The PTAB: Number One Enemy of Inventors

By Josh Malone
July 22, 2017

I used think that if I followed the law, applied for a patent, and that patent application was approved, then I would receive a patent that protects my invention. But U.S. patents don’t work like that anymore. They are useless if a big corporation decides to steal your invention. Several factors have led to this dire situation but the number one enemy of inventors is the politicized division of the patent office called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Rather than issuing and defending patents, the job of the PTAB is to revoke patents. They are very proficient at this, overturning their examiner colleagues over 90% of the time. My own patents are in limbo with the examining division issuing patents for my Bunch O Balloons invention, but then the PTAB comes along afterward to declare it a mistake. It has cost me millions of dollars in legal fees and enabled a notorious infringer to avoid liability for stealing my invention.

Many other inventors like myself have been cheated.

Hundreds more have been scammed.  When we apply for a patent, we are sharing our secret, our discovery, with the world. In exchange for sharing our secret we are promised 20 years of exclusive rights, a promise signed and sealed by the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. But with the PTAB, it means nothing. No guarantee. No warranty. Arguably a fraud. It will be revoked – by the same agency that issued it – at least 90 percent of the time.

Inventors –  Your inventions, past, present, and future, are jeopardized by the existence of the PTAB.

Patent Practitioners – Your work product is not 90 percent defective. Your clients are counting on an issued patent to secure their investment. Your industry cannot provide any useful service while the PTAB is running loose.

Patent Examiners – Your work product is not 90 percent defective. Don’t despair. Keep up the good work. One day your management will remember that they are supposed be protecting innovation rather than killing it. We will need a dedicated examining corps to take back our #1 ranking for patent rights when that day comes.

Everyone else – Our nation needs to return to our famous patent system that fostered the greatest innovation the world has ever known. We must support the good work of the USPTO done in examining and granting the patent, and demand an end to the destructive PTAB tribunal.

US Inventor Rally/Protest on August 11 at USPTO Headquarters

Please join me and other inventors on August 11 at the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia. US Inventor will be supporting the work of the USPTO by presenting the first annual A1:8 Examiner Awards. Examiners will be honored for their contributions to “securing to inventors the exclusive right to their discoveries” according to Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution.

Award categories will include:

  • Best rejections
  • Best interviews
  • Best amendments
  • Best prior art search
  • Best notice of allowance
  • Best all around examination

Patent owners/applicants are encouraged to submit nominations here.

Following the award ceremony there will be a peaceful protest demanding an end to the PTAB. Details and registration for the event are at http://usinventor.org/rally.

The Author

Josh Malone

Josh Malone quit his corporate job in 2006 to take his shot at the American (Inventor’s) Dream. Eight years later, savings depleted and orthodontics and college unfunded, he took one last swing before trudging back to the corporate world. And hit the homerun with Bunch O Balloons. His solution to the 63 year old problem of filling and tying water balloons instantly became the number one selling spring/summer toy. It was just as quickly knocked off resulting in a patent litigation now totaling 6 patents, 5 patent suits, 5 PTAB petitions/trials, 4 preliminary injunctions, and 8 appeals at the Federal Circuit. He is currently a Fellow with US Inventor working to restore the patent system.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com 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 and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 46 Comments comments. Join the discussion.

  1. Night Writer July 22, 2017 7:01 am

    This is great stuff. I can tell you from the trenches that there is great weakness in filing patent applications. They haven’t been cut-back a lot yet, but I hear decision makers saying things that make me think we are at the cusp of a tipping point.

    We may see a dramatic drop in the US filings of patent applications.

  2. Night Writer July 22, 2017 7:04 am

    OT a bit, but I think this blog should investigate more the role of Google in blog posts at the other patent blogs. There is no answer from “America’s Top” top patent blog whether the authors have been taking money from Google to write blog articles.

    My guess is that the person that runs the blog has taken a lot of money. My guess is $500k-$1 million to post articles on the blog. (With kids getting ready to go to college is it a surprise?) I suppose this wouldn’t be terrible if this were disclosed at the title level.

