Posts in Government

Senate Acts to Prevent USPTO Furlough or RIF

Last night the United States Senate passed a bill that authorizes the United States Patent and Trademark Office to shift funds between different USPTO accounts in order to avoid the Patent Office having to furlough or terminate patent examiners.  Under the Senate bill the USPTO would be able to shift funds from the Trademark side of the building, which is…

American Ingenuity Will Lead US to Prosperity

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has been out in front on patent and intellectual property issues for years, and he is at it once again.  Senator Hatch has recently been very active with respect to writing op-ed articles explaining what all of us in the patent community have known for a very long time.  My hope is that his profile will…

Liberal Think Tank Says Patents Are Destroying the Planet

I was doing some searching online today regarding climate change and the vote that will take place tomorrow in Congress regarding the so-called cap and trade legislation that, if enacted, would raise the cost of electricity for every American family by an estimated $3,100 per year.  As I surfed around the web I stumbled on to what can only be…

Obscure Patents: KSR Does Not Mean Much

So much has been made about the United States Supreme Court’s decision in KSR v. Teleflex, which happened just over 2 years ago. Occasionally I like to take a look at how the Patent Office is handling KSR. Admittedly, this is not a scientific study, and is more aimed at having fun and perhaps also explaining so we never forget just how absurd the Supreme Court’s decision in KSR actually was. Those familiar with the KSR decision and history will recall that the non-patent experts on the Supreme Court, including Justice Antonin Scalia who openly admitted he didn’t understand patent law during oral arguments — calling patents “gobbledygook,” decided to completely do away with an objective, understandable and repeatable test in favor of a completely subjective test without any concrete boundaries. Yes, in their infinite wisdom the Supreme Court decided that the law of what is obvious should be conducted on a case by case analysis and an invention is obvious if it is “common sense.”

President Obama Intends to Appoint Kappos as PTO Head

UPDATED: 8:42pm ET At some point in time today, presumably after I nominated Alfred E. Neuman for PTO Director, President Obama announced that he intends to appoint David Kappos as the Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, a position that will make him the Director of the USPTO.  It was predictable that word of the nomination, or iminent nomination, would…

Nominating Alfred E. Neuman for PTO Director

While we continue to wait for President Obama to nominate an Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, otherwise known as the Director of the Patent Office, I figured it was about time to make another nomination, but who?  From what I hear, the rumor is that President Obama has made his selection but the vetting processing is taking a lot…

500 Million Patent Applications a Year?

The Wall Street Journal Online just published an article titled Why Technologists Want Fewer Patents, which will apparently appear in the June 15, 2009, edition of the paper on page A13, under the heading “Opinion.”  The article discusses the US Supreme Court agreeing to hear Bilski v. Doll, which will decide the fate of at least some business method patents,…

USPTO Needs Improved Work-flow Management

In 2006, Peter Orszag, the current head of the Office of Management and Budget, observed in an article he co-authored for the Brookings Institution: Because the U.S. is at the frontier of modern technological and scientific advances, sustaining economic growth depends substantially on our ability to advance that frontier. Orszag is, of course, correct. Unfortunately, without meaningful and near immediate…

Second Pair of Eyes Fails Innovation in the US

Monday I wrote about how the United States Patent Office is holding innovation hostage, and is treating applicants unfairly, at least insofar as some applicants seem to have their cases advance quickly and other applicants seem to wait for many years without any action whatsoever. I have gone on record saying that I believe the Patent Office is taking important…

Supreme Court Ignores US Constitution

By now you have probably heard that the United States Supreme Court lifted the stay Ordered by Justice Ginsberg late on Monday and the bankruptcy deal that will give Chrysler to Fiat, UAW workers and the US and Canadian governments is now clear to go through, most likely on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.  I will not call this deal a…

Saving US Innovation: More Patent Funding Needed

Yesterday I posted an article titled Innovation Held Hostage by the Patent Office.  In the article I detailed some troubling things I have learned regarding what appears to be best explained by patent examiners taking cases out of order.  The Patent Office is a first-in-first-out (FIFO) system, or at least it is supposed to be.  A couple patent attorneys have…

Senator Hatch Speaks at World Copyright Summit

What follows is a copy of the remarks of Senator Orrin Hatch, delivered at the World Copyright Summit earlier this morning at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.  It is great to hear Senator Hatch discuss the importance of protecting intellectual property rights against the actions of infringers.  In my opinion, intellectual property rights are essential to guarantee continued…

Innovation Held Hostage by the Patent Office

The June 15, 2009, edition of Business Week has an interesting article about innovation by Michael Mandel, which concludes that during the last decade US innovation has failed to deliver on the hyped promises, and this failure of innovation may have contributed to the economic woes we are now experiencing. Indeed, this article is interesting for many reasons. First, how…

Tafas Requests Rehearing of Claims & Continuations Ruling

As soon as I learned that the date for requesting rehearing or en banc consideration of the Federal Circuit ruling in the GSK and Tafas appeal of the claims and continuations rules was pushed back to June 3, 2009, I said to myself, of course!  Important things always seem to pop up while I am on the road teaching the…

Patent Ignorances Shows Regarding Inequitable Conduct

Those who are not familiar with patent law should not comment on patent law as if they are experts, announcing ridiculous propositions that they don’t understand.  It is silly for the many commentators and journalists out there to think that they can read a little about patent law and become conversant in the intricacies, offer opinions and suggestions and portray…