Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

USPTO Hoteling Report

  • The US Department of Commerce recently performed an audit and evaluation of the USPTO's Hoteling program. The report shows that the average Patent Hoteling Program (PHP) examiner spends 66.3 more hours a year examining patents than does the average in-house examiner (which translates to reviewing about 3.5 more patent applications a year. However, the report shows that PHP participants are no more efficient at reviewing patent applications than individuals at the USPTO headquarters. At the end of the fiscal year 2011 over 2,600 patent examiners were Hoteling. To be able to participate in the PHP an examiner must be GS-12 or above, worked at least 2 years at the USPTO, passed the certification exam (essentially the Patent Bar), & currently not under any warnings. [Link]

U.S. House introduces bill to amend design patent law

  • The proposed House bill, known as the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act, would reduce the time period when auto manufacturers are able to enforce design patents on collision repair parts against alternative suppliers from 14 years to 30 months. The bill claims that it would save Americans money on car parts, by removing auto manufacturer monopolies from the equation. [Link]

Can University Tech Transfer save the Pharma Industry?

  • The pharmaceutical industry has been hit hard by the fall in revenue because of expiring patents. Pfizer's profit declined 50% because of Lipitor going into the public domain. Eli Lilly's profit dropped 27% because of Zyprexa going generic. AstraZeneca revenue declined and they plan to lay off 7,350 people, because Nexium fell out of patent protection in Europe. Also, later this year Plavix and Singulair will face competition, which will probably cause those companies' profits to drop. With all of these multi- billion dollar patents expiring, it seems that pharma companies need new compounds and drugs to increase profit. I think that Universities will be the key to the pharma industry. Universities have many patents waiting to be licensed by big companies that could be very profitable for both the University and the company. The problem that I see is that there is a lack of communication between companies and Universities. Most University Tech Transfer offices are limited in what they can do, and if they do not have an inside connection at a company, it is difficult to market an invention to a big company. This problem can be overcome in many ways; however it would seem that an intermediary may be needed. An intermediary would be of great value if they can connect pharma companies (or companies in general) with University Tech Transfer offices to help broker a deal. While this is not a new idea in the patent world, I do not think that many universities currently use individuals from the outside to help get technology licensed. [Link]

Patent Jobs:

