CPC and Google Search

For the past 15 years, the US patent classification system has fallen on hard times as more searchers move toward non-structured “Google style” searching.  Now, however, a global cooperative led by the EPO and USPTO are moving forward with a  the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) that offers some promise both for better classification and for more cross-border standardization.

In turn, Google has released a new version of its patent search capabilities — by indexing both its patent documents and its non-patent “Google Scholar” documents according to CPC standards.

For Google, this is not just about their core business of improving search. Indeed, Google is a major player in the U.S. patent system, both as a patent owner and as a defendant in patent infringement lawsuits.  In a blog post, Google’s Allen Lo (Deputy GC for patents) and Ian Wetherbee (Google Patents developer) rightly argue that better search leads to better patents.  It will be interesting to see whether the improved Google Search makes an impact.

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124 thoughts on “CPC and Google Search

  1. 14

    Any mechanical examiner will tell you that cpc is crap. Any other examiner will tell you that uspc was crap. This article is about 2 years late. When the pto first announced that we were switching to cpc, the first question from the examining corps was when and how will we reorg the tc’s and art units to actually use it. Upper management continues to avoid the question. There is no plan to ever consider dropping uspc for classifying applications. Cpc has only been used to destroy examiners ability to search effectively in their area of expertise. I blame Focarino.

    1. 14.1

      Upper management continues to avoid the question.

      That is part of transition planning.

      Failing to plan is planning to fail.

    2. 14.2

      Seems like a simple solution would be to cross reference the two systems so that searching in one optionally automatically searches in the corresponding class/subclass of the other.

      Once that is done, stop indexing new applications in the USPC.

      But, I expect, this probably is already done, save for the dropping part.

      1. 14.2.1

        They made the “Y” classes that continue to be updated and reclassified all the old patents in them for mechanical and some of the old physics patents. It’s just a matter of integrating then with the A classes.

        Don’t changes to cpc have to be done through EPO?

        1. 14.2.1.1

          Your question would have been addressed in the transition plan.

          I thought that you thought that the plan was complete?

          What was that assertion, Mr. “Backpeddlelar”…?

          1. 14.2.1.1.1

            Rhetorical question zzzz. They have to be done with EPO bc it’s a joint venture.

            Also they have been updating y classes into a classes although slowly.

            You’re not only an arsehole, but a dumbarse. Don’t bother replying to my posts because I’m not going to waste my time with you.

            1. 14.2.1.1.1.2

              …with or through…?
              my back peddling doush

              As for Ned, you don’t respond to the dialogue points because you cannot respond – the “Tr011” thingie f001s no one.

  2. 12

    For anyone still trying to partially base a “non analogous art” argument against 103 cited art based on that art not being in the same search class as the application, will not both the change in classifications, and the change in the way searching is now done, drive in the KSR coffin nail to “non analogous art” arguments even further?

    1. 12.1

      For anyone still trying to partially base a “non analogous art” argument against 103 cited art based on that art not being in the same search class as the application…

      Is anyone actually still making that argument? That seems really silly to me. If your claim is to an airplane wing and the cited details in the reference are describing a coat hanger, then just say so. Who cares about some arbitrary, semi-random classification?

      1. 12.1.1

        The fact that it seems “really silly to you,” most likely means that you are missing a critical thought.

        Think about this:

        The “world” of prior art for 102 rejections is the entire world.

        The “world” or prior art for 103 rejections is a limited subset of the 102 art world.

        Let me know when you realize that one of the parameters of determining this subset has a link to what you think is “silly.”

        Thanks.

        (ps – instead of spending your time making inane comments that simply miss the point of my posts, you should spend your time sharpening your critical thinking skills. Just a thought)

        1. 12.1.1.1

          The “world” of prior art for 102 rejections is the entire world.

          The “world” or prior art for 103 rejections is a limited subset of the 102 art world.

          Where does Section 103 say that, Mr. Principles?

        2. 12.1.1.2

          The “world” or prior art for 103 rejections is a limited subset of the 102 art world.

          Sure, fine. But as KSR made quite clear, the limits on that subset are adduced through rational thought processes, rather than on arbitrary classifications and formulaic rules.

          So, you’re still making “non-analogous prior art” arguments? Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

          1. 12.1.1.2.1

            You’re not? Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

            Take a look at the recent PTAB panel decision in 12/716,033 (not my case).

            That the prior art relied upon in an obviousness rejection be pertinent, i.e. analogous, is still a requirement of the law. KSR didn’t change that. If you have that argument but you don’t make it because, “That’ll never work” then it’s your loss. Or your clients.

            Whatever. Keep on doing what you’re doing. And posting condescending snark here. The rest of us will make the arguments the facts and the law provide us. And win.

