Patently-O Bits and Bytes

  • InventorsEye is the PTO’s new publication for the independent inventor community with a goal of bi-monthly publication. Looks good. As expected, the publication provides good information with a solid mix of propaganda. The first InventorsEye article writes hopefully that “we currently offer a 50% discount for independent inventors in virtually every fee category. That fee is further reduced by another 50% for independent inventors who make use of our electronic filing system.” Of course, that statement is misleading because it implies that the 50% reduction for EFS use also applies to “virtually every fee category.” Rather, independent inventors receive a 50% reduction on most fees, and an additional 50% reduction on the $330 filing fee. Thus, to file a utility patent application, large-entities pay $1090 ($330 filing fee + $540 search fee +$220 examination fee); Independent inventors pay $545 ($165 filing fee + $270 search fee + $110 examination fee); and electronic filing independent inventors pay $462 ($82 filing fee + $270 search fee + $110 examination fee).
  • Chicago: For several years, the Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property has been staging an annual IP symposium. This year’s speakers for the March 5 event include several law professors, Sharon Barner (PTO Deputy) and three partners from my former law firm (MBHB): Donald Zuhn, Joe Herndon, and Mike Baniak. Cost: Free ($200 for CLE Credit).
  • International IP Litigation Costs: Read the new WIPO Magazine special edition on IP Litigation Costs.

41 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes

  1. 40

    >The only ‘illegal’ guns the guy had were because he lives in a commie pinko state.

    Never underestimate the idiocy of the patent teabaggers.

  2. 39

    Sorry Jules – that’s not me laying on the canvas.

    IANAE – reduction ad absurdam take your logic and points out the flaws. I invited you (like a broken record – because you keep misidrecting my questions) to provide substance for your views, to provide a clear language rendition, yet you persist in warping my questions and NOT answering the actual questions.

    CLEARLY, I have highlighted your perpetual changes – don’t you get tired of running?

    The fact that the only way you ARE participating is by redirecting my statements tells me (and everyone) that you cannot answer the actual questions posed to you.

    Admit it so we can move on.

    As for declaring victory – I have yet to see you do battle – you keep running.

  3. 38

    And Noise goes down for the count.

    Sounds to me like another baboon going down for the count.

    Great, we’ll all declare victory and everybody goes home happy.

    Who wants ice cream?


  4. 35

    Answer the questions.

    When you fully appreciate the logical absurdity that is this post, you’ll understand why I don’t always find it productive to answer your questions.

    You managed to stretch my statement that an application isn’t allowable if it contains an invalid claim to some kind of crazy strawman that “In your scenario, all applications can be arbitrarily examined by title and rejected for obviousness because the title is obvious.”

    With that level of debating skill, you can argue with me just as effectively whether I participate or not.

  5. 34

    “Or perhaps he does not feel the need to respond to a broken record.”

    Mind you IANAE, if you stopped the spinning and just answer the actual questions asked, i wouldn’t have to sound like a broken record fixing your misdirections, pointing out your errors and (trying) to set you straight.

    Just answer the questions and we can move on.

    Answer the questions.

    Just answer the questions.

    C’mon, just answer the questions.

    Answer the questions.

    (unless you cannot…)

  6. 31

    I am genuinely surprised that my position above was not attacked by IANAE.

    Perhaps he was enjoying his slumber, or thinking of ways to not answer other questions I have put to him.

  7. 30


    The only ‘illegal’ guns the guy had were because he lives in a commie pinko state. In at least 40 states, nothing of what he had would’ve been illegal.

  8. 29

    Why doesn’t the PTO acknowledge or respond to this showing?

    It does seem strange to completely ignore real issues; the obvious answer seems to be that Kappos favors the bill even though it has negative implications for small business (my sense is that he sees fee-setting authority as his silver bullet). If he acknowledges shortcomings, he undermines the bill’s chance of success. In addition, the bill seems to be a tenuous compromise between the interest groups already; are there even ways to ameliorate small business concern without tanking the whole thing?

  9. 27

    The answer to your question, Mr. Boundy is next to the answer to the question as to why the Office’s solicitor pursued the claims and continuation rules even after having the OMB problem that you identified (and that the Office did not share with either the court or its opponent):

    – because the Office simply does not respect the rule of Law.