  3. angry dude July 22, 2017 9:53 am

    “Fool me once – shame on you,
    fool me twice – shame on me ”

    Once more and more inventors and small companies realize the amount of fooling around going on with patents they will want to stay as far as possible from that sh1t

    I predicted years ago on this blog that patent litigation and consequently patent filings would go down and there would be less work for IP lawyers of any sort
    Gene didn’t believe me
    but it is happening – litigation practice shrinking first followed by prosecution
    Congrats

  4. Anon July 22, 2017 10:45 am

    Night Writer,

    I hear what you are saying and I would put it a bit (a small bit) differently.

    First, an accusation such as yours carries with it (if it were to be a case in court), a higher standard of pleading. “Guessing” at such a particular accusation – without the benefit of any investigation – is not something that an attorney should do lightly.

    On the other hand, we are not talking about a court case, and we are talking about a medium that has promoted itself in ways that can (and do) shape jurisprudential views; so there should be more scrutiny on that factor alone (my views as to why attorneys have – and should – ethical codes of conduct, and yet academics, who in some ways have an even more powerful role in shaping law, do not*** are fairly well documented).

    As noted elsewhere though, EVEN IF the person running that other blog is NOT on the take, the manner of editorial control is so blatantly non-objective so as to create the perception that a certain desired narrative is being actively promoted there.

    That perception simply leads credence to the view that you have expressed – even absent “proof” or formal investigation. And it is not as if that person is not aware of these perceptions either (which leads me to conjecture that that person DOES have a certain agenda, or perhaps that that person is not the one that is really calling the shots.

    Either way, that perception is even more insidious – outside of any taking of money, or even disclosure or not of taking of money – BECAUSE of how that blog desires to spin itself and yet not take meaningful steps to controlling or at least alleviating rampant propaganda and patent denigrations.

    It really would not be all that difficult to clean up the lack of objective editorial control, and maintain a (published) standard applied equally and consistently to all comers.

    Heck, even providing a slightly sliding scale of allowing more “swagger” to those who have shown a willingness to engage in meaningful (and by meaningful I do include the notion of being inte11ectually honest) dialogues would be far more “healthy” (in a perception sense) than the mouthing of wanting a “healthy ecosystem” while promoting the opposite of that very thing with its current censorship activities.

    *** at least ones that have some even minor indicator of having teeth and are not tied to a rather meaningless “peer review”

  5. Tesia Thomas July 22, 2017 1:19 pm

    I feel it’s like buying a car in cash and having it repossessed by the DMV/BMV.

    I wonder why on Earth people feel the need to tackle supposedly ‘poor quality patents’ this way.
    We should build up on the examination process if that’s really the case.

    When I look back at patents filed in the 1800s, I don’t see anywhere near as much thought put into them as I see in patents now.
    Sure, they’re the first prior art of today but they ABSOLUTELY SUCK.

    They’re hard to read courtesy of different English from back then. The drawings look like 4th graders drew them. And, all sorts of other problems that would not meet the standards of today.

    So, can I invalidate them??

    If examination is bad then aren’t all past patents bad? Even ones filed for Apple, Cisco, Amazon, et all?
    The same examiners that learned the ‘examination trade’ and allowed we small inventor patents to be issued are the same examiners who worked on Apple, Cisco, Amazon, et all patents. Right?

    And if that’s the case then we should be reviewing ALL PAST PATENTS and not cherry-picking them.

    This whole thing is a bunch of BS!
    It’s ‘whose opinion do I like more?’ But, really, ‘I need a second opinion (PTAB) much harsher than the first one (USPTO examiner) so I don’t pay for infringement.’

    Why aren’t we reviewing all past patents if examination sucks so much?
    We’re creating these standards but not applying them as standards should be applied.

    Every patent filed in the past should go through PTAB.
    And, PTAB should become part of examination.

    When we changed the patent standards from 19th century patent ways, we didn’t invalidate all of the 19th century patents.
    Why?
    Because you’re removing history. Because they actually did invent something whether it was written in the correct legalese of the time or not.

    Why are we doing this now?