            1. 12.1.1.2.1.1

              That the prior art relied upon in an obviousness rejection be pertinent, i.e. analogous, is still a requirement of the law. KSR didn’t change that.

              I didn’t say that it did. All I’m saying is that throwing around terms like “non-analogous prior art” might impress the client, but isn’t terribly effective, notwithstanding your PTAB case. (Incidentally, I think the panel got the non-analogous art issue wrong, for the reasons the examiner tried, but failed, to articulate – the claims’ reference to a “multi-layer packaging film” in the preamble is a non-limiting statement of intended use.) And relying on different classifications for that argument, which is what we’re actually talking about here, is really weak.

              1. 12.1.1.2.1.1.1

                “…but isn’t terribly effective, notwithstanding your PTAB case.”

                It’s effective if you argue it correctly. Which the appellant in the case I mentioned did.

                I agree that if you’re argument is, “It’s not analogous because our application is classified in ABC/DEF and the prior art reference is classified in UVW/XYZ” then it’s not effective. That is, as you said, really weak.

                “Incidentally, I think the panel got the non-analogous art issue wrong…”

                No they didn’t. If there was a way to do a backwards hand stand to affirm the examiner, the panel would have found it. That they didn’t is all you need to know.

                1. If there was a way to do a backwards hand stand to affirm the examiner, the panel would have found it. That they didn’t is all you need to know.

                  Haha! I agree with you that this is the right place to start the analysis! In this case, though, the Board sustained the separate anticipation rejections of two of the three claims at issue, so perhaps they were just trying to look more judicial…

                  Here’s the claim:
                  A composite for use on a product side of a multi-layer packaging film, said composite comprising a bio-based layer selected from PLA, wherein said PLA has a glass transition temperature and is insoluble in water at temperatures below said glass transition temperature, PHA, and mixtures thereof and an adhesion layer having a
                  metal, metal oxide, metalloid oxide, or combinations thereof deposited on said adhesion layer, wherein said adhesion layer comprises polyamides or PGA.

                  Maybe you see it, but I don’t see any link between the preamble’s statement of intended use, “for use on a product side of a multi-layer packaging film,” and the rest of the claim. He didn’t claim the multi-layer packaging, or the film, he only claimed the “composite.” Accordingly, the examiner was correct that he need only show that the combination of elements after the preamble were obvious. Not surprisingly, he couldn’t even do that, which the PTAB also admitted.

                  It appears that the examiner actually recognized that it would be ridiculous to combine the reference used in the 103 rejection with a reference that actually deals with a multi-layer packaging film, which is why he relied on a single-reference obviousness rejection, instead of combining the 103 reference with his 102 reference.

  3. 11

    Random Guy: A new use of a known process has to be a known process in a different context to achieve a different result. Otherwise you’d have a situation where you could patent a flashlight, and you can patent a process of illumination, and then you could re-patent the illumination process whenever you shine it on something new.

    Just a reminder to everyone: turning this “otherwise” situation into reality is exactly what the patent maximalists live and breathe for. It’s exactly why the Supreme Court had to step in and hammer Prometheus and Alice into the ground. And they’re going to keep stepping in until the nonsense stops.

    1. 11.1

      Except not – leave out the equivalent here of the strawman “mere aggregation” and both you and Random are left blowing smoke.

      1. 11.1.1

        the equivalent here of the strawman “mere aggregation”

        Nobody knows what you’re talking about.

        Yes, that is a serious problem for you. And it’s been a problem for many years.

        1. 11.1.1.1

          Ah yes, the Vinnie Barbarino meme response.

          A claim of:
          A bicycle,
          A goldfish in a blue bowl,
          A screwdriver, and
          A fungus that is scraped from the toe of a newt.

          Tell me why that claim does not work.
          Note that there is no need for any [thought], new, old, or indifferent.

          Try not to hurt yourself.

          1. 11.1.1.1.1

            Tell me why that claim does not work.

            Because newts’ toes are inherently fungus-resistant?

            1. 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Practicing being an arse and missing the point is NOT something that you should be wanting to do.

  4. 10

    Google should realize if you’re typing a mix of numbers and letters you’re likely going to use the keyboard forward slash. Keyboard forward slash goes to a new CPC entry, while numpad slash produces the desired result, i.e. a forward slash.

  5. 9

    So who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of identifying available real estate? The sooper dooper techno “computer” examiner? Or the examiner with expertise in real property sales?

    Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of presenting bank account information on a display? The expert in display technology? The expert in computers? Or the examiner with a background in finance?

    Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of selecting “personalized” movies for later viewing? The soooper dooper computer techno expert? Or the Examiner with expertise in cinema?

    Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of identifying the most successful potential dinner date? The sooper dooper computer techno expert? Or the Examiner with the sociology background?

    Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of upselling cereal to mothers of five year olds? The sooper dooper computer techno expert? Or the Examiner who raised five kids?

    Bottom line: the searching is important but it’s more important to use your effing brain instead of pretending that you were born yesterday (like half the Examiners and 90% of the computer-implementer habitually do).

    1. 9.1

      Yes all these are all so easy. We are still waiting for you to draft claims for the social networking app that will be used in 5 years from now. Oh wait…without hindsight your superpowers fail you.

      1. 9.1.1

        If time and money were no objects, I don’t think it would be that hard to do so.

        Of course, the strategy isn’t filing one application. It would be obtaining hundreds, either by filing them or buying them.

        And it’s not “drafting claims for the next social media app.” It’s getting multiple patents with multiple claims that the next social media app could be argued to be infringing. A slight but subtle difference.

        Getting a patent that reads on the next big app is similar to science fiction writers predicting the future; most of the predictions may be wrong yet some people praise them as geniuses and visionaries for the few they get right.

    2. 9.2

      MM, you do know how to illustrate a point.

      When the the Federal Circuit/USPTO began recognizing patentable novelty in non technical subject matter, it made a mockery of the patent system.

      1. 9.2.1

        A machine that processes information. Machines that are changing the way humans work. Not technical?

        Huh?

        1. 9.2.1.1

          It’s pretty easy for most people to understand the difference between a patent claim, on one hand, and an actual device falling within the scope of that claim.

          And then there’s NWPA.

          1. 9.2.1.1.1

            You want to take a shot at the legal difference, Malcolm?

            Feel free to use those short declarative sentences that you are always on about (just try to be inte11ectually honest).

    3. 9.3

      So who gets to…

      Translation: “Waaaah, this is toooooo hard.”

      That was the same C R P excuse the government tried o use – in the 1960’s.

      It was C R P for legal logic back then.
      It still is C R P for legal logic now, almost 50 years later.

      Talk about a lack of growing up….

  6. 8

    Classification is not solely about finding appropriate prior art. It is also a way to get an application to the most qualified individuals to examine it. The PTO remains organized based on the USPC. For better or worse, examiners owned the class(es) in which they worked. Good examiners kept on top of new patents issued in their class(es) and would become irate at those improperly issuing/cross referencing inappropriate patents in their class(es).

    Hopefully, the PTO moves to reorganize its art units based on the CPC. It will require time, money, and much grief. But, if everyone owns something, then no one really owns it…..and, as “Alex” says in 7…it will be rubbish.

    1. 8.1

      Until the PTO comes to its senses and stops handing out patents on information processing logic, they’d better create some new classes and hire some Examiners with non-technical experience. A bunch of Ph.D.s with backgrounds in logic and pure math would be a great place to start.

      The requirement for a technical background is rather silly as long as the system remains stuck in the information and info processing swamp where it’s been dog paddling for the past 15 years.

      1. 8.1.1

        Still waiting for your non-circular, non-FAIL definition of technological….

        Windmills Ho!

        1. 8.1.1.1

          Still waiting for your non-circular, non-FAIL definition of technological….

          Oh lookie! Greg A’s boot polisher thinks it’s impossible to define the term “technological” in a non-circular way.

          I tell you what, “anon”: define “FAIL” for everyone and I’ll give you one of several non-circular definitions. I’ve given definitions before (“technological” included) but somehow you seem to have forgotten that.

          Tune in next time when “anon” asks me to explain why all claims in the form [oldstep]+[newthought] are ineligible for the thousandth time, moments after he accuses me of never having done so.

          Do me a favor and ask your bff Greg to show up here on a regular basis so I can explain Prometheus v. Mayo again. I think he’s been giving Guttag the brown acid again.

          1. 8.1.1.1.1

            More (typical) dissembling.

            I never said impossible, nor have I have indicated so. I have pointed out that YOU have never done so.

            That is FAIL.

            See – nice short declarative sentences too.

            As to your pet theory – more FAIL from you as your “version” of “explain” just does not cut it or get you past the b@nal reduction to the no mere aggregation aspect that is naturally in the claims as a whole doctrine.

            But we both know that all you are doing is so your same old short-script game of spin-spin-spin.

            Yay.

  7. 7

    To be honest, CPC still is rubbish. It’s main advantage is that it doesn’t have decades of patents thrown into classes by examiners who were rushing out an allowance/didn’t know or care of as classification was correct.

    In 10 years this will mostly be lost and we need a new system.

    1. 7.1

      What would you do to improve the searches? How about separate the search from the prosecution with the examiner still having the option of searching?

