Presidential Innovation Fellowship for USPTO Data Initiatives

By Dennis Crouch

Can you Step Up? Patent attorneys often remember Judge Rich and his important contribution to the development of U.S. patent law. One important element of Judge Rich’s legacy is that he was just one person acting on his own, but acting with vigor, persistence, and honor. Even in trillion dollar industries, it is still the passion of individuals who drive change. The White House is looking for some such individuals to join its Presidential Innovation Fellowship. The fellowship program is administered through the office of the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park. It is Park’s office that is also leading the charge in patent reform initiatives.

Now in its third round, the program is now looking for an Innovation Fellow to work with “Crowdsourcing to Improve Government.” From the Patent side, one White House idea is “Using the Crowd to Improve Patent Quality.”

To help ensure that U.S. patents are of the highest quality, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is launching a new initiative focused on expanding ways for companies, experts, and the general public to help patent examiners, holders, and applicants find “prior art”—that is, the technical information patent examiners need to make a determination of whether an invention is truly novel or “patent-worthy.” This effort will focus on driving valuable contributions to the patent process and enhancing patent quality—strengthening a process that is vital to innovation and economic growth.

More Prior Art and More Accessible Prior Art: The general thrust of this project is to figure out how to ensure that the best prior art is truly available to patent examiners. The approach has several potential prongs. We are already familiar with the ongoing application-specific prior art submissions by third parties. Some work needs to be done on that program to continue to improve its effectiveness. In addition, the government is looking for new streams of prior art coming from industry leaders such as IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, and others that can go to examiners in a form that is easily searchable. Having quality prior art is obviously critical. However, in my mind, we still have a very long way to go in terms of helping examiners find the best prior art from the millions of potential references at their fingertips. One idea that I have is that each office action rejection that is issued by an examiner could be used to automatically annotate the associated prior art references in a way that facilitates future searches by other examiners. In turn, that result may also serve as a valuable mechanism for making use of the high level knowledge held by the 9,000 USPTO examiners.

Applications will be accepted through April 7, 2014, and can be found here: https://gsafas.secure.force.com/apply

 

117 thoughts on “Presidential Innovation Fellowship for USPTO Data Initiatives

  1. Dennis

    Regarding :
    “One idea that I have is that each office action rejection that is issued by an examiner could be used to automatically annotate the associated prior art references in a way that facilitates future searches by other examiners. In turn, that result may also serve as a valuable mechanism for making use of the high level knowledge held by the 9,000 USPTO examiners.”

    That would be a good idea if examiners read the cited documents or made intelligent comments about them. While that might happen 15% of the time, most office actions appear to result from some sort of automatic word search for the nouns and verbs that are in the claims. Documents scoring highest according to some parameter are selected as the cited documents and paragraphs that have 2 or 3 words in common with half or a third of a claim element (a single step or component) are cited by paragraph number.

    That is, claim language is pasted into an Office Action template and then every so often parentheses are inserted and a few paragraph numbers are typed in a la:

    a gear (Ref 1 Fig. 3, 240) having thirty two teeth (Ref.2 Fig. 7, p 4 – 8), each tooth being diamond (Ref 3, Fig. 1) coated (Ref 4, p 17 – 42)

    Where Ref 1 is a patent application for a watch, Ref 2 is a patent application for a dental implant, Ref. 3 is a De Beers advertisement from an issue of The New Yorker and Ref 4 is a patent application for a circuit board sealant.

    If you can get examiners to annotate cited documents, please, please, please first get them to annotate there rejections with complete English sentences explaining why the cited portions are cited and why it would have been obvious to make the suggested combination.

  2. Why don’t they also have the “crowd” examine the application (i.e. write the rejection)?

    Cisco can bring back Rick Frenkel of Patent Troll Tracker fame.

  3. DC: The general thrust of this project is to figure out how to ensure that the best prior art is truly available to patent examiners.

    All find and dandy but I see no reason to limit the helping hand given to the Examiners to “the best art.”

