Chair of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee

Most of the action in the House of Representatives begins in committees and subcommittees.  Over the past several terms, patent law legislation and USPTO oversight have primarily been handled by the Judiciary Committee, and particularly the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, with the subcommittee chair often driving the discussion and proposals.

As Republicans take charge in the House, the new Speaker (along with the Judiciary Chair) will need to also name an IP Subcommittee chair.  There are two leading candidates:

  • Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from San Diego, California; and
  • Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Northern Kentucky.

Both Issa and Massie are non-traditional judiciary committee members as neither are attorneys.  However, each has lots of experience in electronics and creating products, and with patents.  Issa asks great questions and is a powerful agency watchdog.  But, Massie is the one that truly believes in patents as an element of a strong libertarian property rights system.  In recent days, USInventor has been lobbying against Rep. Issa and has indicated to me that it would strongly support Rep. Massie.

I remember first hearing Rep. Issa’s voice on vehicle alarm systems back in the early 1990s saying: “protected by Viper, stand back.”  But, it is Massie’s patents that are particularly cool, most of which focus on haptic feedback mechanisms.

 

70 thoughts on “Chair of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee

  1. 9

    I haven’t seen 6 in a while, but this clip with its ‘AI as overlords’ tone reminded me of him:

    link to youtu.be

  2. 8

    Three comments awaiting moderation and counting …

    This is tiresome.

    1. 8.1

      Frequently, yes.

      1. 8.1.1

        OT (but most of the comments are OT already), but I occasionally peruse 717 Madison Place (the website) as it discusses oral arguments at the Federal Circuit. I just ran across the following snippet (you can hear the audio) from Judge Moore. I actually laughed when I heard it:

        I think you may be the only person I’ve ever heard . . . say that we have somehow created bright lines in 101. I can’t think of anything that’s further from the truth.

        Chief Judge Moore, Oral Argument in ADASA INC. v. AVERY DENNISON CORPORATION, No. 2022-1092 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 16, 2022) at 00:34.

        What I also found amusing was just how quickly she pounced on counsel’s statement.

        1. 8.1.1.1

          That is funny. I will have to download that oral argument and listen to hear the context around that statement. Hard to imagine what the lawyer could have meant.

          1. 8.1.1.1.1

            I haven’t heard the whole argument, but given the timeline, I think it was his opening statement. TBH, its got to be a little flustering to be attacked by a judge so quickly.

            As it turns out, this case was already decided and the Federal Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment that claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 9,798,967 is directed to eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C § 101.

            1. 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Listened yesterday while I walked my dog. As you surmised, it was his opening line. In context, I did not hear Judge Moore’s response as an “attack,” but more like a tension-breaking quip.

              The frustrating bit was that A-D really wanted to win this one on §101 grounds. The panel kept telling A-D’s lawyer that they found the §101 arguments weaker than the §102 arguments, and urging him to move on. He just would not let go.

  3. 7

    “What’s good for the goose (carpetbagger me) is not good for the gander (all other inventors).”

    — Darrell Issa

  4. 6

    Here’s an interesting intellectual property question wrapped in an alleged constitution question. Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz has petitioned an Arizona judge to not be sanctioned for providing legal advice to Kari Lake for her lawsuit claiming the 2022 election was stolen from her.
    U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi threw out the filings by Lake and fellow election denier Mark Finchem after ruling that their claims that “..were little more than speculation, backed only by ‘vague’ allegations about electronic voting systems generally.” Following that ruling, Tuchi ruled that the pair’s attorneys were liable for legal fees incurred by Maricopa County in the amount of $141,690.In his filing, Dershowitz stated he was only a consultant and not a participant in the failed legal maneuver.
    Dershowitz, in a declaration claimed “My role was expressly limited to the potential for future abuses based on the unwillingness of voting machine companies to disclose the inner workings of their machines,’’ he added, before elaborating, “I helped to develop the following argument: When a private company is hired by the government to perform a quintessential government function such as vote counting, it cannot refuse to provide relevant information about the workings of its machines on the grounds of business secrets.’’
    Note that this is a serious anti-IPR assertion – that companies must give up their trade secret technologies to sell essential government equipment. Comments?