      1. 7.1.1

        This would be nice if there were good searchers, but most likely what would happen is the examiner would get a search, and end up still doing their own search and taking just as long. So costs would go up, and no change on quality.

        Well, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe have teams of examiners. Have 2 examiners search 3 or 4 cases, meet at the end of the week, compare references, and then each writes up 2 of the cases based on the combined best art found. I don’t know, just thinking on the keyboard . . .

        1. 7.1.1.1

          but most likely what would happen is the examiner would get a search, and end up still doing their own search and taking just as long

          In today’s parlance, we call this a PCT application.

          1. 7.1.1.1.1

            Or any application – even US ones (when one compares what examiners do with applicant supplied art on IDS’s – Prof. Crouch ran a pretty picture – that actually conveyed information – on that awhile back).

    2. 7.2

      CPC is great for a lot of areas.

      Re: classifying, doing it in triplicate independently would be a much needed improvement.

    3. 7.3

      CPC is absolutely rubbish, I agree. But I disagree with your point about any “advantage” with CPC. In my art, US patents have been incredibly inconsistently placed in random locations throughout the CPC schedule. The USPC system (in my art anyway) had very consistent spots where particular kinds of devices could reliably be placed and found. In cpc, similar devices are scattered around completely randomly. I was told the Europeans classified the US patents into CPC (don’t know if its true). I’m sure whoever did it either had no time to do it right or did not give a rat’s ass about where things were classified.

  8. 6

    I completely agree that the single easiest way to vastly improve prosecution is to improve search.

    If a patent claim is invalidated in a post-grant proceeding with a different reference than was applied in prosecution, then the PTO failed.

    In reality, most patent attorneys want to get their clients claims that define over the cited art even if the examiner doesn’t know how to reject the claims with the art. Think about that. All those people trying to shift the burden from the PTO to the applicant.

    Reality. Please try to live in the real world and not the propaganda world of the anti-patent big international corporations.

    1. 6.1

      And think about it too:

      Case 1: patent granted with references A, B, C

      Case 2: invalidated in post-grant review with reference D

      Case 3: invalidated in post-grant review with references A, B, C

      I would say that case 3 is OK. That it is probably OK to put some of the blame on the applicant if claims are fairly invalidated based on references that the examiner used. The applicant probably should have taken a closer look and made sure the claims defined over the cited references.

      But, case 2 is simply unfair to the applicant. The applicant should get another go in prosecution under case 2 after losing their claims in a super-duper office action fueled by 100’s of thousands of dollars.

      1. 6.1.1

        I’ve seen case 3 come up when reviewing notice of allowance, and let me tell you, not many clients are up for filing an RCE to narrow the claims they already got. A continuation, maybe, but most patents end up in a stack for licensing or defense or just to make stockholders happy, so validity is often not the top concern.

        1. 6.1.1.1

          Did you even notice the subtle shift of “blame” to the applicants there…?

          Whatever the use of the property after Grant has ZERO to do with doing a quality examination each and every time.

          Zero.

    2. 6.2

      “I completely agree that the single easiest way to vastly improve prosecution is to improve search.”

      True dat.

      Of course, one thing practitioners and applicants can do is to come to grips with the fact that all U.S. examiners approach searching with the attitude of, “Let me see, I didn’t bother to actually read the application, but let’s take a look at what they’re claiming. Oh, that seems pretty broad. How unreasonably can I interpret that? Okay, now that I’ve done that, let me do some word searching. Hey this first reference has some of the same words as the claim. Guess I’m done searching. Time to write up this Office Action and show this applicant just how ridiculously broad his/her claims are.”

      Once you realize that this is the approach to searching that is taught, enforced, and most importantly, rewarded through the use of the examiners’ production system, you’ll find that you can draft claims that do a better job of getting some hopefully at least analogous art cited to you.

      Of course, I recognize that just because applicants have done the best they can do is not a guarantee of success. But you gotta do everything you can do. You can’t worry about the rest.

      1. 6.2.1

        Certain people will have the layers of their closed eyes be termed “laminate” and will cry out that those wanting patents are just “grifters”

        Or something.

        ;-)

      2. 6.2.2

        It would be nice in interviews with applicant if their representative actually understood the invention, or had the inventors on speaker to help out.

        1. 6.2.2.1

          “It would be nice in interviews with applicant if their representative actually understood the invention, or had the inventors on speaker to help out.”

          Ah yes, forgot to mention that. The incessant, tireless, remorseless need of each and every examiner to really get to the bottom of what “the invention” really is.

          So yeah, it does help to include a picture claim to help the examiner scratch that itch.

          1. 6.2.2.1.1

            The incessant, tireless, remorseless need of each and every examiner to really get to the bottom of what “the invention” really is.

