John McCain and Patents

PatentLawPic292John McCain today announced the members of his “Justice Advisory Committee” — a group of fifty leading attorneys and law professors in the country.

Members include Ed Reines who is president of the Federal Circuit Bar Association and a senior partner at Weil Gotshal; Professor John Duffy who will be arguing later this week in the en banc Bilski case; Professor Michael Abramowicz who has written several articles about patent law and most recently proposed an auction system for extending patent terms; and Professor Eugene Volokh of the Volokh conspiracy. Chuck Fish, former Chief Patent Counsel at Time Warner, is apparently working full-time for the campaign. 

This is a very strong group that tends to provide solid, practical advice. I speak with some experience – having received advice from each of these members about various aspects of the law.*


  • * Prof Volokh’s advice came from his book.


25 thoughts on “John McCain and Patents

  1. 25

    Auctioning patents reissued in the correct inventors name will end the blackhole in invention and stimulate the economy by preceeds re infusion into emerging technologies. Also the reissuance is legally correct since the actual original inventor was frauded by individuals and the deficienceis of our present and proposed system.The law stipulates new patent issue when inequitable conduct is discovered.I and my grandfathers estates should recieve this money to fund partnerships with R+D persons and core personel.

  2. 24

    I think electing a president based on his patent reform views is very important to get us out of our current recession and continue our dominance of world trade. Also establishing my new idea of cash payments for intellectual materials registering and compensating for opinions adopted conserning world politics will put me in office without even an expensive presidential campaign and I am tired of being riped off for freebe opinions.To cave man thorozine I an not sure if I invented. Have to have the dirivative and place the inventor in my invention clusters range.Spell checker yes needed badley .Get that inventor it needs to be improved Ill probably have to do it for nothing they just want to get the invention and take off with no intention of paying.

  3. 23

    I do not and will not elect a president based on his views on patent reform…There are much more pressing issues that this country has to deal with.

  4. 21

    I say we elect Michael R. Thomas to president (after we set him up with a little Thorazine and a spell checker).

  5. 20

    To Leopold The R. in Michael R. Thomas stands for Robert my adopted fathers first name. My birth familys fathers name is Welch my mothers madien name is Durance antwanette Roberts grandfathers names were Nicholis Roberts great grandfathers names were Ogelby Roberts great great grandfathers name was edda Roberts and great x3+4 was George Roberts II and I of England Ive got it figured to that I am a cross between 10 major anceint royal families and six or more U.S. Presidents.

  6. 19

    General Patent,

    Are you kidding? Or are you just using this issue to promote your favored candidates?

    Q Todd Dickinson was good and he was appointed by a Democrat (although a right centrist really). Lehman, Dudas, and Dudas’s immediate predecessor have all sucked.

  7. 17

    Delbert Roberts (1869-1953) Isiah Roberts (1822-1869) George Roberts (1790-1830)All lived in Port Huron Michigan.

  8. 15

    The concept of auctioning patent rights past 20 years is ludacrist since they havent even put the existing patents into the correct name to begin with. Until we compensate the actual inventors only 4 since 1790 for the attrocities of the past present and proposed system we cant even begin to call the system fair. I invented the patent auction and now they want to use it to sell off my and my grandfathers stolen patents again. Until inventorship accuracies issues and the 15 other methods of stealing inventors patents are adresed world inovation stagnation will continue now nearing 4 a year black hole in invention.

  9. 14

    Sorry, but from your post, I cannot ascertain whether McCain supports the current reform bill or not. Anybody know?

  10. 13

    link to

    “For all the time that McCain has savaged the performance of the Federal Election Commission, he has led the sizeable crowd of critics who believed that the agency is too beholden, on the whole, to the narrow interests of parties and their candidates. Yesterday, Republicans could not have acted more narrowly in just this vein: effectively firing a Commissioner to immunize their Presidential nominee from enforcement action in a pending case but making sure that there is enough of an agency left to get him the money needed to finance his campaign.”

    But I’m sure McCain would never treat the PTO this way.

  11. 12

    “If you want protection from the reforms that would be inflicted on us by Dudas and his ilk, then you’ll have to vote conservative republicans into the Legislature.”

    … like Orrin Hatch who was pushing this reform stuff?

  12. 11

    None of the major presidential candidates are going to be friendly to the patent system.

    If you want protection from the reforms that would be inflicted on us by Dudas and his ilk, then you’ll have to vote conservative republicans into the Legislature.

  13. 10

    Based on the comments on this blog, I can think of few worse scenarios than a patent lawyer becoming president of the United States.

  14. 9

    Well Mr. Martin, that is a whole different angle than what I read from your statement. I would suspect that any self respecting patent lawyer, at least these days, would probably rather do patent law than do presidenting. But you have an interesting point. It would be nice to see a patent lawyer president. However, absent that, I think the answer is, quite contrary to your assertion, to leave patent law to patent lawyers and not political hacks with an agenda.

  15. 8


    I was referring to the fact that none of the candidates for the presidency are patent lawyers. Wouldn’t it be great to have Abe Lincoln back again?

  16. 7

    Is it just me, or does McCain remind anybody of General Turgidson from Dr. Strangelove?

