Patent Trolls, Superpredators and Deplorables: The Ramifications of Political Bullying

If you look around the Internet a little bit, you’ll find some definitions of the term patent troll, which tend to include many of the same elements. Wikipedia says that the term is “a categorical or pejorative term applied to a person or company that attempts to enforce patent rights against accused infringers far beyond the patent’s actual value or contribution to the prior art, often through hardball legal tactics.” Legal publishing company NOLO defines it as “a disparaging term for someone who sues for patent infringement but who does not make or sell any product using the patented technology.” Investor education website Investopedia says that patent troll “is a derogatory term used to describe the use of patent infringement claims to win court judgments for profit or to stifle competition.”

Pejorative. Disparaging. Derogatory. Potentially defamatory. And it’s pretty abstract, which is ironic given the growing focus on abstract ideas in patent law over recent years.

The rhetoric of the patent troll narrative has done a great job of decimating the U.S. patent system and has led to highly public character evisceration of legitimate inventors over and over and over and over again. To date, this writer can think of one example of an actual patent troll: MPHJ Technologies and the infamous abuse of the scan-to-email patent. That’s the one example of an entity who asserted patents in bad faith through thousands of demand letters without ever once filing a lawsuit. That’s clear extortion in an attempt to obtain thousands in licensing fees on a patent that probably didn’t have value if asserted in U.S. district court.

And yet, the specter of the patent troll bogeyman continues to be espoused by parties in the United States and abroad with very little regard of the dangerous nature of the term, and despite Obama era FTC saying the term is unhelpful and misleading.

After its recent $500M+ damages award against Apple following a fourth jury trial, VirnetX was hit over and over and over again with the patent troll label by the usual suspects among the tech news publishing world. To them, VirnetX is some nefarious, opportunistic actor within the patent system, as if VirnetX’s executive management team didn’t include inventors listed on the patents being asserted, and as if VirnetX didn’t offer the Gabriel Secure Communications application suite covered by its patents, making it a practicing entity and not the type of non-practicing entity (NPE) typically accused of being a troll.

This damaging narrative, which portrays inventors in an incredibly disrespectful way, has been allowed to infect the highest levels of our nation’s government. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee which has redoubled its efforts against patent trolls over and over and over again to the detriment of inventors everywhere. The discussion and testimony occurring at its hearings has been so unprincipled that IP Subcommittee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) employs a definition of patent troll that would include even himself, an inventor listed on patents which have been asserted in district court by a company he ran. It’s been so bad that the IP Subcommittee has invited witnesses who have possibly submitted false testimony to policymakers.

Where have we seen this before, a situation where a disrespectful narrative having very little basis in fact is supported by members of the political elite? What have been the ramifications of those disparaging viewpoints? For answers to these questions, we turn now to the political career of none other than Hillary Clinton.

On January 25th, 1996, Hillary Clinton gave a 30-minute speech at Keene State College in New Hampshire during which she discussed aspects of then-President Bill Clinton’s policies on crime and law enforcement. At one point during her speech, she talked about a need to address a new kind of criminal element:

“We need to take these people on, they are often connected to big drug cartels, they are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators. No conscience. No empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heel.”

Over time, Clinton’s use of the term “superpredator” has turned out to be incredibly controversial as law enforcement policies which were designed to deal with the specter of increasingly violent youth have contributed to racial and socioeconomic disparity in the justice system. Clinton’s comment came back to light during the 2016 election cycle when an activist confronted Clinton at a fundraising event regarding the effect of her “superpredator” statement on higher incarceration rates for black Americans. Instead of understanding nuances regarding the effects of abuse and poverty on juveniles, here we have another concrete example of a highly ranking member of America’s political elite using a term that blankets an entire class of people in a demeaning way.

Recent history offers us another example of the unintended consequences of the use of political pejoratives. On September 9th, 2016, Clinton gave a speech at another fundraiser event for her campaign during which she infamously classified supporters of current President Donald Trump in a pretty blunt manner:

“We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Generalizing such a wide swath of Donald Trump’s supporters as hate-mongering sociopaths turned out to be a huge political loss for Clinton. One week after her comments, Donald Trump started a campaign event by parodying Clinton’s remarks, displaying a large backdrop showing the words “Les Déplorables” and playing “Do You Hear The People Sing” from the musical Les Misérables. After Trump won the 2016 presidential election, Clinton acknowledged that the comment was a “political gift” to Trump after it caused many undecided voters to shift away from Clinton just weeks before the election.

Aside from the specific classes being targeted by these different monikers, it would seem that the use of the term “patent troll” is not much different than the use of the terms “superpredators” or “deplorables.” Each of them is a gross over-generalization of groups of people that have turned out to be incredibly demeaning and evidence a great misunderstanding of certain political realities. Many Americans are right to be outraged over the long-term effects of harsh law enforcement policies on underprivileged communities. Will they show any similar outrage over the steep decline of the U.S. patent system and our nation’s innovation economy directly attributable to the use of the “patent troll” narrative? Pessimistic voices might say no, but if ordinary Americans can be shown how disrespect for patent rights has played a role in the economic stagnation of our nation, reducing investment in business startups and slowing job creation, it’s possible that the pendulum can start swinging in a more positive direction.


Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

72 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Don Quixote]
    Don Quixote
    July 24, 2018 08:21 pm

    Anon @ 49

    I, for one, have now come to the conclusion that the phony “anger” of “angry dude” is pure theater (think about it – why else have such a shallowly-titled avatar?).

    He only makes sense as “controlled opposition” pretending to be concerned about the integrity of the patent system, but actually serving those interests that hope to “weaken” the patent system by devaluing its legal framework, and completely, dishonestly, misrepresenting that framework and its judicial roots .

    This dishonest tactic is in complete harmony with the white papers issued by the likes of over-rated judicial scholar, and elite-servant, Richard Posner, and more recently from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, calling for “weakening” of patent laws, with the same vague “free market” fundamentalism and equivocating language that angry dude espouses (for whom examination/search/issuance service fees have somehow become a free-market “quid-pro-quo” for the constitutionally mandated rights of the patent).

    This unified campaign to “weaken” patent laws is wholly disingenuous, as the recommendations are not to weaken any punitive aspects, but to simply make the “letter of the law”, as to due process, an optional concept (as R. Posner infamously prescribed in his book “Overcoming Law”), thus making it a, less honest, lawyer’s game.

    The prescribed “weakening” (just like “angry dudes” so-called boycott) doesn’t “weaken” the patent law whatsoever, it merely makes it so those with the biggest legal guns will be the inevitable winner of any dispute (not the letter of the law). Obviously, this result does not make powerful lawyers any less important to success (contrary to utterly fake arguments presented in this thread), it makes them the key ingredient. Such patent law “weakening” (again , note the equivocating and misleading terminology) also makes the pro-se applicants, such as myself, completely powerless.

