USPTO hiring hundreds of new examiners in 2020

The USPTO has indicated that it is planning to hire “hundreds” of new patent examiners this calendar year, including individuals with backgrounds in biomedical, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering.

More here: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/uspto-hiring-hundreds-new-examiners-2020

Find USPTO Jobs Here: https://www.usajobs.gov/Search?l=&l=&a=CM56&hp=public&k=patent%20examiner&p=1

230 thoughts on “USPTO hiring hundreds of new examiners in 2020

  1. 7

    Down below, but worth exploring at top, I had posted a link showing increased US filing at the EPO in a sub-thread by Night Writer about his projected drop in US filings here in this Sovereign, and a resulting RIF of examiners.

    While MaxDrie’s comment went in an interesting direction (and may well be worth exploring by some academics), I wanted to provide a different direction for my comment:

    MaxDrie’s comment diverges to a focus on China (and the possible evolution of their content becoming more assertable), but the main thrust was different in at least two different ways:

    1) would their be the possible impact (i.e., layoffs at the EPO) if the US sees a recession…

    and to a lesser extent,
    2) The TYPES of innovation being offered as the reason for the increased US filings align with the type being pilloried here as ‘abstract’ but yet possible to be ‘scrivened’ in a manner to get around the ‘as such’ and ‘per se’ restrictions concerning software innovation in the EPO.

    These two facets provide an entirely different narrative than a “what is China doing” narrative.

    1. 7.1

      US application are even or dropping. They have been made up by China applications. China applications in China have been dropping.

      We should expect a significant drop in patent applications. Not sure how Mark Lemley will try to explain that, but I am sure he will spin it.

      1. 7.1.1

        Night Writer,

        THIS point is NOT about the US Sovereign, nor any activity here.

        1. 7.1.1.1

          Of course it IS.

          Think anon. Think it through.

          1. 7.1.1.1.1

            Sorry Night Writer, but no. I am the one that presented the point, not you.

            Sure, there may be ancillary effects and observations as to the US Sovereign (like, for example, why the EPO and not the US Sovereign), but those are not the main point I present.

            1. 7.1.1.1.1.1

              anon, you have a narrow point about whether inventions rated as “abstract” here are being filed at the EPO to try and get around Alice/Mayo.

              There are definitely some applications like that. There are areas where I work where I have never had technical objection at the EPO and yet they are held abstract in the USA.

              1. 7.1.1.1.1.1.1

                Lol – no one was saying that the point is ‘narrow’ (but at least you seem to be walking back a bit your attempt to insert some other point).

                It reminds me of your other ‘walk backs’ after you try to admonish me to ‘understand what others are writing’ — when I show that not only do I already understand what others are writing, i point out that you are not doing what you are recommending that I do. I fully ‘get’ that you have a point (a different point), but that just does not mean that every point must be subservient to the point that you want to make.

                Here, the point is that there is a parallel going on. Much like the Chinese have bolstered filings in the US Sovereign (making a pullout a concern for the US Sovereign), the US has bolstered filings in the EP ‘Sovereign,’ and making a US pullout a concern for the EP ‘Sovereign.’

                My second point DOES have to do with the nature of the US filings that have bolstered the EP ‘Sovereign.’

                I was asking the first to poke fun at MaxDrei with how easy ‘scriviners’ get around the “as such” and “per se” limitations against business methods and software in order to obtain patent protection for types of innovation that have been under attack in the US. Have you seen how muted his ‘enthusiasm’ has been for these facts? This is NOT just “some” as you seem to want to label this (leastwise, per the article I provided). This is a driver not only for AN increase, but for the LARGEST increase in the EPO.

                You need to be able to set aside your own points once in a while in order to grasp the different topics being put on the table for discussion. As I stated, this point simply is not about the point that you want to make about the US Sovereign’s condition and your predictions about that US Sovereign.

                1. No. I do not know the real identity of Night Writer, and it is doubtful that you do.

                  Likewise, you do not know my real identity (including my age).

                  Lastly, you rather miss the meaning of the use of the term in the context here.

      2. 7.1.2

        As you think about these things in the coming months, Lemley is a good case to think about.

        He wasn’t so great at the start of his career, but he started to deliver a message that SV wanted to hear. Each time he says something there are 1,000’s of paid people to push it and support it in every way possible.

        1. 7.1.2.1

          I certainly get your point about Lemley, and he does seem to have ‘cult of personality’ about him that is way out of proportion to any merits of his writings (writings of which are really logically horrible).

          What also strikes me about software environment is the amount of diatribe from the likes of Slashdot and TechDirt that is anti-patent and how very much a Lemming culture has been instituted in so many followers. The Lemmings are some really smart technical people who are really du mb otherwise.

          For many years now, one can read the vehemence against most all forms of IP protection in those forums. We have gone from a majority of “copyright is enough, patents are bad” to a “even though patents are bad, in this case copyrights are bad too” dichotomy. This is one reason why I have pushed for those who hold anti-patent positions to explain their contradictory views when they push for “software cannot be protected by copyright because it is functional” viewpoints.

          Many Lemmings simply cannot employ critical thinking when it comes to innovation and why we WANT to protect innovation by way of the “Exclusive Rights” mechanism of the Constitutional Patent Clause.

          What these Lemmings seem oblivious to is just who benefits from their blindly following the scripts that they have been given: the ultra mega rich and established entities of the Big Tech (one of the most aggressive entities forming the Efficient Infringer movement).

  2. 6

    Down below, my pal with the shifting historical pseudonym habit postulated about Night Writer with:

    Maybe NW has become infected with the pounding the table/making stuff up mental illness. I only read a fraction of what those two post.

    Given that well over 95% of the posts coming from Shifty is directed to me, and given Shifty’s penchant for game playing (including the Malcolm-like Accuse Others Of That Which The Accuser Does), the irony is quite delicious.

    1. 6.1

      and now down below (on the very same thread), my Shifty friend has quipped:

      you believe there are people that do not read what you type? … How long have you felt this way?

      Too clever by half, as the saying goes.

      See link to dictionary.cambridge.org

      1. 6.1.1

        Shifty appears to be under some delusion that his game playing detracts from the larger impact my posts make.

        He could not be farther from the truth.

        It’s clear that he views his attempts with distracting games aimed specifically at me (what is it now, Shifty, some 98+% of ALL of your posts are directed to me…?) to be a “success” because there are evident ‘rabbit holes’ of back and forth between his multiple shifting historical pseudonyms and myself. But he does not grasp that those rabbit holes merely hurt his viewpoint and have no effect on my viewpoints. He is simply not clever enough in his gaming attempts, and cannot keep up with my intellect.

        It’s a lot like how I described Malcolm.

        If** — as Night Writer has suggested — Malcolm is subsidized to flood this blog with a certain propaganda, then I have suggested that those doing that subsidizing should be aware that Malcolm does that propagandizing so horribly, that they should realize that the opposite position gains strength from Malcolm’s posts.

        ** I personally do not subscribe to the view that Malcolm is subsidized. To me, his posts instead show themselves to be driven by emotion and cognitive dissonance, rather than any type of cold calculating ‘greed’ animus. Malcolm appears to come from a place of abject disdain for the notion of personal property rights and the relation of those rights to make money.

