Patent Reform 2014: Via Executive Action

By Dennis Crouch

The White House is expected to announce today (February 20) a round of new patent reform initiatives. This comes eight months after the President announced a set patent reforms via executive action in June of 2013 along with a set of suggested legislative reforms. Today’s announcements are expected to fit within the guidelines outlined in 2013 but will include more particular action items – with special focus on transparency of ownership and clarity of claim scope. President Obama also called for further reforms in his 2014 State of the Union Address.

The meeting is expected to be led by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker who will be joined by the USPTO’s Michelle Lee (Head of the USPTO) and the leading White House patent reformers: Gene Sperling (Director of the National Economic Council), Todd Park (U.S. Chief Technology Officer), and Colleen Chien (White House Senior Advisor for Intellectual Property and Innovation in the OSTP).

The proposed executive actions from 2013 include:

  1. Making “Real Party-in-Interest” the New Default. Patent trolls often set up shell companies to hide their activities and enable their abusive litigation and extraction of settlements. This tactic prevents those facing litigation from knowing the full extent of the patents that their adversaries hold when negotiating settlements, or even knowing connections between multiple trolls. The PTO will begin a rulemaking process to require patent applicants and owners to regularly update ownership information when they are involved in proceedings before the PTO, specifically designating the “ultimate parent entity” in control of the patent or application.
  2. Tightening Functional Claiming. The AIA made important improvements to the examination process and overall patent quality, but stakeholders remain concerned about patents with overly broad claims — particularly in the context of software. The PTO will provide new targeted training to its examiners on scrutiny of functional claims and will, over the next six months develop strategies to improve claim clarity, such as by use of glossaries in patent specifications to assist examiners in the software field.
  3. Empowering Downstream Users. Patent trolls are increasingly targeting Main Street retailers, consumers and other end-users of products containing patented technology — for instance, for using point-of-sale software or a particular business method. End-users should not be subject to lawsuits for simply using a product as intended, and need an easier way to know their rights before entering into costly litigation or settlement. The PTO will publish new education and outreach materials, including an accessible, plain-English web site offering answers to common questions by those facing demands from a possible troll.
  4. Expanding Dedicated Outreach and Study. Challenges to U.S. innovation using tools available in the patent space are particularly dynamic, and require both dedicated attention and meaningful data. Engagement with stakeholders — including patent holders, research institutions, consumer advocates, public interest groups, and the general public — is also an important part of our work moving forward. Roundtables and workshops that the PTO, DOJ, and FTC have held in 2012 have offered invaluable input to this process. We are announcing an expansion of our outreach efforts, including six months of high-profile events across the country to develop new ideas and consensus around updates to patent policies and laws. We are also announcing an expansion of the PTO Edison Scholars Program, which will bring distinguished academic experts to the PTO to develop — and make available to the public — more robust data and research on the issues bearing on abusive litigation.
  5. Strengthen Enforcement Process of Exclusion Orders. Once the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) finds a violation of Section 337 and issues an exclusion order barring the importation of infringing goods, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the ITC are responsible for determining whether imported articles fall within the scope of the exclusion order. Implementing these orders present unique challenges given these shared responsibilities and the complexity of making this determination, particularly in cases in which a technologically sophisticated product such as a smartphone has been successfully redesigned to not fall within the scope of the exclusion order. To address this concern, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator will launch an interagency review of existing procedures that CBP and the ITC use to evaluate the scope of exclusion orders and work to ensure the process and standards utilized during exclusion order enforcement activities are transparent, effective, and efficient.

46 thoughts on “Patent Reform 2014: Via Executive Action

  1. FACT SHEET – Executive Actions: Answering the President’s Call to Strengthen Our Patent System and Foster Innovation

    v Year of Action: Making Progress Through Executive Action v

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama set an ambitious agenda to make 2014 a year of action. As part of that commitment, and recognizing that innovation is the lifeblood of our economy, the Administration today is announcing major progress on a series of initiatives designed to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation; issuing new executive actions to build on these efforts; and renewing its call on Congress to finish the job by passing common-sense patent reform legislation.