            Well, someone has to do it. Gob knows you’re incapable of it.

            1. 6.2.2.1.1.1

              That’s the job of Congress.

              Oh wait, you don’t like the job they have actually done in that context – hence your curse-ade….

              How silly.

          2. 6.2.2.1.2

            “So yeah, it does help to include a picture claim to help the examiner scratch that itch.”

            It actually really does. There’s a whole lot of people filing those now in my art. I still have some folks in the AU making valiant stands at trying to reject them. A page long and just full of tiny details. Details just everywhere.

            1. 6.2.2.1.2.1

              A page long and just full of tiny details. Details just everywhere.,

              Some details matter.

              In the information processing context, most details are worthless baloney. If your innovation is “if you determine x, then infer y”, it doesn’t really matter what you label “x” and “y”.

              Eventually this will become the most obvious thing in the world to everyone and we’ll all look back at the system as it exists now and laugh. For now it requires hand-holding and an explanation of the difference between objective physical reality and abstract hoohaw.

              1. 6.2.2.1.2.1.1

                > “if you determine x, then infer y”, it doesn’t really matter >what you label “x” and “y”.

                Why do you bother to use words when you post to the blog? It doesn’t matter. Just generate a random stream of electrons. Doesn’t matter if you turn left or right in a car. Does matter if the oven is turned off or on.

                It just doesn’t matter. ‘Cause you said so.

                1. It just doesn’t matter. ‘Cause you said so.

                  Not because “I said do”. It doesn’t matter because, without any novel objective physical structure or new physical transformation in the claim, what’s being protected is an inference, i.e., a quintessential example of an abstraction.

                  This is easy stuff. The fact that you can’t follow it without me holding your hand is a good sign that you should stay far away any discussion of patents. But we know you can’t help yourself.

          3. 6.2.2.1.3

            It’s helpful to understand what the inventor thinks the invention is, because then examiner’s can focus their search much better. When I have one very broad independent claim, followed by 19 seemingly sporadic, divergent, random, sets of limitations, it can be really hard to figure out which elements are important, and which are just fluff. Because we all know that many applications contain a lot of fluff. I’m for limiting applications to 10 or 15 pages, absent a petition with reasons demonstrating a need for more than that. If the invention is an improvement, a quick paragraph or two of the state of the art to orient the reader is sufficient, followed by the details of the improvement. I don’t need the history of all technology included in the application, that just obscures the invention (if there even is one).

            1. 6.2.2.1.3.1

              This was brought up fairly recently – right next to a case that was creating patent profanity about specs being “too thin.”

              (You might also want to check out the trend on that other optional claim format that mirrors what you like: Jepson claims – let me know what you think)

        2. 6.2.2.2

          anony: had the inventors on speaker to help out.

          LOL

          That decision would depend on whether the attorney actually wants the inventor to get the patent or not.

        3. 6.2.2.3

          So who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of identifying available real estate? The sooper dooper techno “computer” examiner? Or the examiner with expertise in real property sales?

          Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of presenting bank account information on a display? The expert in display technology? The expert in computers? Or the examiner with a background in finance?

          Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of selecting “personalized” movies for later viewing? The soooper dooper computer techno expert? Or the Examiner with expertise in cinema?

          Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of identifying the most successful potential dinner date? The sooper dooper computer techno expert? Or the Examiner with the sociology background?

          Who gets to examine the patent on a computerized method of upselling cereal to mothers of five year olds? The sooper dooper computer techno expert? Or the Examiner who raised five kids?

          Bottom line: the searching is important but it’s more important to use your effing brain instead of pretending that you were born yesterday (like half the Examiners and 90% of the computer-implementer habitually do).

          1. 6.2.2.3.1

            Bottom line: you were standing there with Ned in Death Valley for 14 hours.

        4. 6.2.2.4

          It would be nice if attorneys understood the invention, too. I have had several try to clean up machine translations only to butcher them completely. As someone with a reading proficiency in a few languages, the clean up was laughably bad.

          TBH in more specialized art units that were hit hard and never recovered, many of the examiners are over qualified.

      3. 6.2.3

        AAA JJ all U.S. examiners approach searching with the attitude of, “Let me see, I didn’t bother to actually read the application, but let’s take a look at what they’re claiming. Oh, that seems pretty broad. How unreasonably can I interpret that? Okay, now that I’ve done that, let me do some word searching. Hey this first reference has some of the same words as the claim. Guess I’m done searching. Time to write up this Office Action and show this applicant just how ridiculously broad his/her claims are.”

        You’re completely full of b.s. as usual.

        Let’s see some of the claims you’ve “prosecuted” AAA JJ. then we can talk about “ridiculous.”