        1. 6.1.1.1

          Shifty now down below has been busted in several of his game modes (even reverting to talking in the plural as well as having conversation with himself and his shifting historical pseudonyms).

          But he still is fun to toy with. Maybe I can have him stick around for another several hundred post thread that highlights his gamery….

          1. 6.1.1.1.1

            Shifty has finally shown a spark of intelligence — and run away.

          2. 6.1.1.1.2

            Well, it turns out that that spark was only a sputter…

          3. 6.1.1.1.3

            a
            l o n g
            dull sputter at that.

            Well, at least I get to make fun of him some more.

            1. 6.1.1.1.3.1

              They told me that you talked to yourself 7 times, which nobody ever read. I could not believe it. But it is true. Who, exactly, is “obsessed?”

              1. 6.1.1.1.3.1.1

                You do realize that these posts are to the public, and not to myself, right?

                If you want someone actually talking to themselves, that would be the plural you (in your shifting historical pseudonyms).

                1. “You do realize that these posts are to the public, and not to myself, right?”

                  If that makes you feel more or less sane, Snowflake, O.K.

  3. 5

    I remember the days of “we can’t hire our way out of the backlog!!!!” from the lifer management. Apparently that is not the thinking anymore. Not sure what the backlog actually is.

    The PTAB backlog is down to about 7,000-8,000 ex parte appeals. Missed the last PPAC meeting so not sure if they reported on it or provided any update. With the decline in IPR’s it will be interesting to see if most of the outside APJ’s they hired leave when faced with the possibility of having to go to deciding ex parte appeals full time. Of course getting paid to insert form paragraphs and write “you can put together references like a jigsaw puzzle!” ain’t exactly tough work so maybe many will stick around.

    Would like to see the ex parte decision time down to 6 months or so.

    One can dream.

    1. 5.1

      “Of course getting paid to insert form paragraphs and write “you can put together references like a jigsaw puzzle!” ain’t exactly tough work so maybe many will stick around.”

      You can reverse even easier than that.

      1. 5.1.1

        Probably true. But as usual you underestimate, if not outright ignore, the bias at the PTO that rewards saying “no” to applicants. There are no consequences for it, and only rewards. If a PTAB panel “allows” what the ign0rant media will term a “bad patent” there is negative publicity and criticism of the PTO. How many articles have you read in the last 10+ years lamenting “bad patents”? Probably quite a few. (Assuming you’re paying attention, which is a big assumption on my part.) How many articles have you read about “bad rejections” or “bad affirmances”? (Here’s a hint about the correct answer: I’m thinking of a big round number.)

        So the choice is clear: Do a teensy weensy bit more work (“What’s the In re Keller form paragraph number again?”) and face ZERO consequences for affirming the rejection, or reverse and be faced with whatshisname from Tech Dirt writing yet another completely uninformed article about a “bad patent.”

        1. 5.1.1.1

          AAA JJ,

          I hear you. 6’s ‘forgetting’ seems to be an indicator of epic proportions of those in the patent office who ‘conveniently’ seem to have forgotten not only the fact of the Just Say No ‘Reject Reject Reject’ era, but also have ‘forgotten’ of all the apparatuses put in place to propagate that mindset (including the fact that the revealed-and-Oh-No-Bad-Press-cancel-that-one SAWS program was admitted to be just one of the shadow programs).

          1. 5.1.1.1.1

            Anybody who thinks that the examining corps and the APJ corps are approaching cases with an objective mindset is either 1) somebody who’s never prosecuted a patent application, 2) not paying attention, and/or 3) lying.

            The directive at the PTO is, by their own admission, “build a record.” In other words, “just say no the first time and see what applicant responds with.” I watch the PPAC meetings and it’s an endless parade of associate deputy assistant vice commissioners for patent quality and office furniture allocation breaking their arms patting themselves on the back about how the “master review form” reveals that “patent examination quality is at 98.36%!!!!!!”

            It’s ridiculous.

            And it’s not just the examining corps and the APJ corps. It’s the office of finance (“They requested a refund?! Just deny it and see if they ask again!”), the office of petitions, the TC Directors, etc. It permeates and pervades the entire PTO. “Just say ‘no’ the first time and see if they call your bluff.” Those are the marching orders for every single employee there. And following orders is what gets them rewarded.

            1. 5.1.1.1.1.1

              The elephant in the room is how ALL of those that I would tag with an ‘anti-patent’ label NEVER seem to want to even acknowledge the point that you have presented, AAA JJ.

              Quite in fact, several (and specifically examiner types) have actively attempted to dismiss and downplay such instances as SAWS.

              Even though time goes by, and the historical point of the Office being proud of the fact that the Allowance Rate dropped into the 30% range for no apparent reason or change in applicant behavior starts to fade into the distance, there IS (as you point out) a deep rooted ‘culture’ within the patent office that exhibits the cognitive dissonance that “patents are bad.”

              And until Type II errors are treated as just as egregious as Type I errors, that deep rooted blight will fester.

            2. 5.1.1.1.1.2

              “Anybody who thinks that the examining corps and the APJ corps are approaching cases with an objective mindset is either 1) somebody who’s never prosecuted a patent application, 2) not paying attention, and/or 3) lying.”

              That’s more of a function of difficulty of teaching people to have an objective mindset period tho bro. That’s tough work. And I would say that the vast majority of people just aren’t up to the task. 80/20 rule.

              “And it’s not just the examining corps and the APJ corps. It’s the office of finance (“They requested a refund?! Just deny it and see if they ask again!”), the office of petitions, the TC Directors, etc. It permeates and pervades the entire PTO. ”

              That’s odd, I haven’t seen a lot of these denials of refunds.

              Though to be sure, it seems like something that is symptomatic of bureaucracies in general and you’re thinking the PTO should aspire to be “not a bureaucracy”.

              “Those are the marching orders for every single employee there. And following orders is what gets them rewarded.”

              Blatant hyperbole makes people pay less attention to any actual points you have bruh.

              1. 5.1.1.1.1.2.1

                “And following orders is what gets them rewarded.”

                That is not hyperbole.

                1. “Those are the marching orders for every single employee there.”

                  That part is. Which makes the follow on part just as my hyperbole as the main subject.

                2. 6,

                  I will grant you partial credit on that first part, but disagree that such makes the second part to be hyperbole.

            3. 5.1.1.1.1.3

              Please. I know several examiners who first action allow most everything they examine. They get rewarded more than I do (bronze medals, overtime, bonuses). There are no marching orders to all examiners to say no the first time, every time.

              1. 5.1.1.1.1.3.1

                “I know several examiners who first action allow most everything they examine.”

                No you don’t.

                1. Of course I do. Is that really impossible for you to believe that some examiners routinely do their entire biweekly production on Count Monday by allowing a handful of applications first action with nothing but a cursory search?

                2. “Is that really impossible for you to believe that some examiners routinely do their entire biweekly production on Count Monday by allowing a handful of applications first action with nothing but a cursory search?”

                  Yes, it is. That’s not going on anywhere in the PTO with any regularity.

                  There are no examiners “who first action allowance most everything they examine.” By “most” do you mean 50+%?

                  I guarantee you there is not a single examiner at the PTO that allows 50+% of the applications they examine on the first Office Action. Guarantee it.