    Since last June, when the White House pledged to protect innovators from frivolous litigation, the Administration has been working to implement a series of executive actions to improve the U.S. patent system. Today the White House is announcing delivery on these commitments:

    Promoting Transparency — The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published a draft rule to ensure patent owners accurately record and regularly update ownership information when they are involved in proceedings before the USPTO. This effort is aimed at improving the quality of patents issued, enhancing competition, facilitating technology transfer, and making it harder to hide abusive litigation tactics behind shell companies. After receiving input from the public, the USPTO aims to issue a final rule in the coming months.
    Making Patents Clear — The USPTO has developed and implemented a training program to help its examiners rigorously examine so-called “functional claims” to ensure claims are clear and can be consistently enforced. In the coming weeks, the USPTO will launch a pilot program that uses glossaries in patent specifications to promote patent clarity.
    Protecting Main Street from Abuse — To help ensure consumers and main-street retailers know their rights before entering into costly litigation or settlements, the USPTO is today launching an online toolkit aimed at empowering consumers with answers to common questions, information about patent suits, and details about specific patents. The toolkit will include information and links to services and websites that can help consumers understand the risks and benefits of litigation or settlement, and pick their best course of action.
    Expanding Outreach & Focused Study — Today, the USPTO is announcing the expansion of its Edison Scholars Program, which brings distinguished academic experts to the USPTO to develop and make available to the public more robust data and research on issues bearing on abusive litigation. USPTO will also continue to expand its engagement with stakeholders—including patent holders, researchers, advocates, and others—and build on the successful roundtables the agency hosted across the country over the past year on high-tech patent issues.
    Strengthening Exclusion Order Enforcement — To make the enforcement of exclusion orders issued by the International Trade Commission more transparent, effective, and efficient, the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator launched an interagency review and will, in the coming months, deliver its recommendations on refining that process.
    Innovation For Global Development — In addition, today, the Administration is committing to sustain, going forward, the Patents for Humanity Program, which creates business incentives for using patented technology to address global humanitarian needs.
    Today, the White House is also announcing three new executive actions to encourage innovation and further strengthen the quality and accessibility of the patent system:

    Crowdsourcing Prior Art — To help ensure that U.S. patents are of the highest quality, the USPTO is announcing a new initiative focused on expanding ways for companies, experts, and the general public to help patent examiners, holders, and applicants find relevant “prior art”—that is, the technical information patent examiners need to make a determination of whether an invention is truly novel.
    More Robust Technical Training — The USPTO is expanding its Patent Examiner Technical Training Program to help patent examiners keep up with fast-changing technological fields by making it easier for technologists, engineers, and other experts to provide relevant technical training and guidance to patent examiners. To make the most of these changes, the Administration is calling on innovators to volunteer their time and expertise to help ensure that USPTO training is robust and reflects the state of the art.
    Pro Bono and Pro Se Assistance — To increase the accessibility of the patent system, the USPTO will dedicate educational and practical resources to assist inventors who lack legal representation, appoint a full-time Pro Bono Coordinator, and help expand the existing America Invents Act pro bono program to cover all 50 states. The Administration is calling on members of the patent bar to participate in the program.
    Renewing the Call for Meaningful Legislation to Combat Patent Trolls: In his State of the Union address President Obama renewed his call for Congress to pass patent reform legislation, which enjoys strong bipartisan support. The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to deliver focused and effective patent reform legislation to the American people in the coming months.

    v Year of Action: Making Progress Through Executive Action v

    Further Detail on Answering the President’s Call to
    Improve our Patent System and Foster Innovation, not Litigation

    A strong intellectual property system supports and enables the innovation that is the lifeblood of our economy. Our patent system is enshrined in our Constitution to encourage invention and to reward Americans for their hard work and risk-taking. But in recent years, that system has also seen the growth of abusive patent litigation designed not to reward innovation but to threaten inventors and companies based on questionable claims. That’s why President Obama has made it a priority to reform that system to ensure it encourages innovation and invention and provides the right incentives to drive investment, inspire and reward creativity, and spur job creation.

    In 2011, the President signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), a landmark piece of legislation designed to help make our patent system more efficient and responsive to innovators. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has now successfully implemented that law, enabling many reforms that are leading to higher patent quality, including post-grant patent review proceedings at the USPTO that offer faster and less expensive alternatives to litigation in Federal courts. Yet many innovators have continued to face challenges by patent-assertion entities or patent “trolls”– entities that have, over the past decade, increasingly used patents to extract settlements based on the high cost of defense.

