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

By Jianqing Wu, Ph.D.
August 9, 2017

In the first article of this series, I demonstrated that the U.S. has a technological crisis. In this article, I will show that the high patent quality standards have caused U.S. to quickly lose technological advantages.

U.S. patent standard is higher than those used in most foreign nations. While the AIA tries to further increase patent quality, its impacts have not been fully realized. I can use only historical data to show the past performance of the U.S. patent system which always use a high quality standard.

This table shows how the U.S. patent application filing numbers in comparison with several other countries from 2007 to 2016. The utility patent applications filed with the U.S. patent office comprise applications for domestic entities and foreign entities. It should be noted that the number of inventions should not be used to compare importance of different inventions.

Table 1. Patent Application Filing Numbers for Patent Offices of Several Countries for 2007-2016

*UM: Utility model grants. Data Sources: WIPO web site and USPTO web site.

The U.S. patent system uses higher legal standard than those nations. The impact from practicing patent quality extremism will not show up until several years later.

U.S. patent applications are predominately by foreign corporations, while for all other national patent offices above, domestic applications comprise a super majority (Data not shown). 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.

The international filing number suggests that China has good inventions. In 2016, U.S.-based applicants filed 56,595 PCT applications, followed by applicants from Japan (45,239) and China (43,168), which has posted double-digit growth each year since 2002. U.S. is now close to Japan which is only equivalent to one big state, and China is a new comer in patent (its first patent law was enacted in 1985 and a good number of people still do not know its patent system), and PCT would be too expensive for most Chinese inventors. United States maintained their number one ranking for the 39th, but reduces the applications by 0.9%. China will overtake the U.S. in PCT within two years as the largest user of the PCT System. China is changing its brand from “made in China” to “created in China”.

What is really critically important is the disparity in growth rates of patent application numbers. The difference between 44% and -0.9% suggests the U.S. is in a very unfavorable position. The South Korean and North Korean patent application numbers reveal more than 20 times differences. This kind of difference would be seen for China before opening its door.

I found that those numbers reveal real problems in U.S. technologies. The U.S. patent application filing number will level off. Many U.S inventors, who cannot consume their inventions that they have made, have to file patent applications. The full adverse impacts of the AIA will be felt after those pipe line applications have been filed. Additional three factors are unfavorable to the U.S. First, I estimate that China has almost 400 million people who could be potential inventors (excluding those who are not within a technological climate for making inventions), but the U.S. inventor pool is now limited to corporate inventors and a small number of resilient professional inventors. The number of professional inventors will rapidly decrease with fewer and fewer of young people joining. The small inventor population significantly reduces the odds for capturing critical and disruptive inventions. Second, the U.S. is rapidly losing environments required for creative activities. Production art has long left the U.S. Now, research and development programs are shut down due to the inability to get patents or getting useless patents.

Finally, the high patent quality standard also destroys the special system essential for inventing and patenting activities. The system comprises many kinds of players working together. For example, patent litigation firms, patent litigation supporters, insurance companies for providing insurance for patent litigation, patent assertion companies, companies involving patent-related activities, patent brokerage firms, and companies providing patent-based start-up services etc. play their roles in this system. Each of the functions delivered by those companies requires staff having special expertise, skills, and relevant experience. It takes no time to force those companies to shut down their services. Bad law can force the system to come to a stop, and then forces the companies to dismantle or dismiss their staff for performing those functions. However, it would be hard to rebuild the system. It would take a much longer time to make the system work well. When the foundation for supporting technological progress has been shattered, it would be impossible for inventors to realize rewards contemplated in the U.S. Constitution. In contrast, most competing nations allow inventors to get various rewards. The adverse impacts of the high patent quality standard on inventing and patenting activities should be presumed.

The high patent quality standard is clearly responsible for the extremely low patent application numbers relative to the population. To meet patent eligibility requirements, an invention has to be the first one in the world. This single requirement alone would result in a very low probability for succeeding with a great invention idea. What is more absurd is that the patent office can combine prior art to “create” an invention to defeat the invention. This makes an invention’s success odds extremely small: it might be even smaller than the odds to win in a lottery. To get rewards from courts, the inventor would have to play the lottery once more. Playing lotteries is indeed a better mean for getting rewards. Naturally, far more people would play lotteries. This kind of patent quality extremism is explanatory of the extremely small number inventions made by U.S. individual inventors: 0.00004 or 4 inventions for 10,0000 individuals. One can easily see that this number is much higher in Japan and South Korean. Even in China, this number is much higher. However, real impacts of the high patent quality standard cannot be shown by any data because it is impossible. What is important is the number of inventive concepts entertained by people. While I cannot find data, I assume that the high patent quality standard make this number approach zero: Nearly nobody even wants to think about making an invention in the U.S. Who will make an invention? Everyone expects others to make inventions for taking care of problems in the world. The innovation culture cannot be more deader than it is now.

In the next installment of this series, I will show how a high patent quality standard is discouraging to all kinds of inventors.

The Author

Jianqing Wu, Ph.D.