    The public should also be able to submit arguments that describe how that art should be applied, or that otherwise describe why the applicants claims must be narrowed before grant. There is no reason that Examiners should not be able to pick the “best arguments” from the public’s submissions. The Supreme Court certainly pays attention to its “friends” (aka “amici”) and there’s no reason the PTO shouldn’t be able to do the same to its “friends.”

    1. What a tool – this plays right into the harassment of any small entity by those who would eviscerate the patent system and compete on size and market power alone.

      How very Duell of you Malcolm.

    2. this plays right into the harassment of any small entity by those who would eviscerate the patent system

      Exactly what do you mean by “this”? Allowing the public to present to the USPTO for its consideration not only prior art, but also explanations and arguments about patentability/eligibility based on that art and other facts?

      In what manner could that possibly constitute “harassment”? Either the arguments are good, or they’re not.

      Oh right, I forgot: you don’t like good arguments. You only like patents, and more of them, all the time.

      1. The fact that they are likely not but will still pass through and take time and money to address seems to not occur to you, doesn’t it?

        Not just a Tool Malcolm, you are a clueless Tool.

        1. The fact that they are likely not

          You have no evidence for this.

          take time and money to address

          Examination always takes time and money. The benefit here is that someone else will be spending the time to put together the references and arguments. All the Examiner needs to do then is review the references and arguments. If it passes muster, just copy and paste. Some corrections needed? Make ‘em as necessary.

          There is nothing unusual at all about this sort of operating procedure. It’s pretty much standard in every group where a leader is asking for input from his team members and vetting the responses. It’s more efficient for the leader than doing all the work himself. Or do you disagree?

          Also true is that the USPTO will learn which submitters are more trustworthy than others, just as they have some sense already of certain applicants who reek of the bottom of the fishtank. Again, nothing unusual or controversial about this.

          1. LOL – which team?

            Gee, the fact that those already established in market power would have an untowards advantage never occurred to you, right?

            What a putz.

            1. those already established in market power would have an untowards advantage

              There would be no more or less “untowards advantage” than exists now. All sides are perfectly capable of presenting the best arguments.

              The point is to get those arguments in front of Examiners so they can identify and evaluate them, which is far easier than formulating those arguments from scratch.

              We all know what your real problem is: you’re a grifting bottom-feeder and your meal ticket would be affected if it becomes harder for you to prey on people with money. Get a life, s0ci0path.

            2. There would be no more or less “untowards advantage” than exists now.

              Completely false – the more you jack up the costs the more you favor the established parties.

              This is common sense Malcolm.

              Wake up.

          2. You have no evidence for this.

            LOL – the man who refuses to answer even the most simple questions that go to the heart of the software and patent eligibility issue demands ‘evidence.’….

            KA-BLOOEY goes another world of Irony factories…

            1. the man who refuses to answer even the most simple questions that go to the heart of the software and patent eligibility issue

              We already discussed your path0log0cial lying habits, Tr0llb0y. Get your meds adjusted.

        2. You almost seem to be arguing that you want the PTO to do a bad job so clients can get patents on inventions that are not novel and nonobvious.

          If there’s invalidating prior art, you don’t want someone to be able to explain to the examiner why the patent shouldn’t grant. Am I missing something? You want invalid patents to grant? But at the same time, you want the patents to be presumed valid with a clear and convincing presumption.

          Probably the applicants who are going to be harassed are competitors harassing each other.

          1. Big A: You almost seem to be arguing that you want the PTO to do a bad job so clients can get patents on inventions that are not novel and nonobvious.

            Of course that’s what he wants. Once you understand, it explains pretty much all the bizarre nonsense that flows out of anon’s mealy mouth.

            1. Of course that’s what he wants

              This is a direct 1ie Malcolm, as I have forever and a day asked for quality examination and I have always said that a rubber stamp of Accept Accept Accept is not acceptable.

              Pay attention and stop dissembling.

      2. Oh right, I forgot: you don’t like good arguments.

        Nice strawman – I love good arguments.

        Even as you are not likely to know what that means, judging from the schlock you post on the various websites.

        And yes, more patents all the time is a VERY good thing. Such a use of the system benefits both sides of the Quid Pro Quo bargain.

        You do know what the Quid Pro Quo bargain is, right?