    1. 6.1

      I think it’s less of an issue than you suggest; normal businesses routinely get comfortable with rights of inspection of their proprietary source code. Moreover, even if they had to release the full source code, that code would still be protected by copyright, so pretty hard to use*

      That said, I guess I’d put the ultimate fault on Maricopa County for using a closed-source vendor for something as important to “Our Democracy” as voting.

      *it might even contaminate the industry i.e., serve as a de facto barrier to entry.

    2. 6.2

      Interesting point. As someone that did a little bit of graduate work on security, I just don’t believe these machines are secure. There are so many ways to defeat security without paper ballots to perform verification.

      The whole voting issue is insanity. PWC could come up with a system that would be fool proof and that everyone would trust and that could be verified by outside accounting firms.

      1. 6.2.1

        The whole voting issue is insanity. PWC could come up with a system that would be fool proof and that everyone would trust and that could be verified by outside accounting firms.
        I can Guarantee you (with a capital “G”) that if the wrong person got elected, that there would still be people complaining about the election process.

        There are plenty of ways to fix the voting system that does not involve making it harder to vote, bit that requires a will to do so. However, it seems more politically-expedient to complain about the voting system than it is to fix the voting system.

        1. 6.2.1.1

          There are plenty of ways to fix the voting system that does not involve making it harder to vote,

          Certainly, but you imbibe a logical fallacy in the presented presumption that “easier to vote” must be a panacea with no concerns for vote integrity.

          It just isn’t so.

      2. 6.2.2

        This is not a voting security issue, because numerous court challenges, including some hand recounts of the paper ballots fed into machines, have not changed any election outcomes. If anything, forcing full software disclosures [destroying proprietary trade secrets] of vote counting machines might lead to making it easier for someone to break into them? As OC noted, if someone really wants voting machines with fully disclosed software they should buy them. [I suspect the only proprietary software here is in optical recognition of poorly marked spots versus unmarked spots, not in counting up and storing the votes with some simple counting circuits.]
        Baseless voting machine error allegations by sore political losers is a new and rampant trend. It should substantially decrease after the pending major business defamation suits by voting machine companies and additional attorney sanctions and/or disbarments of baseless lawsuit perpetrators. Sore losers will have to assert other excuses and allegations, as they have before.

        1. 6.2.2.1

          “Sore losers” and “election deniers” span both sides of the aisle Paul.

          I am sure that you are well aware of that, eh?

        2. 6.2.2.2

          This is not a voting security issue,

          Well Paul, YOUR hypo certainly WAS a voting security issue — that you so eagerly jump to a political speaking point rather shows your hypo was a pretext.

        3. 6.2.2.3

          >. If anything, forcing full software disclosures [destroying proprietary trade secrets] of vote counting machines might lead to making it easier for someone to break into them?

          The opposite is more likely. So-called “security through obscurity” is horrible in practice.

        4. 6.2.2.4

          Have you seen the video of all the dems condemning voting machines before Trump was elected. It is a hoot! Suddenly, NOW they are secure!

          Using the same machines to recount the ballots a second time is not a check. Hand counting the ballots to make sure the machine and the handcount matches is. I was a poll watcher at a precinct this year. I asked for a check of the count on the machine versus the voter list twice. Both times, the machine had an extra vote. How can that be? The Judge of Elections could reconcile one of the missing voters, but not the other.

          BTW, when Stacey Abrams and Hillary complained for years that the election was stolen from them. Hillary still does. Were they election deniers?

          1. 6.2.2.4.1

            Oh, and we have almost 10,000 precincts in my state. One or two extra votes per precinct could swing an election.