    Building upon the strong foundation of AIA reforms, on February 14, 2013, President Obama stated that “our efforts at patent reform only went about halfway to where we need to go. What we need to do is pull together additional stakeholders and see if we can build some additional consensus on smarter patent laws.”

    On June 4, 2013, the White House set forth a series of executive actions and legislative recommendations designed to protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure high-quality patents.

    During his State of the Union address in January 2014, the President renewed his called for passage of a patent reform bill that would allow businesses to stay focused on innovation, not litigation. To complement this legislative effort, today the White House is highlighting progress to date on the previously announced executive actions, and is announcing three new actions to further respond to the President’s call-to-action to level the playing field for all innovators and increase patent quality.

    Progress on the June 2013 Executive Actions

    Transparency in Patent Ownership. Patent trolls often set up shell companies to hide their activities. This tactic prevents those facing litigation from knowing the full extent of the patents that their adversaries hold when negotiating settlements; keeps innovators from being able to find each other; and undermines companies’ understanding of the competitive landscape. That’s why the USPTO recently proposed a new rule, informed by extensive stakeholder input, requiring the reporting of people or companies with ownership interests in a patent or application, called the “attributable owners.” Attributable owner information will provide the public with more complete information about the competitive landscape; facilitate more efficient technology transfer by making patent ownership information more readily available; and reduce abusive patent litigation by helping the public better defend itself against meritless assertions. The USPTO is currently soliciting and accepting written comments from the public here, and hosting stakeholder engagement events to solicit additional valuable feedback.
    Enhancing Claim Clarity. The AIA reforms made important improvements to the patent examination process and overall patent quality, but stakeholders remained concerned about patents with overly broad claims in certain high-tech fields. In response, the USPTO has developed an extensive, multi-phased training program for all examiners and judges focused on evaluating functional claims and improving examination consistency and the clarity of the examination record. The agency has also conducted extensive stakeholder outreach and engagement to solicit ideas and collect feedback, experiences, and insights on improving patent quality. In the coming weeks the USPTO will launch a pilot program aimed at encouraging the use of clearer language within patent claims through the use of glossaries in patent specifications.
    Empowering Consumers and Main Street Retailers. Unsuspecting retailers, consumers, small businesses, and other users of products containing patented technology have increasingly found themselves targeted by letters alleging patent infringement and demanding money—even in instances where a small business is using an off-the-shelf product. To help level the playing field and ensure individuals and businesses know their rights and are aware of available resources before entering into costly litigation or settlements, the USPTO is launching today a robust online toolkit of information, available at http://www.uspto.gov or link to uspto.gov. This new portal brings together for the first time in one place a wide-ranging, powerful set of patent-relevant tools and information, including answers to commonly asked questions about patent-demand letters and a catalog of third-party sites that users can access to find out, for example, whether the patent has ever been asserted in litigation.
    Expanding Outreach and Focused Study. Since last June’s announcement, the USPTO has significantly increased its already extensive public outreach efforts to more actively engage key stakeholders in the high-tech community, trade and bar associations, business and university groups, and advocacy organizations, resulting in a wealth of valuable input on patent clarity, transparency, and high-tech patents. The USPTO has also expanded its Thomas Alva Edison Visiting Scholars Program and has now selected three new scholars who will engage in focused study of various aspects of our patent system, to provide insights on how to further reduce unnecessary litigation and improve the quality of issued patents. This empirical research will help the Administration better understand our current patent system and better inform the development of new ideas and consensus around improvements to patent policies and laws.
    Strengthening Exclusion Order Enforcement. When patent-infringing products are banned from importation to the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. International Trade Commission are responsible for the application of exclusion orders and determining whether imported products fall within the scope of an order. Implementing these orders presents unique challenges, particularly when a technologically sophisticated product has been redesigned to avoid the order. To address this growing challenge, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator has launched a review of the processes and standards used during exclusion order enforcement activities and, in the coming months, will issue recommendations and guidance to executive agencies to improve the efficacy, transparency, and efficiency of exclusion order enforcement activities.
    In addition, the Administration is today committing to sustain the Patents for Humanity Program, which aims to increase the accessibility of the patent system for innovators who are delivering game-changing technologies to address global humanitarian needs. Past award recipients have used their patent portfolios to decrease the price of HIV and malaria drugs, develop more nutritious food sources, bring solar energy to off-grid villages, combat toxic counterfeit drugs, and purify billions of liters of water using inexpensive chemical packets.