    I feel as though if anyone can invalidate their IP with PTAB IPR then anyone can INVALIDATE THEIR OWN PRIOR ART.
    What keeps me from doing this?
    The quality of past patents from the 1800s sucks way more than patent quality now.
    Why can’t I invalidate all of my past prior art…
    …for drawings from a 4th grader
    …for weird English that no one ‘skilled in the art’ can understand now
    …for paltry enablement
    …poor claim construction
    …too broad of claims

  6. Tesia Thomas July 22, 2017 1:27 pm

    I mean, really…

    Do any of these X-patents look like they’d pass the muster of today?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Patent

    I think they’re all invalid because of that.

    That’s the sh*t that happens when you apply future standards to past products. Everything gets taken off the market and invalidated.

    Currently, the X-patents are only expired and not invalid.
    Let’s fix that with PTAB (said in the snarkiest way imaginable.)

  7. Night Writer July 22, 2017 1:33 pm

    @4 Anon: I don’t think me guessing is out of line. The question was asked and not answered. Plus, I have noticed over the last four years or so a decided turn of becoming far more anti-patent by that blog.

    The fact that the blog writers won’t answer the question of whether they take money from Google is pretty da#ning evidence. And why is that? Because the standard for published work from academics is that they are supposed to disclose any funding. It is considered unethical not to. This is not a criminal case, but a case of integrity and ethics.

    So, as I said, my guess is that that other blog is taking money from Google to publish blog posts and not disclosing it.

  8. Night Writer July 22, 2017 1:37 pm

    @4 Anon: I agree with you that the editorial control is bad on the other blog. It has taken a definite turn towards anti-patent. Seldom do my posts get deleted, but some do.

    At the end of the day, it is a fair question to ask an academic that runs a blog whether they are paid to run the blog. It is fair game.

  9. Tesia Thomas July 22, 2017 1:44 pm

    Here’s a source for drawings look like 4th graders drew them.
    https://www.wired.com/2012/08/the-history-and-artistic-degredation-of-patent-drawings/

    Also, adding new points:
    PTAB invalidation of old patents for…
    -too much imagination and detail in drawings because, sorry, patent art is robotic now (revised drawings from 4th grader opinion)
    -spec too hard to read: https://www.google.com/patents/USX9884
    -drafted as a letter (we don’t do that anymore)
    -no numberings on drawings: https://www.google.com/patents/USX9887
    -too many drawings on a page: https://www.google.com/patents/USX9884

    Ta da. USPTO history gone.
    All patents invalid under our new and improved post-AIA criteria.

  10. Mike Viall July 22, 2017 1:54 pm

    My non-lawyer, macro take on the PTAB is that Obama and his Leftist cronies simply detested U.S. small business innovation and directed the courts to let the big companies steal at will. Of course, down the road the Big Plan was to seize control of all those companies, but tons of $$$ to be made by those at the top in the interim. Possibly I am incomprehensively naive, if so please explain why Dear Readers.

  11. Tesia Thomas July 22, 2017 2:04 pm

    Well, enough of my ranting…

    My point in all of this junk I said is what keeps me from invalidating my prior art based on the (what would definitely be considered) poor patent examination of any patent issued between now and 200+ years ago?

    People nitpick claim construction, word choices, etc. Minutia.
    ALL of that is present in past patents.
    And AIA doesn’t say how far back you can’t go.
    It doesn’t say you can’t IPR expired patents.
    The claims meaning is interpreted as someone in the past would interpret them. However, we can use the patent standards of today to invalidate them.

    Maybe we inventors’ patent strategy should be to invalidate the claims of all of our prior art before applying for a patent.

    Prior art with invalid claims is not really prior art. There are no claims to assert that your invention reads on at that point. Correct?

    (Just a strategist trying to find ridiculous loopholes.)

  12. Tesia Thomas July 22, 2017 2:15 pm

    “Prior art with invalid claims is not really prior art. There are no claims to assert that your invention reads on at that point. Correct?”

    That’s why infringers get away, right?
    No valid claims = No claims
    Prior art is weakened to the point of being ineffective at that point.