          2. 6.2.2.4.2

            Have you seen the video of all the dems condemning voting machines before Trump was elected. It is a hoot! Suddenly, NOW they are secure!

            Speaking as a democratic partisan, I would be happy to see federal standards about the transparency and reliability of voting machines enacted into federal law. Presumably this could be a point of bipartisan cooperation, no?

            I think, however, that “condemning voting machines” is a rather vague point to discuss. Some voting machines deserve condemnation, and others do not. Two quick thoughts:

            (1) Many people—and Pres. Trump’s supporters in particular—purported to be upset about how long it was taking to count votes after both the 2020 and 2022 elections. If we value speed of counting, then it follows that there will be machines involved in the count process. Calls for hand-counts will make things much more time-consuming, but not any more accurate.

            (2) In view of point #1 above, it seems to me that we should agree that only a limited set of machines are acceptable for use in U.S. elections. Specifically, the machines should be set to read and tabulate paper ballots. In other words, no “purely” electronic voting machines allowed. There should be laws regulating for how long after an election these ballots must be retained, and for specified statutory protocols regarding the security of their storage and who has access for which purposes.

            The laws should also specify how and by whom the operation of the machines can be audited. The goal should be to achieve as much transparency as may be practically achieved, but there can be no “heckler’s veto” to the side dissatisfied with the outcome.

            Hillary still does [complain that the election was stolen from her].

            This is errant nonsense, and I dare say that you know it. Sen. Clinton promptly acknowledged Mr. Trump as the winner of the 2016 election within days of the count being settled. She has never contested the legality of the outcome, either in court or in the popular discourse. You demean yourself by pretending otherwise.

            1. 6.2.2.4.2.1

              Oh, and there already are laws. Papers must be kept for 22 months for federal elections.

              1. 6.2.2.4.2.1.1

                We may be talking past each other here. My point is that federal law should require that local election administrators not merely keep paper records, but that they should use paper ballots. As there is no law at present requiring the use of paper ballots, there is also no law specifying how long those ballots must be retained.There should be a law specifying both the use of paper ballots and some minimum time post election during which those ballots must be retained.

            2. 6.2.2.4.2.2

              This comment is awaiting moderation?

              “People are concerned about adding votes AFTER election day. You have misstated the issue. It takes them so long to count because they mysteriously come up with the votes they need, mostly in their favor.

              As for Hillary, she conceded, but has continued complaining. Sorry, it is there for you to see.

              And her campaign joined recounting efforts initiated by the Green Party candidate. link to cnn.com

              And she called for the Electoral College to be abolished, as she blamed it for her loss in her memoir “What Happened.” link to cnn.com

              Hillary was still claiming the election was illegitimate in 2020.
              link to yahoo.com

              How do you not know this?’

              1. 6.2.2.4.2.2.1

                Because more than likely he only uses the (biased) Main Stream Media sources.

                1. But it was reported by CNN. Of course, it wasn’t looped every night for weeks like other stories…

              2. 6.2.2.4.2.2.2

                People are concerned about adding votes AFTER election day. You have misstated the issue. It takes them so long to count because they mysteriously come up with the votes they need, mostly in their favor.

                This is all fantasy and invention. Why are we discussing such folderol?

                As for Hillary, she conceded, but has continued complaining.

                Complain, yes. Complain that the election was “stolen,” no. I am objecting specifically to the assertion that she contends that her election was stolen. This is not true, and you know it.

                [H]er campaign joined recounting efforts initiated by the Green Party candidate.

                A recount does not equal an assertion that the election was stolen. She participated in the recounts, and at the end of those recounts she acknowledged that Mr. Trump had won the three contested states. That is the opposite of asserting that the election had been stolen.

                [S]he called for the Electoral College to be abolished, as she blamed it for her loss in her memoir “What Happened.”

                Right. Once again, none of this amounts to an accusation that the election was “stolen.” One can believe that the electoral college is a bad way to elect a president without simultaneously contending that the president elected in this manner has “stolen” the office.