                3. Feel free to provide the name(s) of any of these examiners you know who are doing that. It won’t take more than about 5 minutes to determine if what you are saying is true.

                4. +1

                  (by the way, while the client may be happy with such results, I would be deeply troubled — is there any data following up as to how the work of these examiners stand up during enforcement?

                5. “with any regularity.”

                  KEKSTERS. I guess that one old asian dude we all know of around my area that’s like totally searching EVERYWHERE and making a lot of 110%+ bonuses (I would guess probably with OT as well) is like totally looking at 10k+ refs per application, in depth, amirite senpai? Meanwhile everyone else has a hard time doing their 1k per app, I’m doing like 2-4k, SUPER ODD EH? He must be a regular MACHINE.

                6. “There are no examiners “who first action allowance most everything they examine.” By “most” do you mean 50+%?”

                  Literally all you’d have to do in my art to get over 50%+ first action allowance is skimp on the search and apply rigorous evidenciary standards, with the occasional interview to tighten up some wording.

                7. >>I guarantee you there is not a single examiner at the PTO that allows 50+% of the applications they examine on the first Office Action. Guarantee it.

                  IamI, are you enjoying your refund? Well Played.

                8. “Have fun.”

                  I may be wrong on this.

                  But in reading the comments to the article you linked, I note that comment 13 from a former junior examiner provides a possible explanation to the numbers, for at least one of the examiners in the report. Primaries are being credited with allowances (presumably including first action allowances) they sign for juniors, but not abandonments.

                  Commenter 13 also has a startling different explanation for the first action allowance rate by the particular examiner he discusses than your explanation (i.e. “…some examiners routinely do their entire biweekly production on Count Monday by allowing a handful of applications first action with nothing but a cursory search”). I don’t think the explanations are mutually exclusive.

                  I was on a bowling team with one of the examiners listed in the report. I remember him telling me that an examiner in his AU would allow every application that claimed foreign priority and didn’t include a preliminary amendment because the examiner knew the applicant and/or the representative would not pay the issue fee as the allowed claims were practically worthless. Not sure I believed it at the time but it wouldn’t surprise me if that was going on.

                9. If the statistics for those examiners do include every allowance, including first action, the primary signs for themself and for the juniors that report to them then I don’t think my guarantee is busted.

                10. “It won’t take more than about 5 minutes to determine what you are saying is true.”. Did you even do any research of your own, or are you simply basing everything off of what a commentor on that blog post said because you need anecdotal evidence to “prove” you’re right (which you’re not)?

                11. then I don’t think my guarantee is busted.

                  Then?

                  No matter how you look at this, AAA JJ, your guarantee IS busted. You want to add some caveats and make a different guarantee? By all means do so. But at least admit that your broad initial statement must be retracted.

                12. Of course I didn’t do any research. This is a blog.

                  The explanation in that comment in my mind casts serious doubt on the accuracy of those statistics as they may relate to the personal dockets of those examiners. I don’t have the time or inclination to check.

                  So you’re right. Doesn’t change one bit that the policy of the PTO, as stated over and over in their PPAC presentations, is “build a record” and the predominant mindset is “just say no the first time.” The anecdotal evidence I have from 21 years of practice confirms that for me. You’re free to believe what you want.

                13. “But at least admit that your broad initial statement must be retracted.”

                  I will gladly do that. As soon as you acknowledge that Ben is not the same Ben poster you accuse him of being from the Disqus days.

                  Until then, STFU.

                14. There’s a lot of irony about you going on and on about “preponderance of evidence”, and yet, in this case, you rely on anecdotal evidence rather than empirical evidence (like I am) in a desperate attempt to avoid admitting your guarantee was incorrect.

                  And you don’t have the time or inclination to check? You said it would take 5 minutes!

                  Yes. There’s a lot of training, even today, on building a record. But that doesn’t preclude examiners from writing first action allowances on most everything they examine. It’s not a belief. It’s a fact.

                15. I will gladly do that. As soon as you acknowledge that Ben is not the same Ben poster you accuse him of being from the Disqus days.

                  Until then, STFU.

                  LOL – you do realize how different the two situations are, right?

                  Or maybe your ego is just getting in the way (you got hammered – my suggestions about Ben are backed up with Ben’s own repeated tones and positions on topics. Sure, he may NOW be trying to distance himself from Malcolm, but he still drinks Malcolm’s Kool-Aid. Your situation — quite opposite — is that you were shown to be FLAT OUT WRONG. You then tried a little song and dance of putting in caveats and CHANGING your position, and rightly got called out for that change.

                  Wake up son.

                16. I said you’re right. That I don’t believe you’re right shouldn’t concern you as much as it apparently does.

                17. It’s part of the mental illness. He thinks the “last word,” no matter how bizarre, impotent, or incomprehensible to those who are sane, is a win. Thus,

                18. And yet again, accusations from the one whose target is 98%+ mwah, please go on about ‘cwazy’ obsess10ns…

                19. Sorry, Snowflake. You missed one. [what a maroon] There’s one thread (still active) where you did not get the last word.

                20. So immediately prior to your time stamp message at March 20, 2020 at 8:31 pm, what did I miss?

                  And is this your latest game?

                21. Still haven’t found the thread where you didn’t get the last word? Eats you up inside, doesn’t it? [now, he will lie] [what a maroon] Thus,

                22. I have not found it because it does not exist. You do now how to do a search on the blog page for all posts in a day, right?

                  Does “it” eat me up inside? I just consider the source.

                  Your move, Shifty.

                23. No, I do not now how to do a search on the blog page for all posts in a day. But if you do a search on the blog page for all posts in a day, that will not help you find it. Perhaps you should take an aspirin?

                24. So this IS your latest game.

                  Thanks for corroborating that.

                  It seems like an odd game, but no more odd than the (plural) you taking the (plural) your leaving to give me a last word, and then turning around and YOU trying to have the last word.

                  As I have noted, it is thoroughly enjoyable to watch you scramble in your obsess10n over me. But you are on an asymptotic slope, so it may be awhile to have your percentage of all posts directed to me climb over 99%.

                  Does your line of work require that?

                25. So, we see you Still have not found the thread where you didn’t get the last word. Eats you up inside, doesn’t it?

                26. As usual, you presume too much. Your game is exposed. Again.

                  The next move is yours. Try to make it just a little interesting.

                27. Actually, I did just make it more interesting on the missed thread you can’t find where you will not get the last word. Eats you up inside, doesn’t it?

                28. Nope, not at all.

                  But it is fun to see the level of your game playing and obsess10n with me. I don’t know if anyone else that has like a 98+% ‘directed to’ rate that you have with your posts directed to me.

                  Your infatuation is noted.

                29. So you want people to believe that you do not have an irresistible compulsion to think you must always get the last word. [eye roll] Thus,

                30. You show several errors in your question.

                  You make a presumption and assume the truth of the presumption, when no such truth exists, because the presumption is faulty.

                  You then double down with an implied assertion that somehow ANY choice of mine (wanting or not wanting) merely validates the false presumption in your question.

                  What is your line of work that you think that such cheap rhetorical t001s carry ANY weight in a discussion with an attorney?

                  btw, the ‘eyeroll’ — — is one of the few emoticons in the ‘Leave a Reply’ bar that has code that still works. Most of the emoticons have been disabled, even though the ‘Leave a Reply’ bar still shows them.