    New Executive Actions Announced Today

    Crowdsourcing Prior Art. To determine whether an invention is novel, examiners in the USPTO must find and apply information about the state-of-the-art in the relevant technology. However, documents reflecting this state of knowledge can sometimes be difficult to find and incorporate into the patent-examination process. Today, the USPTO is announcing that it is exploring a series of measures to make it easier for the public to provide information about relevant prior art in patent applications, including by refining its third-party submission program, exploring other ways for the public to submit prior art to the agency, and updating its guidance and training to empower examiners to more effectively use crowd-sourced prior art. This effort will focus on driving valuable contributions to the patent process and to patent quality, strengthening a process that is vital to innovation and economic growth. The USPTO will seek public input on these efforts, as the Administration calls on the public and expert stakeholders to partner with us to encourage the disclosure and sharing of prior art, particularly hard-to-find references.
    More Robust Technical Training and Expertise. Patent examiners must be skilled in determining whether a particular application should be granted based upon the state of the art. Building upon its existing “Patent Examiner Technical Training Program,” the USPTO will take steps to make it easier for technologists and engineers from industry and academia to provide relevant, technical training and expertise to patent examiners regarding the state of the art. The Administration is calling upon volunteers to assist in this training effort and ensure that training is systematic, robust, and covers all disciplines. In addition the USPTO is making permanent each of its four regional satellite offices, which will make it even easier for stakeholders to contribute in-person or virtually from these locations nationwide.
    Patent Pro Bono and Pro Se Assistance. Due to a lack of resources, independent inventors and small businesses sometimes struggle with how to file and prosecute a patent application to protect their invention. The USPTO will be providing dedicated educational and practical resources to those who lack legal representation (i.e., pro se applicants) and will work with the AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council—and through a newly appointed full-time Pro Bono Coordinator—to expand the existing pro bono program established under the AIA to cover all 50 states. The Administration is calling on members of the patent bar to participate in the program.
    Renewing the President’s State of the Union Call for Legislation to Combat Patent Trolling

    The Administration stands ready to work with Congress on these issues, which are crucial to our economy, American jobs, and the Nation’s engine of innovation. Building upon the President’s State of the Union remarks, the Administration urges Congress to pass a bipartisan law designed to curtail abusive patent litigation and improve transparency in the patent system. We are encouraged by Congress’s strong, bipartisan attention to these issues and look forward to working with the Congress and stakeholders to bring this important bipartisan legislation to the President’s desk this year.

  2. “Tightening Functional Claiming. The AIA made important improvements to the examination process and overall patent quality, but stakeholders remain concerned about patents with overly broad claims — particularly in the context of software. The PTO will provide new targeted training to its examiners on scrutiny of functional claims and will, over the next six months develop strategies to improve claim clarity, such as by use of glossaries in patent specifications to assist examiners in the software field. ”

    How is the PTO going to be targeting functional claiming, when the courts can’t figure out what to do with functional claiming? If you use MPF, the CAFC is all over that; if you change the wording to ostensibly use some “structure” (while really just claiming function), the CAFC then accepts the wording.

    Are the glossaries something the PTO is going to require in patent specifications? If so, where is there authority for that?

    1. Easy. Like when they eliminated any motivation or rationale to combine references in favor of “one skilled in the art would be motivated to combine the references to arrive at the claimed invention.” The examining core will just follow the guidance, and it’ll be implemented in practice if not in law.

  3. “Tightening Functional Claiming. The AIA made important improvements to the examination process and overall patent quality, but stakeholders remain concerned about patents with overly broad claims — particularly in the context of software. The PTO will provide new targeted training to its examiners on scrutiny of functional claims and will, over the next six months develop strategies to improve claim clarity, such as by use of glossaries in patent specifications to assist examiners in the software field. ”

    Talk about the biggest do nothing president.