    The equivocating language calling to “weaken” patent laws only shifts the power structure. It will not reduce the part of opportunistic lawyers (such as in non-productive patent-holding companies), but only weaken those who would have actual rights under the letter of the law. Patenting will then truly be only a rich-man’s game.

  • [Avatar for staff]
    July 23, 2018 03:31 pm

    ‘definitions of the term patent troll’

    Large infringers who use the phrase refuse to define it because then they’ll have to defend it. In truth…

    patent troll=small competitor

    Enough said.

    For our position and the changes we advocate (the rest of the truth) to restore the patent system, or to join our effort, please visit us at
    or, contact us at [email protected]

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 25, 2018 07:45 am


    I spoke too soon – there is a definite lag between submitting posts and when they show up. The lag is occurring across every thread that I have posted to. The posts are eventually showing up, but the time lag is sizable.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 24, 2018 05:00 pm

    angry dude @ 68

    Your accusation falls flat. It your own position that is attempting to “promote factually unfounded reasoning.”

    That you may confuse my reply for its thoroughness, as if that were mere elaborate wizardly only comes across as your inability to comprehend what I have stated, or, having comprehending it, having nothing intelligent to respond with.

    Yes, lawyers DO tend to be good with words, as words are a critical resource for us. But that fact does not carry into your attempted (again) slur against attorneys in general as if that type of slur in ANY WAY changes the fact that your position is exactly what the Efficient Infringers want.

    ALL of my points stand. You have done nothing in any way resembling a cogent or even mildly reasonable manner to counter them.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 24, 2018 03:04 pm

    Anon @64

    Engaging in elaborate word wizardry to promote factually unfounded reasoning to suit their agenda is what lawyers do best

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 24, 2018 01:43 pm

    Appears to have helped Gene – comments seem to be flowing more smoothly now.


  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    May 24, 2018 01:30 pm


    I just looked and didn’t see anything from you in the spam folder. I think there might have been something awaiting moderation earlier that I approved. Sometimes things get into the awaiting moderation queue for various reasons. The most likely reason is multiple hyperlinks. Sometimes, however, it is not obvious to me why that happens. But at the moment I don’t see anything held up.

    Sometimes things also get held up due to caching. I’ll clear the cache presently and see if that helps.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 24, 2018 11:39 am


    Items are being caught in a buffer of some sort. I noticed that on two different threads, you were able to retrieve (and post) the comments.

    I was wondering if this “delay” is purposeful or not…. (no problem if it is, other than you may want to post a notice that comments may not immediately appear).

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 24, 2018 11:32 am

    Let me clear this out for you, dude

    Efficient infringers, USPTO and patent attorneys want the SAME thing

    Absolutely false.

    I “get” that you feel differently, but your feelings do not make it so. Even if you magnify your feelings with all of your might and emotion, they will STILL not make it so.

    You are exhibiting the notion of having an opinion being elevated (by you) to an unreasonable level – and in the process, choosing to engage in purposeful self delusion and a choice to ignore evidence to the contrary of your feelings.

    That you want “your position” to be some sort of a fact (when not only is it not, but that it CANNOT be), is your delusion. You have every right to voice that delusion – just as I have every right to voice an opposition to that delusion.

    As is, my voice is the better grounded one. Yours remains the voice of Efficient Infringer. For ALL of your anger – that you refuse to recognize this points you as an ultimate f001, or an ultimate t001. Neither of which is either very flattering for you or for your “professed” source of anger.

    You really do need to be able to set your emotions aside and engage reason.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 24, 2018 10:08 am

    Anon @62

    “You do realize (do you?) that angry dude’s position IS what the Efficient Infringers want, eh?”

    Let me clear this out for you, dude

    Efficient infringers, USPTO and patent attorneys want the SAME thing – to keep patent meat grinder running – they all extract profits in different ways from so-called patent system after all, so the bigger it is the better for them

    And we, independent inventors and small patent-dependent companies, are just patent meat to be fed to the machine

    This is the picture of reality you should have in your mind
    Maybe I should try and make a cartoon drawing of that

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 24, 2018 08:00 am

    – it is you that refuses to accept my disagreement with the premise you seek to promulgate.

    Your disagreement is without explanation or with out touching ON what I “promulgated.”

    That’s why I “refuse to accept it.”

    Maybe – as I keep on suggesting, you reply ON POINT….

    Instead you venture into “Closing ranks”, – whatever that means and however that is disconnected with what I wrote.

    And you venture into “And you cannot reasonably hold inventors feet to that fire” which is nowhere near what I have written.

    Likewise, your venture into “Your analysis also lacks an accounting for what might happen,” misses the point about what I am saying – that quitting IS what the Efficient Infringers want.

    As to knowing the difference (even from personal experience), you FAIL to apply that knowing to the point that I present. There is a reason why you CAN say “criminally corrupt” and that reason resonates with MY statement – which you fail to recognize on the merits in regards to my taking issue with the ad hominem attack from angry dude.

    Lastly, while you say that you will respect my “disagreement” even if I do not respect yours – such is simply more of a poor twist and a reflection that you still have not grasped what I have written, to whom I have written, and WHY I have written. This is NOT a “disagreement” that is, or is not, to be “respected.” And this is hardly “shortsighted squabble” (which apparently you wish to lay at my feet, while it is you that trumps around with an air of audacious superiority (simply out of place) with your “jumping” to defend angry dude. I – nor anyone – owe any “respect” for a wrong position of defending an indefensible position and calling out someone for that indefensible position while pointing out that THAT person is mouthing something that his supposed opponent WANTS.

    You do realize (do you?) that angry dude’s position IS what the Efficient Infringers want, eh?

    Let’s start there. If you truly understand what I have been saying , you will understand that THAT is not a statement to which disagreement inures, any more than a statement that the moon is not made of cheese is a statement to which disagreement inures.

    The call for “respect” in such a situation is simply inappropriate. Everyone may have their own opinion does not call out for having “respect” for everyone’s opinion when some of those opinions are willfully ignorant, factually bereft, and simply not tethered to reality.

    In this regard, there be no need for respect to suffer f001s gladly. SUch f001s serve a purpose, and my calling out (remaining unanswered by angry dude – and by you in defense of angry dude) sounds a trumpet as to which tactics are espoused by which side.

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    May 23, 2018 09:57 pm

    @60., ‘Anon’,

    While it is apparent that you will find this unbelievable, I most certainly DO, understand what you have written – it is you that refuses to accept my disagreement with the premise you seek to promulgate.

    “Closing ranks”, does not answer the terrible risk and likely loss and harm an inventor will *normally* suffer, if he or she participates in the U.S. patent process, as it now stands. But it is not merely that costs and risks have gone up; it is especially that the potential – even slightly possible – rewards have been reduced to nil, effectively.