Jianqing Wu, Ph.D. (John Wu), Ph.D., is a registered patent attorney and an independent inventor having 8 U.S. patents in legal process, file storage security, open public computing systems, and online databases for the consumer market. His research interests touched sciences, engineering, law, and medicine. He earned B.S. in China, and received M.S. and Ph.D. (in Physical Chemistry) from North Carolina State University. He did postdoctoral research in Medicinal Chemistry in University of Illinois at Chicago and the National Institutes of Health. He learned methods and knowledge for characterizing whole complex systems. After he acquired J.D., he systematically studied the performance of the common law model and its adverse impacts on productivity. Being able to access multiple cultures, he conveniently used first-hand data in evaluating trade performance for different production cultures. Recently, he has developed a new interest in preventive medicine with his focuses on methods for preventing heart diseases, stroke and cancer. He was a member of four honorary societies: Phi Lambda Upsilon, Sigma Xi, Phi Tau Sigma, and Gamma Sigma Delta.

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Discuss this

There are currently 90 Comments comments.

  1. Edward Heller August 9, 2017 11:57 am

    “What is more absurd is that the patent office can combine prior art to “create” an invention to defeat the invention.”

    Hear, hear!

  2. Edward Heller August 9, 2017 11:59 am

    Food for thought: to the extent that an Alice rejection/defense is based upon claiming a result in a combination claim, one should assert that Morse/Halliburton was overruled by Congress in passing section 112(f).

  3. Tesia Thomas August 9, 2017 12:09 pm

    “The number of professional inventors will rapidly decrease with fewer and fewer of young people joining.”

    Heck yeah.
    And, technically, an invalid patent does not an inventor make.
    When all the disruptive tech is held invalid then who CAN you induct to Inventor Hall of Fame and the like?

  4. Naim Khan August 9, 2017 12:35 pm

    KSR vs Teleflex is still the elephant in the room. Combine that with uncertainly of software innovation through pre-Bilski (phase 1), Bilsky (Phase 2), Alice-Mayo (phase 3) the game is done. AIA is the icing on the cake!

  5. Edward Heller August 9, 2017 12:50 pm

    Naim, the way PTO interprets KSR “is” a real problem. TSM prevented hindsight. KSR as viewed by the patent office authorizes it.

  6. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 9, 2017 12:59 pm

    I do not believe that it is the high standard of quality that is adversely affecting the US patent system – compared to patent systems around the world, I believe that the US system is still the best on so many levels. That being said, we still have an enormous problem with examiners citing irrelevant prior art, issuing inappropriate rejections, as in, for example, and unrealistically stretching prior art so as to allegedly render the claimed invention obvious – all of these actions prolong prosecution and cost applicants needless time and expense.

  7. Edward Heller August 9, 2017 1:05 pm

    Steven, the problem you describe of asserting wildly off point prior art is an artifact of compact prosecution forced upon the patent office by Kappos. Ideally, the first round of prosecution represents an attempt to clarify the claims using broadest reasonable interpretation. The second round of prosecution then uses the claims as clarified by the first round to conduct a serious prior art search. No serious prior art search should be conducted until the claims are clarified.

    Where USPTO to adopt such an approach, prosecution would flow smoothly and less wildly.

    Someone in charge at the PTO should figure this out and adjust the the rules of PTO accordingly.

  8. Naim Khan August 9, 2017 1:10 pm

    Edward, It is always the interpretations! Nit just PTO but individual examiners interpret it differently and right when it seems that your patent is lost in prosecution
    it is allowed on a minor shift of words as if KSR does not matter!

  9. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 9, 2017 1:48 pm

    Edward – I respectfully disagree. You can have compact prosecution without really sacrificing the quality in the searching and the office action. I was an examiner once upon a time and I believe that it goes back to the training of the examiners – I have a pending application which is being examined by a junior examiner – the primary examiner is as offbase as the junior examiner in that he permits the junior examiner to cite irrelevant art and to make absurd rejections – the application has already been examined 5 times and they are still looking for that “”magic reference” that will actually anticipate or render our claims obvious – so far they have failed miserably, so this is way beyond the confines of compact prosecution – some examiners simply cannot examine applications, and that goes for both junior and primary examiners. I had another application years ago which took us two years to get an allowance – after multiple interviews, the primary examiner, overseeing another junior examiner, actually had the proverbial “light bulb” go off in his head and actually exclaimed during the interview “Oh, I get it – I see what you’re saying!” and I wanted to say, but obviously did not, “No s—, this is precisely what I have been telling you guys for the past two years.” The app was then allowed and issued.

  10. Edward Heller August 9, 2017 1:58 pm

    Steven, no doubt there are examinations where the examiner never seems understand the invention being claimed. However, you must admit that patent attorneys can draft claims in a way that can be read differently than they intended, or that use terms that can not easily be understood even when reading the specification. The first round of examination can help clarify the situation. It usually does. But then examiner’s say that the amendments that were made need further searching and require you to follow RCE.

    I think every prosecution should have at least two rounds of searching, the first for the purposes of clarification so that is made perfectly clear what invention is being claimed.