    1. I agree that glossaries are small ball and a feckless one at that – a definition in a glossary can be as broad and opaque as the writer likes. But is this really a problem, or a scapegoat? By that I mean, I have never known a patent drafter who deliberately went for unclear claims and indeed the opposite, since there is a perception of there being a high risk that an unclear claim will be construed against the drafter in litigation. Maybe you have a different perspective, but I really don’t see lack of clarity being an issue in most of the cases I prosecute.

      And if experience is a guide, patent examiners will miss the wheat for the chaff. They will respond to management’s 112 emphasis by erecting trivial 112 issues (e.g., failure to carry over an initially recited adjective into every subsequent recitation of the element noun when there is only one claimed element using that noun) and letting technical jargon with which they may be personally familiar slip past.

      What would you suggest to meaningfully improve claim clarity, assuming it really is a problem?

      1. “I have never known a patent drafter who deliberately went for unclear claims and indeed the opposite, since there is a perception of there being a high risk that an unclear claim will be construed against the drafter in litigation. ”

        That’s interesting, maybe you’re in with the good crowd. That’s good. Or you’re in a simplistic art where sure, these kinds of issues don’t appear to exist hardly at all.

        “letting technical jargon with which they may be personally familiar slip past.”

        Technical jargon that they’re familiar with is fine isn’t it? Or are you talking about functional technical jargon?

        “What would you suggest to meaningfully improve claim clarity, assuming it really is a problem?”

        If I were king first I’d make it clear that the presumption of validity did not bolster the 112 2nd standard in the courts so that insoluably ambiguous as a standard falls immediately. That in and of itself would probably remedy 90% of the issue. Second I’d make sure all examiners are familiar with Miyazaki and could implement that standard in appropriate circumstances properly via testing. Third I’d make it clear that functional language was to be used for old elements in claims only. Fourth MPF language gets relegated to the dustbin of history (though this one is optional).

        Implement those and you’re more or less golden. But if, by some miracle, there is still a problem there are a few other more complicated things I’d do if King. Another simple one you could do is make star fruits requests the norm for terms that aren’t standard terms in an art. That I would probably hold off on for the time being though before doing 1-4 above.

        If I were merely a president I would do all that is currently being done then I would implement 2 above. And would fight a battle so fierce with the courts on 3 that congress would eventually step in to referee. Or else I’d threaten to hold such a battle and force them to step in anyway.

            1. KA-BLOOEY from the top nonsense provider.

              Of course, the key fact missed by the resident nutcase is that the wind is blowing quite steadily at my back these many years. In part, that’s because people who share my views are generally not deeply ignorant conservatard blowhards who run around accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being “communist”.

              Do try to get a life. This is going to be a rough year for you.

        1. Most of my work is in computer and electrical art fields.

          Technical jargon in these fields typically is unclear because it is either undefined or has different shades of meaning depending on what the speaker thinks it means. This is not an opinion, it is based on 30 years of experience as an engineer and patent lawyer.

          Your solutions 1, 3, and 4, apart from any merit they’d have, are not the province of the PTO, only #2 is. Perhaps I should have made clear I was interested in changes made within the proper confines of the PTO, in keeping with the theme of the main article. As to the merits of 1, 3, and 4, I’d have to think about them, but at first blush they seem to be sledgehammers. Which usually do not make for refined law.

          As to #2, I agree with it, both in its explicit and implicit meaning. Explicit: examiners should know the standard for indefiniteness during prosecution. Implicit: they don’t. Hence your commendable resolution to train them.

          1. “Technical jargon in these fields typically is unclear because it is either undefined or has different shades of meaning depending on what the speaker thinks it means. This is not an opinion, it is based on 30 years of experience as an engineer and patent lawyer.”

            Well then yes, that’s a problem since the examiners aren’t really “familiar” with it, nobody is according to you since everyone has their own subjective take on what the term means.

            “Your solutions 1, 3, and 4, apart from any merit they’d have, are not the province of the PTO, ”

            I didn’t say they were, I said I’d do them if King.

            “I’d have to think about them, but at first blush they seem to be sledgehammers.”

            Well you aren’t going to solve a problem this big by pusy-footing around.