        And by all means keep stealing money from your clients with those wonderful appeals.

        1. 6.2.3.1

          Well it isn’t “all” but it is most. And many skew that way even if they don’t go full out like he says.

          1. 6.2.3.1.1

            Well it isn’t “all” but it is most.

            I don’t doubt that it’s true for many examiners in the kindergarten arts where AAA JJ practices (or wishes he did).

            But it’s not true for most of the Examiners in the grown-up arts. Because … grown up.

        2. 6.2.3.2

          Great “ecosystem” Prof.- blatant accusations of theft by the guy who is least honest in his posting techniques.

          Nine years and running.

          1. 6.2.3.2.1

            Right. Mooney can throw mud all he wants, but if I respond it’s moderated out.

            Heckuva job, Dennis. You’re a real POFS.

            Feel free to moderate that out too. You pr!ck.

        3. 6.2.3.3

          You’re completely full of b.s. as usual.

          Except not – especially given that the very first person replying (6) has held that very notion before being disabused of that fallacy by yours truly.

          You just don’t pay attention to anything not on that short script of yours, do you?

      4. 6.2.4

        Actually it’s not incentivized because amendments are worth next to nothing. You’re going to have to do the work eventually.

        How about you file a very specific dependent claim dependent on the broad claim that captures a narrow version of the invention, then they actually have to search it? And if they allow the dependent you know what is allowable is somewhere in between?

        That seems like it would be a common sense approach to drafting so they would actually, you know, search the invention instead of your bad claims.

        Our you could just blame the examiner.

        1. 6.2.4.1

          “How about you file a very specific dependent claim dependent on the broad claim that captures a narrow version of the invention, then they actually have to search it? And if they allow the dependent you know what is allowable is somewhere in between?”

          Can do. And do do.

          So how about you not just hand wave at my dependents, insisting on rejecting each and every single one of them with the usual, “Examiner takes Official Notice that it would be inherently obvious to optimize everything through routine experimentation” b.s.?

          Deal?

            1. 6.2.4.1.1.1

              I chew out examiners and applicants, hardly unilaterally blaming the applicant. Note below. I’ve said point blank to people that their rejections are bad but I’m not their SPE so nothing gets done and bad rejections are sent out with “arguments not persuasive.”

              But there is better quality in some units/examiners more so than others.

              Want better examination? Pay more and hire people with experience in their art. Or give retraining as other time.

              You can’t examine what you don’t understand.

              1. 6.2.4.1.1.1.1

                You’ve shown several times now an innate bias to blame the applicant. Your mere mouthing otherwise does not overcome what you are actually doing.

                As to “pay more” – you do realize that too is barking up the wrong tree, right? It is the Office that sets the fees and what not (even given there increased power to do so, as long as the aggregate balances out an all)

          1. 6.2.4.1.2

            I don’t know anyone who does that in my area, though. Didn’t realize they did that in other areas.

    3. 6.3

      I guess I am naive because I thought IBM was one of the worst offenders when it came to procuring ands litigating junky patents.

      Patent reform isn’t “big business” vs the small guys as you make it out to be.

      Also, anything said by an attorney should be taken with a grain of salt, considering attorneys, and not the rest of the world, including the “small inventors” they harp about, would likely be the real losers in any sort of patent reform.

      1. 6.3.1

        cat, did you check out that paean ’bout IBMs technical prowess over at Gene’s site where IBM was selling off its hardware divisions and obtaining patents on “information processing” were the technology was the new information?

        1. 6.3.1.1

          Nope. Link?

          I mean it would make sense bc they sold their superfund site I mean fab recently.

          I know a few people working there and from what I’ve heard their basic R&D in YH isn’t what it once was.

        2. 6.3.1.2

          Hue. I saw one of the patents they listed 9064743 (US20150123204).

          The claims are so broad you could sail an ocean liner through them. I also looked at the parent 8927338 (US20140367786).

          What do I notice right off the bat? No NPL citations for a research area that is largely academic.

          Five minutes of google searching yields a great starting point art for this patent. This is by John Rogers, who is probably one of the most cited people in this area (i.e. it’s not obscure in the least)! And it’s a huge field! I can think of dozens of professors doing research in this area off the top of my head!

          doi:
          10.1002/adma.200500578 (link to rogers.matse.illinois.edu)

          This article has over 100 citations, many of which develop the ideas even further and are even more cited.

          I mean, I’d understand if you cited this piece of art and searched related art, and then granted it, but the fact that the claims are so broad and no NPL is cited gives me little faith in the examiner, whose name is listed on the pdfs of the applications.

          Of course, that’s what you expect when you hire someone who doesn’t have any publications in the field in which he/she is examining.

          There’s even NPL by the applicant that could be used as 103 art.