    We could completely wipe out and redo the patent system with the crazy AIA laws,

    I think if we show SCOTUS the true power of this law in invalidating all of patent history, then we could show them what a freak show the AIA monster is.

  13. Tesia Thomas July 22, 2017 2:43 pm

    Or, actually. I’m incorrect.
    The first ‘prior art’ reference of a patent can’t be invalidated with IPR due to needing prior art or publication.
    But, we could potentially invalidate every patent other than the first ever patent on a certain classification.

    It’s weird how 112 stuff can’t institute IPRs but people nitpick over the wording of everything when saying the prior art claims read on the IPR’d patent.
    It’s like you’re invoking 112 either way.

    But, the first patent in a class could possibly invalidate everything else if construed broadly enough at PTAB.
    It goes back to how everything is made up of something that already was.
    Where is the line drawn? By just who challenges what?

  14. Curious July 22, 2017 8:49 pm

    My non-lawyer, macro take on the PTAB is that Obama and his Leftist cronies simply detested U.S. small business innovation and directed the courts to let the big companies steal at will.
    Jon Dudas — a terrible USPTO commissioner and extremely patent unfriendly was appointed by Bush. Obama first appointed Kappos who was a decidedly refreshing breeze as compared to who followed/preceded him. It was a Republican majority in Congress that passed the AIA (American Infringes Act). Granted, Obama signed the AIA and appointed Lee, but I doubt Obama really cared much for intellectual property. I also (highly) suspect that Lee was appointed by Obama based upon heavy lobbying by Google. Finally, it has been a conservative-led Supreme Court that has killed patent rights. While the liberals would have gone further, the conservatives are still complicit in the terrible decisions we have seen over the years.

    There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle.

    Prior art with invalid claims is not really prior art.
    Wrong. Whether a reference is in of itself patentable is immaterial to whether the reference can be applied as “prior art.” Technical articles qualify as prior art. Published applications (not yet patented) qualify.

  15. Tesia Thomas July 23, 2017 12:22 am

    @Curious,

    But then you have to either have matching drawings or too broad claims to read on it. It’s weaker especially today.
    (I’ve heard about movies and comics invalidating patents. But it had to be just about the same exact thing.)

    IPR is battling claim construction. Unreasonably broad claim construction.
    The so called terrible examiner would likely have found that photo or technical drawing. Everything is online nowadays.

    The non-patent prior art isn’t the problem.
    The efficient infringers are using the exact same prior art references cited and OK’d by examiners in PTAB.

    The problem is the PTAB demands more novelty and nonobviousness in claims than the examiner does.
    Has there even been a non-patent prior art citation that has rendered a patent invalid with PTAB???

    I’m sure PTAB wasn’t meant for non-patent citations. It was meant to degrade or eliminate claims with prior claims.

    The claims make it much easier to infringe or be prior art because they’re construed broadly or narrowly in many varying degrees.

    But I was specifically talking about old patents which aren’t of the same quality of today.
    If you got rid of the claims and with the quality of them, you might be able to redo the patent system.

    My point was just that when patent quality standards changed from 19th century going forward, no one invalidated those patents based on quality.
    Why are we doing this now?

    The ‘worst’ patents that anyone can see are the very first patents. They just don’t pass the muster of today. The rules have changed.

    PTAB is changing the rules again.
    And it’s new patent vs old patent not really new patent vs all prior art.

    Why don’t we invalidate old patent claims and reduce the prior art (effectiveness) that can be used to IPR our patents today?

    I bet Josh could invalidate the references used to invalidate his IP with the first ever balloon patent somehow.
    Then just change the laws to read claims in narrow scope. And patent anything.

    Maybe my imagination is running wild but what stops us from just having an IPR domino effect where we IPR patents until we work our way up to the very first patent of a class?

  16. Tesia Thomas July 23, 2017 1:00 am

    @Mike Viall, Curious,

    I agree with Curious. This is not a political party thing.
    This is the entire government being clueless and corrupt.