                31. We have no idea what it is you think you are trying to say. I pointed out that you want people to believe that you do not have some kind of mental illness compulsion to think you must always get the last word. To prove me wrong you got the last word. [eye roll; what a maroon] Thus,

                32. Your games just don’t make it so (even as YOU attempt to have the last word.

                  Maybe that last word should address your obsess10n with me and what your current line of work is.

                33. Now you can prove to all the doubters how sane you are by not thinking about hippopotamuses for the next 90 seconds. [what a maroon]

                34. … and into the gibberish game.

                  You’ve reached the end of the barrel.

                  Maybe now try something creative (AND cogent).

                35. And what’s your fascination about being taken to the woodshed? Is it a daddy thing? [oops. there are those hippopotamuses again] [what a maroon]

                36. Your game of Accuse Others is just not effective.

                  Do you have anything even remotely interesting?

                37. Ahh, the “Accuse Others” tell. Concentrate. Try to get those hippopotamuses out of your mind. Gone? Did you know that Wikipedia considers gibberish, jibber-jabber, and gobbledygook to be synonyms? Of course you did. And BTW, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti never had anything bad to say about you. [what a maroon]

                38. I suppose that there is a story behind the ‘hippo’ reference, but I am just not interested enough to find out.

                39. Meh, not really. I commented on your use, then went about my other things.

                  Unlike you and your obsess10n, your comments really don’t stick in my mind. As I also indicated, I am just not that interested in figuring out what game you are trying to play with that word.

                40. “Circle back to that definition that you provided”

                  Sure.

                  n. A large, chiefly aquatic African herbivorous mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius) having thick, dark, almost hairless skin, short legs with four toes, and a broad, wide-mouthed muzzle.

                  [what a maroon]

                41. You somewhat missed there. Provided – being in the past tense – indicates a definition that you have previously provideD.

                  This is the first time that you are offering a definition of a word (that I already told you that I just don’t care enough to dig into that).

              2. 5.1.1.1.1.3.2

                ” They get rewarded more than I do (bronze medals, overtime, bonuses).”

                Exactly. And the ones they don’t reject they just half assin’ the rejections. Gib star, gib OT, gib bonus for 110%+ with OT. Lulz.

              3. 5.1.1.1.1.3.3

                I’m not your son, d!ckhead.

                1. Ohhh, p00r baby, your ego just little bruised…?

                  Maybe you want to put down the shovel, instead of digging deeper (like trying to compare you being busted to the supposition that Ben now drinking Malcolm’s Kool-aid is the same Ben from before that drank Malcolm’s Kool-aid.

                  STFU” — indeed.

                2. “like trying to compare you being busted to the supposition that Ben now drinking Malcolm’s Kool-aid is the same Ben from before that drank Malcolm’s Kool-aid”

                  You might wanna take your own advice on the shovel.

                3. Except for the fact that what I state is plainly correct (and directly opposite your own digging). Feel free to provide any rebuttal (sort of like that which was shown directly to you, before your attempt to add caveats)

                  You seem to be having a hard time understanding this.

                4. “like trying to compare you being busted to the supposition that Ben now drinking Malcolm’s Kool-aid is the same Ben from before that drank Malcolm’s Kool-aid”

                  And I used to have another name and provided something he calls “Gifs.” He says he’s no longer paid as a shill. I tend to believe him. Now it’s just a mental illness.

                5. You do realize that you are copying my ‘tell’ meme, right?

                  Do you have anything original (and cogent)…?

                6. Invented?

                  No. That’s not what I wrote. However, here on this blog, I was the first to use that notion as a meme, and you are the first to copy my use of that notion as a meme.

                  It’s hilarious that your obsess10n over me is far deeper than you realize.

                7. Not sure why you would want (or need) a citation for that.

                  Do you need a citation to clean up after yourself and your self-flagellations?

                8. What is your definition of “Ding”…?

                  (we already are waiting for you to connect the dots on your definition of ‘vague’)

        2. 5.1.1.2

          “the bias at the PTO that rewards saying “no” to applicants. There are no consequences for it, and only rewards.”

          You always say this, but it just doesn’t bear out on my real life. If I say “yes” esp half assing the search and/or eval of prior art it’s all 100% upside unless there is a primary there to “stop me”. For judges nobody stops them either way.

          “If a PTAB panel “allows” what the ign0rant media will term a “bad patent” there is negative publicity and criticism of the PTO.”

          Super rare. And an unavoidable public policy/regulation/legal problem outside the scope of the office.

          “How many articles have you read in the last 10+ years lamenting “bad patents”? Probably quite a few.”

          Actually remarkably few in the last 10 years actually, they seemed to taper off about 8-6 years ago. Or I just stopped reading them.

          “How many articles have you read about “bad rejections” or “bad affirmances”?”

          If we’re talking about whole entire articles then there are few, but if we count comments then there’s a plenty.

          “Do a teensy weensy bit more work (“What’s the In re Keller form paragraph number again?”) and face ZERO consequences for affirming the rejection, or reverse and be faced with whatshisname from Tech Dirt writing yet another completely uninformed article about a “bad patent.””

          I’m just not sure any actual judges make decisions based on that. I’ve met quite a few of them and they’re all the time on about the law and policy. I have never heard them all that concerned about the press except over the BRI being applied in the new procedings under the AIA. If you had actual evidence of judges doing this then sure, bring it to the PTO’s attention and get them to nip that practice in the bud. Chances are high ya don’t, because it ain’t happening.

          1. 5.1.1.2.1

            “You always say this, but it just doesn’t bear out on my real life.”

            That’s what all of my friends at the PTO say. And then I show them one of my cases and they say, “Oh.”

            1. 5.1.1.2.1.1

              AAA JJ,

              Maybe you are on the Blacklist…

              1. 5.1.1.2.1.1.1

                IDK. I have cases in just about every TC except 1600. Hard to believe there’s a coordinated effort against me.

                I do generally believe, as the saying goes, don’t assume malfeasance when incompetence will sufficiently explain. Certainly don’t believe there’s a conspiracy when incompetence will provide the explanation.

                Many, many examiners are incompetent. And willfully ignorant. They will make the same rejections over and over no matter how many times they are reversed on appeal.

                At some point incompetence and willful ignorance becomes malfeasance. There are more than a few examiners in that category.

                1. The Blacklist need not be that ‘coordinated’ to be effective against you regardless of art unit.

                  I do generally believe, as the saying goes, don’t assume malfeasance when incompetence will sufficiently explain.

                  Fair enough.

                  As to your last point, when does willfully ignorant cross the line to BE malfeasant? No one should have to re-fight a fight previously won, so for me that line is at most three instances (and that’s for having some detailed circumstances). Generally, the examiner refusing to learn from more than two occasions IS malfeasance.

  4. 4

    My bet is that the USPTO is going to have to lay people off.

    Already original US application are down. And the Chinese will pull back. They are learning right now and spending like drunken sailors, but they will become more frugal.

    IPR are down 25% from last year. Don’t be surprised if patent applications drop 25%.

    1. 4.1

      Given the points below by Apotu, I think I that you may be on to something here, Night Writer.