  • Apple seeks to hire a Sr. IP Counsel with 6+ years of experience in patent disputes to work at their Cupertino location. [Link]
  • Sughrue Mion is searching for candidates for an associate or technical specialist positions with a BS in chemical fields and candidates with Ph.D. level education in Molecular/Cell biology to work in their D.C. office. [Link]
  • Brookstone is looking for IP Counsel with a minimum of 5 years of experience to work at their Merrimack, New Hampshire location. [Link]
  • Christopher & Weisberg is seeking a patent attorney with 1-5 years of experience and degree in EE to work in their Fort Lauderdale office. [Link]
  • Harness, Dickey & Pierce is searching for a patent prosecution associate with 3-4 years of experience and Bachelor's degree in Biotech or a Biotech-related degree to work in their Saint Louis office. [Link]
  • Faegre Baker Daniels is looking for an IP associate with degree in EE, ME, CE, physics, or chemistry and up to 5 years of patent prosecution experience to work in their Fort Wayne, Indiana office. [Link]
  • Bluestone Innovations is seeking to hire in house counsel with 5 years of patent litigation experience to work at their Reston, Virginia location. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The New Jersey IP Association is sponsoring, The Inside Track to the Proposed Rules for Implementation of the America Invents Act on February 7 in Trenton, NJ. Featured speakers include: David Kappos, Philip Johnson, and Kenneth Nigon. [Link]
  • The Emory Law Journal will hold The 2012 Randolph W. Thrower Symposium, Innovation For the Modern Era: Law, Policy, and Legal Practice in a Changing World on February 9. The symposium is free and open to the public. [Link]
  • The Intellectual Property Law Section of the Utah State Bar is hosting its annual IP Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 17, 2012, at the Little America Hotel. This full day event includes two tracks of topics in various areas of IP law, lunch, and a networking reception. Confirmed speakers include Ted McAleer, Executive Director of USTAR; Robin Zhao, Jeekai & Partners; Hon. Dee V Benson, US Dist. Ct for the Dist. of Utah; Hon. Ted Stewart, US Dist. Ct for the Dist. of Utah; Hon. Virginia Kendall, US Dist. Ct for Northern Dist. of Illinois; Paul Marchegiani, NBC; Howard Michael, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione; Jeff Gee, Symantec; and Richard Chang, ICON. [Link]
  • IBC Legal's 20th Annual Biotech & Pharmaceutical Patenting Conference 2012 will be held on February 21-22 in Munich, Germany. Get advice and analysis from a diverse team of international life science and IP experts on recent case law and developments, patent filing, patent life cycles, SPCs, patent infringement, EC Bolar implementation and more! Patently-O readers get a 10% discount when registering with this link. [Link]
  • The 7th Annual Conference on EU Pharma Law & Regulation will be held on February 22-23 in London. The conference will bring together eminent in-house counsel from the world's largest pharma and biotech companies, top legal practitioners and regulatory experts in an outstanding speaker panel. (Patently-O readers register with PO 10 for a discount). [Link]
  • Maurer School of Law Center for IP Research will hold a CLE Fundamentals of Federal Circuit Advocacy event on February 23. Greg Castanias will lead a discussion of patent appeals before the Federal Circuit. Also appearing: Center for Intellectual Property Research senior advisor Donald Knebel, Prof. Mark D. Janis, and former Federal Circuit clerk Allison Kerndt. [Link]
  • The Florida Bar 3rd Annual IP Law Symposium will be held on March 1-2 on Orlando. The IP Symposium will address recent developments and important issues in IP law, including: Perspectives on the America Invents Act, Copyright Law and the First Sale Doctrine, Third Party Liability in IP, Enforcing IP on the Internet, Latest Developments in Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law, and Recent Developments at the TTAB. Guest speakers include; Anne Gilson LaLonde, Scott Bain, John Welch, and many others. [Link]
  • Section 101 Gatekeepers: Finding the Patentable Subject Matter Line in a Judicial Sandstorm, webinar will be hosted by AIPLA on March 7. The webinar will be presented by Professor Christopher Holman and attorney Robert H. Fischer. [Link]
  • LES (USA & Canada) 2012 Winter Meeting will be held March 12-14 in Anaheim, CA. The meeting will focus on cutting-edge issues in the high tech space with overlapping content in related industries, including clean tech, nanotech, and medical devices. Featured speakers include Honorable Randall Rader, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Catherine Casserly, CEO, Creative Commons; and Patrick Ennis, Head of Global Technology, Intellectual Ventures. Save $100 before January 31. [Link]
  • C5's 22 Forum on Biotech Patenting conference will take place March 14-15 in Munich, Germany. The conference brings together experienced in-house counsel from both innovator and generic pharma and biotech companies and their expert legal advisors from various jurisdictions across the globe. Session will cover the patentability of gene sequence patents in Europe and the US, current developments on biotech products and patent considerations for bio-deposits, and many other sessions. (Patently-O readers register with PO 10 for a discount). [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's FDA Boot Camp conference is scheduled for March 20-21 in New York, NY. ACI's FDA Boot Camp has been designed to give products or patent litigators, as well as patent prosecutors, industry in-house counsel, and life sciences investment and securities experts, a strong working knowledge of core FDA competencies. (Patently-O readers register with PO 200 for a discount). [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's PTO Procedures Under the America Invents Act conference is scheduled for March 26-27 in New York, NY. This conference will serve as a practical and tactical guide for PTO practice post-Patent Reform. (Patently-O readers register with PO 200 for a discount). [Link]

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57 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

  1. 55

    Sounds plausible if 6 is correct on how the Office and the courts should act.

    However, given that the Office has traditionally been in a powergrabbing mode, it is more likely that 6 is just SNAFU.

  2. 53

    You think that was a meltdown?

    What do you think of miss Inviting (Candy)A@@ Pinching’s “please please Dennis.”

    Hmm, reminds me of someone else who cried to Dennis about bloggers picking on them…

    …some simean reference or some such.

  3. 51

    What the Sam Hill are you talking about?

    Pitched battles? More like pitched voices of your soaring whines.

    If you spout some indefensible nonsense?

    You spout that like ALL the time. You are called out on that ALL the time. And yet, you keep on doing it ALL the time.

    You talk about “taking responsibility,” yet you probably the single largest contributor to this “trainwreck” you so lovingly call your home.

    As for Inviting (Candy)A@@ Pinching, the mere thought of someone calling him out sends him scurrying and crying for censorship – sort of like you in your cries for everyone else to be controlled, and yet your pointless excrement filled rantings somehow are highly “valued” (and the mere thought of another blog with reasonable controlls sends you hyperventilating in expletives).