    “We got any bomb patents? Gotta keep up with the Ruskies on them bomb patents”

  17. 6

    “Patent law is too important to be left to the patent lawyers anymore”

    Not sure what this means Mr. Martin, but that’s like saying medicine is too important to be left to the doctors. Like doctors, patent lawyers are specially trained and registered by the government. I suppose you advocate leaving patent law to political hacks. What a great idea – NOT.

  18. 5

    A screen and a half of screed, and only at the end was Cisco mentioned. I was on the edge of my seat, fearing (hoping?) the furnace of JAOI’s jihad had at long last grown cold.

  19. 4

    Who in the IP community favors the PATENT REFORM nearly shoved down our throats by PTO Management?, or similar proposals meandering through Congress? Do patent attorneys or inventors favor this Patent Reform?

    Most good IP people out there think such Patent Reform really stinks and is screwing up the system. And now we have PTO management retaliation v. the IP community at large via petty reject, correct, reject, correct, reject Office Actions.

    WHO are we good IP people to BLAME for such Patent Reforms?

    WHO caused the grossly onerous PATENT REFORM proposals by the PTO and Congress? WHO IS TO BLAME?

    Does this horrific Patent Reform run parallel to the PATENT REFORM AMBITIONS of Big Business coalitions like the “COALITION FOR PATENT FAIRNESS”

    Allow me, Jaoi, to point a “Contributory-Blame Finger” where it belongs:
    Following are excerpts from a September 5, 2007 letter to Congressional leaders from the COALITION FOR PATENT FAIRNESS (emphasis added) (this link goes to the complete letter signed by 108 Coalition members):
    link to

    Excerpts from the Coalition’s letter to Congress:
    “Supporters of patent reform and the Coalition for Patent Fairness, an alliance of companies and associations in the technology, financial services, energy, chemical, manufacturing and media industries, APPLAUD YOUR LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT TO THE AMERICAN WORKER IN SEEKING TO STRENGTHEN THE U.S. PATENT SYSTEM.


    “For the last several years, the chorus of those calling for reform has grown louder and clearer. …

    “This Congress, Rep. Berman and Rep. Smith refined the Patent Reform Act of 2005 TO MAKE THE LEGISLATION STRONGER AND MORE AGREEABLE TO A WIDER AUDIENCE …

    “During this debate, major editorial boards from around the country have weighed in and agreed the time for patent reform is now. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch have all called on Congress to finally pass comprehensive reform this year.

    “Concurrent with legislative efforts, the U.S. Supreme Court took a large number of patent cases in the past two terms TO CORRECT LOWER COURTS’ INTERPRETATIONS OF PATENT LAW. Each of the Supreme Court’s decisions has been consistent with proponents of patent reform who have urged the court to safeguard patent owners while ensuring patent rights are not abused. In one key case, members of the Court described the prior legal standard on patents as “gobbledygook” and “worse than meaningless.”

    “… the House of Representatives has the chance to stand up for America’s leading innovators and restore balance to our patent system, allowing innovation to flourish unfettered by the current rules that degrade patent quality and encourage gaming of the system. Now is the time for action on the Patent Reform Act of 2007.”
    * * * * *

    It is clear to me that this letter is based on presenting a bold face lie to Congress! Yet it was signed by the Coalition’s 108 members. For example, the first sentence of the Coalition’s letter to Congress says:

    “… the COALITION FOR PATENT FAIRNESS … applaud your leadership and commitment to the American worker IN SEEKING TO STRENGTHEN THE U.S. PATENT SYSTEM.” (Emphasis added to the boldface lie.)

    Here’s another real pip: “Each of the Supreme Court’s decisions has been consistent with proponents of patent reform who have urged the court to safeguard patent owners…”

    Is the Coalition referring to the Supreme Court that gave us Festo in 2002?, eBay in 2006?, KSR in 2007? Safeguard patent owners? What kind of horseshit is that? While we good IP People may know better, others DON’T KNOW SQUAT ABOUT PATENTS!, and those others include lay citizens, the Media and Government Officials INCLUDING Congressmen, PTO management and the Supremes. What they collectively know about patents wouldn’t fill a comic book.

    And speaking about Patent Reformers’ lies, anonymously running a pejorative Patent Troll Tracker blog is one thing, but doing so under a false premise while enjoying the benefit of fulfilling a “public service” need, and serving up horseshit blog content with one-sided propaganda aimed toward promoting Patent Reform is downright dirty pool. Shame, shame, shame on you Cisco Systems Inc.

  20. 1

    One of the sad aspects of our political system is the way in which people are compelled to “choose sides.” Some research by Cass Sunstein at the University of Chicago several years back suggested that property law was one of the few areas of law in which judges didn’t seem to be subject to bias from their fellow judges.

    But I guess with all of the controversy surrounding patent reform, it’s inevitable that the candidates are going to try even in this area to differentiate themselves in ways that are designed to attract just slightly more voters.

    When the dust settles, I hope everyone goes back to working together on patents the way they did during the Reagan administration. Patent law is too important to be left to the patent lawyers anymore. But it was nice while that lasted.

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