Posts Tagged: "Congress"

A Look Back at the Legislative Origin of IPRs

Those now familiar with IPR proceedings will already have recognized how little resemblance current IPR proceedings have to what most supporters of the AIA envisioned upon its passage. In current practice, the role of the Director as an independent IPR gatekeeper never materialized because the USPTO’s implementing rules bypass the Director altogether, assigning the institution function to the PTAB, which in turn routinely assigns both the institution and final decisions to the same three judge panel. As a result, most of the safeguards against patent owner harassment were lost…. By failing to adopt the implementing rules needed to carry out the intent of the AIA, and by adopting other rules and procedures that are plainly skewed towards petitioners, the PTAB has intentionally tilted its IPR proceedings against patent owners. While this has been good for the PTAB, which has quadrupled in size, it was neither Congress’s intent nor that of most of AIA’s supporters to create an unfair IPR patent “killing field.”

The failed PTAB experiment has been a colossal mistake

The five year experiment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is a colossal mistake. It is a failure to inventors, startups, early stage investors, job creation, economic growth, our national standing, and most importantly, our national security. The extraordinary damage of the PTAB on so many levels cannot be overstated. I’ve always believed that it’s okay to make a mistake. A mistake can be corrected. But the real sin is ignoring that mistake and watching it become a disaster. Congress made a huge mistake in creating the PTAB. If Congress ignores it, it will absolutely become a national disaster. And, we are on the brink of that national disaster right now.

Conservatives’ Letter to U.S. Senate Says Preserve Bayh-Dole

Though aimed at certain pharmaceutical products, Sens. Angus King’s and Bernie Sanders’ potential amendments would throw the key to the Bayh-Dole Act’s success —certainty and exclusivity of the intellectual property associated with technology transfer in order to agree to attempt commercialization in the first place — into disarray beyond a single product or sector, the signatories contend.

Following the money trail from Mapbox to the Kushners and Trump Administration

There are clearly many thousands of companies both large and small with far greater experience and in a far better position to advise Congress on the issue of patent reform. So why Mapbox? As is so frequently the case whenever business and politics intersect, follow the money! We have done just that and we’ve found that a no-name, no-experience company like Mapbox, without any patent applications and no patent litigation experience became thrust into the public debate over patents because all the money people behind Mapbox are card carrying members of the anti-patent efficient infringer lobby.

Does anyone at Mapbox understand the company’s patent filing activities?

Given that Lee testified that Mapbox has been a party to multiple patent lawsuits and only a single lawsuit can be located, coupled with Lee’s testimony that Mapbox has used the patent system as an applicant and no patents or applications can be found, Congress should question whether or not false testimony has been given in this case. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation, but based on publicly available information serious questions exist regarding the veracity of his testimony.

Is being called a ‘patent troll’ defamatory? NH inventor files suit against banking industry to find out

In a New Hampshire State Superior Court, this so-called ‘patent troll’ has decided to fight back. Automated Transactions and Dave Barcelou have filed a defamation complaint against the crème de la crème of those deemed “too big to fail” and who many might consider to be too big to defeat… The minute Barcelou was able to enforce his patented technologies in court, winning a sizable settlement from the biggest bank in his hometown of Buffalo, NY, a veritable “Who’s Who” of the financial services leaders joined forces to destroy both Barcelou and his company economically. Besides encouraging one another to ignore Automated Transaction’s demand letters, false and misleading statements started to appear in prominent business publications, which went so far as to say the company had purchased its patents, or alternatively, that the patents were invalid. Over time a unified battle cry arose from the ‘poor little community banks’ he allegedly targeted; “He’s nothing but a patent troll.”

Patent ‘gold rush’ to blame for patent sharks, patent trolls

Patent trolls – as well as calls for changes to the law to prevent them – date back to at least the 1800’s. A look at their history suggests that they have more to do with fluidity in the definition of patentable subject matter than any unique feature of a particular class of inventions… A change in a fundamental definition of what comprised patentable subject matter, and that change brought a major building block of commerce into the ambit of the patent system. In the age of the sharks, the farm remained the core of the U.S. economy, driving a gold rush of new patents covering every element of the farming process. Such a rush also encourages the formation of patent thickets, as speculators scramble for any potentially protectable chunk of the market. The same phenomenon drove the development of modern tech and software patents. In the aftermath of State Street, once again the market found that the machinery that undergirded the economy was suddenly open to being patented, leading to a similar gold rush.

High patent quality standards have caused U.S. to lose technological advantages

The U.S. inventor pool is now limited to corporate inventors and a very few resilient professional inventors. The number of professional inventors will rapidly decrease with fewer and fewer of young people joining the inventor population… U.S. patent applications are predominately filed by foreign corporations, while for all other national patent offices the domestic applications comprise a super majority. In 2016, the Chinese patent office received totally 3,465,000 applications for three kinds of patents, making an increase of 23.8% year on year. The number for invention, utility model and design are respectively 1,339,000 (increase by 21.5%), 1,476,000 (increase by 30.9%) and 650,000 (increase by 14.2%). China has a high share of domestic applications (which means that inventive activities take place inside the country). The total application number in 2016 is 1,339,000+1,476,000=2,815,000. Patent applications filed with China patent office in 2016 is almost ten times of the U.S.-originated applications filed with the U.S. patent office. The number of patent applications filed with Japanese patent office is close to the U.S.-origin applications filed with the U.S. patent office. South Korea will surpass the U.S. in application filing number.