    Yet you are the one that accuses accuses accuses.

    You say that you are happy to admit that you are wrong, yet you are also happy to NOT admit it and to pile on with your endless diatribes about the “e_vils” of patents (and especially certain types of patents).

    Pound salt big boy.

  4. 50

    ill-thought out posts that have no tie to real law

    As noted before sockie, your obsession with the alleged “real law” and the “actual law” would be a bit easier to swallow if you at least spread it around equally. But you don’t. You’re a hypocrite and a quintessential blogtroll obsessed with derailing any conversation, by any means possible, that you deem to be “anti-patent.” And by “any means possible”, we mean creating hundreds of asinine pseudonyms every month and spewing comment after comment of mindless tripe and manufactured nonsense about the commenters “agenda” or the commenters alleged lack of understanding of “the real law”. That is all you ever do, sockie.

    IBP and I have had numerous disagreements and pitched battles over all kinds of issues. But we at least do each other and everyone else the courtesy of using pseudonyms consistently so that if we do spout some indefensible nonsense we can be called out on it. As I’ve noted before, I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong. I’ve done it before, here in these comments, numerous times. Not a big deal, sockie. Maybe it’s time for you to grow up and take ownership of your beloved trainwreck.

    Nah. That’ll never happen.

  5. 49

    And I should add “Seriously, Dennis” because that personal plea just makes up for the lack of substance that the whining otherwise exhibits.

  6. 48


    Change your moniker or get out of this business. Enough of the whining on what is “burdensome” when what is truly burdensome is the vacuous and ill-thought out posts that have no tie to real law or are just whining of “what the problem is” or both.

    f you have any sort of rational agenda, you have not made it known, nor is it obvious” – doesn’t that indicate that this is not a single person?

    Another reason you should get out is that your reasoning abilities are noticeably sub-par.

    This is reflected in your post content as well, which is often weak and disregards actual law (and the reasons why the law has evolved to its current state). Somehow you think that because it is your post that it is somehow more special than others’. Guess what – it’s not.

    I swear, this blog would be much better off without the vacuous whining of these “regulars.” If anything, and to the contrary of your suppositions, it is your posts and the posts of MM that really degrade the quality. Take you ball and go home already.

    You want to improve the quality? STFU and take MM with you.

  7. 47

    Regulars will remember that I couldn’t keep up the charade, that I had to come clean. Plus, it was directed only at MM. Plus, I expressly let everybody know what I was doing. Plus, it was an isolated incident.

    You, on the other hand, have incredible endurance. If you have any sort of rational agenda, you have not made it known, nor is it obvious, unless it is the de-stabilization and lowering of the quality of this board. Your trash is directed towards quite literally every poster who happens to cross your path, for no apparent legitimate reason. You have made overly burdensome the perusal of a great many threads.

    Your recent “I’m not a troll” and “AAA JJ” posts are emblematic of the net quality of your contributions to this board.

    I would venture to guess that you have singlehandedly been responsible for at least 50% of the posts within the last month–an astonishing percentage, if true, and one that takes into account the fact that you carry on dialogue and argument with none other than yourself.

    Of all the commenters, regular and otherwise, you are the one who can be identified as singularly detrimental.

    Although I ignore your posts, even navigating around them has become unduly burdensome.

    Seriously, Dennis.

  8. 45

    sockie Who, Moon-lie?

    No, sockie. I don’t hide behind “multiple monikers.” That would be you, as everyone (including you) knows.

  9. 44

    Who, Moon-lie? If so, I agree. Stop him.

    The thread went downhill when he (again) begin to evidence his frustrated angryman persona, at 2/06/ 11:53.

  10. 43

    Dennis, the insane trolling MUST be stopped.

    This is another thread that is going down in flames due to what is in my mind doubtless the work of a single troll with multiple monikers and personalities.

    Is there no way to stop this person? The Dealertrack v Huber thread is a goner, too.

    A big part–even, I would say, the major part–of the interest in your site derives from the comments. When the worthwhile comments are obscured by the troll chaff, the site becomes a whole lot less worthwhile, to the point where it would be worth it for me, personally, to consider abandoning the site altogether.

    It’s just too much work, too low a S/N ratio.

    Please stop the troll.

  11. 41

    It also contradicts the prior decision to help the auto industry.