    The government even uses IPR against inventors because government inventors compete with all other inventors.
    https://www.ptabtrialinsights.com/2016/05/us-dept-of-justice-files-ipr-petitions-against-discovery-patents/

  17. Benny July 23, 2017 5:32 am

    Can I nominate a USPTO examiner for two award categories ?
    Ilya Traktovenko, best rejection – “The proposed invention is a telepathy receiver by any other name. Such a device cannot possibly exist” 12/312570
    Ilya Traktovenko, best notice of allowance – telepathy receiver , 12/312570

  18. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 8:19 am

    Thank you Curious and Tesia for your opinions that U.S. anti-patent policies are not driven by the sick forces of Leftism. See here dissenting opinion from Paul Morinville’s 6-5-17 article from IP Watchdog: http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/06/05/trump-bamboozled-obama-holdovers-patent-policy/id=84105/

  19. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 8:24 am

    See also “Obama’s Anti-Patent Bias Led to the Destruction of His Legacy,” by Neil Solomon 12/16: http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/12/14/obama-anti-patent-bias-destruction-legacy/id=75618/

  20. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 8:26 am

    “Conservatives Slam Patent Reform as Secret Obama Gift to Google” http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/conservatives-slam-patent-reform-as-secret-obama-gift-to-google/article/2559389

  21. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 8:30 am

    “Patently Surreal: The Obama Strategic Plan on IP Enforcement” — http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/12/15/patently-surreal-obama-strategic-plan-ip-enforcement/id=75722/

  22. Night Writer July 23, 2017 10:19 am

    Actually, Anon, I have much higher suspicions that the blog administrator of ethics has taken a lot of money from Google. He has a very strange attitude and regularly deletes my posts. I have also noticed that he is fairly unethical. Anyway, the fact neither have come out and denied taking money from Google, is probably enough to assume that they both are on the Google dole.

  23. Night Writer July 23, 2017 10:43 am

    Anon, I have stopped posting in the ethics portion because of heavy deleting that doesn’t fit the narrative. I also have specific examples where the ethics blog administrator has clearly broken ethics rules. My guess is that he is in Google’s back pocket. He also has this odd mean nature that I have found often indicates corruption.

  24. Anon July 23, 2017 11:00 am

    Night Writer,

    Mileage may vary.

    That is, I have found that the shaping of discussions is far more pronounced on the main pages of the blog.

    This may be due in part to the fact that the ethics side of the blog is far less traveled (BOTH in the number of stories posted, and in the number of “conversations” occurring in the comments section).

    While censorship remains censorship, if you are having posts “deleted” that are in a direct conversation with Prof. Hricik, that is one thing (a bad thing no doubt – and I do not mean to diminish your concern). But the shaping of content on the main page goes farther than that with the “editorial controls” being subjectively and inconsistently applied to “conversations” between different people than the editor/moderator/blog administrator.

    The editor/moderator/blog administrator is dipping into conversations that he is NOT a part of on the main side of the blog.

    As to not coming out and denying any receipt of funds from Google, you are aware that Prof. Hricik had posted just prior to your request that he was going to be on vacation (from about July 14 – 28).

  25. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 11:23 am

    Oh my God, I just had 3 posts deleted as well which simply linked to other articles on IP Watchdog. This forum is crazy!!!

  26. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 11:28 am

    The aggressive censorship on this forum is indicative of the sickness that Obama perpetrated on America. This moderator is has a very nasty and VERY OBVIOUS agenda.

  27. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 11:34 am

    OK, links to articles now reinstated. Someone just woke up to respect for free speech. Nice.

    America — love it or leave it.

  28. Gene Quinn July 23, 2017 12:54 pm

    Mike Viall-

    Relax. There is no conspiracy here against you.

    Your comments were awaiting moderation, most likely because you were including links and commenting in rapid fire, which is the hallmark of spam. We get many thousands of spam comments a day and that is even using a firewall and other software measures.

  29. Anon July 23, 2017 1:41 pm

    Mike,

    I would recommend to you that there is simply not just one single force that is against strong patent rights.