                Hillary was still claiming the election was illegitimate in 2020. link to yahoo.com

                I rather wish that Sen. Clinton had not used the word “illegitimate,” but that is really not the same as “stolen.” Imagine that Usain Bolt and Wallace Spearmon are competing in the 200 m dash. The starter’s gun sounds and both runners start. At the 110 m mark, some random malcontent in the crowd throws a rotten tomato that hits Bolt in the face. Bolt stumbles while Spearmon sweeps across the finish line.

                There is no plausible argument that Spearmon “stole” that victory from Bolt. Both runners were running their fastest, and Spearmon crossed the finish line first. Still and all, it is not exactly a “legitimate” victory, because Bolt faced an obstacle that Spearmon did not. Spearmon did not cause that malcontent to throw the tomato, but he still cannot quite feel that he won the race “fair & square,” given the course of events.

                1. Your hair-splitting, and goal-shifting is amazing.

                  “This is errant nonsense, and I dare say that you know it. Sen. Clinton promptly acknowledged Mr. Trump as the winner of the 2016 election within days of the count being settled. She has never contested the legality of the outcome, either in court or in the popular discourse. You demean yourself by pretending otherwise.”

                  You demean yourself by repeatedly showing lack of knowledge about Hillary. How about admitting that you were wrong? Hillary has whined about losing for YEARS.

                  Oh, and here she is saying “you can have an election stolen from you.” link to usatoday.com

                  As for adding votes, this happened in AZ this election, in PA in 2020, and the first one I really remember is Al Franken, when they kept finding votes in the back of cars. You really need to get out of whatever news bubble you are in.

                2. What???
                  Greg-I-Use-My-Real-Name-DeLassus is engaged in dissembling on a topic detrimental to his personal political views?

                  I am astounded.

                  and /s

      3. 6.2.3

        “As someone that did a little bit of graduate work on security, I just don’t believe these machines are secure. There are so many ways to defeat security without paper ballots to perform verification.”

        “These machines” in Arizona use paper ballots.

        1. 6.2.3.1

          I am speaking in general Ben. And the issues in Arizona were allegations of intentionally making it hard for people to vote in R dominated areas.

          Where I vote they now have paper ballots but there they used to be all electronic.

          I am talking about getting someone like PWC to come up with a scheme where there could be no doubt the votes were fairly counted. And where everyone has a fair chance to vote. This would not be hard. The problem is the local governments.

          1. 6.2.3.1.1

            I don’t disagree that our election processes should be improved.

            Though I think that a strong system would set those improvements top-down and across the board. So I blame the feds rather than local governments.

            1. 6.2.3.1.1.1

              Ben,

              You need a refresher on basic civics, as your desire for an ultra top-down Federal control violates our State/Federal balance.

    3. 6.3

      To my mind, it is not crazy to insist on a degree of transparency for election equipment manufacturers that goes beyond what we insist for (e.g.) road tar purveyors or caterers. The larger thrust of trade secret law would be scarcely affected by carving out such an exception.

      1. 6.3.1

        You mean a little sunshine, Greg?

        (Careful there, as you may cause Paul to have a conniption about such vague language )

      2. 6.3.2

        Also reminds me a bit of the anti-patent folk who claim to have studies showing “how bad” patent holders have been (in the “Oh N0es, Tr011s” propaganda mode), with ‘closed sets of data’ which they refuse to share.

        Nothing untoward with what we are doing — trust us.

  5. 5

    Massie believes in strong patents because “patents [are] an element of a strong libertarian property rights system”?

    Or more likely Massie believes in patents because they promote innovation. See below. Dennis continues to become more Woke.