      3. The problem is that Examiner’s could be buried under a pile of thousands of submissions, most, if not all of them being immaterial rants, but nevertheless, each one having to be reviewed. I believe Examiner’s currently get about 20 hours to issue a first Office Action…. so…. you know…. do the math.

        1. Examiner’s could be buried under a pile of thousands of submissions, most, if not all of them being immaterial rants

          Project much?

          1. Project much?

            LOL – what a hoot coming from the man who perfected the AOOTWMD.

            KA-BLOOEY – A whole parallel universe of irony factories just exploded.

  4. Rich’s greatest contribution to the “law” is overruling precedent of long vintage. Such is not contribution to law.

    Jefferson made contributions that have stood the test of time.

    Story made many contributions, all of which are foundational.

    Ditto Hand and to some extent, Chief Justice Taney.

    But Rich? There is not a decision of his that did not cause tremendous chaos, backlashes or the like. Virtually everything he did was wrong and will have to be overturned eventually. I am trying to think of an exception.

    Just take a look at the dissents, for example, in Tarczy-Hornock, or Musgrave, that speaks of Rich as a radical.

    Served with honor? His legacy is of an jurist out of control — except by the Supreme Court.

    1. Yet again, Ned you malign that which you do not understand.

      It was not Rich as Judge Rich that you dislike nearly as much as it was Rich as law writer (before he became a judge) that you refuse to accept.

      He was NOT out of control – and if he was the Justices would have eagerly said so. Quite the opposite – he was able to tell the Justices that they were out of control (and they still are) because Judge Rich knew the law as it was better than they.

      You need to accept that your preferred common law judicial evolution tool was removed from the courts in the 1952 Act.

      Once you accept that, then you will see that it is the Supreme Court that has acted in bad faith.

      Your fealty to the Nine Kings is sadly misplaced in our Constitution driven patent law system.

      1. “Your fealty to the Nine Kings is sadly misplaced in our Constitution driven patent law system.”

        You do know that every lawlyer in this country is supposed to have “fealty” of a sort to the “nine kings” correct?

        1. 6,

          No – the fealty is to the law. If a court, even the Court is not abiding the law, we have a duty o correct that court to the best of our ability.

          Respect for the courts demands that we do so.

          Clearly you do not understand this concept of respect.

            1. LOL – you, who could not even make it into law school, are going to argue about a state ethics rule? Which state? Which rule?

              Or are you just making things up yet again?

              Maybe the Preamble to the ABA? part [6]? maybe [12]?

              How about Article 4 and the complete lack of some to abide by this (because as they say, this is a blog)? Or 8.3? 8.4?

              Come 6, show that you are not full of it.

            2. “Or are you just making things up yet again?

              Maybe the Preamble to the ABA? part [6]? maybe [12]?

              How about Article 4 and the complete lack of some to abide by this (because as they say, this is a blog)? Or 8.3? 8.4?”

              No, no, no, no, no, no.

            3. What then, 6, are you specifically referring to in your post at 6.1.1?

              Speak man – speak. Or let the lack of an honest and direct answer paint you as the f00l that you are.

            4. “What then, 6, are you specifically referring to in your post at 6.1.1?”

              The rules of professional conduct for your state. Try googling them, since you’re not a real lawlyer and don’t know sht about them.

            5. LOL – Maybe you want to look up the word “specific” while you are playing on the internets…

              Come 6, be specific – what is the rule – the specific rule that you are thinking of.

              What? I cannot hear you? What?

      2. A judge who is described as a radical by his own colleagues? A man who overturns numbers of prior CCPA decisions of ancient vintage based on his own say so? A man who refuses to follow and abide by Supreme Court cases he disagrees with, who open criticizes them and their reasoning. What kind of judge us this?

        He undoubted thought highly of himself, a real patent god in his own mind. But he was not the kind of judge anyone should say, “Now there is the right kind of jurist.” Had the ABA been called on to rate Rich after decades of refusal to follow the Supreme Court and his predecessors on the CCPA, I would think he would not be give an qualified rating.

      3. Judge Rich knew the law as it was better than they

        The dude was not that smart and you don’t have to read much of his baloney to figure that out.