    I have portrayed this concept a number of times, and it may be helpful to think of strong patents as being a “middle” with attacks coming from both the Left (the ideological “Left” with its aversion to property – and personal property – rights as well as attacks coming from the Right (not necessarily the ideological opposite of the Left, but instead more like the entrenched (often trans-national) Big Corp efficient infringer groups who LOVE their own personal property, but who do not want to compete on innovation terms because often such innovation may be of the disruptive innovation type in which MANY of their traditional power bases of the entrenched companies simply lose meaning (they are against anyone else’s personal property that may threaten their market position).

    As to your comment about the moderator on THIS blog having a VERY OBVIOUS agenda, I take it that you are completely unfamiliar with the views of the moderator on this blog.

    As Gene as mentioned, THIS blog (with the “agenda” that you seem so eager to label), has come under deliberate and concerted attacks because of its pro-patent stance.

    I have actually tried to have Gene employ an even tighter “filter” to his protocols. We have had cases where people known to have purposefully chosen to disrespect the rules of the forum attempt to get around the posting protocols with the use of fake email addresses. I have long been an ardent supported of pseudonymous and anonymous posting (hence my own moniker), but their is zero reason to be providing a fake email address as that address is not published.

    Note as well that the ongoing criticisms that Night Writer and I are discussing are NOT aimed at THIS blog at all. Instead we discuss “the other blog” that many in the patent community visit (and thus is a aimed for breeding ground of anti-patent propaganda).

    Finally Mike, you appear new to this blogging thing. Please note as well that a post that you submit is NOT “deleted” if it first is held for moderation. What Night Writer and I discuss is not that type of “deletion,” but instead is the actual deletion of a posted (published) comment – after the fact that the comment has been published. MANY of the patent world blogs out there employ a “comment submitted for review” type of filter that holds comments for later publication.

  30. Tesia Thomas July 23, 2017 1:56 pm

    @Mike Viall,

    If it’s true that Democrats are solely responsible for IP destruction then I expect everything to be corrected soon because Republicans are in power now.

    We’ll see…
    But I think the whole government needs to be set ablaze and reborn like a phoenix.
    There is years of indoctrination of corruption within our government.

    Democrats are all over climate change but the EPA is full of fraud, waste and abuse just like any other agency. Same for NASA.

    Inventors have literally bankrupted themselves to pay for the military to use their inventions to save the lives of our troops.
    The military on the other hand wanted to orchestrate the reverse engineering, theft, and misappropriation of the tech to be made by prime contractors instead of the inventors.
    It meant years of waiting and many lives lost due to negligence and corruption.

    The sick people behind Flint were charged with manslughter and many military officials should be charged the same.

  31. Tesia Thomas July 23, 2017 2:16 pm

    Of course my statements don’t help me get contracts with the military.
    Oh well. I’ll be happy to sue the government.
    (And eventually lose in PTAB because they IPR inventors.)

    Just sayin’. This all runs much deeper than Obama.
    The government lobbies itself. And who has more money than the military?

    Federal Claims Court is worse than PTAB by 50 bagillion.

  32. Mike Viall July 23, 2017 2:44 pm

    Anon — Gotcha, thank you. I am new to this board and I appreciate your clarifications.

  33. Poesito July 23, 2017 7:08 pm

    @31 Tesia Thomas: You’re lucky that some arm of the DoD didn’t classify your patent application when it was filed. That’s the easiest way for them to take your IP with no compensation. Your patent application goes into a black hole of secrecy and you hear nothing of it ever again or until they decide to declassify it many years later. The classifying agency may then share the IP with other gov’t agencies, gov’t and university researchers, contractors, suppliers, etc. They usually do not disclose that the info came from a patent application so the recipients feel free to employ it at will. Whomever reviewed your application at the USPTO either missed it’s defense significance or thought it wasn’t worth classifying. Whichever, you’re still in the game. Otherwise you’d be completely out your investment with only a few more course credits at the University of Hard knocks to show for it.

  34. Tesia Thomas July 23, 2017 8:17 pm

    @Poesito,

    Yeah you’re totally right and I know. That’s happened to my friends.
    I found every inventor ever screwed over (who’s still alive) and reached out to them and listened to their stories.
    Truth is stranger than fiction.
    Some replied. Many did not. If you complain, then the military blacklists you from future grants and contracts. First amendment rights? Hahaha

    This stuff happens to professors but the professors shut up because they don’t want to risk future research proposals.