    >>In 1993, at MIT, Massie and his wife started a company called SensAble Devices Inc.[12] He completed his bachelor’s degree the same year and wrote his thesis, Design of a three-degree of Freedom force-reflecting haptic interface.[13][14] In 1995 Massie won the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventors[8] and the $10,000 David and Lindsay Morgenthaler Grand Prize in the sixth annual MIT $10K Entrepreneurial Business Plan Competition.[15] In 1996 his company was reincorporated as SensAble Technologies, Inc., after partner Bill Aulet joined.[12] It raised $32 million of venture capital, had 24 patents, and 70 other employees.[16]

      1. 5.1.1

        I wonder what you mean…

        And ever shall. “Woke” has no clear and definite meaning. It is merely an all-purpose epithet for the lazy to fling in place of a real and substantive critique.

        1. 5.1.1.1

          And ever shall. “Woke” has no clear and definite meaning. It is merely an all-purpose epithet for the lazy to fling in place of a real and substantive critique.
          This.

          Come to think of it, the term “Woke” isn’t a real criticism — rather, its real use is in identifying like-minded individuals to one another.

          1. 5.1.1.1.1

            “Woke” isn’t a real criticism

            Substantively, I believe that this is correct. It is fairly clear, however, from context that 90% of the time it is intended as a disparagement.

          2. 5.1.1.1.2

            >“Woke” isn’t a real criticism

            Even more so, the term “woke” originated as a self-label, akin to “progressive” or “pro-choice.”

            1. 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Even more so, the term “woke” originated as a self-label, akin to “progressive” or “pro-choice.”
              That is correct. However, today it is mostly used by the right as a pejorative.

              1. 5.1.1.1.2.1.1

                Corrected for you:

                It is mainly used by anyone not Far Left — including traditional liberals — as a pejorative against those Sprinting Left.

                Please stop one-bucketing anyone who does not agree with those Sprinting Left as “Right Wing.”

                1. It is mainly used by anyone not Far Left — including traditional liberals — as a pejorative against those Sprinting Left.
                  I haven’t heard it used by anyone other than those on the right. Perhaps there are exceptions, but I have not run across any of those in the wild.

                  Please stop one-bucketing anyone
                  says the king of one-bucketing … LOL

        2. 5.1.1.2

          Woke means something, and it does not mean what he’s acting like it means. What he’s doing is no different than progressives who label every conservative idea “fascist.” This rhetorical technique is corrosive to the national discourse, and should not be minimized.

          1. 5.1.1.2.1

            What he’s doing is no different than progressives who label every conservative idea “fascist.”

            The analogy is very apt. “Fascist”—like “woke”—is a meaningless and lazy epithet. Neither have any precise, objective content. The use of either term says more about the one hurling the charge than it does about the one being thus described.

            1. 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Y
              A
              W
              N

              Greg merely wants to dismiss any notion that his views are suspect.

              “Nothing to see here – trust us

      2. 5.1.2

        Woke is definitely a disparagement (and often self-induced at that).

        Prof Crouch, the criticism was not “Woke Patent Law,” but rather that your tendencies (not the law) have been to the Liberal Left.

        To that I say, meh — that may happen on occasion, but by no means do you exhibit the level of mindlessness that others to which that label applies have done in this forum.

        1. 5.1.2.1

          To that I say, meh — that may happen on occasion, but by no means do you exhibit the level of mindlessness that others to which that label applies have done in this forum.
          As one who is fond of using the term “Woke,” perhaps you could enlighten us as to a particular meaning for that term. Not that I’m holding out hope as I know you are really adverse to providing explanations.

          However, I wanted to give you an opportunity to explain what makes someone “Woke.”

          To give you a head start, here is the headline definition that Wikipedia provides:
          Woke (/ˈwoʊk/ WOHK) is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”. Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism, and has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans.

          1. 5.1.2.1.1

            Asked and answered.

            But you prefer to not engage on the actual substantive teachings of Dr. James Lindsay.

            The bad is all on you.

            1. 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Asked and answered.
              I knew you wouldn’t answer it. This is a classic Anon response — declare that you answered the question some indeterminate time ago in some random post that no one recalls (aside from yourself). YOU ARE SO PREDICTABLE.