    And you cannot reasonably hold inventors feet to that fire, when it is not a direct causal agent of change. You might have a valid point, if that were so. But it IS NOT inventors’ responsibility to take on this massive uncertainty; when the seemingly necessary implied or ‘leveraged’ effect of motivating Congressional and judicial actions in the manner desired, may well require witnessing substantial damage to the U.S. economy, before these organs of government realize the truth of the matter.

    Your analysis also lacks an accounting for what might happen, if the inventors participate as you urge; and yet, beneficial change is not sufficiently forthcoming so as to avoid further horrendous experiences. The loss of whatever inventor trust and confidence in the U.S. patent system remains *and the potential for the recovery of the same*, would stand a far greater chance of becoming irreversible; for at least the next full generation. Are you so sure, that you ‘understand’ the true stakes, here?

    As an addendum to the much more important aspects described above, “Your last four paragraphs are a rambling mess.”, does not answer the logical points I raised therein. And, I should mention that I damn well know the difference between an attorney who looks first at his timesheet, one who looks first at the case and one who looks first at the client. I have suffered from criminally corrupt harm at the actions of an attorney while still ignorant of the law; and have seen a solo with integrity and caring help me save valuable assets in my family.

    I have also had to stand off a billionaire’s lawyers in court as pro se, performing motion practice and raising arguments in litigation practice. Guess who won that contest? BTW, this is about a case where the opposition had some of its papers ghostwritten by a major midtown firm well known in New York.

    Look – I do not think it is helpful for what we each can agree upon, in our respective points of view and motivations for advocacy in this space, to be in such a shortsighted squabble. I will respect your disagreement, regardless as to whether you seem to recognize or show respect for mine.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 23, 2018 07:50 pm

    Mr. Berend, your reply proves my point as your opening statement applies to you and you STILL have not bothered to understand what I have written.

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    May 23, 2018 07:25 pm

    ^^^ the above comment #58 is in response to the ‘Anon’ comment #s 51, 53 and 54, seen above ^^^

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    May 23, 2018 07:22 pm

    It is regrettable that you allow intellectual conceit and ego blandishment to substitute for actual argument. Believe it not, I have a background in business development, too.

    I also have 30 years of IT experience; five in professional photography; and now, over a decade in real estate. Aside from creating my first invention in 1991 (in professional photographic lighting – and no: the design has not yet been seen in the industry). Do you really believe, that I do not also integrate the various areas of experience and further fields of study, into my own analysis? But, keep on imagining, that inventors have “no” so-called ‘real world’ experience, won’t you? Makes your derogatory assumptions, SO much easier; no doubt.

    With reference to your other assumption and impliucation: I was tested in a standardized-enhanced ‘Briggs’ structured IQ test as “Superior Gifted”, the verbal descriptive equivalent of 175-180+, with three specific aptitudinal ranges as a perfect score, about which my parents were informed that special tests would have to be ordered to be able to determine the extent of my presumed intelligence in those areas.

    I seldom EVER even mention this to others, given the massive intellectual inferiority complexes to which the vast majority of people are prone – even attorneys – but since you “asked”…well: I am, in fact: TESTED as “Genius”. Never went for all that Mensa ego-blandishment, however. It’s enough, that I have to routinely conceal it to avoid extreme antagonism from others, in my daily personal and professional life.

    “Since you asked”

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 23, 2018 05:22 pm

    As I stated angry dude – you ae lashing out with your pejorative without understanding who you are attacking (and no, that is not the PTAB judges to which I have provided comments pertaining to with the statements as ethics prevents the condition you ploy).

    There is NO “pretend to be on a high horse” – some of us ARE professional, even to the point of not letting our emotions overtake our reason.

    As to “very little of your patent legal expertise is actually useful in the current environment” – you could not be more wrong, as it often is in the most dangerous environments, that legal expertise INCREASES in value.

    But hey, you are on a rant of which you are more than apparently clueless, so why let reality get in your way?

    (and anytime that you want to return to the original point and explain which side you are on with your voicing out the Efficient Infringer’s position, please feel free to do so – such would at least not be as embarrassing to you as your current misplaced attempted insults)

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 23, 2018 04:09 pm

    Anon @55


    What is it ? Can you monetize it and put it in the bank ?

    Me thinks “ethics” considerations are long gone and forgotten in this patent mon(k)ey business

    Ask PTAB judges about ethics

    You can pretend to be on a high horse all you want but the reality will bite you in the ar$e very soon (unless you are planning to retire which you probably should because very little of your patent legal expertise is actually useful in the current environment )

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 23, 2018 03:25 pm

    angry dude,

    You need to educate yourself (vis a vis what attorney ethics mean) and got out of the way of your own emotions.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 23, 2018 02:00 pm

    Anon @51

    “you are only in it for the money”


    Don’t play us for fools

    You are only in it for the money, I am only in it for the money, they are only in it for the money. Period. It’s called capitalism. Nothing wrong with that.

    Now, my patent attorney made good money off me back in 2002 and I was supposed to make some ROI years later. This is how this patent game was always played – you, patent prosecution attorney, get my money upfront, and I, inventor, am supposed to get more money years later to cover initial legal expenses and make some ROI.

    We do not get any ROI on patents issued 10-15 years ago.

    AND your (independent inventors and small companies) clients will not get any ROI on patents you are filing for them today.

    So you get our money upfront and we sustain heavy losses in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions for some inventors)

    Do you really think it’s a sustainable business model ???

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 23, 2018 01:41 pm

    Mr. Berend,

    Whether or not “you have had it” you may consider taking the content of what I am saying and applying a bit of critical thinking to it.

    This is NOT as you would have it (“keep on inventing”) as much as it is that angry dude is advocating what the Efficient Infringers want (stop trying to protect what you are inventing).

    I disparage no one from any rational choice by asking someone to differentiate their message from what Efficient Infringers want (and that person being unwilling to do so, while merely – and only – lobbing an insult back at one that has actively sought to protect innovation and innovators.

    As to “I was likely cutting my teeth on learning strategy and tactics, before you were born – and with an aptitude that was certified as genius-level; then, honed by years of application.

    Likely not – given that you have zero clue to me or my background, and to venture such a boast smacks of its emptiness.

    AS to “Once again you attempt to ploy the “you are only in it for the money” card
    – – –

    Once again, you derogate inventors as if we are mere Privates to be ordered into a fray that guarantees our financial deaths

    Maybe instead of boasting, try to understand what I have written – my calling out angry dude for his insult “derogates inventors” NOT AT ALL. My calling out of angry dude for his insult is just that: calling out angry dude for his insult, There is ZERO connection with inventors at all, let alone anything that can be remotely tied to derogating them.

    Further, there is ZERO implication that I am “playing inventors” as if they were pieces on a chess board.