  11. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 9, 2017 2:16 pm

    Edward – I agree with what you are saying in part – I have seen plenty of applications where the claims did not exactly define the invention as clearly as might be warranted, however, in our particular case, we even filed the same app through PCT and the ISR (International Search Report) came back totally clean – all original claims were novel, had inventive step, and industrial applicabiltiy – this should have been a first action allowance or at the most a second action allowance with some minor amendments to satisfy the particular “requirements” of the examiner – instead, we have had four office actions, including one After Final Program action, and we are still apparently not close to allowance – it’s pathetic! So please do not tell me that the claims were “not clear’, the claims were not in “proper form” under 112 – as I have said, I was an examiner once upon a time, have been in practice for over 30 years, and have literally obtained thousands of patents – what these examiners are doing is a disgrace! And this underscores the fact that the biggest problem with the US system is the actual examination of the applications by improperly trained examiners, both junior and primary examiners. But hey, this has been going on for decades – nothing has changed, even with the AIA – the AIA has nothing to do with the actual examination of the applications.

  12. Sankris August 9, 2017 3:10 pm

    It can also happen other way round: USPTO has accepted patents which are already accepted by the corrupt ÉPO in Europe, without studying deeper. In this way bigger corporations force patents to USA even if they would have just duplicated a patent of a small entrepreneur. An individual person doesn’t stand a chance fighting against both the system and the big corporation who took his invention. Generally, the patent system is built for the bigger players. It is costly and even if you could afford to pay to get the patent accepted, due to lack of resources you can not fight if a bigger player infringes or steal it.

  13. Michael August 9, 2017 3:13 pm

    It was never about quality. It has always been about eliminating the next disruptors in order to protect the parties that benefited most from a system that allowed them to be disruptors.

  14. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 9, 2017 4:29 pm

    MIchael – would you like to expand upon your comment because I don’t know WTF you’re talking about……….

  15. Gene Quinn August 9, 2017 4:48 pm

    I believe I understand what Michael is saying.

    There is a feeling among many that the push for patent quality by the Patent Office and by Member of Congress has nothing to do with patent quality whatsoever. To be fair, perhaps the USPTO and certain Members of Congress really want patents to be of higher quality, but those who are pushing the never ending patent reforms on the Hill and in the Courts are just using the patent quality narrative in order to make it increasingly impossible for the small players to engage the patent system. Patents are becoming ever more difficult to obtain, ever more expensive to obtain, and ever more easy to challenge. Venture Capital and investment of all sorts is leaving the field and going to safer investments, including these same types of investments just outside the U.S. If you make it harder for independent inventors and startups to succeed you will have less of them, which is what we are seeing.

    So the “patent quality” mantra from the infringer lobby has never really been about patent quality. It has been about making it more and more difficult for those without patents to obtain, keep and enforce patents. The reason is simple — those in the infringer lobby know that each of them achieved great benefit from patenting their innovations and supplanted established industry giants. They don’t want the same thing happening to them.

  16. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 9, 2017 5:26 pm

    Thank you Gene – so I guess the mantra from years ago “Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you!” still holds – with help like that, who needs enemies! Did you ever consider that Congress is the opposite of Progress?

  17. Benny August 10, 2017 6:46 am

    “To meet patent eligibility requirements, an invention has to be the first one in the world. This single requirement alone would result in a very low probability for succeeding with a great invention idea”.
    I can’t make head or tail of that. If it isn’t the first in the world, it isn’t your invention. and you are not eligible for patent protection. If it is the first in the world, you’ve passed the first hurdle, and the probability goes up.
    Perhaps Anon could explain the writer’s logic.

  18. Sankris August 10, 2017 7:13 am

    Benny, the same question itches me too. If you are the first one, you should be protected, if not, you should not be eligible to “borrow” the ideas for free from the prior art. The patent system should be a way to protect your invention but especially with low resources against giant companies you won’t be able to protect your invention and yes, the subsequent patents can practically even steal your patent with some design-around idea or by simply benefitting from corrupted or failed process at the patent offices around the world.

  19. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 7:39 am

    To Benny and Sankris – being the “first” is only one step in the process – that’s novelty – no one else has done it before. However, what you have done may be a variation on what someone else has done before, and that gets into the realm of “obviousness” (here in the US) or “inventive step” (which is the test in, for example, Europe) – so if what you have done is new but obvious or not comprising an inventive step, you do not get your patent. Obviousness/inventive step is an extremely complex concept to understand but most patent attorneys/agents and examiners understand it – some never understand it, hence the conflicts between attorneys/agents representing this clients and the examiners.

  20. Anon August 10, 2017 7:55 am

    Benny @ 17,

    Near as I can tell, the writer is aiming for not having a universal novelty requirement, but rather (and much like the old English system, for which Mr. Heller would likely be a person to call out for help to), the novelty aspect would be limited strictly (sovereign by sovereign) to that which is merely novel within the sovereign.

    This is NOT that difficult of a concept to understand, given that patent law is – and remains – a sovereign-centric law.

