Patent Reform: MBHB Webinar

My friend and former colleague Dr. Andrew Williams is hosting a short Free Webinar on February 18, 2014 focusing on Congressional Patent Reform and “How It May Impact You (Especially if You Are Not Considered to be a ‘Patent Troll’).”

  • When: February 18, 2014 10:00 am CST (11 am on the East Coast and 8 am on the West Coast) – lasting for 75 minutes.
  • Where: Online / Call-In Webinar
  • Register: Free, but Pre-Registration Required [Link:]

Legislation has already been passed in the House of Representatives (Goodlatte Bill); the president has called for reforms and is pushing for legislation directly; and the Senate has several bills pending, including those offered by Senator Leahy who is powerful and respected in this area. Supports are pushing for passage in March 2014. (Yes, that is next month.)

20 thoughts on “Patent Reform: MBHB Webinar

  1. Imagine that you are an English Earl, and want to insulate yourself from the lower classes. You require that all jury trials be to your “peers.” You insist on a star chamber. You demand that any plaintiff that sues you pay your attorney fees if they lose.

    To keep patents out of the hands of the unwashed, you erect a very expensive maze of bureaucratic hoops trough which inventors have to jump before they get a patent — and if they do, you bankrupt them with oppositions.

    Next you erect barriers for the unwashed to challenge one’s own the patents. The bond in 1800 for a writ scire facias (against which the King’s expenses were charged) was 1000 pounds sterling.

    There are ways to keep patents out of the hands of the unwashed. Look to English history and learn. Goodlatte and his supporters certainly have. History is repeating.

    1. To keep patents out of the hands of the unwashed

      Dennis just had two posts on micro-entity fees. If some member of the “unwashed” has a great invention, he/she can get a patent fairly quickly and cheaply.

      If it’s not such a great invention, well, then it will certainly cost more to obtain and enforce. Maybe even too much to bother with. But that’s as it should be. That’s not a problem. That’s a feature.

      1. No doubt that the lowering of fees does allow the individual inventor a better opportunity to obtain a patent. But just wait until the patent issues and see what happens.

        It is interesting that congress on the one hand seems so solicitous of the small inventor in lowering fees, but on the other makes it all but impossible for him to do anything with his patent if it does in fact issue.

        In 1942-43, congress considered oppositions, but shelved the idea because it could effectively end patents for anyone but the pecunious. A proposal to pay for government attorneys to defend the unwealthy was considered, but dropped.

        But today we have PGRs, IPRs, and reexaminations that overwhelm the small fry. Next we adopt the English rule to insulate the upper classes by providing that the loser pays the attorney fees of the winner in any lawsuit.

        And the beat goes on, but no one addresses the elephant in the room, functional claiming. Our hero Rich tried to slay that dragon in ’52 — the dragon Supreme Court rationality. Rich was then the hero of every patent attorney working for a big company directly or indirectly who were only trying to protect their client’s invention. It is good that they are now caused to suffer so grievously at the hands of those who would sue them with such broad and indefinite claims.

        Live by the sword, they say….

        1. today we have PGRs, IPRs, and reexaminations that overwhelm the small fry.

          And yet more “small fry” are filing and receiving patents than at any time in the history of the country.

          no one addresses the elephant in the room, functional claiming

          Patience. It’s coming.

          1. MM, when you become the new director may I suggest you start two new examiner reeducation art groups where they must spend an indefinite time until they get it.

            1. Ineligible subject matter group; and
            2. Functional at the point of novelty group.

            Then you require personal sign-off on any to-be-allowed applications that contain a claim to a computer-implemented invention; or a claim where the novelty was in a functionally claimed element of an apparatus or article of manufacture claim.

            If you do not approve the allowance, both the examiner and the application should be reassigned to the one of the new groups, depending.

          1. Well, LB, since we are talking Europe, with knights and fools, I would think the beast would be a dragon.

            Thanks for the clarification.

            The new director needs to be named St. George. We know what St. George can do.

    2. Reminds me of that award winning journalism into the Founding Fathers and what they wanted out of the US patent system.

      Things like fully and freely alienable property, no use requirements, inventions by the common man (read that as both widespread – no Flash of Genius – and not restricted by ‘the game of kings’ cost factors).

      Award-winning accuracy.

      Something to think about.

      (and no spin as to using cost to somehow vet worthiness)

        1. (Once again), brushing aside the innuendo, there is no point in Malcolm’s comment.

          Maybe Leopold is (still) surprised at this – no one else is.

          How is that list of incontrovertible facts coming along Malcolm?

          Thought so.

  2. considering the alternative of no American innovations from the garage inventors which have generated billions of dollars

    Why should we consider an “alternative” that is nothing more than an absurd strawman wrapped up in some stale mythology?

    There is precisely zero chance of the outcome you suggest.

    People will continue to innovate after these bills are passed. The overwhelming majority of those people, whether they innovate in their “garage” or somewhere else, will be people who are far better off than 95% of the rest of the population and who can easily afford the cost of obtaining and enforcing protection for their deserved inventions.

    To the extent the “inventions” are junk obtained for the sole purpose of trolling, nobody should care if it’s impossible to “monetize” it anymore.

    As a society, we simply do not need patent attorneys “innovating” computer-implemented junk. Such people contribute absolutely nothing to progress in any technology. They are bottom-feeders. Grifters. Skimmers. They need to be removed from the system.

  3. This reform will effectively shut down American independent inventors. Who could possibly afford to patent and protect an invention accept deep pocket companies like Apple and Microsoft? Leahy will be meeting with companies against this reform like IBM on Friday 2/14/14. Several independent inventors are against this reform and have set up petitions against it. No one likes a patent troll, but considering the alternative of no American innovations from the garage inventors which have generated billions of dollars due to our unique and accessible patent system, I think it is a smaller price to pay. Go after the trolls, not inventors! I hope you write your senator to vote against this change!

    1. Malanie, this in combination with the AIA all have the effect you describe.

      The problem of so-called trolls is not a litigation problem, but a problem with the PTO issuing broad, indefinite patents that are also arguably invalid over the prior art. This grants the troll a license to mulct the independent inventions of others.

      If anything we need to appoint a Director with a mission to fix this problem, as once Judge Landis was appointed to fix the problem of gambling in Baseball.

      We need new leadership, not new laws that will make things worse.

      1. Malanie, this in combination with the AIA all have the effect you describe.

        No independent inventors? Hmm.

        Just so we can keep tabs on this prediction, how long will it take to reach the point of no independent inventors?

        I’m innovating all the time, creating “new” computer “functionalities” pretty much every couple of hours. These bills will have no effect on my innovations.

        Anybody who wants a patent and has a great invention will still be able to obtain the patent and enforce it. Nothing in these bills prevents that from happening. So what is the point in pretending that it’s going to happen? It’s an empty threat.

        We heard the same arguments from same groups after KSR. And after Prometheus v. Mayo.

        Innovators will keep on innovating. Bottom-feeding attorneys will keep on bottom-feeding but let’s make the patent system as unappealing to them as possible. Some guy who was thinking about “innovating” some junk in his garage decides to get a job instead because of the “barriers” that are put up? Small price to pay. Look around. It’s not like there’s any shortage of patents out there.

        1. MM, while you and I do not agree on the AIA or Good Latte’s bills, we do agree on fixing the PTO. Why don’t you apply for the job of Director?

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