    Your last four paragraphs are a rambling mess. You appear to want to make some point that I am operating – or asking others to operate – under some unrealistic expectations when you have established no basis for this, nor identified what “expectation” is in play or why it such is unrealistic.

    You DID say (or indicate) something that is correct: (“You have a fine legal mind“), but I would add that law is my THIRD career, after succsefful careers in both innovating (as an engineer) and managing innovation (as a business leader).

    When I post (and speak), I do so with awareness of ALL THREE areas.

    On the other hand, you – apparently – only want to dwell on the anger of angry dude, without applying any critical thinking about how to be EFFECTIVE in dealing with what is causing the anger.

    I “get” the anger.
    I feel it to – far more than you appear ready to give me credit.

    I just am not satisfied with the “advice” of angry dude and the “just quit” as if THAT has ANY strategic merit in actually fighting what the Efficient Infringers want.

    So let’s take this with baby steps: Do you even realize that what angry dude is advocating IS what the Efficient Infringers want?

    If you do not, then I would suggest that you put your self-proclaimed genius to work and figure that out.

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    May 23, 2018 01:21 pm

    @ 51., ‘Anon’:

    I have had it with your inappropriate and nonsensical attacks on ‘angry dude’.

    Here’s a CLUE: IP pirates, that some call ‘efficient infringers’, ABSOLUTELY DO “WANT” inventors to KEEP INVENTING, so that there actually IS ‘SOMETHING’ for them to steal; under the current regime. Are you their inadvertent stalking horse, here?

    Disparaging inventors for making a rational economic choice – even as you reserve by implication that ‘privilege’ to EVERYONE ELSE, in this so-called “capitalist” system – speaks magnitudes about the distorted understanding you apparently labor under, when it comes to the manifest inequities imposed by the influences of the IP pirates.

    As to your charge against me (“…this is no more clear than the one you are defending” comment #41, above) – on the contrary, it is YOU who reveals a lack of comprehension, as to the true nature of this overall situation: I was likely cutting my teeth on learning strategy and tactics, before you were born – and with an aptitude that was certified as genius-level; then, honed by years of application.

    As to your comment @51.:
    – – –
    angry dude,

    Once again you attempt to ploy the “you are only in it for the money” card
    – – –

    Once again, you derogate inventors as if we are mere Privates to be ordered into a fray that guarantees our financial deaths, by the no-doubt “Officership” of your ‘superior’ position. We ARE NOT mere pawns on your concept of a ‘chessboard’.

    However, if you want to continue to make rhetoric of that ploy: see, two can play at that “game”.

    As well: if that is how the legal profession ‘appears’ to most inventors (and, before you go jumping down my throat, I wrote “IF”, there) – then, shouldn’t that be a relevant concern as to the traditional operation and expectations about the U.S. patent system?

    Do I really need to spell it out for you? You have a fine legal mind, but seem to be oblivious to these broader considerations. The goal is to *incentivize inventors*. Do you really think that can be simply ordered up on others’ demands according to unrealistic expectations?

    Apparently, you do: it is a rich irony that you criticize an inventor for the same presumed myopia, that you are blind to, in yourself*.

    * – notice: how put out you obviously are, in response to YOUR perception that you as a patent attorney can be “…simply ordered up on others’ demands according to unrealistic expectations”(!)

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 23, 2018 10:16 am

    angry dude,

    Once again you attempt to ploy the “you are only in it for the money” card.

    And once again, I outright reject your ploy.

    Maybe if you understood that the code of ethics means that I do not place my fee-generation above the client, you might have a glimmer as to why your ploy is not only wrong, but insultingly so.

    As it is, your continued use of that ploy, along with the fact that you STILL have not addressed the plain fact that what you preach is what the Efficient Infringers want, well, as I posted here, and as DQ notes, what side are you on?

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 23, 2018 09:44 am

    Anon @49

    “Just quit” has different meaning depending on who you are:

    For patent attorneys “just quit” means stop collecting retainers from your prospective clients = less money for you

    For independent inventors “just quit” means stop writing retainer checks to patent attorneys and paying PTO fees = more money for us

    So we are not quite in the same boat, dudes

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 23, 2018 08:04 am

    DQ @ 48,

    THAT is a plain statement to which I myself have long delivered to angry dude – and to which, angry dude has never had a cogent reply.

    I “get” the anger.
    I really do.

    What I do not get is the “just quit” attitude, and then the attempt to portray “just quit” as some type of “this is fighting back” when “just quit” is exactly what the Efficient Infringers want the message to be to anyone else that may think of using the patent system.

    The answer is not – and cannot be – “just quit.”

  • [Avatar for Don Quixote]
    Don Quixote
    May 23, 2018 03:25 am

    SB @ 39

    “There are however, third world countries where no one bothers to invent anything because property rights are not respected. We’re almost there.”

    Bulls eye — and, anyone who thinks that all is lost should go live in a third-world country long enough to understand just how dispensable their remaining rights are; and precisely where their nihilism will take them.

    As for poor angry dude: I am beginning to doubt whether you are genuine, as opposed to “controlled opposition.” You make far more sense as the latter.

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    May 22, 2018 04:38 pm

    I agree with Anon @46.
    We cannot just sit back and let the boat sink.
    We are passengers in that boat.
    When the American Patent System boat sinks, we go down with it.
    All of us, whether we agree with the let-it-sink idea or oppose it.

    One of the lessons of bullying in history is that bullies rise and take over when good men (and women) stay silent and do nothing.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 22, 2018 03:00 pm

    angry dude,

    Your “answer” is no answer, as you do nothing to dissuade from the fact that what you preach is exactly the take-away that the Efficient Infringers want.

    Which side are you on?

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 22, 2018 02:33 pm

    Anon @44


    You can’t fight to fix something that is completely broken with your nearly non-existent resources

    It’s like fighting to save a hopeless drug addict without proper harsh means to do so (forced out-of-state rehab without opportunity to leave or jail term)

    It just does not work
    You (we) do not have the means to fight and save present US patent system
    Just let it die for good

    Focus on future generations (including future politicians and scotus justices)

    P.S. Official and widely publicized boycott of the USPTO by all American independent inventors and small patent-dependent companies will do more than any of your “fighting”

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 22, 2018 11:50 am

    angry dude,

    Your attempt to paint me as “all messed up” while you “fight” by abdication and preaching what those you “fight” want you to do is as about as Monty Python as it gets.