            1. I know you did not say 1, 3, and 4 are the province of the PTO. They simply are not germane to the main topic.

              As for whatever comment you meant to make about my observations on jargon, I guess you know what you meant but I do not. Too many pronouns without clear antecedents. Let’s end it this way: you can use jargon all you like. I will use plain English whenever possible (and in my art fields it is always possible) since I can trot out an expert to define away your jargon regardless of what side of the case I’m on.

              Let’s be productive. Train examiners to do more than cut and paste a claim (“A”), parrot Miyazaki (“B”), then say “A does not comply with B”. Not only is that laughably amateurish from a legal standpoint but it is more indefinite than most allegedly indefinite claims. Instead, train them to illustrate 2 or more plausible constructions.

              Example: claim to a device with a thin cylinder on an end flange reciting the device to have an “outer periphery”. In this context the outer periphery is relative to more than one element. The outer periphery of the cylinder is outer relative to it, and the outer periphery of the flange is outer relative to everything. In the interest of compact prosecution, the examiner might then suggest using either “outermost periphery on the device” or even individually claim both peripheries and define the flange to have the larger one. In any case, this is the type of non-superficial analysis missing in the preponderance of rejections, indefiniteness and otherwise. And no sharpshooting, grasshopper – I said preponderance, not all.

    2. That’s not true. We get a deluge of HORRIBLE rejections after each training session. So he’s definitely doing something.

  4. If part of whatever actually gets implemented is a mandatory system for keeping application and patent assignments current in the PTO [hopefully with full and easy accessibility], then it will become really important to provide a simple way to excuse with a reasonable fee payment and declaration the inadvertent unintentional failure to so update, to avoid unfair draconian permanent abandonment, if, as proposed, abandonment is the draconian punishment for not promptly updating a re-assignment.

  5. Regarding item 1, will the WH be kind enough to explain what their statutory/regulatory authority is for that executive action? Or will the WH, as it’s already done in other matters, do an illegal and unconstitutional “end run” around its authority here?

    1. The White House whatever authority they say they do (e.g., Obamacare). If the courts and congress don’t reign them in, then really, that’s approval, right?

      1. Dennis,

        Yes, under 35 USC 261 for assignment of application/patent rights. Recordation of assignments is necessary to carry out the express words and intent of that statute. But requiring disclosure of “attributable ownership” is not, and outside the express words and intent of that statute.

    2. Agreed. 3-5 are fine, they are no more than make-work for overstaffed agencies that do not impose further burdens on others and thus are fit actions for unilateral executive action.

      #2 is worthless because it cannot effectively be done by executive fiat. The courts will simply ignore the PTO in favor of case law.

      #1 is a problem. It is tantamount to stripping away the corporate veil. To respond to Dennis’ question about the recordation system, the PTO has this authority, but it has never presumed to have the authority of demanding the details of equitable interests in patent owners of record. It has never demanded, nor does it have the authority to demand, to know the names of the shareholders of IBM as a condition for recording IBM as the owner of a patent. A patent owner has the right to vest ownership in the legal fiction of its choice without giving up the benefits of that legal fiction.

      1. Tourb: #2 is worthless because it cannot effectively be done by executive fiat. The courts will simply ignore the PTO in favor of case law.

        Huh? The PTO can’t train its examiners to aggressively apply the existing law to curtail functional claiming? New functions aren’t eligible under 101. Salting claims to new functions with old conventional junk (e.g., a general purpose programmable computer) doesn’t change the fact that you’re still claiming the new function.

        The courts will simply ignore the PTO in favor of case law.

        Really? Exactly which courts and which case law are you referring to? Sure, some judges on the Federal Circuit will stick to some self-serving garbage they floated years ago to coddle the softie woftie crowd, but not all of them will. As for the Supreme Court, you can rest assured they aren’t going to make fools of themsleves trying to help the Fed Cir with their bubble-puffing.

        A patent owner has the right to vest ownership in the legal fiction of its choice without giving up the benefits of that legal fiction.

        We’ll see about that. Suffice to say whatever the “rights” of patent owners are in this regard, they are going to be shrunk down. Get used to it.