    Or another way to put it: we do NOT have a one-world-order set of universal law that disregards law within sovereigns. Why should patent law seek to apply – as part of its law – something that smacks of a thing that does not exist? If the legal requirement pertains to “the entire world,” does the opposite end of that spectrum – the legal right – ALSO pertain to the entire world?

    The answer to that (notwithstanding any collateral country to country negotiated respect of sovereign-specific patent law) is no. There simply does not exist a sovereign whose jurisdiction is the entire world, so there cannot be any single patent right which scope is the entire world.

  21. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 8:05 am

    Interesting point, Anon.

  22. Benny August 10, 2017 8:13 am

    Anon,
    I assume you refer to the old Australian system where novelty was restricted to what was known or published in Australia at the time of the invention. There are good reasons why that method was scrapped, chiefly because information is no longer geographically limited – if you pull a prior art document off the internet, do you know, or care, in which country resides the server hosting the file? There could be copies in many countries, you cannot always determine at what date the file was copied to a different server. And what of links to documents? Are they also geographically limited? Is a book which is not for sale in my country but could have been ordered from Amazon local prior art? Is an EP patent application prior art against a US application? The current method does not appear, to me at least, “absurd” as the writer suggests. The simplest interpretation is, if the examiner found the art, you could have found it too.

  23. Sankris August 10, 2017 8:22 am

    Very interesting talk forming here. Let’s take an example of some very simple but brilliant hardware that you invent as a small entrepreneur. You get a patent process going on and it gets published. In this point a giant company gets interested in it, takes the invention and adds something very insignificant, e.g. a plastic clip or some other attachment into it. Then they claim all your original claims, formulated by the army of their patent engineers and lawyers, and make some additional claim on the top for the “plastic clip”. The patent office for some reason accepts this patent. The small entrepreneur can’t anymore use his own invention on practical level (selling, licensing it) because the giant has basically the same patent and nobody takes the risk to co-operate with you. Of course this is highly unethical behaviour from the bigger company, but how could we prevent this happening?

  24. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 8:25 am

    Benny – I believe that you are missing Anon’s point – I believe that what Anon is saying is that if patents are territorial, meaning, you only have protecting in a country or region within which you have a patent, then why should the test for patentability effectively be worldwide? So, if someone has invented something in Australia and received a patent, but has not received a US patent, why can’t the device or system be patented here in the US, either by the same inventor or by a different inventor. As I noted, I do not necessarily agree with this premise, and it would certainly upset our patent systems, but it is an interesting idea. This brings to mind, for example, PCT procedures – a person outside the US – both a citizen and resident of another country – can file a US provisional patent application, he can then file a US non-provisional application, but he cannot file a PCT application in the US RO because he is not a US citizen or resident – does that make any sense, particularly when PCT stands for Patent COOPERATION Treaty – where is the cooperation? And if one does file the PCT application in the US RO, it automatically gets kicked over to the IB.

  25. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 8:35 am

    Sankris – your conclusions are all wrong. Let’s say in your case, the small inventor, inventor A, invents his hardware comprising components ABC. The large company, inventor B, comes along and adds feature D and gets their patent for ABCD. This patent for ABCD does NOT prevent inventor A from practicing or manufacturing his device ABC because he is not infringing inventor’s B patent which requires ABCD.
    On the other hand, inventor CANNOT manufacture their product ABCD because it does in fact contain ABC. The really interesting scenario comes about if inventor A wants to manufacture ABCD because he realizes that with the small improvement of D, the overall product is much better and more desirable by the public. So, now both A and B cannot in fact manufacture ABCD without infringing each other’s patents? What to do? Ideally, A and B enter into a cross-licensing agreement letting A manufacture ABCD without infringing B’s patent, and B can manufacture ABCD without infringing A’s patent. Remember, a patent does not automatically give the patent holder the right to manufacture their own invention – it gives them the right to exclude others from manufacturing that particular invention.

  26. Sankris August 10, 2017 9:37 am

    Steven, completely understood and very well explained by you.

    Of course still the feature D should have some novelty, since you should not be able to wrap someone’s brilliant invention, use their text and drawings just for adding something tiny that was even originally meant that can be added for the patent ABC as an extra accessory.
    What is commercially interesting here indeed is the point that if the holder of the patent ABC is a small entrepreneur and then the holder of ABCD, a big corporation, says they have their patent, practically it is very probably that the market is not daring to buy from the small entrepreneur anymore by having fear of the power of the corporation who owns the ABCD, even if they do not want the small addition of “D”. For an amateur on the market, the situation looks like the bigger corporation has the patent now. And as a buyer of a product for their retail shop they won’t take a risk that the bigger corporation comes after them, no matter they know the original inventor and would like to buy from them. Patent business is complicated even for the professionals sometimes, so imagine a retail shop buyer understanding priority dates, claims etc.

    Market position really matters in these cases, and thus I’m wondering how this could be done so that the small entrepreneurs would have more support from the system, more chance to flourish with their inventions.