      In other words, as the Office routinely hires (and trains) hundreds of new examiners (easy to see with just normal turnover), why would there be a more-than-usual ‘big deal’ being made? Perhaps many in the ‘new pool’ ranks ALSO see what you have been saying, and the intake pool has already dropped below desired target levels…

      Also parallel to my comment to Apotu, the fact that ‘our side’ has a much more rigorous side to being allowed to practice has an additional factor in employment dynamics: there is a HUGE ‘bubble’ effect of those with lower registration numbers that are imminently leaving the workforce (so an upcoming drop will NOT have an appreciable effect).

    2. 4.2

      “My bet is that the USPTO is going to have to lay people off.”

      Would you mind specifying a time frame so that your assertion becomes falsifiable?

      1. 4.2.1

        Would you accept an event rather than a timetable?

        Say… “during the next recession” … for example?

        1. 4.2.1.1

          The next recession is when I have been predicting it anon.

          There are some indications that it may happen without a recession. A lot depends on the Chinese.

          But I think it is fair to say that the Chinese are experimenting with patents with government money and may turn the spigot off or turn it up. Hard to say what they will do.

          But I am fairly certain that large US corporations will cut back significantly in the next recession.

          1. 4.2.1.1.1

            I hear you, Night Writer. My comment was to Ben, who apparently did not gather the larger context of your oft-expressed views with that notion of ‘next recession’ (apparently, eager to do as you note at your post 4.2.2).

          2. 4.2.1.1.2

            A lot depends on the Chinese.

            An interesting tangent for you, Night Writer: link to ipwatchdog.com

            Apparently, with the ability to (easily) get around the “per se” and “as such” caveats in place in EPO land, and obtain software protection, it looks like the EP system is being buoyed by the US (I wonder if you would consider this similar to how China buoys the US system).

          3. 4.2.1.1.3

            The Chinese corporations used to file huge numbers of PCT, get them WO-published but then not carry them forward into the EPO national phase. It seems that they have decided these days to put a higher proportion of their PCT cases through the EPO. I wonder why, and I wonder if they do the same at the USPTO. Are they getting more assertive, with the ever-newer technology they continue to disclose in all those emerging WO publications? Is it more assertable than the old rubbish that they used to disclose in years gone by?

            1. 4.2.1.1.3.1

              Is it more assertable than the old rubbish that they used to disclose in years gone by?

              Possibly, but not known at this time.

              That would make an interesting subject for some academic to research though.

          4. 4.2.1.1.4

            MaxDrie’s comment diverges to a focus on China (and the possible evolution of their content becoming more assertable), but the main thrust was different in at least two different ways:

            1) would their be the possible impact (i.e., layoffs at the EPO) if the US sees a recession…

            and to a lesser extent,
            2) The TYPES of innovation being offered as the reason for the increased US filings align with the type being pilloried here as ‘abstract’ but yet possible to be ‘scrivened’ in a manner to get around the ‘as such’ and ‘per se’ restrictions concerning software innovation in the EPO.

            These two facets provide an entirely different narrative than a “what is China doing” narrative.

      2. 4.2.2

        That’s the problem with dealing with you and others like you on this blog, Ben.

        You want to pin me down to specifics and if I am right, you will never acknowledge it and yap away as if it never happened. If I am wrong, you will yap you head off forever.

        1. 4.2.2.1

          I understand the gratification people get from preregistering an apparently unlikely prediction and being right. It vindicates one’s understanding even if no one else is watching. I don’t really get the point of making expected, vague, and/or unfalsifiable predictions.

          1. 4.2.2.1.1

            Ben,

            It is FAR less of the spin that you want to add here and far more in line with what Night Writer suggests.

            As you have long been a regular, you should have recognized the larger context (as I suggested above at 4.2.1).

            Instead of responding to my suggestion, you show your true colors with an attempt at doubling down (and you ignoring the larger context) with your attempted dismissal that hinges entirely on ‘no time frame given.’ Night Writer’s reply to me making this clear has a posting time stamp three hours prior to your ‘doubling down.’

            You may want to look before you leap next time.

            1. 4.2.2.1.1.1

              For what it’s worth, I broke my rule and did respond to you. It got caught in the filter for some reason.

              1. 4.2.2.1.1.1.1

                For what it’s worth, I broke my rule

                I literally laughed out loud.

            2. 4.2.2.1.1.2

              If you notice too, anon, Ben is just like some others on this blog. He plays the go do work game, the I forget everything game, and the I will not respond to substance game.

              He is just a troll anon and you are better off ignoring people like him. He is obviously some government employee at the USPTO, which is tragic as he is obviously no fit to hold any job where an ounce of integrity is required.

              1. 4.2.2.1.1.2.1

                I agree with you…

                … up to a point.

                Flat out ignoring posts does NOT work.

                All that THAT does is embolden the inane, and the wack jobs proliferate (there is a certain amount of “I saw it on Patently-O, no one disagreed with it, so it must be true” mechanism in play.

                Plus, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had at the expense of the inane.

            3. 4.2.2.1.1.3

              I guess anon it is good to have him around as he is like some mole with no integrity. It is possible to get some information about the PTO from him by reading between the lines of his posts.

              1. 4.2.2.1.1.3.1

                by reading between the lines of his posts.

                This made me chuckle, as I note several of the recent attacks aimed at me specifically appear to have in common a LACK of ability to read between the lines of posts.

                It’s as if my critics (such as Ben, NS II and Shifty) have en masse lost the ability to employ critical thinking or can only grasp figments of straws upon which to base their attacks.

          2. 4.2.2.1.2

            So you prove my point Ben. Actually, I’ve made the same prediction many times on this blog. That there will be layoffs at the USPTO at the next recession and that major corporations will reduce patent filings from 25-80 percent.

            You knew this and are playing the forgot all game. You are a tr oll, Ben. Plain and simple. You have no integrity. You have no interest in an intellectually honest conversation.

            1. 4.2.2.1.2.1

              >>That there will be layoffs at the USPTO at the next recession

              Ok.

              I bet that there will be no R.I.F. (reduction in force) involving patent examiners during the next recession as identified by the federal reserve.

              These are of course not perfectly contradicting statements because the PTO could dismiss some cafeteria workers and then maybe you’d claim vindication based on the breadth or your assertion. Oh well. It’s the best we can.do under the circumstances.

              1. 4.2.2.1.2.1.1

                Ben >>then maybe you’d claim vindication based on the breadth or your assertion.

                That doesn’t sound like me, but you Ben.

                You have no integrity.

                1. Ben’s the same guy that claimed I had no honor merely because he does not like my winning arguments.

                  (also the same guy that ‘upvoted’ nearly everything that Malcolm posted back in the DISQUS days).

                2. Anon,

                  I’m shocked that you’d want to reference this post:

                  link to patentlyo.com

                  Where you appear to believe that all binary mixtures of the same component have the same boiling point.

                  Perhaps I was wrong about your duplicity, and you just can’t recognize how disconnected from reality you are. Please show that thread to someone you trust, and test whether they confirm your interpretation of what was said and how it went.

                3. NW,

                  I’d ask you to quote something showing my lack of integrity, but I know you wouldn’t because it’s too much effort.