    Also, I filed a PCT (yet unpublished) and already disclosed the tech online before they knew it was filed. There’s no possibility for secrecy anymore. Everything is online and archived.

    But, it’s also just the third type of zipper ever. Yep, merely a zipper. Not really secrecy worthy.
    It’s dual use tech which they hate- harder to control.
    Yet, they’ll want it on expensive stuff and it ‘makes or break’ chem bio gear…and they’ve been conducting research on zippers since the 1960s.
    Heck, Natick has a zipper and velcro task force.

    They want it to replace most other fasteners because they suck. They even say so; hence, looking for another one for 60 years.
    So, we’re talking lots and lots of zippers over the years.

    There’s also the fact that military use of my closure would outright destroy all competition for me in the private sector. I’d be able to say “My zipper replaced all others (like YKK) on defense and aerospace.”
    That’s a huge deal. YKK is nearly 100 years old. The zipper YKK sells is over a century old. It’d totally squash their reputation.
    Even their zippers that went on Apollo spacesuits (and currently Boeing Starliner suits- inside space vehicle suits) are terrible. NASA says they’re no good for long duration missions or long periods in space outside of a vehicle.
    And, people want lightweight spacesuits for Mars…90% of the suit mockups/prototypes have a zipper but that design can’t be approved if using current zippers.

    But, DoD and YKK and other zip manufacturers have a long history of working together. And, I’d put them out of business. (Again, I said I’d license it for govt only use so I’m not being too difficult.)

    Anyway, billions of dollars and 60 years later of zipper R&D and… here we are.
    I’m sure many government researchers are amazing but I’ve yet to find them. And, most of the kind ones typically leave from what I’ve heard.

    Oh, but the Army totally shared my grant proposal with anyone and everyone. I applied for SBIR A16-062.
    Good thing I didn’t get it.
    I would’ve given them even more rights.

    Right now, I’m just trying to anticipate everything they do and make sure that, at minimum, I get my license royalties if they employ eminent domain.
    I already said I’d give it to them…if they pay me.

    That’s why I’m worried about PTAB.
    They just don’t like paying for stuff unless the money comes right back to them through the revolving door.

    Every day is a battle. Against my own government. Who asked for the tech. But doesn’t want to pay for it.

    I hope SBIR gets dissolved for every agency.
    If your tech is really valuable (over a few tens of million) and disruptive/world changing then they steal it and indemnify anyone else who wants to play with it.

    The most ironic thing is that, in order to produce my technology, every competitor will have to disrupt their manufacturing and supply chain or add on A LOT to it.
    They have the money, sure.
    But, they can’t even make it right now. I can.
    What’s the point in ‘teaching an old dog new tricks’? At least, that’s my take.

    That’s the funniest thing.
    The military wants new toys but is unwilling to change (fast.)

    Oh well, I expect to end up in PTAB and Federal Court. But, that’s better than most inventors before me who were stabbed in the back.
    I see the knife coming.
    Maybe I can angle it to a non-lethal location so I won’t end up bankrupt and destitute like my buddies.

  35. angry dude July 24, 2017 10:06 am

    Tesia Thomas @34

    I feel your pain

    May I advise that you go to mainstream media to expose your personal story and the plight of inventors and small innovative startups in today’s America ?

  36. Benny July 24, 2017 10:12 am

    Angry,
    Did you actually look to the mainstream media to see if her story (and photo…quite an attractive inventor) is already there? Try it and see.

  37. angry dude July 24, 2017 10:44 am

    Benny @36

    Dinner time in Israel ?

    By “mainstream media” I mean “60 minutes” or something similar – a prime time TV program

  38. angry dude July 24, 2017 11:05 am

    Tesia Thomas,

    You may not realize it but you are just a collateral damage in this fight

    Folks who did horrible things to US Patent system couldn’t care less about your zipper or water balloons

    They just worried about preserving their dominance in hi-tech – smart phones etc.
    For that reason alone they eviscerated inventors like me and countless others
    in unrelated fields

    à la guerre comme à la guerre

    This is war

    Sorry

  39. Tesia Thomas July 24, 2017 11:48 am

    @angry dude,
    Thank you. I’m working with other inventors to do so. Right now, we’re trying to put as much as possible in the public domain. Trouble is, most of the tech is under secrecy.
    Many of the inventors were interviewed by large news stations like that. The interviews were never published.