  27. JiNan Glasgow George August 10, 2017 9:48 am

    Thank you for your comment Gene. Agreed. Case in point: we have encountered an examiner who has been reversed on appeal (6 of 7 in last 9 months) and has more than 20 appeals — all on 103 rejections that are improperly combining more than 5-6 references at a time that teach away from each other or render each other non-functional when combined. That’s not improved quality at all. It’s only increased cost and time against the inventor. In our case, the invention has been allowed in EU already…
    I believe in the US patent system & would like to see it maintain the positive impact it has had on stimulating inventions and the US economy.

  28. Benny August 10, 2017 9:57 am

    Steven at 24,
    you asked “if someone has invented something in Australia and received a patent, but has not received a US patent, why can’t the device or system be patented here in the US, either by the same inventor or by a different inventor” (although you forgot the question mark at the end). My answer is, because the different inventor didn’t invent it. The whole point of an invention is that it is original.
    Why should a worldwide test be applied to a local property? Because it is impractical to attempt to delineate information along political borders.
    What got me going was the writer’s words “what is more absurd…”, which suggested that the previous sentence, mentioning novelty as a prerequisite to obtaining a patent, was absurd.

  29. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 10:22 am

    Benny – I did not say that I am FOR such a system or condone or support such a system, I was just raising the fact that it is an interesting scenario – and yes, you are totally correct – the other person would not technically be the “inventor” but hey, that probably has not stopped a lot of people from obtaining patents that they certainly did not invent, as when some person/company steals another’s invention.

    Sankris – in the patent system, the added feature D has to be a significant feature to support obtaining a patent. Let’s take a very simplified case – let’s say inventor A is the first person to ever invent a chair – so he claims the chair as comprising at least one leg (you can have a single pedestal type leg), a seat, and a back – you need a back or otherwise it is not really a chair, it is a stool. So the bare minimum to form a chair is a leg, a seat, and a back. Inventor B comes along and says “You know, A’s chair is good, but it is probably quite uncomfortable, so I am going to add a seat cushion fixedly attached to the seat.”
    And he gets his patent for his chair with the seat cushion. So as I noted, A has his patent which includes the features ABC – leg, seat, back, and B now has his patent for an improved chair comprising ABCD – leg, seat, back, and seat cushion. B can’t make his chair because it does include ABC which would infringe A’s chair, A can make his chair but realizes that people will probably want B’s chair because it is more comfortable – so neither one can make the other’s chair without infringing the other one’s patent. So they cross-license and now they can both make the chair ABCD. Now, let’s go a step further, and you will see where obviousness comes in – inventor C comes along and wants to add a cushion to the seat back in order to make the chair even more comfortable by having a seatback cushion when people sit in the chair and lean back into the seatback – his application gets rejected over B’s patent because the examiner says that B’s patent already “teaches” the fact that to render the chair more comfortable, B has taught that you can add a cushion. Now, as far as the little guy v. the big corporation, hey, that fight has been going on for decades, and that is what the courts are for, although, admittedly, the courts do not always get everything correct 100% of the time.

  30. Sankris August 10, 2017 10:51 am

    Yes, Steven, the principle is quite clear, although in practise it is harder sometimes to draw a line what is obvious, what is a real improvement etc.

    What comes to the legal fights between a small player and a giant, they have a real strategy for that:
    – first, the giant fakes to negotiate with you until you use all your budget and time for the case (you have no money for legal battle anymore since also your sales suffered while putting resources for the negotiation)
    – second, the giant has literally an army of lawyers, they also outsource the rest of the best lawyers on the local market that you do not actually have a proper IPR lawyer left (due to conflict of interest) or it comes more expensive to acquire one from somewhere else.

    Also the expectation is always that companies somewhat follow the rules and the fights occur only if it is an interpretation matter whether there is an obvious addition for the patent, novelty or not etc. But the fight can also happen when the giant boldly copies the invention of the other. Of course, the prior art inventor thinks that “this is an easy one, they infringe me and I just say to them that they need to pay for it or I sue them”. After a while he realises he used all his money for the fight, everybody on the society knows he is correct but the giant is managing to delay the matter in the court so that it becomes a fight for years. Meanwhile the original inventor has lost his ability to concentrate on sales, thus also his money disappears, he can’t keep his house, gets a divorce due to the stress and trouble and is on the verge of making suicide. In that point, it is very difficult to come to say as a patent expert: “But you are correct, they are actually infringing your patent. You should win.”

    The above may sound a bit exaggerated, although unfortunately even true in many cases, but due to this I’m saying that even if there would be extremely clear rules and we would always be able to decide who is right, who is wrong or who is cheating, still it the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if you have a patent or not if you encounter a giant who wants it. They will get it in some way or at least get you out from the market disrupting it. And here is where we would need a solution.

    One solution is that the bigger corporations have Code of Conducts, they promise to follow fair practises, be prudent and consider ethical matters in their processes. There is no real way to audit these processes though but rather we see that the bigger corporations use these Code of Ethics as their pr campaign material even if the value is on the level of toilet paper.

  31. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 11:01 am

    Sankris – I certainly understand – welcome to the real world. This is why legal systems are not necessarily justice systems – how about the poor guy who is convicted of rape and murder, spends 25 years in prison, and then DNA testing eventually proves that he was not in fact the rapist/murderer.