                  I would be happy to quote where you have without basis accused other of outrageous things (such as child harm) but (appropriately), Dennis deletes most of those posts. Lucky for you.

                4. Where you appear to believe that all binary mixtures of the same component have the same boiling point

                  That is CLEARLY not the meaning of my posts.

                  Your “shock” is disingenuous.

                5. I’d ask you to quote something showing my lack of integrity

                  This very subthread, and the link you provide in that you are trying to squirm out of the mistake you made (and ignore the fact that my correction of your mistake was directly on point).

                  The remedy to your not liking to lose arguments is NOT to attempt to spin those arguments, but rather to pay attention, acknowledge your error and learn from it.

                6. “You have no integrity.”

                  I’m sorry I wasted my time reading the whole exchange. What a maroon.

                  Ben, your first instinct was correct. It’s not worth your time. Snowflake’s (aka, anon’s) stock-in trade is vague and unfalsifiable statements. His acolyte NW thinks that works for anon, so why shouldn’t it work for me?

                  Thus far, NW has not yet been infected with the anon mental illness that results in pounding the table and making stuff up about any one who dares question his vague/unfalsifiable statements.

                  I can provide citations to the record concerning making stuff up. And also where anon’s own designated expert at last concluded he was an incredibly sloppy reader, writer, and thinker.

                  If given time, I fear NW might be infected with the entirety of anon’s mental illness.

                  Except for the occasional amusement, it’s better to just block them or scroll down to some potentially useful discussion.

                7. “I would be happy to quote where you have without basis accused other of outrageous things (such as child harm) but (appropriately), Dennis deletes most of those posts. Lucky for you.”

                  Maybe NW has become infected with the pounding the table/making stuff up mental illness. I only read a fraction of what those two post.

                8. Hi Shifty.

                  Are you back up to a 99% Response-to-anon rate yet?

                  Is that your current line of work?

                9. …which of course show the
                  L
                  I
                  E
                  that you are attempting her with “block” or “scroll down”…

                  You just cannot get enough of me.

                10. Ben quips: “but (appropriately), Dennis deletes most of those posts. Lucky for you

                  Tell me Ben, do you know who has had the most posts deleted?

                  More than anyone else?
                  More than everyone else (combined)?

                  That’s right – the very same person you upvoted at nearly every opportunity back in the DISQUS days.

                  How are those glass shards of a house that you used to have?

                11. Ben >>>I would be happy to quote where you have without basis accused other of outrageous things (such as child harm) but (appropriately), Dennis deletes most of those posts. Lucky for you.

                  This is a flat out l i e, Ben. You asked for an example of your lack of integrity and in the same post you illustrated you lack of integrity by l y i n g. I have never done what you accused me of and I challenge you to show me a post where I did that.

                  But you are a clear little f, aren’t you? You also included that somehow all these posts are deleted. No integrity.

                12. Night Writer,

                  and I challenge you to show me a post where I did that.

                  Did you not see Ben’s OWN use of making an assertion that is unfalsifiable?

                  To wit: “I don’t really get the point of making expected, vague, and/or unfalsifiable predictions.

                  and: “but (appropriately), Dennis deletes most of those posts. Lucky for you.

                  ALL that Ben is going to do is say: “Well, I cannot show you them (for you) because Dennis has deleted them.”

                  But he also “does not get the point” of leaning on something that is ‘unfalsifiable.’

                  As I postulated, Ben is a dullard. He does not win arguments because he lacks the mental capacity to fight arguments. He then gets upset that he does not win arguments and thus employs the tactics of others (like Malcolm) that also do not win arguments.

                  It’s actually hilarious to see how pompous Ben can be — even as he continues to lose arguments.

                13. You really do want that 99% obsess10n rate, don’t you?

                  You do realize that THAT is not a good thing, eh?

                14. You really do want that 99% obsess10n rate, don’t you?

                  You do realize that THAT is not a good thing, eh?

                15. It would be interesting for Crouch to see what your current percentage of all posts are that are directed to me.

                  I wonder if anyone EVER had such a following before in the fifteen plus years of commenting on this blog.

              2. 4.2.2.1.2.1.2

                >>That’s right – the very same person you upvoted at nearly every opportunity back in the DISQUS days.

                This is probably the best example of how you’re either a scoundrel or totally diassociated from reality.

                You insist that I must be a “Ben” who previously participated here. You repeat this despite my own protestations and my repeated disdain for the bottom feeder that the previous “Ben” supposedly appreciated. You never bothered to articulate any basis to counter these points. You just repeat what you think like an unattended id.

                If you really believe that I must be the Ben from the past: GET HELP. For your own sake.

                The first step is reaching out to someone you respect and getting their opinion. Now, no matter how tempting it is, don’t try to summarize the conversations or present some sort of edited selection. Tell that respected person: “Go to Patently-O, and review this conversation. I’m ‘anon’. Does what I say here make sense?” You need to let them have the entire context.

                If the prospect of sharing your behavior here with someone you respect makes you queasy, that itself probably answers the question of “scoundrel or disassociated from reality”. Enjoy your weekend.

                1. This is probably the best example of how you’re either a scoundrel or totally diassociated from reality.

                  Neither.

                  Now you can claim that you ‘are not the same person’ but we both know that this would be you merely claiming the metaphysical change (as reflected in your comment at 2.1 below). You STILL align with Malcolm along many of Malcolm’s anti-patent arcs. So while more recently you have attempted to distance yourself from Malcolm’s (empty) ad hominem laden screeds, the connections remain.

                  The first step is

                  You ASSume that you are correct in that I need any such ‘first step.’

                  You are quite incorrect.

                  We both know that YOU are the one getting upset in our conversations because I am the one winning the arguments.

                  There is nothing (for me) to feel queasy about.

                  As I suggested, YOU should change your tactics if you want to win arguments. You can start with recognizing when you are placing your feelings above your knowledge of the law.

                  I suspect that this will not be enjoyable for you.

                  I also suspect that this will take you much longer than just a single weekend.

                2. And actually Ben what you have done is commit libel.

                  It is clear defamation what you are saying now. I simply did not do what you said I did and now you have other repeating it.

                  Many of the top people in patent law know who I am including some of the great famous people that post on this site.

                  Watch yourself. I have boundaries. I would be completely secure in defending myself in a lawsuit by you. You have no integrity and your posts prove that. You false accusations against me are just another illustration of your lack of integrity.

                3. and now you have other repeating it.

                  Meh, that’s just Shifty. I know of no one that reasonably puts any credence into what Shifty says.

                4. Sorry, NW. Apologies. That’s the lowest of the low to pound the table and make stuff up about people without being able to prove it by citing to the record.

                5. “would be you merely claiming the metaphysical change (as reflected in your comment at 2.1 below). You STILL align with Malcolm along many of Malcolm’s anti-patent arcs. So while more recently you have”

                  So, Ben changed but not his name? Or what? Or it could have been Ben or the one calling himself Ben now? Or what? One thing is for sure: you will not even attempt to explain.

                6. “One thing is for sure: you will not even attempt to explain.”

                  [Yawn.] There will be the mental illness words to the effect that “there’s no need to explain” and then straight into the tired ad hominems.

                7. No, his saying “there’s no need to explain” might draw attention to something he said. My money’s on going straight to the tired ad hominems.