          How does this happen?

          Also, all those applications seem VERY similar to John Rogers’ work.

      2. 6.3.2

        Patent reform isn’t “big business” vs the small guys as you make it out to be.

        Of course it’s not.

        It’s a public relations ploy, created by wealthy grifters who have zero understanding of how ordinary people think. That’s why they grift in the first place.

        It’s transparent and it’d be funny if it weren’t so dang p a t h etic.

        1. 6.3.2.1

          MM, we live in an interesting world where the problem of trolls has come front and center because the guys that are being held up have a lot of money to raise a stink in congress. With business method patents, banks, online commerce, and software companies like Google, are being harassed beyond belief by asserters of patents that should never have been granted in the first place. It seems remarkable that the Federal Circuit not only did not stop the PTO from issuing such junk, they were behind it in the first place.

          Prior to State Street Bank, patents at least covered technology if not inventions. Thus, the big protection racket companies could at least could justify their demands for tribute on some real contribution to the advancement of the useful arts.

  9. 5

    Speaking of low quality patents, on Gene’s site there is a paean to IBM’s technological prowess as exhibited by its sale of computer hardware divisions and its patenting “information processing” patents, numbers of examples given, where the novelty is in the information.

    I don’t know whether the article was intended to humiliate IBM, but it did.

    1. 5.1

      And, to those of you who have reported the PTO giving your information processing applications increased scrutiny because of your client, don’t you begin to wonder that IBM is being granted so many new information processing patents?

    2. 5.2

      Why do you keep up with your ridiculous comments regarding information processing patents?

      Gee, let’s see information processing is only the single most dynamic area of innovation in the world–with the US dominating the world by a factor of about 10.

      1. 5.2.1

        Night, I thought you were among those who were complaining that your applications were being held up because of who your client was.

        We know examiners have told us here that they effectively do not examine (give the benefit of the doubt to) applications from big companies.

        Regardless, even if there were a level playing field, the fact that the PTO continues to issue large numbers of very questionable patents is astounding.

        1. 5.2.1.1

          “Regardless, even if there were a level playing field, the fact that the PTO continues to issue large numbers of very questionable patents is astounding.”

          Why? It’s an entitlement program bro.

    3. 5.3

      “and its patenting “information processing” patents, numbers of examples given, where the novelty is in the information.”

      Wow, you mean solving a new problem by applying an old machine is patentable even though the statue says processes are patentable and the term “process” means process, art or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material?

      Whodathunkit?

      1. 5.3.1

        Ned (“Love that Benson”) Heller is simply mad. He stood out in the sun one day for 14 hours in Death Valley with no hat and no water. The last thing he heard before passing out was bend down son as a good samaritan was offering him water. Ned thought he said Benson and has never been the same since.

      2. 5.3.2

        and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material?

        A new use of a known process has to be a known process in a different context to achieve a different result. Otherwise you’d have a situation where you could patent a flashlight, and you can patent a process of illumination, and then you could re-patent the illumination process whenever you shine it on something new.

        A old process directed to a new subject isn’t a new process, it’s an old process with a new subject. Old processes are not patentable.

    4. 5.4

      I saw one of the patents they listed 9064743 (US20150123204).

      The claims are so broad you could sail an ocean liner through them. I also looked at the parent 8927338 (US20140367786).

      What do I notice right off the bat? No NPL citations for a research area that is largely academic.

      Five minutes of google searching yields a great starting point art for this patent. This is by John Rogers, who is probably one of the most cited people in this area (i.e. it’s not obscure in the least)! And it’s a huge field! I can think of dozens of professors doing research in this area off the top of my head!

      doi:
      10.1002/adma.200500578 (link to rogers.matse.illinois.edu)

      This article has over 100 citations, many of which develop the ideas even further and are even more cited.

      I mean, I’d understand if you cited this piece of art and searched related art, and then granted it, but the fact that the claims are so broad and no NPL is cited gives me little faith in the examiner, whose name is listed on the pdfs of the applications.

      Of course, that’s what you expect when you hire someone who doesn’t have any publications in the field in which he/she is examining.

      There’s even NPL by the applicant that could be used as 103 art.

      How does this happen? Actually, I know how: they don’t pay examiners enough and don’t give them enough time.

      Examiners who are underqualified are unqualified are not given proper training in the area in which they are examining.

      And again, I find it VERY unlikely the researchers at IBM did not disclose any of this as prior art. Especially considering they’re doing projects related to multiple research focuses of the Rogers group (I saw an epi-liftoff of multijunction cells application by the same “inventors”, that has been done to death by the Rogers group)

      1. 5.4.1

        And now, because for whatever reason the PTO can’t afford to hire qualified examiners or train unqualified examiners to become qualified examiners, a patent that likely shouldn’t have been granted in the first place may end up an economic drain.