        There is more to come. I heard Big Gene say the other the day that “the pendulum is going to swing back”. Maybe someday, but it’ll be a long, long, long time before we return to the days of State Street Bank. We’ll all be dead by then.

      2. “It has never demanded, nor does it have the authority to demand, to know the names of the shareholders of IBM as a condition for recording IBM as the owner of a patent.”

        I’m pretty sure that putting IBM down as the true/real party in interest will be fine brosefus.

        1. “It has never demanded, nor does it have the authority to demand, to know the names of the shareholders of IBM as a condition for recording IBM as the owner of a patent.”

          Where do you guys come up with this nonsense?

      3. You’re looking at it wrong. You’ll never get to court. Progressives like Obama believe in the supreme power of the executive branch. If they just refuse to issue you a patent, how are you going to get into a Markman?

        1. Progressives like Obama believe in the supreme power of the executive branch.

          What the …?

          Look, I don’t care how much Faux News and Rush Limbaugh you gulp down in your spare time. And if you disagree with Obama about something, please feel free to say so and explain why (I disagree with him quite a bit).

          But you just sound like a complete idi0t when you try to equate “progressives” with “supreme executive power.” That’s especially true here at a legal blog where adults who weren’t born yesterday will remember a certain Professor George Yoo making some of the most vile and repulsive statements ever to come out of the mouth of an attorney for the purpose of enabling the agenda of a quintessentially non-progressive President.

          Sheesh. The patent txxbaggers never fail to disappoint.

      4. #1 is a problem. It is tantamount to stripping away the corporate veil.

        No, it’s not. The corporate veil is about liability, not about secrecy.

          1. So then, do you mean general corporations law instead?

            I think what I mean is perfectly clear. Tourbillon said that requiring ownership information is “tantamount to stripping away the corporate veil.” I said that Tourbillon’s statement is false, and explained why.

            Do you have something to say, or are you just running around trying to find an eye to poke your stick into?

            1. You seriously have trouble connecting the dots as to the legality of a corporation or business entity to hide its ownership and the attempt here from within one particular executive agency to rewrite corporations law…?

              Really?

              Obtuse. Is it deliberate? (said in the best Andy Dufresne tones)

            2. You seriously have trouble connecting the dots as to the legality of a corporation or business entity to hide its ownership and the attempt here from within one particular executive agency to rewrite corporations law…?

              Go ahead, Mr. Intellectual Honesty. Point to where I said anything at all about the “legality of a corporation or business entity to hide its ownership and the attempt here from within one particular executive agency to rewrite corporations law”?

              It’s time to go away, TB.

            3. Go away?

              Why? Because I asked you to clarify your position and to stop kicking dust?

              LOL – that you even attempt to impute any intellectual dishonesty to me is a pitiful joke.

              Better trolling please.

    3. Illegal and unconstitutional?

      In the era of the Imperial President, why even bother? You sound like those senators and writers of the Roman Imperial era pining for a restoration of the Old Republic. It won’t happen.

      1. In the era of the Imperial President, why even bother? You sound like those senators and writers of the Roman Imperial era pining for a restoration of the Old Republic

        And you can thank George W. Bush, his crack legal team, and Osama bin Laden for making it all happen. Many of us “progressives” watched the post 9/11 horrorshow unfold in real time, in great detail, and documented our views while Republicans cheered and accused us “Bush-hxters” of being anti-American traitors who wanted the country to be ruled by “Sharia law”. Surely you remember that, don’t you, Ned? I mean, those same cheerleaders are still with us, right here in these threads.

        We also immediately recognized a basic fact of human nature (and politics): once the power is granted, it’s difficult to wrest it away.

        Maybe now that they’ve seen how it works, the cheerleaders will behave differently. LOL — that’s a joke. Of course their hapless hypocrites who’ll simply do whatever they’re told as long as it makes “progressives” angry.

        1. I thought Bush retired and Obama was president. Oops. Guess I’ve lost touch with reality. Didn’t realize that these were Bush’s executive orders.

    4. The WH has assumed the authority to kill civilians without due process. Absolute power and all… the lack of statutory authority here is a mere speed bump.

  6. My new software case estimate is 20k.

    No Google, Microsoft, you’re not getting a discount. You’re getting 25k for foisting this glossary nonsense on us.

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