                8. Not even an attempt to defend his statement about how Ben is the same as the other Ben and yet not the same, or changed just to show him up, or something. Straight to the tired ad hominems. So I win twice. He never will defend his statement. I win thrice.

                9. Shifty,

                  You confuse your own illogic and being wrong with somehow this creating a need for me to ‘defend,’ where no such need exists.

                  You win nothing.

                10. … and you do realize that (once again) it is just you and I in this conversation, and this type of gamery from you has been tried before (and it did not end up well for you), eh?

                11. What? You’ll need to explain this “counting” theory of yours for the unenlightened. But more importantly, Snowflake, you believe there are people that do not read what you type? They do not appreciate you? They ignore you? Those bassards!! How long have you felt this way?

                12. From your own ‘A.Lincoln’ shift on this very thread:

                  A. Lincoln March 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm

                  I only read a fraction of what those two post

                  In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson…

                  D’Oh

                13. You’ve felt ignored since March 16 of this year? That’s not as bad as you indicated. How long have you felt that people are laughing behind your back?

                14. Translation: he means “imputing facts not present” is to him, in his own words, some kind of vague smiley face.

                15. “…vague…?”

                  VAGUE: 2a: not clearly defined, grasped, or understood : INDISTINCT only a vague notion of what’s needed.

                16. … and away we go….

                  Weeeeeeeee

                  (for you and your general ability to understanding most anything, pretty much everything must be vague)

                17. “My own words are not likely to help someone for whom everything is vague.”

                  Well, sure. What does “imputing facts not present” mean to you, in your own words, even though everything is vague to you?

                18. Ha! Your game is exposed. You are the one that lacks understanding, thus by your own definition, you are the one that is vague, and yet you Accuse Others Of That Which YOU Are.

                19. We already knew that, in your mind, the nonsense phrase “Accuse Others” means “What is your current line of work? Why do you run away from that?” Thanks for clearing up your definition of “imputing facts not present.” Now we know for sure that phrase does not mean what you think it means.

                20. Banal? In view of the other definitions you have provided, we have no confidence that “banal” means, in your mind, what the word actually means so we’ll just do the usual and laugh behind your back. But in view of the mental illness manifestation that requires you to have the last word — the last word as you think so in your mind, no matter how banal that last word — we will take our leave and enjoy watching some other monkey that has been made to dance. In the meantime,


                21. Banal? In view of the other definitions you have provided, we have no confidence…

                  Seeing as how every definition that I have supplied has been spot on to how I have used the word, your post is in clear error.

                  That error does not go away when you talk in the plural either. Talking like that only makes you seem to be even more of a nut case.

                22. “Seeing as how every definition that I have supplied has been spot on”

                  Cite? Multiples.

                23. “Talking like that only makes you seem to be even more of a nut case.”

                  Do you think that anyone who points out your mental illness manifestations is a “nut case,” Snowflake? Have you talked to anybody about this?

                24. “Seeing as how every definition that I have supplied has been spot on __ to how I have used the word __”

                  You buried the lede. Never mind. No need for cites. Just more of the mental illness.

                25. YOU are the one that brought up that I had provided definitions (which appear to cause you some angst).

                  What were the definitions that YOU were thinking of?

                  (and responding in your shifting pseudonyms does NOT change that tendency of yours to speak in the plural, nor in the impression that such creates)

                26. anon I: “Seeing as how every definition that I have supplied”

                  anon II: “YOU are the one that brought up that I had provided definitions”

                27. Shifty: “In view of the other definitions you have provided,

                  What exactly is it that you are referring to “in view of”…?

                28. Do you think that anyone who points out your mental illness manifestations is a “nut case,” Snowflake? Have you talked to anybody about this?

                29. YOU indicating anyone else’s ‘mental illness’ is pretty darn funny (at your expense).

                  That is, until one realizes that you might be taking yourself (yourselves?) seriously.

                  Than that is just beyond pa the tic.

                30. And Shifty, what happened to “and we will take our leave”….?

                  Did “we” lose “our” way in that taking?

                  Or was your desire for a last word too overpowering for “you all”…?

                31. I am certain that merely shifting to one of your different historical pseudonyms does NOT alleviate the “we” that was stated as taking “their” leave.

                  Busted.

                32. But you did not answer [you think nobody noticed]. Do you think, in your mind, that anyone who points out your mental illness manifestations is a “nut case,” Snowflake? Have you talked to anybody about this?

                33. You’ve tried that game before of asking a bogus question.

                  It did not work then. Why would you think it would work now?

                  Your game is up.

                34. You will have to help us out here, Snowflake. Which question, in your mind, is a “bogus” question?

                35. No one ‘must’ help you out Shifty — and as is quite clear from your game playing, you are being disingenuous in indicating that you are even seeking help.

                  Your game playing has been busted several times over in this direct sub-thread. Maybe it’s time for you to recognize this.

                  Or maybe, this is just more of your proclivity for self-flagellation.

                36. Now you’re not even trying. It was not my intention to get you discouraged, Snowflake. Have a nice day.

                37. With you Shifty, ‘trying’ is like sh00ting fish in a barrel, so your ‘observation’ of “not even” is not even close.

                  As usual.

                  Are the ‘plural of you’ yet ready to actually ‘take leave?’

                38. You still believe making stuff up fools anybody? Do you not remember? Or are not aware? That the last time you tried this serial nonsense you were shut down? Why are your posts deleted more than all other’s combined?

                39. Could you at least try for a little originality?

                  Do you not see how terribly b0r1ng your game is when all you do is appropriate someone else’s points (and rather st u p1d ly try to reuse them?

                  You really need to find a new line of work.

                40. I was the first on this blog to point out that quantity won’t make up for lack of quality. Why are you copying me?

                41. Basic logic: absence of disagreement is NOT agreement.

                  You seem to have zero actual training for a discussion on a legal blog. You never did give a straight answer to what your current line of work is.

                  Maybe in your next line of work, you align with something that you have shown proclivity for (although, I do not know what the current market is for court jesters).

  5. 3

    Will these hundreds of new hires receive any training, or will they be put to work immediately, issuing Office Actions to bemused Applicants? And if they shall be trained up, who shall be doing that work? The existing Examiners, perhaps? Or is the USPTO hiring new trainers too?

    In other words, will there in consequence be a further decline in quality, throughput and user satisfaction before it starts again to rise?

    1. 3.1

      Of course there are training programs.

      Maybe the better twist on your question is to scrutinize just who is doing the training and just what is being trained into the fresh blood…

      It is fairly well known that there are several virulent anti-patent strains of career bureaucrats deep in the Office that survive every passing of the torch of the Director. I personally know some that even dismiss the 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidelines as ‘did not change a thing, Rejections full steam ahead.’

      If these types are doing the training, then it is the taint and that type of ‘lack of quality’ that gets passed down.

    2. 3.2

      New examiners go through the Patent Training Academy, which is a rigorous 4-month course of training. The first several weeks are primarily coursework, although examiners are docketed new cases and have the chance to slowly start working on them while they learn the ropes under the guidance of their trainer (essentially their first SPE). In later weeks, the coursework gives way to a greater focus on examining cases, although examiners continue to attend classes for the rest of the four months, and attend occasional refresher training during the remainder of their first year.