How patent quality extremism and money-can-buy-fairness have ruined the U.S. patent system

Patent reformers argue that too many patents can hurt business, and low-quality patents cause problems. Their lobby activities have successfully persuaded the Congress to pass the AIA, with the primary purpose to raise patent quality…. The patent office uses all patent rules in an even-handed manner to all applicants. So, it treats corporate applicants and U.S. individual applicants in the same way: entering frivolous rejections, using one-way bias high patent quality standard, giving the same opportunity to demand inter-party review (by paying $23,000), and affording the same opportunity to defend a challenge to patents (which would consume hundreds of thousands of dollars of attorney fees). Nobody can question those rules.  However, this money-can-buy fairness practices have distorted technological landscape. Frivolous rejections can force individual inventors to abandon their applications, but do not affect giant foreign corporations; outrageous fees and maintenance fees can discourage individual inventors, but will not affect foreign corporations; and the right of harassment can be used by all corporations but not U.S. independent inventors.

Judge Michel tells Congress it isn’t helpful to talk about quality, patents are either valid or invalid

“I think at the end of the day, patents are either valid or invalid as a legal instrument and therefore it’s not very helpful to talk about quality or ‘good’ or ‘bad,” Judge Michel said. “They’re either valid or not valid and with respect to someone practicing the technology, the patent is either infringed as properly construed or it is not infringed.”

Congressman Darrell Issa: A well-financed ally of the efficient infringer lobby

With all of this money, it seems the efficient infringer lobby has managed to find an unlikely ally in Congress — someone who made his money as an innovator who defended his patents as a patent plaintiff, which apparently makes him a patent troll. At the end of the day, it may not be entirely fair to characterize Congressman Darrell Issa as a patent troll. Instead, he seems more of a swamp creature of the type that President Trump campaigned against. An individual who has fed from those who are actively trying to muck up the U.S. patent system in favor of large, entrenched entities and to the disadvantage of small, innovative patent owners who have previously always been the driving force of innovation and job creation in America.

Why are these people giving testimony to Congress on patent reform?

Why does Mapbox’s viewpoint on patent litigation echo in the halls of Congress given the fact that it doesn’t appear that it has faced abusive patent litigation? In fact, it almost looks like there is no merit to Lee’s statement that “Mapbox has had multiple experiences with patent trolls: non-practicing entities who file meritless lawsuits that are cheaper to settle than to defend.” Mapbox certainly hasn’t had multiple experiences with lawsuits… The one patent case Mapbox has faced as a defendant was filed last December by Shipping & Transit LLC, a company which itself has been very litigious against alleged patent infringement having been listed as a plaintiff in 172 patent suits. The one Shipping & Transit suit filed against Mapbox terminated in 92 days and has a total of nine docket items and the original complaint is all of six pages long.

ABOTA defends Judge Gilstrap in response to political pressure from Darrell Issa

Issa decried Judge Gilstrap’s “overreach” in denying a motion to transfer venue in a case coming after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, a decision which restricted the venue statute for patent infringement cases. “It is, in fact, an act that I find reprehensible by that judge,” Issa said… American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) noted that Issa’s further assertion that Judge Gilstrap was motivated by personal bias to promote community interests “extended beyond a challenge of the legal precedent to a personal attack on Judge Gilstrap and his integrity as a jurist.”

A Call for Enacting Urgent Patent Reform: A New Patent System for Securing U.S. Technological Leadership

The U.S. patent system is the primary contributor for the U.S. economy. Since the foundering of the nation, the patent system has fostered an innovation culture that is directly responsible for making inventions that are more than all inventions accumulated in all major civilized regions in several thousands of years. However, the U.S. has inherent disadvantages in the political system and court systems… After the irreparable damages of public trust in the patent system, overhauling the patent system is no longer a feasible option. To continue existing as a powerful nation in the world, the U.S. must put its population back to the inventing business and create a renewed innovation culture, which could reach the entire population. It cannot count on the “miserable system” known in Thomas Edison’s time. Due to intensified competition and critical roles of technologies in competition, America must do far more than what is necessary to turn the dead patent system back to the same “miserable system”. One more thing that the Congress should do is to revive all invalidated patents under the AIA.

House IP Subcommittee holds yet another one-sided hearing on bad patents and patent trolls

House IP subcommittee chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) led off the hearing by discussing the large number of interests who are often on Capitol Hill to discuss their issues with “patent trolls,” including the “genius ones” which have only been developed in recent years. Despite the intent of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 to weed bad patents out of the system, “patent trolls” remain active. Issa felt there were a few reasons for this, including the fact that such entities make money and that good patents could still be used to assert unreasonable claims. “Why innovate when it’s far easier and more profitable to simply purchase a patent, acquire one, acquire the rights to a patent, perhaps one that has never been licensed, bully businesses into writing a check, go away without ever seriously litigating,” Issa said. He said that 80 percent of “patent troll” litigation focuses on small business. “Simply put, we should not confuse ‘Making America Great Again’ with ‘Making American Patent Trolls Richer Again,’” Issa said. Although Issa was pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on patent venue in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, he recoiled at what he felt was an “overreach” by Judge Rodney Gilstrap from the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.); Issa felt that Gilstrap misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland by denying a motion to transfer venue from E.D. Tex. in Raytheon v. Cray. “It is, in fact, an act that I find reprehensible by that judge,” Issa said.