    Maybe if you channeled your anger into a path that the Efficient Infringers would not want, you might garner some respect from this fighter. As it is, while WHAT you are “angry” about is something I agree with, your manner of reacting and choices as to how to react simply do not place you as a fighter. Quitter, perhaps, but not a fighter.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 22, 2018 10:22 am

    Anon @41

    “fighting” the Efficient Infringers”

    Dude, you are all messed up too

    infringers will always want to infringe without consequences

    It is up to US government to provide a reasonably fair playground to resolve those disputes so that small companies and individuals have a chance to establish themselves without being immediately crashed by large incumbents

    If US government choses to sacrifice all IP owned by individuals and small companies in favor of few mega tech corporations like Google, Apple, Amazon and their overinflated stock then be it
    Each choice has consequences to it – a shrinking pool of startups in US while China takes good care of their startup ecosystem knowing all too well that only young startups can innovate out of the box

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 22, 2018 10:03 am

    Don Quixote@38

    “A patent is not a “product” of the Department of Commerce – it is an extension of your individual rights as a citizen”

    Dude, you are all messed up in your head

    Patent is a quid-pro-quo deal between individual and US government

    If US government can’t reasonably uphold their part then the ONLY reasonable way for an individual is to walk away from this “deal”

    It’s almost like your spoiled unemployed girlfriend spending large sums of your money on booze and drugs and cheating on you with other dudes all the while expecting you to keep a daily job and provide for her…
    What would you do then ? Correct – kick her out or walk away yourself

    P.S. How can you be Pro Se for 25 years ???
    That does not make any sense at all.
    Are you in this patent game just for pleasure of playing it (and losing in the end ) ??? Cause most of us are not

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 22, 2018 09:47 am

    Mr. Berend @ 37,

    I am not seeing your point. If anything, angry dude is advocating for the opposite of ““Sir: I have not yet begun to fight!”

    Unless you believe that abdication and doing what the Efficient Infringer wants is somehow “fighting” the Efficient Infringers….. (which would take a better comment from you to explain).

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    May 22, 2018 02:43 am

    Moe about Galt’s Gultch and the fictional boycott by the superior minds of America may be found here:

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    May 22, 2018 02:38 am

    DQ @38

    I think what Berend is proposing out of frustration is an Ayn Rand style Galt’s Gultch walkout by all the creatives in America. Supposedly all the boycotting creatives will form a more perfect utopia in this fictional Gultch.

    Of course that is an illusion. There are no utopias.
    There are however, third world countries where no one bothers to invent anything because property rights are not respected. We’re almost there.

  • [Avatar for Don Quixote]
    Don Quixote
    May 21, 2018 11:47 pm

    Berend –

    “believe it or not, ‘angry dude’ is correct here; and, you are mistaken.”

    Well – we now know that you have an opinion. What it is – this is no more clear than the one you are defending.

    Again – a “boycott” is simply a sloppy use of a non-analogous concept. A patent is not a “product” of the Department of Commerce – it is an extension of your individual rights as a citizen. It requires a fight to keep those rights, not a “boycott” – which is about as Monty-Python silly as boycotting your freedom of speech.

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    May 21, 2018 04:57 pm

    ^^^ Please note omission above : the above comment #36 is most specifically in ^^^ response to comment #25 by ‘Anon’, which in turn, is a response to comment #21 by ‘angry dude’

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    May 21, 2018 04:54 pm

    I have nothing but respect for you and other attorneys who are willing to engage this issue and legal practice area on your own basis; and not as captive agents of other agendas; or worse, besotted fools.

    Nonetheless, believe it or not, ‘angry dude’ is correct here; and, you are mistaken.

    The title of another quite recent article here on asks: “Is the pro-patent community going to continue to lose every battle?”

    Unfortunately, the hard truth is that unless there is a manifest change in strategy and tactics for the proponents of “fair” patent jurisprudence and prosecution, this corrupt and harmful outcome will not appreciably change within any of our lifetimes.

    Has it occurred to any of the august proponents and advocates of the classical U.S. Constitutional ‘patent bargain’ and former jurisprudence often erroneously labeled as “pro-patent” and in the pejorative as so-called ‘patent maximalists’, that the forces arrayed against IP protections for inventors,or so-called “enemy” forces in opposition – have been following a different playbook, for at least the past ten years?

    There is another way; however, just as the enemies of U.S. inventors have never revealed their strategic plan – for similar reasons, I refuse to do so here.

    Inventors and attorneys sometimes have a background in other areas of expertise. In my own experience, I do have expertise in a critical aspect of a potentially successful campaign to recover was has been damaged and lost in the U.S. patent space, in the past 15 years.

    Those who are genuinely interested in further details about this, may contact me if Gene permits. I am not certain as to the ground rules on being contacted or making contact with other individuals, in association with this site.

    In the meantime, to the forces opposing principled patent law practices for its original legitimate purposes:

    May Heaven help you; as ultimately, you will be laid low and condemned by history, in the end.

    “Sir: I have not yet begun to fight!”
    – immortal words reputedly attributed to John Paul Jones

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    May 21, 2018 03:37 pm

    EG @34

    Fully understand where you come from.
    I too went to a college where they encouraged (forced?) us tech majors to take a heavy dose of liberal art courses.

    The college I went to was clearly divided into an engineering campus and a liberal arts one. The “study” halls in the liberal arts side were always filled with a heavy blanket of marijuana smoke while the engineering rooms were filled with, well, engineers boring into there deep tech text books.

    My point is that Justice Kennedy can all too glibly say, suppose I believed that; that any 2nd year engineering student can code it all up over the weekend on his home computer. (See Alice oral arguments.)

    Obviously the fog from those early study hall days on the liberal arts side has not yet fully cleared out of the system. 😉

  • [Avatar for EG]
    May 21, 2018 12:42 pm

    Hey NW@29,

    I don’t know if we were “cooler,” but I do know that those who were non-science majors were offered science courses geared to those who weren’t science majors. Conversely, those of us who were science majors had to take the same non-science courses that the majors did.

  • [Avatar for Silicon Valley Inventor]
    Silicon Valley Inventor
    May 21, 2018 12:16 pm

    @Bemused #26: Imagine for a second, a 30-second Super Bowl ad discussing how American inventors like Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers helped make America the most innovative country in the history of the world and how anti-patent legislation has destroyed any incentive for Americans to invent and has allowed China to surpass America in artificial intelligence, advanced missile technology, etc. And the ad closing with a tag line “This wake up call to America was sponsored by IBM, General Dynamics, Lockheed, GE…”

    Nice message. This is what’s usually called an image ad, where you have an established business with good income and you are looking to reinvent your image or change the dialogue to a target audience. The ad is placed where customers and can see it. We did this with an ad campaign in trade publications when I was at company that had marketed itself into a corner as the big fish in the $20 million (at the time) ion chromatography small pond, and we then wanted to rebrand ourselves as the small fish in the $2 billion HPLC market.