    So now that we’ve helped the auto industry once, every single future decision we make has to be structured to be positive for the auto industry?

  12. 40

    True Believer…



    True Believer…


    I would rather put my money on True Believer.

  13. 38

    The fact that design protection exists, makes this an example of the gov’t picking winners and losers

    I don’t follow. The government does not choose which is a better design and award a right to such a winner. The criteria are neutral and open to all.

  14. 37

    The fact that design protection exists, makes this an example of the gov’t picking winners and losers–something the govt has shown NO ability to do well. It also contradicts the prior decision to help the auto industry. That it is being suggested in the name of helping consumers is even more of a farce! Why not do that for other forms of IP? We have special forces seizing assets from a private citizen in New Zealand for alleged copyright violations in the US, while we are simultaneously throwing open the doors for design patent violations to be imported from China and Korea. Clearly the RIAA has a stronger lobby than the domestic auto parts mfrs.

  15. 36

    Monsignor Laurence Higgins is the founder and Pastor Emeritus of the St. Lawrence Catholic parish of Tampa, Florida and the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg.[1] Higgins served as pastor from 1958 to 2007. A celebrated member of the Tampa Bay community,[2] Higgins received the 1994 Outstanding Citizen of the Year award from the Tampa branch of the Civitan Club.[3] Upon his retirement, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio proclaimed the week of June 21 to June 30 2007 as “Higgin’s Days.”[1]

  16. 34

    … or a very big hand.

    ” … it would seem that an intermediary may be needed. An intermediary would be of great value if they can connect pharma companies (or companies in general) with University Tech Transfer offices to help broker a deal.”

    Hence the need for someone’s prescient use of:

  17. 33

    Less innovative car part designs. Naturally.

    I didn’t realize car parts were innovative at all. I thought they were just copied from the whole cars sold by the same companies.

  18. 32

    “what innovation would be stifled if we were to reduce the term of exclusivity for design patents on car parts?”

    Less innovative car part designs. Naturally.

    LOL – Sockie the True Believer has the Old Testament memorized!

  19. 31


    Why would Pharma invest in a U-patented drug that had not gone through government-required tests? How can a U patent claim human utility, just for example, without actual human tests?

    Am I missing something here?

  20. 30

    what innovation would be stifled if we were to reduce the term of exclusivity for design patents on car parts?

    Less innovative car part designs. Naturally.

    And if you are going to make a case that a law should not be a law, then you need to actually make a case for that – and not merely proclaim it. Why should design patent law be changed now? What event changed the rationale that existed when design patent law was put in place? Why introduce a field limitation like no other?

    Since you want the law to be changed it is up to you to make a compelling case.

    I have not seen that case made yet.

    And the point about economics is relevant – you cannot have the quid without the quo, and focusing only on innovation is merely half of the side of the coin. This argument flows throughout patent law, and is why I alluded that you do not “get” patents in the first place (you don’t!).

  21. 29

    I’m aware that design patenting the designs of car parts is legal, but in the context of considering new legislation, why does that matter? The point of the legislation is to diminish the effects such patents have on the secondary market of replacement parts. Whether such patents are legal in the first place is entirely irrelevant to the question the legislation presents (i.e., whether they should be legal).

    I fully understand the rationale behind patents in the first place. My point is that rationale does not hold much water when it comes to design patents, and particularly design patenting of car parts.

    And whether I have any money on the line strikes me as being entirely irrelevant. The point of patent law is not to protect business investments; it’s to encourage and promote innovation. Tell me: what innovation would be stifled if we were to reduce the term of exclusivity for design patents on car parts?

  22. 28

    This is about praising those that copy because you cannot see that a design patent is a perfectly legal mechanism for “monopolists” to “hurt” the economy by preventing foreign (and domestic) ripoffs from invading the market, or at least invading their granted property rights.

    Perhaps its because you just don’t “get” patents in the first place…

    So now that you may guess “my position,” I bet my copying your replies still left you unsatisfied. And you don’t even have any money on the line.

    Think about it.

  23. 27

    link to

    The economy may be moving upward, but AstraZeneca’s executive pay will stay frozen. For the second year in a row, CEO David Brennan (photo) won’t get a salary increase, and nor will his colleagues whose job descriptions haven’t changed. That puts Brennan’s 2010 salary at £972,900, or $1.45 million.

    However, Brennan’s total compensation has grown a bit: Including bonus, stock awards, and other forms of pay, his package grew to $4.9 million for 2009, up from $4.7 million in 2008. That’s an increase of about 4 percent.