        He did love fluffin’ patents, though. And that’s why he’s a hero to the patent teabaggers.

  5. To again go over realities which so many people remain in denial of: the amount of prior art that needs searching doubles roughly every ten years, yet examiners have only a few hours per application [not per claim] for prior art searching and analysis if they are to meet their quotas. Most importantly, since only a very small % of patents will ever be asserted, and many are abandoned by non-payment of maintenance fees, there is no political will or fiscal justification for charging high fees for additional prior art searching by examiners in all of the some 350,000 new patent application per year. Likewise for third party “crowd-sourcing” for more than the very few patent applications that can be identified in advance [from a mere published application] as an actual problem for someone’s future products. Furthermore, we have the legal farce of presuming that examiners have had time to read the entire contents of lists of hundreds of lengthy patents and technical publications submitted by some applicants with no indication of claim element relevance to pick out and cite those actually relevant to the final claims.
    Hence, we now increasingly have reexaminations and IPRs from the defendants of the small % of patents ever actually asserted. Not surprisingly they cite much better prior art (found after a much more expensive prior art search) more than half the time.
    The PTO would more effectively spend its time and money addressing its excessive delays [in clear violation of their special dispatch requirements] of reexaminations and reissues, and making sure that IPRs meet their statutory deadlines.

    1. Hello Paul,

      I agree. Let market forces take care of invalidating prior art. Attorneys and in-house counsel should have a good idea what the art is and try to obtain patents that are at least enforceable and novel under 102.

      Another issue that is just as important, and not really addrtessed by the patent bar, are paper patents, particularly in chemical/biotech practice. Many patents of commercial significance often claim more than they disclose – some are grossly non-enabled. The patent office has not applied section 112, first to chemical cases since the early 70’s.

      Best regards,
      Joe

      1. Joe,

        How do you feel about any pharma patents that clearly are not possessed at the time of filings given how many drugs fallout of the Government safety development check system?

        Should all pharma patents first prove they meet efficacy standards prior to filing?

    2. if they are to meet their quotas

      You have identified one of the problems of poor examination.

      only a very small % of patents will ever be asserted

      Another problem identified (the answer to this problem is NOT to make any such assertions a matter of denigration).

      A problem you have skipped over: the Office is required to perform an examination under the law. Yes it is a difficult task. But it is required.

    3. “To again go over realities which so many people remain in denial of”

      Seriously. Why people have so much trouble with these things is beyond my comprehension.

    4. “Furthermore, we have the legal farce of presuming that examiners have had time to read the entire contents of lists of hundreds of lengthy patents and technical publications submitted by some applicants with no indication of claim element relevance to pick out and cite those actually relevant to the final claims.”

      Meh, presuming refs in IDSes considered isn’t that big of a deal in most cases. Even though I’ve known many examiners who will straight up tell inside people they don’t consider the IDSes. Sure some people try to bury the relevant parts with huge disclosures but that’s rather rare of late. I actually haven’t seen that happen anymore since they were threatening the IDS rules. I’m sure it’ll rear it’s head again soon though.

      1. LOL – sorry 6 but still wrong as to the ongoing need to err on the side of driving up dump trucks of references in the IDS submissions.

          1. Who exactly are “they” and what did “they” do that constituted “threatening the IDS rules”?

            One of my colleagues recently received an OA in which the examiner complained about the number of references and alleged that burying references could be grounds for inequitable conduct, and then cited some case that was so hilariously inapposite that we all had a good laugh. It looked like some form paragraph that the examiner had written up, or gotten from some other examinertard that had written it up.

            Is that what you’re referring to?

            1. /eyeroll

              I swear to god AAA, I’m just not in the mood for your ta rdation today. If you don’t know who “they” are then you need to consider who even could threaten to make patent rules. Then maybe you can consult the archives for proposed rulemaking on IDS submissions.

              That’s all I have to say about this non-topic that I couldn’t give two shts less about.

    1. And Examiners who aren’t written their rejections in a foreign language, and then submitting a computer-generated translation.

  6. “One idea that I have is that each office action rejection that is issued by an examiner could be used to automatically annotate the associated prior art references in a way that facilitates future searches by other examiners. In turn, that result may also serve as a valuable mechanism for making use of the high level knowledge held by the 9,000 USPTO examiners.”