    The most famous case that I am aware of in patent law is the case of intermittent windshield wipers – the inventor got his patent and every automotive company simply adopted his invention and installed intermittent windshield wipers on all of their cars and trucks. He had to sue them all, wait 20-30 years for final judgements, and I believe, by that time, he had died but his estate finally prevailed. See the following link:

    http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/windwiper.htm

    Welcome to the real world – as the old joke goes – in theory, theory and practice are the same – in practice (the real world), they are altogether different!

  32. Benny August 10, 2017 11:01 am

    Sankris,
    You got me at “divorce”.
    From the other side, I’ll do whatever is the most cost effective. If the inventor is willing to sell out for a reasonable sum, say 50K, and my alternative is 60K in legal fees, I can do the sums. If there is a risk the inventor will sell to my competitor, I’m looking at legal fees up to 10 times that sum, and I’ll outbid. If the inventor looks like a wet wimp, I’ll infringe. (it isn’t actually illegal). Up till now, all we’ve seen from independent inventors are simple or useless gimmicks which we can design around before lunch, so in practice I have never exercised either of the first three options.

  33. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 11:11 am

    Benny – infringing isn’t illegal? Wow! Then why do APPLE and SAMSUNG beat the hell out of each other by suing each other every other day on one patent or another? It may not be a “crime” as we normally consider what a crime is, but it is certainly a tort which is actionable in court and civil litigation. And even a tort is the violation of a statute, so technically, a tort is a “crime”.

    And as far as independent inventors never really inventing anything useful, I happen to represent some independent inventors who develop hugely successful tools, for example, and then license or sell the rights to their patents to Fortune 500 companies.

  34. Sankris August 10, 2017 11:20 am

    Steven, you are right but Benny may be a web troll or a patent troll. 😉
    If he is not that, he may be a representative of a giant company and then I understand him (I do not mean I would accept though). This is exactly how the ethics of many big corporations are built: We can do what ever we want, because we just can. We have market power and limitless resources for lawyers.

  35. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 11:26 am

    Sankris – true!

  36. Anon August 10, 2017 11:32 am

    Benny at 22:

    I assume you refer to the old Australian system where novelty was restricted to what was known or published in Australia at the time of the invention.

    No. I refer to that which I referred to. It would not altogether surprise me though, given the historical connection, that Australia TOO engaged in such a view.

    There are good reasons why that method was scrapped, chiefly because information is no longer geographically limited

    Information has NEVER been geographically limited. Your argument starts with a fallacy, and misses the point that patent law is sovereign law, and a sovereign may choose as that sovereign sees fit.

    Steven @ 24,

    Close. Very close. I am not flowing your PCT example, so I will not comment on that, but the plain fact of the matter is that there is some confusion (not limited to this blog) on what it means to be an inventor (your comment at 28). An inventor under patent law is NOT the same thing as a dictionary version or meaning of that word precisely because sovereigns have the authority to set up patent law systems to their own prerogatives, and may attach a legal (and significant) distinction to the meaning of the word “inventor.’ Here, in the present discussion, the distinction focuses on the meaning of prior art, which is ALSO a legal term of art and ALSO up to each separate sovereign to set as that sovereign so deigns.

    Benny seeks to make it a de facto necessity that a “one-world” view of prior art/inventor is mandatory, when such is simply not so. The important point then is not whether a sovereign has chosen one way or another (or even if there are reasons to choose one way or another). The important point is that the sovereign MAY choose one way or another and that the “one-world-view” is not some mandatory impetus. At the very least, it is not a mandatory understanding that must be in place for patent law systems.

    Benny at 27: “Why should a worldwide test be applied to a local property? Because it is impractical to attempt to delineate information along political borders.

    That’s not the focal point. Further, you do miss a point of the comment to begin with: why is the legal setting not commensurate with the legal right obtained? (as well as THE point that ANY such setting is a sovereign choice – and a choice among alternatives DOES exist).

    It is not so much as “requiring novelty for patenting” to be absurd, but rather, it is which definition of “novelty” is or is not absurd.

    btw, Benny at 31 – my reaction is stronger than the “wow” from Steven at 32. I find it audacious that you seek to comment on a patent law blog with such a view.

  37. Benny August 10, 2017 11:44 am

    Anon and Steve,
    Let me clarify my point to reduce the woe factor a bit – If I, as CTO or whatever, decide to infringe a valid patent, I cannot be subsequently arrested or tried in a criminal court, nor will I do time. So where is the deterrent ? The only deterrence factor is financial loss or gain, so there is no need to act surprised when someone adds up the numbers and gets answers you don’t like.
    As for unethical behaviour – Most corporations do that somewhere down the line. Sad fact. At least my company doesn’t sell tobacco, weapons, or alcohol.

    Steven – my comment about independent inventors is exclusive to my own technical field. I can’t really comment on what happens elsewhere.