    But small inventors are not an established business and the audience of football fans seems a pointless target. I don’t think the ad would have any effect and it would be impossible to get IBM et al to sign off. If we had the influence with them to produce a hugely visible TV ad, we should be influencing them to buy inventors’ patents, since they can have success monetizing it where inventors cannot. Instead of them spending hundreds of millions on a TV ad, how about they spend $8 million and buy my patent portfolio?

  • [Avatar for Night Writer]
    Night Writer
    May 21, 2018 11:56 am

    @29 EG

    I don’t remember thinking that I was smarter than the liberal arts majors. I remember them thinking they were cooler than I was and dismissing what I was learning as not important.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 21, 2018 11:29 am

    Mr. Barcelou @ 27: godspeed and good fortune to you and your efforts.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 21, 2018 09:43 am


    Interesting thoughts, but many of the entities you mention, I would postulate that they do NOT reach your requirement of “depend upon and make money from their patents

    One notion of Efficient Infringement is to make patents a “Sport of Kings.” So while there may be some “make money,” you do not reach the “depend upon.”

    The names you mention may be more than happy to compete on non-innovation factors (at the “depend” level) and at the same time indulge in selective “make money.”

    It comes to a certain level of nuance, but absolute destruction is not a requirement for the Efficient Infringer agenda to be advanced.

  • [Avatar for EG]
    May 21, 2018 08:54 am

    “Remember back in college how you used to look down on the liberal art students, thinking how they weren’t smart enough to do calculus, physics and all the other hard real sciences?”

    Hey SB,

    Be careful with blanket labels about “liberal arts students.” I went to a fine small liberal arts school called Carleton College, got a BA. degree, but majored in chemistry. Many of my classmates majored in the hard sciences and math (we had excellent departments in those), but we also got what I felt was a well-rounded education in many other subjects besides.

  • [Avatar for Don Quixote]
    Don Quixote
    May 20, 2018 09:50 pm

    angry dude –
    Pro Se, for around 25 years. Thanks for playing.

  • [Avatar for Dave Barcelou]
    Dave Barcelou
    May 20, 2018 08:29 pm

    Valuationguy @2 The story you are referring to was about “me”. Gene wrote quite an ‘analysis’ of the decision; IMO, the lack of understanding of “patents” (in general), goes hand-in-hand with the lack of understanding of the Constitution. Kids are no longer being taught about either, so how can they be expected to comprehend how losing rights” will affect them?

    Any good General will tell you – you can’t fight a war on too many fronts at once. I’ve heard good suggestions above on how to fight back, but tend to agree with the fact “inventors” are capital constrained. Well, what are “inventors” known for? Their vast fortunes or their ingenuity?

    I’ve chosen a particular battlefield and intend to prove the term “PATENT TROLL” is not merely pejorative but DEFAMATORY when “weaponized” versus inventors.
    If each of us were to pick one battle each it would be a lot easier to win this war.

    My company and I have filed an Appeal with the NH Supreme Court over the above-mentioned State Superior Court Decision, and we’ll be issuing a press release right after Memorial Day with further details. This will be a mainstream media story, and God-willing, I’ll take it to the US Supreme Court next if I have to. That said, I’ll gratefully take all the prayers & support the IPW community offers.

    Let’s not forget that characteristic attributed to all the most successful inventors; PERSISTENCE

  • [Avatar for Bemused]
    May 20, 2018 12:54 pm

    I seem to have stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest with my comment @7. 🙂

    Good. That was my intent. Many good suggestions and insightful commentary in this thread.

    Here’s something else to ponder/debate/pooh-pooh: If we want to speed up the process of changing the narrative, bringing this issue to the forefront of public debate and (hopefully) spurring pro-patent legislation, we really, really need the help of those operating companies (both tech and non-tech) that depend upon and make money from their patents.

    Two reasons: First, these companies have broad public brand awareness. GE, IBM, et al have a lot more name recognition than e.g. Josh Malone ever will (and I say that with all due respect, Josh – particularly, since my wife thinks he’s a rock star for coming up with such a cool, kid-friendly invention) and most (not all) Americans view them as a source of American pride.

    Imagine for a second, a 30-second Super Bowl ad discussing how American inventors like Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers helped make America the most innovative country in the history of the world and how anti-patent legislation has destroyed any incentive for Americans to invent and has allowed China (the bogeyman that I alluded to in my comment@7) to surpass America in artificial intelligence, advanced missile technology, etc. And the ad closing with a tag line “This wake up call to America was sponsored by IBM, General Dynamics, Lockheed, GE…”

    Second, only these companies have the financial wherewithal to spend the necessary $$$ to underwrite a sustained advertising and lobbying effort against the efficient infringer cabal. Small inventors just don’t have the money or the support organization to keep mainstream media engaged in writing pro patent stories and to bring pressure to bear on Capitol Hill. US Inventor has admirably and valiantly tried to fill that role and they’ve done an amazing job given their extremely limited financial and human capital but they just don’t have anywhere near the necessary resources to turbo-charge this media/political blitz.

    Assuming this comment leads to more discussion (and hopefully, not too much ridicule), I’ll be back with some ideas on how to get the operating companies engaged in this effort.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 20, 2018 12:30 pm

    angry dude @ 21:

    Patent attorney, aren’t you ?

    An epitome of an empty ad hominem attack. You project a “cause” (one of an attorney acting against interests of clients and for their own good), attack the “cause” that you manufactured, and do not touch the underlying issue (your mantra is exactly what the Efficient Infringers want “independent inventors” to be saying.

    Maybe you should realize that patent attorneys are not out here merely to pad our own pockets, that we have a code of ethics (and what that code is and what that means for us), and that some of us (myself, Gene, and quite a few other regulars here) are champions of innovation and fight for a strong patent system.

    Then take a closer look at your mantra, and try – try – to realize what I and others have consistently informed you of.

    And after that, take a look in the mirror if you want to “attack” those fighting for innovation.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 20, 2018 01:51 am

    Silicon Valley Inventor@22

    Sharks are paupers and nobodies to SV oligopoly

    That’s why they can only do licensing deals on inventions like bunch-of-balloons (with all due respect) but anything inside your smart phone – and they are up against impenetrable wall – literally all of their *combined* wealth will accomplish nothing…

    Just ask Intellectual Ventures…

  • [Avatar for Silicon Valley Inventor]
    Silicon Valley Inventor
    May 19, 2018 11:08 pm

    @AD #18 “But for whatever stinking reason the clowns on Shark Tank keep asking the same question: is your new product patented ?
    So lemmings watching crap TV show while eating popcorn and drinking beer are under impression that everything is okey- dokey in good old America – the land of the free.”

    The sharks are very wealthy and connected, and they’re thinking about quick exits or licensing deals so they can make a fast ROI. Such exits typically involve more money when they include IP. But that’s the point — patents now only seem to have value for those who are very wealthy and connected, have attorney’s on staff and have put many deals together already. Not your typical inventor or small business. On that note, shark Lori Greiner brands herself: “One of the most prolific inventors of retail products, having created over 400 products, and holds 120 U.S. and international patents.” So a patent assigned to her may be a bit of a vanity item for her to display on the wall.