    We already have that. It’s called “the notice of references cited” and likewise doing a backwards citation search.

    But besides the OA doing an annotation the office should be able to annotate the actual references in its collection. Especially be able to designate keywords for the references and attach them thereto.

    Either way, I have an idea about how to get the crowd involved. Give people who submit art like $500 or $1000 dollars (maybe less, play it by ear as the program gets started up) for every reference they cite that the office ends up using in an OA. Once you put money behind the crowdsourcing people will start doing the hard work of citing references. Without that, it’ll never take off precisely because of a. the stu pid way the patent system is setup nowadays and b. it is hard work.

    1. You still have the bottleneck of the examiner choosing to use any particular reference.

      Here’s a different idea down that path: Do the Fn job right the first time through.

      It is your job to examine. Do your job.

        1. So, to be clear, I can’t criticize Jay Cutler because I can’t do his job better than he can. Not surprising that such logic comes from an Examiner.

          1. “So, to be clear, I can’t criticize Jay Cutler because I can’t do his job better than he can. Not surprising that such logic comes from an Examiner.”

            I’m always surprised by attorney’s wanting “better examinations.” If you gave the Examiner the amount of time to review the case that was actually required to have a considered analysis, you’d have double the cost, triple the interviews and maybe a tenth of the allowances you have nowadays. Most allowances don’t happen because the subject matter is allowable, most allowances happen because the initial burden is on the Examiner and there is a production quota.

            1. Random Examiner,

              Why would you ever be surprised by an attorney wanting better examination (no quotes needed)?

              I want valid patents for my clients.

              Period.

              Stop with the whining already. Do your Fn job.

            2. “I want valid patents for my clients.”

              You already get your “presumed valid” patents. So stop your btching.

              Not to even mention that from your rantings on 101 you also appear to want many facially invalid though presumed valid patents for your clients as well.

            3. “Why would you ever be surprised by an attorney wanting better examination (no quotes needed)?

              I want valid patents for my clients.

              Period.”

              No, what you want is a patent for your clients, and it would be nice if it was valid. But only so nice that you don’t surrender the scope their business model is based on, lord help you if the scope they’re tooled up for is ultimately rejected. Your patent is presumed valid when it issues, and it takes a lot of money to prove otherwise. This means for the people who can’t afford to challenge it, it’s valid regardless of how valid it is.

              But let’s say we give you what you want. Do you want to be formulating an argument against 3 distinct 103 rejections? Do your clients want the exact scope of every claim construed on the record by the examiner rather than a judge? Would you like every new limitation to go through an argument on 112, 1st where statements will be made about what the prior art was and how you built upon it before you even begin discussing 103? The office can (but very rarely does) compel production of information related to patentability, would you really like an examiner to have subpoena power over your client?

              Nah, you want compact prosecution. You want short pendency times. You want a patent. That’s what they pay you for. The closer it resembles a registration system the happier you are, as it’s less work for the same pay and a happy client (especially when the presumption of validity attaches). The more it resembles a trial…well trials are aptly named, aren’t they?

            4. No,

              Yes.

              I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

              You have so many examiner-minded things wrong with your projections that I think that no amount of time will change your mind. You have drunk way too much kool-aid my examiner friend.

              You are off on what I want for my client, as you have drunk the kool-aid of the “Troll” hype.

              You are off on “valid when it is not” thinking, again from your “Troll” binge.

              You are off on the scope comment, as my patents are drafted with a healthy range of scope because even though I always recommend the best prior art search (the client – who makes the call – a tidbit you do not seem to recognize – has the final say), there is often, um, ‘creative’ use of prior art (as well as solid art, on occasion) that may necessitate fallback positions.

              Do I want to formulat[e] an argument against 3 distinct 103 rejections?”

              LOL – only three? No problem. If they are good 103’s even better (somehow you missed what I actually said about wanting a quality examination).

              exact scope construed

              Um, you must of missed my post calling for exactly that.

