8 thoughts on “Looking for Volunteer Tech Assistance

  1. Don’t we pay taxes for this?

    The prospective program sounds like it is going to create a conflict of interest. Let’s try hiring PTO employees that can effectively train their new hires.

    1. Don’t we pay taxes for this?

      If you mean general taxes, then no – the USPTO is completely user-funded.

      If you mean innovation tax, well, yes, that’s a different story.

    2. Criminy.

      Don’t we pay taxes for this?”

      If you mean [g3n3ral] taxes, then no – the USPTO is completely user-funded.

      If you mean innovation tax, well, yes, that’s a different story.

  2. Many high-patenting companies like to participate in this system to help improve the examination process their chances of getting applications allowed.

    There is also rumor of a PTO “program” whereby corporations donate cash to some sort of “Director’s discretionary fund” or “examiners’ development fund.” OoooK, sure. The USPTO’s response to my FOIA request on this issue was, shall we say, less than useful.

    These goodwill initiatives stink to high heavens; there is a nod and a wink behind every such agreement. There is no such thing as corporate altruism. No corporation does anything that doesn’t generate a buck in one form or another.

    Imagine the IRS starting a program where auditing and accounting firms train IRS personnel for “free” — individuals can’t participate, but big accounting firms are welcome.

    1. This is just bizarre. The shadow leader should be focusing on running her agency and not blabbering about justifications for burning it down with an eye for her pay day.

    2. Many high-patenting companies like to participate in this system to help improve their chances of getting applications allowed.

      If you knew anything about the examination process you would know that giving public lectures wouldn’t even remotely make that possible.

      there is a nod and a wink behind every such agreement

      If by nod and wink you mean that dispersing information makes it easier for Examiners to reject your competitors’ applications, that’s not so much nod and wink as point of the program. You don’t need any secret, nefarious incentive to participate. The obvious incentive works just fine.

      An Examiner never knows how useful one of these lectures is going in which results in a lot of both alpha and beta errors – some people go in and find it unhelpful, others who would find it helpful don’t go in. I personally prefer the other programs which are directed towards Examiners submitting problem limitations for crowdsourced search, at least you know all the information being exchanged there will be put to use.

      1. Random Examiner,

        CLEARLY this is not just about “dispersing information” or even “prior art.”

        Wake up son. The “obvious incentive” for dispersing information and prior art ALREADY is accounted for in the various mechanisms for doing so.

        We’ve had how many attempts at public sourcing of information now? And how “successful” have those attempts been?

        (and your comment about crowdsourced search information being put to use is one of those “stellar” attempts, you know)

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