    We’re on our own to get the word out.

    @Benny,
    Thank you. *blushes* Haha

    ___

    It’s not pain I feel. It’s purpose.
    I actually don’t have many sad days if I prevent thinking about how many soldiers died due to DoD negligence in implementing inventor’s tech.

    I just want to make sure that, when my lawsuits come around, people can clearly look back into me predicting this. You will see the clear evidence in chronology. I’ve archived emails and recorded phone calls.

    The US government will have to show itself for what it is to inventors.
    I am not collateral damage. Small inventors are bullied by everyone.
    The Govt loves PTAB.

    And, honestly, I’m learning Mandarin.
    China’s racing the US to get to Mars and developing their military. China’s developing and building in ways that I need: IP, capital, and manufacturing.

    If the patent laws don’t change and/or I don’t receive the help that I need from the US then I’m leaving.
    I’ll leave, even revoking my US citizenship, and immigrate to China.

    The US isn’t on my team. And any government that has ever battled its own citizens has LOST.
    And, the US is going to lose.

    I’d rather deal with China’s *overt Communism* that tries to quell corruption than USA’s *covert Communism* and legalized corruption.

  40. angry dude July 24, 2017 12:15 pm

    Tesia Thomas @39

    Sorry to call you a “collateral damage”

    What I meant is that those (mostly SV-based large patent infringing multinationals) did not care about zipper tech or water balloon tech
    They were just scared of some guy like me, maybe a small startup, coming up with some groundbreaking idea to disrupt their de-facto monopoly
    And for that reason alone they destroyed 200+ years old US Patent System
    Amen

  41. Tesia Thomas July 24, 2017 2:50 pm

    @angry dude

    I wasn’t offended at all.
    I just mean it wasn’t SV multinationals alone.

    Now, instead of fighting patent infringement suits in Federal (Kangaroo) Court of Claims where the government has to take the time to train witnesses and omit evidence (hence, kangaroo court- it’s not at all a fair court process), inventors rarely make it.
    The government calls on defense contractors to take the defense tech inventors through PTAB.

    Inventor wants royalties? Hey, contractor, please invalidate this patent and save us both.

    http://www.finnegan.com/resources/articles/articlesdetail.aspx?news=1e2957ec-fd1b-40f9-a8fc-2351b32d1e8e

    https://www.law360.com/articles/860476/ptab-rules-gov-t-contractor-isn-t-subject-to-ipr-time-bar

    More than just SV multinationals lobbied and wanted the AIA signed: https://www.leahy.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/090811PRESS-Support-OnePager.pdf

    Every large tech company’s worst fear is a startup or just a person with a great technology.

  42. angry dude July 24, 2017 6:49 pm

    “Every large tech company’s worst fear is a startup or just a person with a great technology”

    Always follow the money

    The largest contributors to current “patent deform” all come from the valley..

    google and co.

    obama’s friends …

  43. Tesia Thomas July 24, 2017 7:37 pm

    @angry dude

    That’s because they have the money to spare and their market is the most volatile or ‘hot’. Other industries are more mature than software. Hence, most patents are software related nowadays.
    They have more reason to fear.

    But, they’re helping out every big company.

    Well, at least Microsoft and IBM are lobbying FOR software patents and for AIA takedown.

  44. angry dude July 24, 2017 8:50 pm

    Yes, Microsoft and IBM are much more reasonable

    And they derive big profits from licensing their own patent portfolios

  45. Edward Heller July 25, 2017 8:58 pm

    I would say this, anybody who supports post-grant revocations of whatever kind is an enemy of the patent system.

  46. Julie Austin August 25, 2017 1:09 pm

    Thanks for posting, Gene. My trademarks have protected me much more than my patent ever did. Is there a reason for that?

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