              Not sure how you are going to start the discussion, prior to giving the prior art though – since it appears that you want to switch to a fishing expedition first… (and you should be aware that there is no extra requirement that you seem to want concerning the details of the prior art you made in your comment).

              You are off on the subpoena power – we already have a duty to provide information that we know of, and you evidently also missed my posts advocating that the dump truck approach of giving everything we know of (in the BRI and Examiner-wacky-Key-word-search-mode style).

              As to compact prosecution – you appear to not understand what is an Office artifact and what I have posted as to taking the appropriate time to examine instead of the widget-mentality now in place. You are (again) heavily imbibing in the kool-aid my friend.

              Do I want a patent? Wrong question.
              Do I want a valid and enforceable patent? – Yes.
              Do I want an examination within the Office provided time guarantees? Most often, yes as well. Not sure why you want to think that timeliness is somehow too much to ask for. Especially when certain conditions have been written that force a taking of Quo with only a thin promise of Quid in exchange.

              And you are off on the registration system comment. The rates would actually be higher under such a system since I would not be able to vett the application in an examination process, a belts-and-suspenders-and-zipper-and-velcro-and-…etc would be de rigueur.

              And finally you are off on the trials aspect. You really are not aware of how the real works, are you? You really are not aware that less than 2% of active patents are ever litigated (far less), are you? You really have chugged way too much kool-aid, my examiner friend.

              Put down that pitcher of kool-aid and get back to work.

        2. Further, Hal Wegner’s rant already points out that the Office has far more examiners in place than other Patent Offices around the world and that the productivity of even the prodigious amount of examiners in place is nowhere near where it used to be.

          Hey Apotu, I never said the job was easy – but it is your job.

          1. “the Office has far more examiners in place than other Patent Offices around the world and that the productivity of even the prodigious amount of examiners in place is nowhere near where it used to be”

            An observation you might want to ponder, young grasshopper.

            Who allows that situation to exist? Who benefits the most from that situation? Are these two aligned/overlapping?

            “Here’s a different idea down that path: Do the Fn job right the first time through.
            It is your job to examine. Do your job…
            Hey Apotu, I never said the job was easy – but it is your job.”

            What you might consider a good Examiner and what the Office might consider a good Examiner might be wildly different criteria, and I say this not in reference to our differing opinions on the law.

            1. Don’t “grasshopper” me – if you have a point to make, then make it.

              Then get back to work.

              and what the Office might consider a good Examiner

              The metrics are also a part of the problem – I have said so in the past many many many many times.

            2. “Don’t “grasshopper” me – if you have a point to make, then make it.”

              Hahaha, screenshotted for posterity, especially from you.

          2. “and that the productivity of even the prodigious amount of examiners in place is nowhere near where it used to be.”

            Wut? We’re just as “productive” as they were in the 70’s with many many many times the references to look through.

            1. 6,

              Productivity is way off per Hal’s notes.

              He compares 1969 to 2012 on two measure:

              1) New cases per examiner per year.
              1969 – 66
              2012 – 39

              2) Number of patents per examiner per year
              1969 – 80
              2012 – 35

              you would think that even with the greater levels of prior art (as per Paul Morgan’s thoughts) that greater efficiency should at least kept the productivity levels apace, but we are seeing a drop by about 50%. And that’s the stuff being done – not touching the million plus stuff that is just sitting around.

              If you and the PTO are happy about this, then someone needs to light a fire under you and kick you in the keister.

            2. “1) New cases per examiner per year.
              2) Number of patents per examiner per year”

              The first has a confounding variable based on RCEs, since thats work that must be done that doesn’t result in new cases. The second is only a question of what percentage of cases aren’t crap. There’s no doubt but that there’s more crap being filed.

              The amount of production the average examiner is responsible for would translate into slightly under 100 new cases a year. That much work is being done. The fact that only 39 new cases are being picked up (which sounds about right) is more a question of RCE filings (which the office cannot control) than anything else.

            3. It should also be noted that the office has been hiring a lot, and you can’t examine at all until about 3 months of training go by, so its entirely possible that hiring a couple hundred examiners who are turning out zero cases (and only a few for the months therefter) skews the numbers. (i.e. new examiners are dead weight by that phrasing of the question)

              The only production question that should be considered, imo, is how many full examination rotations (first OA, final, after final, appeal and any interviews) a non-probationary examiner does in a year, and even then that’s skewed because the average length of a given claim and the claims as a whole has probably changed.

