Earlier this week two key House Republican leaders, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is Chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, was joined by Congressman Harold Rogers (R-KY), who is Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, wrote Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) explaining that they oppose provisions in House patent reform legislation H.R. 1249 that would allow the Patent and Trademark Office to keep and use the fees collected to run the agency. See House Republicans Oppose an Adequately Funded Patent Office. This is an extremely myopic and ill conceived notion. The Patent Office is unlike other government agencies in that it is completely funded by user fees, takes absolutely no taxpayer funds and provides a valuable service for a fee.
Given that House Republicans seem to fear an adequately funded Patent Office I got to thinking — What could they be afraid of? With that in mind, here are the top 10 things that House Republicans just might be afraid of as they seek to oppose an adequately funded Patent Office. Can you hear the black helicopter squad swirling overhead, conspiracy theories in hand?
Caution! You are about to begin a journey through space and time into another dimension where what seems absurd is truly is absurd. On this odyssey toward a wondrous land of the pleasantly sublime, the expanse of timeless infinity will weigh on your subconscious, lulling you into a hypnotic trance where your mind teeters on the edge between politics and superstition. Caution! You are about to enter the Political Zone, a fully owned and clandestinely funded subsidiary of the Twilight Zone….
Boys and girls and children of all ages gather ’round. Be heard the top 10 reasons that House Republicans oppose an adequately funded Patent Office.
- The Obama Administration might be able to concoct a way to divert some funds to the operation of Area 51, the infamous top-secret military site where aliens are being studied. Such black operations should only be approved by Congress.
- Fees that are collected by the USPTO and not handed out by Congress could be used for purposes of upgrading the woefully inadequate IT infrastructure, which would only make Congress look bad given that it would pretty conclusively prove that they miserably failed in oversight responsibilities during the Bush Administration years.
- Patent Office user fees unchecked by Congress could be used by the Obama Administration for the purpose of funding lobbying efforts by David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, to lobby Congress for a shorter title for himself. Such efforts would also indirectly benefit Teresa Rea, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, who has the longest title in Washington, D.C. , thanks to the addition of the word “Deputy” twice to an already ridiculously long title. Congress gets to define the titles and it is up to them if they want someone’s title to be a full paragraph long!
- User fees collected by the Patent and Trademark Office, if not overseen by Congress, could be utilized to create a better functioning Patent Office, which would lead to the creation of valuable assets, which in turn would lead to the funding of start-up businesses that would hire workers and lower the unemployment rate. Can’t have any of that prior to President Romney taking Office, can we?
- The Obama Administration could divert PTO funds without Congressional knowledge to continue the decades long cover-up of exactly what happened in Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone knows we have been visited by aliens that landed in Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947. But-for clandestine programs and black ops funding the public would already know the truth!
- The Obama Administration could divert user fees collected to continue the long-time suppression of the truth relative to exactly who shot JFK. Yes, no one is buying the single gunman theory. As that famous Seinfeld episode pointed out, spit cannot make a right turn in mid-air, so presumably a bullet couldn’t either. But enough on that, “they” are probably listening and I may have already said too much!
- If the Democrats are for something we need to be opposed as Republicans. The only acceptable bi-partisan effort in Washington, D.C. is the unyielding bi-partisan attacks. After all, if both parties attack that has to be “bi-partisan,” right? Just like there is no crying in baseball, there can be no agreeing in politics.
- The Obama White House could use the gargantuan sums collected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, all .01% of federal spending on an annual basis, to cover up proof that aliens have visited Earth, have abducted humans for experimentation purposes and are planning an invasion even as we speak. Yes, I know I have mentioned aliens three times now, but can any good conspiracy theory ever mention aliens, Area 51 and Roswell too many times? I think not!
- The new Patent Office campus located in Alexandria, Virginia, which opened in about 2005, was too small immediately upon opening. The Office had grown faster than anticipated, so the campus was not large enough day 1. Everyone knows that the best and brightest minds, namely our leaders, couldn’t have made such a terrible miscalculation. Obviously, the campus property was acquired to cover up something; something big! I realize this doesn’t have anything directly to do with opposing an adequately funded Patent Office, but it has to mean something!
- The Patent Office? You guys are still in existence? Republicans thought they crippled the Agency sufficiently under the Bush Administration to force the Office to go bankrupt and cease business operations. Oh, right, the Patent Office is a part of the Department of Commerce. Never mind.
All joking aside, it seems that Congressmen Ryan and Rogers have not actually read H.R. 1249. This is quite ironic in and of itself given Republicans loudly (and correctly) chided Democrats for not having read much of the legislation passed over the previous several years. You see, House Republican leaders can’t have read H.R. 1249 because if they had they would know that the user fees are required to go for the reasonable and necessary operation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and they were not turning over a blank check to be used by the Obama White House, as they seem to suggest. If they had been paying attention they also would have known that this provision was added to Patent Reform by “Dr. No,” none other than Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who is one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress. So this wasn’t proposed by the Obama Administration for nefarious reasons, it was proposed and supported as the only logical and correct thing to do by a top Republican fiscal hawk.
So why are the Republicans so worried? Let’s hear your best, worst and most conspiratorial theories! After all, if our political leaders are going to be fixated on doing destructively stupid things we might as well realize some enjoyment by poking fun at them as we cry at the hopelessness of our own plight.- - - - - - - - - -
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Posted in: Fun Stuff, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents
About the Author
Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and the founder of the popular blog IPWatchdog.com, which has for three of the last four years (i.e., 2010, 2012 and 2103) been recognized as the top intellectual property blog by the American Bar Association. He is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.