        1. 5.4.1.1

          Oops, did not mean to question the validity of the patent.

          I meant to say “a patent was issued without a thorough search, and it is possible, though unlikely, because presumption of validity or something, that someone else may find prior art that could invalidate this patent, which would end up being an economic drain.”

          1. 5.4.1.1.1

            I know people love to use the words “paid poster” around here, but I strongly suspect the guy who wrote the PR fluff piece for IBM was a paid poster.

            Either that or he doesn’t bother doing any sort of background investigation.

            Also, kind of depressing seeing that the “paid poster” schtick only goes one way, when people could equally well be shilling for IBM, Microsoft, etc., or even IP lawyer associations.

      2. 5.4.2

        Cat, there is another possibility and that is that examiners give the benefit of the doubt to applications filed by the likes of IBM, but give hard treatments to applications filed by small inventors. Anonymous examiners and patent attorneys all but confirm this, either as a matter of institutional bias, or some directive to pay closer attention to NPE-type applicants.

        There is something to be said FOR this practice, as IBM typically just adds new patents to its pile with no specific intention to enforce. NPEs, on the other hand, have a much higher likelihood of enforcement.

        1. 5.4.2.1

          Maybe in software?

          Don’t really see that in hardware.

          And “no intention to enforce” from IBM? Yeah right.

  10. 4

    What do you mean by transition plan? The USPTO stopped using the old classification system for new patents as of June 1–and I stopped using the old system for searching a long time ago.

    And Greg A. has a conniption when his underwear rides up. ;)

    1. 4.2

      It is true that Greg throws a lot of conniptions.

      That being said, the fact that the change was (abruptly) made and you don’t even seem to get what a transition plan is for (or why one should be used in this particular translation) is likely ample justification for Greg blowing a gasket on this issue.

      1. 4.2.1

        Good grief, I know what a transition plan is. But you’re the one asking about a transition plan well after the transition has already happened. Also, the PTO had been using both CPC and USPC for several years prior to dropping UPSC for good.

        1. 4.2.1.1

          Good grief indeed.

          Failing to plan is planning to fail.

          Yes, I know the switchover already happened. That is not a transition plan.

          I brought up the topic with reference to Greg A., because he has gone into detail on the many attributes that will be Charley Foxtrotted because there was NO transition plan.

          Did you skip the real world on the way to becoming an examiner? Serious question, with minimal snark. Migrating from one system to another is not done (inte11igently) by the “flick a switch” mentality.

          Do I really need to draw these dots and connect them for you?

          1. 4.2.1.1.1

            “anon” Good grief indeed.

            Failing to plan is planning to fail.

            Thank goodness that you’ve been so far ahead of the curve with respect to subject matter eligibility. LOL

          2. 4.2.1.1.2

            Examiners were given 75-225 hours of “training” time last year (depending on CPC to USPC class correlations) to spend doing dual searches (both CPC and USPC) in preparation for the changeover at the beginning of 2015.

          3. 4.2.1.1.3

            Yes, I know the switchover already happened. That is not a transition plan.

            I brought up the topic with reference to Greg A., because he has gone into detail on the many attributes that will be Charley Foxtrotted because there was NO transition plan.

            There was a transition plan, it already happened, and every Examiner spent over 100 hours on it. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

            1. 4.2.1.1.3.1

              Thanks Random.

              Clearly I don’t know what was involved until you actually shared it – that was kind of the point = drive such fruitful contributions.

              Sorry that you didn’t volunteer that in the first place (or that the other examiner replied in a mindless manner which indicated a lack of appreciation for what a transition plan is).

              1. 4.2.1.1.3.1.1

                Making incorrect assertions then backpedaling is the best way to drive fruitful discussion!

                1. Becoming informed is not “backpedallong” you doush.

                  Read again what I actually wrote. Note the references I use. Note the context.

                  For one complaining on this very thread of others coming to an interview unprepared, your own lack here (and laying errant accusations on top of that lazy reading) tends to paint a different picture of where “quality focus” needs to be at: examination rather than “patent.”

                  Do you even recognize the shift-the-blame game you play?

  11. 2

    JJR –

    Re: “low quality patents” – something about glass houses comes to mind…. see your first sentence:

    “Low quality patents exist in part because it can be part to find relevant “prior art.” “

  12. 1

    Any news on the transition plans (or lack thereof)…?

    I know that Greg A. has a conniption on this…

    1. 1.1

      Umm, PTO transitioned Jan 1 of this year, that’s 7 months ago. Or so I was told. You can still search the old classification, but no new documents are added or classified under the old system.

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