      Successfully completing the Academy requires passing a proficiency exam, which is basically a “lite” patent bar exam that primarily covers the MPEP chapters that are central to examination (e.g., 600, 700, 800, and 2100). Later on, promotion to GS-13 requires passing the Certification Exam, which is similar in scope to the patent bar exam but shorter.

      Trainers and training assistants are detailees selected from the examining corps, although the Office of Patent Training has a large number of permanent positions responsible for things like producing training materials for the Academy, the examining corps at large, and for other internal and external stakeholders on patents-related topics.

      This is pretty much how things have been done for many years now, and we typically hire hundreds of examiners every year.

      1. 3.2.1

        Thanks Apotu,

        I did note a sense of “alarmism” to MaxDrie’s post, and your ‘inside’ reply is an excellent counter point.

        Separately, I am curious as to the selectivity in having examiners pass a “Patent Bar Lite” exam, while anyone on the applicant’s side must pass the full exam.

        Given the past whining from examiners (e.g., Random), would it not be better for examiners to at least pass a full exam?

        Before you reply, I do consider that passing that full exam is not easy, as the pass rates show (and it is to be remembered that a large majority of people NOT passing have both engineering AND law degrees, and have already passed a rigorous state bar exam):

        See link to uspto.gov and note that one has to go back to 2012 to have a pass rate better than 50%.

        Conversely, perhaps the public should be offered a “Bar-Lite” version (for example, for patent agents)… Goose and gander and all that.

        1. 3.2.1.1

          >>Conversely, perhaps the public should be offered a “Bar-Lite” version (for example, for patent agents)… Goose and gander and all that.

          Examiners who’ve only passed the “lite” exam have absolutely no authority and receive extensive supervision. That does not seem comparable to a patent agent who can at least theoretically can practice on their own having passed their exam.

          The certification exam should probably be made harder. Perhaps limit or eliminate MPEP access during that exam (Something like ‘an examiner at this level should be referencing the MPEP for less than 10% of issues, so you get 5 chances to look at the MPEP for 1 min over the 50 question exam’).

          An even better improvement would be to require primaries to pass a refresher exam every year to keep their signature privileges.

          1. 3.2.1.1.1

            Testing them would be pointless. Looking at the game playing, shenanigans riddled OA’s they cr@p out daily would be a better approach.

            1. 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Not sure if I would dismiss testing as pointless (although I do like your idea of folding in an evaluation of their actual work).

              Of course, such folding in should include an ongoing effort to remove the misstatements of law IN the MPEP (and related form paragraphs).

            2. 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Their work is already ostensibly reviewed.

              It would be harder for a SPE to interfere with a bad test score.

              I recent heard of a primary telling a junior examiner that when there wasn’t support for a MPF limitation, that the only proper rejection was 112(a). Pretty easy to catch that sort of person with a yearly quiz.

              1. 3.2.1.1.1.2.1

                How did that primary pass the full sig being that ignorant? Or did this person become a primary before passing the exam was required? Regardless, testing primaries isn’t going to change any of their behavior. They do what they do to get counts, not because they’re ignorant of the proper examination procedures and standards. They know how to get their counts. And nothing is going to make them change their ways. Certainly not some yearly multiple choice test.

                1. I honestly don’t know how they passed the sig program. But it wasn’t that very long ago, so they also must’ve passed the cert exam. As I said elsewhere, I’d be happy to see the cert exam get much harder.

                  The point of the exam suggestion is to force them to maintain a minimum familiarity with the law, so that they can maintain their signature privileges. It seems to me that primaries are more willing to sign their own bad actions than others’ bad actions. So a small fraction of incompetent primaries will fail the test, and then spend 12 months working as a junior, having to pass a slightly higher hurdle to get those counts during that period.
                  This would be a (small)win-(small)win. It’s not supposed to be a panacea, but rather a cheap, marginal improvement.

          2. 3.2.1.1.2

            Fair enough point on the patent agent reply (especially as you seem to indicate that the examiner side should be brought higher).

  6. 2

    Maybe they can contract patent examination out to the Chinese.

    There are already millions of Chinese locked in their apartments with nothing to do.

    They can examine our patent applications.

    Fluency in English is not required.

    It isn’t required now.

    1. 2.1

      >>Fluency in English is not required.

      Native English speakers complaining about fluent/near-fluent non-native speakers has been a persistent source of irritation for me during my career. In the classroom, office, plant, and lab I’ve seen monoglot native speakers disparage accents, word choices, grammar, and idiom usage. Despite these complaints, most of the time the intended meaning was immediately and completely clear. In the instances where it wasn’t immediately clear, any college educated person should be able to put in a tiny amount of effort and understand. So I came to the office rather hostile to complaints about non-native speakers.

      I now sympathize with applicants when I hear them raise the issue.

      1. 2.1.1

        Well that last line was a surprise.

        Maybe it was not the “accents, word choices, grammar, and idiom usage” that was actually being disparaged…

        Maybe it was the lack of understanding and applying the law, and these other things just showed a lack of linguistic ability on the part of the Office in understanding the Applicant’s position (which more likely than not was also immediately and completely clear in that ‘monoglot’ English), as well as being versed in the law….

        Heavens knows that even those in the Office that do not have oddities in accents, word choices, grammar, and idiom usage STILL have serious trouble in getting the law right (for example, those that can’t get out of the way of their own feelings about the computing arts).

      2. 2.1.2

        As per usual, Ben sets up some strawman and tries to make out people that don’t agree with him as bad people.

        Try to rethink your position Ben without the massive ridiculous ego.

        1. 2.1.2.1

          What exactly do you think my position is? If it’s not clear, or if you just didn’t read the full post, my time at the office has reversed how I previously felt. I’ve sincerely struggled to understand coworkers and seen interviews wasted because the representatives are just totally baffled by the sounds being tossed at them. It’s probably a small problem (in terms of % of examiners), but when you get one of them it can be a very serious problem.

      3. 2.1.3

        Whenever I read something Ben writes I get this feeling of dealing with a mentally ill person.

        It is like listening to an ideologue from communist USSR.

        1. 2.1.3.1

          Interesting — I ‘get’ the ego part, but instead of mentally ill, I am more reminded of a dullard lemming who just does not get how to apply critical thinking. Perhaps someone who has a touch of technical aptitude, but not enough to cut it in the ‘real world.’ Someone who knows ‘just enough to be dangerous’ (especially for a bureaucrat).

          1. 2.1.3.1.1

            I think ideologue is the key. Ben parrots his leaders with no understanding of what is going on.

            1. 2.1.3.1.1.1

              Ah yes, that is the aspect that I call the dullard lemming.

              We may be simply saying the same thing in alternative versions.

  7. 1

    I wonder how much recruiters will be pushing “telework opportunities” now that TEAPP slots are full. “In only 2 years you can get in a queue and start waiting for enough people to retire so that you can work anywhere in the continental US” isn’t nearly as good as the old pitch.

    1. 1.1

      Maybe this could be the new pitch?

      “There is a nationwide teleworking program that’s full, but you don’t want to be in that program anyways… in only a couple of years the locality pay for the Washington DC area will exceed the Examiner Special Pay Rate, meaning you’d have to take a pay cut and miss out on extra raises if you leave the area!”

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