  38. John Wu August 10, 2017 11:53 am

    To Anon at 20:
    One problem is that patent eligibility is now determined on the basis of the references from the world, but rewards are given in only one nation. If an inventor in a small country C invents a process, he would have to beat all inventors in the U.S., Japan, Germany…. However, the inventor will get a tiny reward, if there is any, from this own nation. There are all kinds of other problems from using worldwide prior arts. This might be why many nations grant utility models with limited enforcement rights.

    The AIA tries to prevent patenting things that are known in foreign nations, but create other kinds of new problems.

  39. Eric Berend August 10, 2017 12:01 pm

    “…till now, all we’ve seen from independent inventors are simple or useless gimmicks…”

    This says it all. No comment from “Benny” should be regarded outside of the knowledge that he (?) is utterly contemptuous of inventors. ‘He’ certainly has no trouble saying so.

    I would respond with obvious rebuttal, but it feels more like a sand pit not worth pursuing, with a possibly criminal* provocateur – no, thanks. A this point, I think that those with any integrity, can see this ‘Benny’ persona, for what it is.

    * conspiracy to steal others’ property, is a crime – in every nation of the former British Empire (e.g., the Commonwealth), and in the United States.

  40. Anon August 10, 2017 12:42 pm

    Legality and criminality are different concepts Benny.

    I for one would not mind borrowing some of the criminality aspects as have been introduced into the US copyright legal setup into the US patent legal setup.

    As it is, the capture of the three branches here have us going in the polar opposite direction (in favor of Infringer’s Rights, which, we have discussed, your views consistently align with).

    That’s we you and I are at odds so often.

  41. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 12:48 pm

    Benny – if you really read my post and the comments noted therein, I believe that I was very clear that infringement is not a “crime” as we usually consider what a crime is – robbery, rape, murder, whatever – however, as you did note, infringement is actuable by civil litigation and big bucks can in fact be involved, and depending who you are, and what your financial resources are, you can in fact be in a world of hurt which could obviously adverse your business or even effectively shut it down through bankruptcy.

    Anon – my PCT remark was directed toward the fact that if there was realy “Cooperation” between the countries who are members of PCT, then it should not matter where you file your PCT application – all PCT applications eventually go through the International Bureau at WIPO – and I have found this to be particularly annoying where an inventor outside of, for example, the US, can file a US provisional application at the USPTO, can then file a US non-provisional application at the USPTO, but he cannot file a PCT application at the USPTO, even when he is claiming priority back to his US provisional and non-provisional applications, because he is not a resident or citizen of the US. Which geniuses implemented that rule?

    And as far as “inventorship”, I believe that it is universally agreed that whoever contributed “something” to the development of the invention sought to be patented, is rightfully one of the inventors and should be noted as one of the inventors of record.

  42. Anon August 10, 2017 4:17 pm

    Steven,

    Thanks for stating again your PCT angle. I would have to think about it to give you a meaningful response.

    As to “inventorship,” there may be SOME “universal agreement” as to SOME aspects. But such is happenstance, given that there is NO universal power that grants universal patents.

    That’s an important aspect of the point above.

  43. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 5:02 pm

    Anon –

    The PCT rule is NOT my “angle” – it is in the PCT rules – I believe Rule 9 – you must be a resident or citizen of the country in which you can file the PCT application. Otherwise, you need to file the application at the IB or if you improperly file in a particular country, they will send the application to the IB and will charge you a transmission fee.

    As for “inventorship”, again, this is not my rule – it is in fact universally agreed, among individual nations – in other words, each nation has agreed as to what constitutes an invention – as to what constitutes an inventor – anyone who has contributed to the implementation of the invention – and the degree of contribution does not have to equal among multiple inventors.

  44. Anon August 10, 2017 5:17 pm

    Perhaps you are misunderstanding my post, Steven.

    I am not implying that “your” is a replacement for anything but the notion that you offered the idea. I do not have a comment on the PCT situation that you presented (whether or not what you presented is simply the rules as written by the PCT).

    As to Inventorship, again, you seem to misunderstand my reply. It matters not at all whether there is any type of “universal agreement” as far as that “universal agreement” goes because (precisely) there is no such universal government concerned with any such universal patent right. Such does not exist. As I indicated several times, patent law is and remains a sovereign centric law (no matter what accommodating treaties may exist). Sovereign MAY do as they desire, and the nuances attached to inventorship (and prior art) are strictly up to any one sovereign.

    This is a distinction that Benny did not seem to grasp. Your further points at 43 may be points that individual sovereigns have put to their own individual laws, but there is NO legal affect of, say for example, tomorrow Canada changing their own sovereign law on what inventorship means having an effect on what inventorship means under US patent law.

    The point is not will Canada make such a change, or even whether Canada should (or should not) make ANY changes. The point instead is that it is up to Canada (and each sovereign) and that Canada (and each sovereign) CAN make any such changes that any such sovereign may wish to so undertake.

  45. Edward Heller August 10, 2017 5:40 pm

    All, the term “invent” was taken from the latin invenire (into come). In England, the crown granted patents to induce artisans’ with skills or manufactures unknown to England to move there, set up shop, teach Englishmen the trade, etc. These were patents of invention because they brought new technology to England. Even after the Statute of Monopolies, patents of importation were still recognized because the newness of the manufacture was centric to England. One did not really care whether the importer was the first person ever in all creation to make the new manufacture.