    This stands in contrast to most of the Silicon Valley investors I’ve pitched to, who did not value patents (including Tim Draper and later his son Adam).

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 19, 2018 10:46 pm

    Software Inventor@4

    I’m in somewhat similar situation right now – need to start advertising some prototype quality tech to either angel investors or big tech

    I think reaching out to big tech at this stage is like being their free lunch
    You have to raise money from investors (not associated with big tech) and build a little something to show – a little company with some *upcoming* new product/service but no sales or revenue at all – big tech doesn’t care about your sales, they just want your tech
    so they will want to acquire your little company – you just need to negotiate the price
    And no patents, please (or any other bs coming from them like becoming partners or NDAs for that matter – they are all bs masters and liars and thiefs and otherwise very very bad people – I know it from personal experiences)

    Final *cash* sale contract – do not take their sh1tty stocks either

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 19, 2018 10:11 pm

    Don Quixote@19

    Patent attorney, aren’t you ?

    I am pretty sure we already have 100% consensus here among independent inventors – both NPEs and some manufacturing (or planning to manufacture) entities too

    What is your winning strategy then?
    To keep publicly disclosing valuable know-how to patent office so that they can pass “franchise” to some wealthy politically connected corp later on (via PTAB killing granted patent) while inventor/investor has to pay through his nose to patent attorneys and USPTO ?
    Thanks but no thanks, dude

    “Bill of Rights” ? Me thinks scotus already boycotted it many times along with the rest of the US Constitution – in THEIR OWN decisions
    I doubt they even read those things anymore – they are too busy writing their own “scotus laws” which directly contradict US Constitution and can’t even be reconciled with each other

    No dude,
    The doc said to the morgue – “to the morgue it is”

  • [Avatar for Don Quixote]
    Don Quixote
    May 19, 2018 08:04 pm

    angry dude –
    You are curiously disguising complete capitulation as a “boycott.”

    Maybe you should similarly “boycott” the Bill of Rights? Lots of comedy material here.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 19, 2018 05:06 pm

    Josh Malone@15
    “The boycott has already occurred”

    But for whatever stinking reason the clowns on Shark Tank keep asking the same question: is your new product patented ?
    So lemmings watching crap TV show while eating popcorn and drinking beer are under impression that everything is okey- dokey in good old America – the land of the free

  • [Avatar for Night Writer]
    Night Writer
    May 19, 2018 03:38 pm

    WS says >>you imply they are simply misguided journalists inappropriately applying adjectives, when the truth is likely they are beholden to big tech for advertising,

    This is exactly right. I used to buy some advertising. Not much, but some. And a beautiful woman would show up at my door and basically tell me that I could get articles in the magazine that I wanted and have some control of the content if I kept buying.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 19, 2018 03:14 pm

    angry dude @ 13 – once again, you mouth the desired ends of the Efficient Infringers.

    You really need to clue in to the fact that you are acting as they WANT you to act.

  • [Avatar for PTO-Indentured]
    May 19, 2018 02:52 pm

    Gene and Bemused @7

    Thank you (and Steve too) for reminding us to be vigilent, ever on the lookout for effective ways to counter anti-patent narratives–in this case ‘invented’ by big tech–yielding efficient infringement (stealing of patents) and a destroying of the independent American Inventor by reducing more and more each prospect that a livelihood might arise from some licensing of IP in an AIA- world big tech ‘influenced’ into existence.

    That said, here’s two concrete ideas that might prove to be helpful:

    Concrete Idea #1: Start a new Pro-Patent Ideas/Defense ‘Watchdog’ (activist?) page/thread, expressly for a posting and ranking of best-in-class concrete ideas, best-examples, correct models and actionable steps suggested, that can readily be taken/implemented by readers, decision-makers, stakeholders, leaders of thought, based on their efficacy to reverse ‘the damage done’ and most-rapidly return the PTO back to its former #1 ranked status in the world. Perhaps including a contest with prize incentive periodically could help ‘fuel the fire’ (a free IPW course, a trip to the PTO / Smithsonian as a ‘Top Make The U.S. Patent System #1 Again’ contributor.

    Concrete Idea #2: A Debunking ‘The Patent Troll = Sinister Inventor’ narrative for the big-tech invented ‘Conspiracy Theory’ that it is — And do so on televison(?):
    This morning my wife and I watched an excellent PBS video “Your Brain on Conspiracy Theories” making the following points (among other good ones): a ‘belief’ held in the ‘believer’s’ mind is not falsifiable, and with Bill Nye (contributing at the end) stating it takes about two years exposure to the evidence to come around. The video’s narrator invites viewers (at 7:00) to “Tell us about your favorite conspiracy theory”. Shortly thereafter in Nye’s cameo he concludes, “We’ll take you above the noise”. Depending on who his sponsors are, maybe there’s a way to have Nye chime in on (national TV?) how the ‘Patent Troll is Sinister Conspiracy’ is bunk — when he was at Boeing, he invented a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube used on Boeing 747 airplanes. The IPW blog that had the collective statement made by pro-patent leaders of thought including Chief Judge Paul Michel might be good to include in the materials provided.

    The PBS video link:
    RE Conspiracy Theories…

    a very Falsifying a Belief

  • [Avatar for Josh Malone]
    Josh Malone
    May 19, 2018 02:44 pm

    The boycott has already occurred. Independent inventors have dropped to only 4% of applicants. We don’t need no stinking franchises. Americans don’t care. They are happy with bigger screens, more apps, and 5G technology from China.

  • [Avatar for step back]
    step back
    May 19, 2018 02:15 pm

    Bemused @7 asks

    But how do we get the mainstream media to pick up and publicize this issue with an intensity similar to what the media did when the patent troll narrative was created by the efficient infringer lobby?

    It’s not merely money.
    There is something else going on.

    Remember back in college how you used to look down on the liberal art students, thinking how they weren’t smart enough to do calculus, physics and all the other hard real sciences?

    Well they felt it too. They kind of sensed that they were being demoted to the ranks of the less intelligent.

    Well now it’s there turn.
    Revenge is a dish best served with tails of the trolls.
    They (the journalists, TV opinion mongers, politicians, Supreme Court (in)Justices) have the power now.

    They get to look down and sneer at us.
    Example, Kennedy J.: But what if I thought that way, that any 2nd year engineering student can do it over the weekend on his home computer? Then you aren’t “truly” inventing anything at all, are you? It’s just all conventional, routine and well-understood stuff of a lowly minion in the tech sector. Ha ha ha.

    It will take another Sputnik moment before America wakes up. Next time it might be too late though.

