, imma genious.

    Quick, someone reduce this to practice in patent speak and file! 10 years from now you know it’ll be what we have.

  13. DC: (we are not)

    Dennis, I believe you are estopped from making this assertion, since you and Malcolm are the same person as a matter of lore.

  14. Dennis, a professor is always a good choice to the extent he or she does not provide services as an expert witness in real cases. This could bias the views presented to the committee from someone everyone else thinks has no bias.

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