    But I’m certain that Brennan works fifty times harder than the mere mortals in the trenches.

  24. 26

    “Can University Tech Transfer save the Pharma Industry?” is a misleading title.

    The “Pharma Industry” is composed of many different business entities, only some of which rely on patent rights to create value.

    The “Pharma Industry” is not threatened by the expiration of patent rights, which were always intended to be, and were known in advance by all parties to be, temporary.

    Neither the efficacy nor effectiveness of a drug is affected by the expiration of patent rights. ASA isn’t patented, yet is still produced profitably in huge quantities by businesses that can find a way to turn a profit doing it.

    The “industry” hardly needs to be “saved”.

  25. 25

    It is, especially since I don’t understand what your position is.

    This is not about praising those that copy; it’s about limiting the power of a monopolist to hurt the economy. I do not see the justification for allowing car manufacturers to use design patents on car parts to hold an entire secondary industry hostage for 14 years.

  26. 24

    I asked second. But since we are praising those that copy, I win the day.

    That’s what you get. A bit unsatisfying, isn’t it?

  27. 22


    Your inanity is only amazing if one were to expect any intelligence in your responses.

    Thankfully (regretfully?!), you have paved the way for such low expectations as to remove any sense of amazement.

    Nice job continuing to live below the expectations.

  28. 21

    I have experience in that part of the world

    Many of us do, sockie. Of course, most of us weren’t DUI from the Harry Potter Fan Club Convention like you were, but that can be forgiven.

  29. 20

    Assuming that you are not the troll, see MPEP 806.05 generally, and 806.05(d) specifically.

  30. 16

    I see no reason that this type of parsing of the patent law and U.S.C 35 needs to be done. Some comments and thoughts on the rationale provided by the insurance industry (PCI), from a product development perspective, can be found here:

    link to

  31. 15

    “Hoteling” – no wonder they are running out of money. Why not a “Patent Moteling Program” or “Patent Moter-lodge Program” and save the tax payers money.

    Hoteling is using existing office space on an as-needed basis like a hotel room, which PHP doesn’t primarily do. The Patents Hoteling Program (PHP) allows employees to perform their job at an alternate work site. So what’s wrong with:

    “Site Work Alternate Patent Program” (SWAPP)?

  32. 14

    Sorry Malcolm, I have experience in that part of the world and you have no clue as to what you are blabbering about.

  33. 12

    As if the AIA was not enough of a “patent lawyer permanent employment” gig, let’s start fragmenting intellectual property laws by various end markets.

    Just think how wonderfully complex we can make things.

    Or we can be like any third world country and simply get rid of all intellectual property protection.

  34. 10

    And how do you propose such legislation should be drafted? It’s not like “subcombination” has an accepted definition in patent law.

  35. 9

    Because the US auto industry needs to skim money from collision repair businesses to survive. Please.

    Another comment by Malcolm in an area that he has no clue.

    Don’t you have anything better to troll?

  36. 8

    Or better yet, if the design is deemed “functional” in that it must mate with something else in order to function, it loses its protection. After all design patents are meant for ornamental things. “In general terms, a “utility patent” protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101), while a “design patent” protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171).

    Make this a rebuttable presumption and move forward.

  37. 7

    Watch out for that slippery slope!

    Seriously? You think diminishing design patent protection for car parts is going to kill the auto industry? Is the auto industry so fragile that it needs the replacement parts market propped up by monopolies too? Are the Big Three not making enough money selling cars?

  38. 6

    Save the auto industry with one hand and kill it with the other.

    Because the US auto industry needs to skim money from collision repair businesses to survive. Please. Just tell the mxrxns to make better cars and stop peddling SUVs and “light trucks” to people who don’t them.

  39. 5

    Industry-specific exemptions for design patents are not a good idea.

    A better way to address the issue of subcombinations would be to disallow from patenting any subcombination that was designed to integrate into a larger design.

  40. 4

    Throw design protection out for auto parts so knock-offs can come in and save us money! Hey why don’t we knock copyrights down to 3 years, and patents down to 5 while we’re at it. Think of the $ consumers could save. The contradictory protectionism is startling. Save the auto industry with one hand and kill it with the other.

  41. 2

    it seems that pharma companies need new compounds and drugs to increase profit.

    Or maybe they can package their drugs with tickets that offer purchasers an award that can be redeemed online!


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