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 19, 2018 02:05 pm

    I am very sure that right now, in this extremely anti-patent environment,
    the ONLY effective way to fight for strong patents is to boycott USPTO completely…

    Stop feeding the beast ! No more new patent applications !

    I know patent attorneys will hate this for obvious reasons… but ALL independent inventors in this country and small companies relying on patent protections MUST come to realization that they’ve been scammed big time and stop playing crooked patent game with ever changing rules…


    I simply do not see any other way to get the message out

    Boycott USPTO !!!

    This is a strategy recommended by psychiatrists in many situations to fix broken dysfunctional relationships – e.g. a spoiled gf or child, a drug addict etc.
    Do not waste too much effort trying to convince them that their behavior is bad and simply unacceptable and hope that they can magically change their attitudes because of you talking to them…
    Just cut them off and let them face the consequences of their bad choices

  • [Avatar for angry dude]
    angry dude
    May 19, 2018 01:29 pm

    Bemused @7


    It’s all about money today

    Money talks, money works, money buys you what you want

    SV tech giants spent hundreds of millions (by a very conservative estimate) on this anti “patent-troll” campaign

    There is no way we can match this kind of money

    I say the sh1t has to hit the fan in a major way destructive to competitiveness of US economy as a whole (not just startups relying on patent protections) until some (future) politicians ON BOTH SIDES realize that something drastic needs to be done
    And this is the best optimistic scenario
    In the pessimistic scenario this country becomes a third world banana republic
    Banana republics don’t need patent system

  • [Avatar for WS]
    May 19, 2018 12:53 pm

    I take exception to your characterization of the tech press’s use of the label patent troll: “VirnetX was hit over and over and over again with the patent troll label by the usual suspects among the tech news publishing world. To them, VirnetX is some nefarious, opportunistic actor within the patent system,…”.

    You imply they are simply misguided journalists inappropriately applying adjectives, when the truth is likely they are beholden to big tech for advertising, freebie products (obstinately for “tech reviews”), and other under-the-table handouts to insure they report what is in the best interest of their benefactors. You couldn’t pay ARS Technica to write an honest story about Virnetx if you paid them—like Apple does to maintain their “troll” narrative.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    May 19, 2018 11:53 am


    I ask that question all the time. When are we going to stop talking among ourselves and it get outside the echo chamber? Great time and at least some expense is spent to continually speak among ourselves at events and conferences. Bruce Berman had an event in Chicago on in November and one member of the media moderated a panel I was on and he chastised the entire audience saying that no serious members of the media would come to our events because they are one-sided. I spoke up and got quite animated. The other side hosts completely one-sided conferences and events and the media follow them and their narrative like lemmings. It is disgusting.

    It is going to take money to get the message out. IPWatchdog can be a tool because anything we publish goes to the top of search engine rankings, but if it is just us then it is easy to dismiss. The other side has coordinated PR campaigns, hired lobbyists, and is playing the game behind the scenes. Until the pro-patent community begins to play to win nothing is going to change.

    Now is the time. There is going to be a changing of the guard in DC after the midterms due to retirements, and the Senate is already becoming more friendly.

  • [Avatar for Night Writer]
    Night Writer
    May 19, 2018 11:51 am

    @7 Bemused

    Just think, though, how do you fight it when Google etc. gives a professor with a salary of $150K a year $50K-$100K for one paper that is anti-patent?

    We are fighting bought off boys and girls at every level.

  • [Avatar for Night Writer]
    Night Writer
    May 19, 2018 11:49 am

    @7 Bemused

    I think the only way that is going to happen is with money. We would have to have an advocacy organization that has money and can use mechanism to like campaign contributions, advertising, paying off bought off boy and girl professors (probably intellectual whores is a better word), etc. Go after universities that are taking money to appoint IP professors selected by Lemley.

    The only way to really fight this is probably with about $50 million a year to go after the same short of channels that Google has been using.

  • [Avatar for Bemused]
    May 19, 2018 07:16 am

    All well said. However, how do we push this story outside the echo chamber of IPW? Don’t get me wrong; Gene and Steve do a wonderful job of countering some of the negative and unfounded PR campaigns against patents. But how do we get the mainstream media to pick up and publicize this issue with an intensity similar to what the media did when the patent troll narrative was created by the efficient infringer lobby?

    I believe that the pro-patent forces need a bogeyman that the average joe on the street can understand: The reason the patent troll narrative was so effective was due to its simplicity (in both the branding and the message) and because the bogeyman was faceless but yet so easy to label.

  • [Avatar for Anon2]
    May 18, 2018 02:25 pm

    These strains of political bullying are much like the logical fallacy

    “Argument” from Intimidation

    basically it eschews argument while posing as one:

    “Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.”

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 18, 2018 02:24 pm

    If we are exploring labels for miscreants, how about labels for academia?

  • [Avatar for Software Inventor]
    Software Inventor
    May 18, 2018 12:41 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Brachmann. I would like to share my experience and another definition as a patent troll (and apparently thousands of others per IPR records.) Knock, knock, knock…”Hi, there, we big tech companies have heard and read about your new technologies. You know, we are not very good at inventing things, its a jungle out there, so we keep a keen eye on the latest developments. How about we sign some papers, have a look under the hood, and maybe we partner.” So due diligence happens, and the big companies learn your inventions. Then, …nothing…, no big tech response to repeated emails or phone calls. Dine-n-dash, gone. Soon thereafter, the invented technologies show up in the big tech companies new products. They capture market share and I am out of business. I sue for infringement….Big tech, Congress, USPTO, SCOTUS respond: “Hey patent troll, let me introduce you to the PTAB and the IPR process.” The End.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    May 18, 2018 11:45 am

    The part in the title of “Ramification of Policital Bullying” can be reapplied to how the CAFC has been conditioned by the repeated beat downs from the Supreme Court.

    With the CAFC without true leadership and in (quite) apparent disarray (panel to panel ping pong anyone?), the body clearly lacks the spine to push back at the Supreme Court when the Supreme Court egregiously oversteps its bounds.

    (for example, as Judge Rich did in response to the muckery of Benson and Flook)

  • [Avatar for Valuationguy]
    May 18, 2018 10:34 am

    Wasn’t there a District judicial decision that came out last month in which the Judge formally ruled that ‘patent troll’ term is not inherently pejorative….and thus it was non-prejudicial that the infringer describe to the jury that the patent owner was a troll? (Btw….I don’t agree…)

    (Probably Ninth Circuit judge…but can’t remember…)

  • [Avatar for EG]
    May 18, 2018 09:40 am

    Hey Steve,

    I’ve always viewed the term “patent troll” as pejorative, and simply a propaganda tactic foisted on us by Big Tech and certain Congressman. If you want to talk about patent abuse, that’s different, and also no different from many other abusive tactics. But the t