            4. Random,

              Your comments of 3.1.1.4.2.1 and 3.1.1.4.2.2 are actually good comments.

              Thanks.

              (of course you should realize that many RCE’s – although less now that the gravy train was scaled back – are purely the result of poor examination in the first and second instances).

              There does need to be a separation from the widget mentality. I have made recommendations on this aspect many times in the past.

            5. Your comment about the number of patents issued seems to be in direct conflict with the statement that allowances happen because of quotas.

              Grasshopper, you might want to try to square the comment with your earlier one at 3.1.1.2.1

            6. “How about total backlog, 6?”

              What about it? Do you want my personal opinion on how its doing? Or perhaps my personal opinion on whether it’s too long, or getting too much longer? Do you want an official report on what it’s looking like these days or what?

              I can tell you this, as to my own docket, my oldest new case is finally back to being more than a year old. There for awhile even my oldest new case on my docket for me to pickup was barely months old.

              But I’m sure there are the tar d AU’s that have a lot of backlog building up since AU’s like mine had to step in and help them out in COPA. To be fair, they have to deal with a lot of tar dation from the applicant’s. A bunch of ineligible software/business methods/signals/misc. crp filled with “new information” limitations that it is difficult to examine fully on the merits since you can’t just send a 101 and call it a day. But I’m sure you’re familiar, intimately, with that nonsense already.

            7. How about the total backlog as a productivity measure?

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

              And I thought the “nonsense” you don’t like was very easy to reject – you are sending mixed signals my friend.

            8. “How about the total backlog as a productivity measure?”

              How about the total backlog as a “productivity” measure? W t f crack are you smoking? How much work comes in the front door or has yet to be completed has 0 to do with how much work is being done ya dmb fck.

              “Obtuse. Is it deliberate?”

              You’re being obtuse? W t f are you talking about now re re?

              “And I thought the “nonsense” you don’t like was very easy to reject – you are sending mixed signals my friend.”

              Easy to reject under 101, not easy to write a full office action for. w t f do you not understand about this ya re re? There’s nothing mixed about the message at all. A 101 rejection does not a full office action make.

            9. 6, your naivete is almost charming.

              Clearly you have never had a responsible position in the real world.

              “easy to reject but not easy to write a full office action” – yet another 6 character suicide.

              Do you bother at all anymore to proof what you post? Is it all ‘stream of conscious’ mental diarrhea from you?

              (yes, that is a rhetorical question).

    2. I think “it is hard work” is right. Unless there a competitor takes an interest, I think the odds of crowd sourcing taking off are zero.

      But, 6, anon is right. The real problem is that the examiners need to do the work.

      1. “The real problem is that the examiners need to do the work.”

        And I also need to roll my eyes.

        /eyeroll

        To be clear, examiners are already “doing the work”. If you want more work done on the search you can either a) make sure they do more work and give them more time or b) crowdsource and pay the crowd to do more search work.

        Up to you but nothing’s free.

        1. To be clear, examiners are already “doing the work”.

          To be more clear, they need to do a better job of “already ‘doing the work.

          1. “To be more clear, they need to do a better job of “already ‘doing the work.“”

            Meh, me and the PTO administration disagree. If you have any specific areas you’d like to suggest we search for a given patent, feel free to submit them in writing to:

            100 Nobody Gives A Fck Lane
            STFU Room
            Alexandria VA 22314

            1. 6 scoffs with “Meh, me and the PTO administration disagree.

              LOL – that is pretty much why Hal is throwing a gasket. You all are sitting there fat dumb and all content like, while the overall backlog has virtually not dropped at all and remains over one million applications deep.

            2. How are those PTA clocks a’ticking?

              (oh, that’s right, didn’t one of the examiner types admit that they don’t care about PTA, something about such is no skin off the Office’s nose?)

              So very Dilbertesque.