    The Office has forgotten its mission and has lost its way. It believes that patents are a bad thing and should be minimized, rather than viewing patents as a way to promote.

  10. 26

    Only one billion a year, Mr Boundy. That’s not much is it, these days. Are you sure this isn’t actually an underestimate?

    I think we should look in to where this “best” estimate comes from, don’t you?

  11. 25

    This thing I found most disconcertning was Director Kappos’ explanation for how S.515 is good for small inventors.

    How does a “rock solid, blue-ribbon patent” help a small company that’s been driven into bankruptcy either becuase VC’s have been scared away by the weakening of patents in general, or the company’s been bled dry by legal fees?

    Why does the “first inventor to file” discssion focus only on diversionary strawmen, and totally ignore the issues raised by small businesses?

    link to

    By best estimates, the first-to-file provision will bleed about $1 billion per year from small businesses, in increased attorney fees and reduced investment. Why doesn’t the PTO acknowledge or respond to this showing?

  12. 23

    Assuming that AI isn’t already in the clink, I predict that within the next 2 years, a heavily armed AI will force his way into the National Archives, blow the glass cover off the case holding the Constitution, and furiously attempt to erase the words “have power to” from Section 8.

  13. 22

    @ Jules: if that’s not JAOI, then it’s got to be AI. He hasn’t posted since at least the day of the IRS attack has he?

  14. 21

    link to

    Spangenberg predicts a day when corporations and trolls will live in relative harmony. …
    He explains: “The courts are intermediaries for patents right now, and the courts are extremely inefficient. Patents will trade as a commodity in the next five to six years, and what I do won’t even exist.”

    As evidence of this “new market,” Spangenberg points to the company Ocean Tomo that began holding large patent auctions in 2006, creating a forum for companies, inventors and, yes, trolls, to buy and sell patents. Approximately 500 IP and business professionals have attended past Ocean Tomo events.

    Seems like the author of the article (from June of 2009) forgot something ….

    March 20, 2009 The first patent auction held by the firm since the economic crisis began did not go well. In fact, the sell-off proved even more anemic that Ocean Tomo’s loudest naysayers had predicted it would.

    link to

  15. 20


    LOLOL!!! Keep trying.

    link to

    Spanenberg met his first patent troll before he’d ever heard the term. Visiting the guy’s office, he recalls, “was like walking into Versailles. When I sat in the chair in his office, my feet didn’t touch the ground.”

    Probably used Madoff’s decorator.

  16. 19

    From the link: “This is something defendants should be looking at in every NPE case,” said Verhoeven, using the acronym for “non-practicing entity,” a euphemism for patent troll-style companies. “Often, the patents have been transferred not once, but two or three times. There’s a risk that those transfers haven’t been done appropriately.”

    That’s good advice for all patent cases. It’s surprising how often assignments are screwed up. Lots of implications overseas when they are not handled correctly.

    (In court, a tearful Albritton testified that his calls to the court clerk were to “correct” the docket, not to doctor the filing date.)

    Still just as funny as it was the first time around!

  17. 18


    shhh – Malcolm’s next OLD trick was going to be doing the Jame Gumb impersonation and start referring to others by Troll or it.

    Oh well, another stale malcolmy tactic pre-empted.

  18. 17

    “Euphemism and cacophemism play a central role in rationalization. When we call someone a ‘terrorist,’ we may be using a cacophemism–making an activity seem worse than it actually is. When we call the same person a ‘freedom fighter,’ we may be using a euphemism–making the activity sound better than it really is. Either way, by using these words, we set ourselves up for rationalizing the harming of others.”

    (Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver, Ethics for the Real World. Harvard Business Press, 2008)

  19. 16

    Aw, dang. He’s not even a friend of yours, JAOI?

    So, to make ends meet, I had to take a job writing

    “I am just an ordinary inventor so this story may be hard to believe, but I swear it’s true. One day, while inventing a method for entertaining ferrets, who should ring my doorbell but the most lovely mail carrier I ever saw, asking me if she could use my bathroom to remove a stain on her tight, grey government-issued shorts …”

  20. 15

    JAOI, respectfully, I will decline. Glad to hear you’re safe and not in jail. I knew it wasn’t you. You’re a New Yorker, this guy was a Masshole.