              But you prefer to not engage on the actual substantive teachings of Dr. James Lindsay.
              I would be happy to engage in the ravings (err … teachings) of Mr. “I’ll write whatever it takes to sell a book” James Lindsay. What about his teachings would you like to discuss? Perhaps you could start it off by giving us a primer as to what you think his most important contributions are. Or perhaps you would like to expound upon what you found enlightening from Lyndsay’s book entitled “Race Marxism.”

              1. 5.1.2.1.1.1.1

                More logical fallacies from you, Wt.

                Besides the iron rule of Woke projection, you insert multiple false points about Lindsay and my provisions of his teachings.

                While certainly he can attempt to sell books, ALL of the many and specific points of his that have have presented to you on this blog have been readily available — free of charge — through his podcasts (no buy-a-book-and-find-it-somewhere-in-there needed).

                You have yet to engage on a single substantive point so provided.

              2. 5.1.2.1.1.1.2

                I knew you wouldn’t answer it. This is a classic Anon response…

                You shock me.

                1. For someone that he asserts that he cannot see what I post, this type of characterization is itself “dodgy” at best.

                  But such would never stop Greg, eh?

        1. 5.1.3.1

          Yep — Peterson is another expert here attempted to be “shamed” by those Sprinting Left.

  6. 4

    “Massie is the one that truly believes in patents as an element of a strong libertarian property rights system.”

    It seems to me that an actual libertarian would be very concerned about the government giving away the public’s rights via insufficiently thorough examination.

    Somehow I doubt that is the case with Massie.

    1. 4.1

      Agreed. The word “libertarian” means a million different things in a million different mouths—both George Will and Ron Paul call themselves “libertarian”—so it rarely clarifies much to label an idea as “libertarian.” There are both pro-IP (Adam Mossoff) and anti-IP (Randy Barnett) strains of “libertarianism.”

      I am not wild about either Rep. Issa or Rep. Massie. As between the two, I suppose that I prefer Massie, but describing his views as “libertarian” seems to cast more heat than light in this context.

    2. 4.2

      Yes patents and “libertarianism” make f0r interesting philosophic confusion. Most of us are well aware of the importance of patents for new venture funding, for R&D and for bringing new products to market, and protecting new companies with patented products. However, some libertarians are against any form of unnecessary government support, like a government granted patent right, and/or are against almost any interference with one’s private business [like an infringement suit on a government granted patent].*
      *[Although I have yet to meet a libertarian willing to regularly risk uninspected food or other dangerous uninspected products, completely unregulated financial institutions, etc., etc.]

      1. 4.2.1

        ^^^ another imbibing in the fallacy of ‘no government’ versus ‘a government of limited powers.’

      2. 4.2.2

        I suspect you’re confusing libertarianism with anarchism. Libertarians tend to be pro-IP rights.

        That said, many libertarians (and anarchists) do advocate for a return to free banking. And, I suspect, most aren’t particularly impressed by the effectiveness/approval of the FDA.

    3. 4.3

      very concerned about the government giving away the public’s rights via insufficiently thorough examination.

      Too funny

      Riddle me this, Batman, who is the number one regular poster drawing attention to the problem of p00r examination?

      You get one guess.

  7. 3

    -1

  8. 2

    Issa’s an example of, “I’ve got mine, F you.”
    Massie’s an example of, “F you and that B$.”

    Between the two, the choice is amazingly easy (and I suspect that only those opposed to innovation protection would make snide comments about such things as Libertarian values.

    1. 2.1

      +1

      1. 2.1.1

        I’m guessing that certain people (of the Liberal Left persuasion) rather missed elementary civics and the concept of government of limited powers (opting instead for the ‘give all power to the government, what could go wrong with that’ Soviet or Maoist style….)

  9. 1

    “ libertarian property rights”

    The jokes write themselves.

    1. 1.1

      Government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub. But what government we do have should exist solely to protect my libertarian property rights.

      Yes, the jokes do write themselves.

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