            3. I personally don’t care about it since if not 0 then nearly 0 of my apps get any pta.

              As to the backlog meh I thought it was coming down a bit, but if its going back up all the better. More reason for congress or the courts to take out the business method and software garbage clogging up the works and get the office back to just the useful arts.

            4. I personally don’t care

              LOL – way too funny with another character suicide.

              (but keep marching up that lemming hill of ignorance as to what the useful arts are – your belief system against business methods and software has those eyes of yours clenched tight)

    3. The problem with merely looking at references cited is that you don’t know which of the references were actually used in a rejection; for those that were used as part of a rejection, what did the references teach; and was that rejection successful in the end.

      1. ” you don’t know which of the references were actually used in a rejection”

        Not that it should matter if they were actually used in a rejection or not, but you can always, I don’t know, read the rejection. If you want to know what was used in a rejection that is.

        “what did the references teach; and was that rejection successful in the end.”

        There’s this handy dandy thing called “the record” that spells all that out.

        I thought originally all you wanted was the office action to “annotate” the reference. I’m not even sure how you propose for this to happen. Are you wanting the examiner to write on the reference itself that they made a rejection using the reference and note whether it was successful or not all right on the reference? What exactly is your proposal?

        1. I am pretty sure that Prof. Crouch means to indicate that the current levels that you refer to 6 (as to the record and reading the cut-n-paste boilerplate rejections) are not sufficient to properly track crowd sourced references.

    4. “Either way, I have an idea about how to get the crowd involved. Give people who submit art like $500 or $1000 dollars (maybe less, play it by ear as the program gets started up) for every reference they cite that the office ends up using in an OA.”

      You don’t even have to do this. Have all the major companies designate a few attorneys. When a patent is docketed to an Examiner they send the publication to the attorneys, and the attorneys have until the Examiner actually begins work on the case (usually a month or two or more from the docketing) to submit a finite amount of art. Nobody has more motivation to prevent someone from getting a patent than the competitor, and it’s actually a moneysaver for everyone – the applicant doesn’t spend money on maintenence and the competitor knocks the application out before it issues instead of going to court over it.

      1. Have all the major companies designate a few attorneys

        Wah wah wah – have someone else do our job.

        You need to go back and review the Tafas case Random Examiner.

        1. “Wah wah wah – have someone else do our job.”

          Why not? In over half the cases I deal with I’m doing the applicant’s.

      2. “You don’t even have to do this. Have all the major companies designate a few attorneys. When a patent is docketed to an Examiner they send the publication to the attorneys, and the attorneys have until the Examiner actually begins work on the case (usually a month or two or more from the docketing) to submit a finite amount of art. Nobody has more motivation to prevent someone from getting a patent than the competitor, and it’s actually a moneysaver for everyone – the applicant doesn’t spend money on maintenence and the competitor knocks the application out before it issues instead of going to court over it.”

        Um, wut? How do you know who to send it to? We already send everyone all the PGpubs and attorneys aren’t exactly sending in a lot of crowdsourced art on their competitors pubs.

        1. “Um, wut? How do you know who to send it to? We already send everyone all the PGpubs and attorneys aren’t exactly sending in a lot of crowdsourced art on their competitors pubs.”

          You go to Apple and say “Dedicate some attorneys/agents to providing us your prior art along with reasoning in any CPC classes you name.” Then there’s an evaluation period and the office decides whether to keep offering Apple this option. If it’s not helpful to the Examiners you discontinue it. If Apple doesn’t want to pay those attorneys/agents anymore then discontinue it. Otherwise it’s beneficial because they are in the best position to provide prior art and are most motivated, the office has to do less work for a higher quality, and Apple ultimately saves money since it kills the application before it has to deal with it in court.

          You could probably take a one attorney and one engineer knowledgable on Apple’s inventions and knock out the “novel” parts of dozens of opponent’s applications a day.

          1. ultimately saves money since it kills the application before it has to deal with it in court

            LOL – gee, you think that maybe this logic applies to non-gargantuan market size driven innovators as well?

            Open.
            Your.
            Eyes.

  7. “The general thrust of this project is to figure out how to ensure that the best prior art is truly available to patent examiners. ”

    Excellent. This will significantly reduce the number of “overly broad” patents that issue.

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