  21. 14

    Dear Jules,

    I did not like the implication of your remark – with all due disrespect, please enjoy the explicit meaning of my reply: Bite me!

    I have been silent lately because, after all is said an done, it is dahmn near impossible for salt-of-the-earth inventors to earn a living inventing.

    So, to make ends meet, I had to take a job writing ——- (¢¿$)

    (Glenn Beck loves my jingoistic sermonizing.)

    Is anybody else unable to post comments with AOL or Internet Explorer?
    I posted this with the Netscape Browser.

    * * * * *

    Dear Malcolm,

    I did not like your remark – what I said for Jules goes double for your!

  22. 13

    his home in Manchester, Massachusetts

    Might be helpful for figuring out if this “legend in his own time” has been commenting here.

    Do any our “Constitutional experts” have an opinion on whether prisoners have a “fundamental right” to file and obtain patents? I mean, they have a fundamental right to marry so …


  23. 12

    Need I ask, JAOI, why have you been so silent lately?


    The inventor who holds the patent that was at the heart of two libel lawsuits against “Patent Troll Tracker” blogger Rick Frenkel and Cisco Systems was arrested last week, after police found an illegal stockpile of firearms, ammunition, and grenades in his home in Manchester, Massachusetts, about 30 miles from Boston. Gregory Girard, named inventor on U.S. Patent No. 7,283,519, believed he was readying himself for “Armageddon,” according to police. In addition to having around 20 firearms, Girard was stockpiling food and medicine, camouflage, and body armor, and had built an indoor shooting range in the attic of his condominium, according to accounts of the arrest in the Gloucester Daily Times and the Boston Globe. Girard had a license for the guns, but his explosives, double-edged knives, and habit of shooting indoors are all illegal….

    George McAndrews, a founding partner of McAndrews, Held & Malloy and one of the lawyers representing ESN in the suit against Cisco, praised Girard in a letter to Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler “Mr. Girard is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they penned the Patent Clause in the basic Article I of the U.S. Constitution.”


    Yes, indeed. About a symposium on the patent teabaggers, Dennis?


  24. 11

    I thought “patent troll” was a dysphemism for “non-practicing entity”. I stand corrected.

    Hmm, not a cacophemism? A revealing choice of words on your part.

  25. 10

    Ahh ok. I still don’t think encouraging small business filing is the intention of the article at all, though, nor do I think it will have that effect.

  26. 9

    From that link:

    “non-practicing entity,” a euphemism for patent troll-style companies

    I thought “patent troll” was a dysphemism for “non-practicing entity”. I stand corrected.

  27. 7

    Substitute in “All small entities, including independent inventors, whether filed by the entity/inventor or by an attorney or agent thereof” everywhere you see “independent inventor”.

  28. 6

    Where does it encourage inventors to file pro se?

    It doesn’t exactly, but I can’t imagine an $83 discount would be a big deal to someone with an agent billing $83 every ten minutes.

  29. 4

    Juxtapose this against the cry for applicant quality for a moment…

    Yeah, it’s a head-scratcher.

    Maybe they figure these applications will still be only a tiny part of their overall workload, and they can swing some positive PR out of the deal.

    I don’t know. I don’t work for the PTO, and I can’t read their minds.

  30. 2

    I just think most inventors are not going to do a good job with even the disclosure part of the application, which can’t be fixed later.

    It looks like they’re targeting inventors who probably wouldn’t be able to hire someone to get the spec right anyway. It’s partly to encourage the disclosure of those nifty little inventions and partly to cultivate a public image that individual inventors can access the patent system and turn their ideas into money.

    Look how inspirational the needle story was. Mothers are the necessity of invention, as they say.

  31. 1

    I am not sure I think it is a good idea to *encourage* inventors to file applications on their own. This honestly isn’t about protecting my own income stream – independent inventors are most definitely not where I make money. I just think most inventors are not going to do a good job with even the disclosure part of the application, which can’t be fixed later.

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