    Somewhere along the path, we have lost sight of this history and have imposed on the US an absolute novelty requirement where the US invention must be new to the entire universe, not just to the United States. Thus the first inventor in the US is denied a patent if it can be shown that the invention was first made elsewhere in the world, in this solar system, galaxy or universe.

    There is no good policy reason for this. And the thinking involved by the proponents of universal prior art either do not understand the meaning if invention, or they are up to some agenda they do not wish to fully disclose, such as suppressing American invention.

  46. Edward Heller August 10, 2017 5:46 pm

    And as far as “inventorship”, I believe that it is universally agreed that whoever contributed “something” to the development of the invention sought to be patented, is rightfully one of the inventors and should be noted as one of the inventors of record.

    My God!

    Is that what they teach in law schools today? Really?

  47. Anon August 10, 2017 6:32 pm

    Benny,

    I hope Mr. Heller’s addition helps you understand the sovereign-centric notion of the legal term of invention/inventor.

    Grabbing a dictionary and not paying attention to context is a sure fire way to make mistakes in discussions of patent law.

  48. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 7:10 pm

    For those of you who are not familiar with patent law, and specifically US patent law, MPEP 2137.01 (II) specifically notes: The definition for inventorship can be simply stated: “The threshold question in determining inventorship is who conceived the invention. Unless a person contributes to the conception of the invention, he is not an inventor. … Insofar as defining an inventor is concerned, reduction to practice, per se, is irrelevant [except for simultaneous conception and reduction to practice].

    This is clearly the test of inventorship in the US. If similar “tests” exist in other jurisdictions, so be it, but that is the test here in the US – and No, Edward Heller, I did not learn this in law school – I learned it by being a patent examiner and a patent attorney here in the US. I would submit that other jurisdictions probably have a “similar” test – I honestly do not know, but then who would be an inventor in other jurisdictions, and when they come into the US to obtain US patents, are they in fact inventors? Including an inventor as an inventor, or excluding an inventor who rightfully should be an inventor, can be grounds for invalidating a patent.

  49. Edward Heller August 10, 2017 8:09 pm

    Steve, now go back and read what you posted.

  50. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 9:40 pm

    Even if other countries haven’t codified what an inventor is, as has the US, it is only common sense that some “semblance” of the US definition will in fact be or should be applied – sometimes the world follows the US in patents, sometimes the US follows the world, as with the AIA finally moving to a first-to-file system. The bottom line is that you need to have some definition of who an inventor is and to ensure that patent protection is secured to and for the proper inventor.

  51. angry dude August 10, 2017 10:50 pm

    Steve,

    wtf is wrong with you, dude ?

    by your definition 95% of all US patents (mostly large corporate multi-inventor) are invalid – simply because of fraudulent inventorship declarations, no PTAB needed

    Just depose those so-called “inventor” dudes on any multi-inventor ibm or apple or ms or google patent and the ugly truth will come out…

  52. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 10, 2017 11:42 pm

    Anyone post by someone named Angry Dude does not require a reply. Did you just graduate high school, dude? Review court cases or USPTO practice and you will see that proper inventorship is nothing to be ignored.

  53. Anon August 11, 2017 7:58 am

    Steven,

    Your post at 41 and 43 are being construed (“– in other words, each nation has agreed as to what constitutes an invention – as to what constitutes an inventor – anyone who has contributed to the implementation of the invention – and the degree of contribution does not have to equal among multiple inventors.” in a way that reads what constitutes an inventor incorrectly (as you proceed to show at 48).

    As it may be read, your view expressed at 41 and 43 indicates that any tangential connection needs to be reflected as indicating inventorship. Your follow-up post at 48 (“. Unless a person contributes to the conception of the invention, he is not an inventor.” contradicts what may be construed from your own statements at 41 and 43.

    I believe that angry dude is reading into 41 and 43, and additionally, combining that with the last part of your statement at 48 (“ Including an inventor as an inventor, or excluding an inventor who rightfully should be an inventor, can be grounds for invalidating a patent.“), he became like a bull in a china shop.

    I think that you misstated (perhaps inadvertently) at 41 and 43, placing classic non-inventors (tangential, but not related to conception) into the scope of “inventor.” It is not clear that your quote at 48 is a retraction of your earlier broad statements.

    Further, one aspect of the AIA was to remove that threat of making invalid due to errors of inventorship. These types of errors are now correctable and that threat has been removed. I will even go one step further and point out that the AIA also removed inventorship errors that may not be even true “errors.”

    By that, I mean that the AIA at the same time of permitting error corrections, removed the phrase “without deceptive intent” in several places of the code, which means that “WITH deceptive intent” now gets a pass. Now this does not quite go “all the way” as to instigating deceptive intent (and fraud on the Office will still bring about dire consequences), but this does mean that the Office will NOT bother looking into and checking out any bona fides of an inventor error correction.

    Keep this in mind and consider again Benny’s (all too familiar sounding Big Corp mantra, of “it’s only bad if you get caught” – paraphrased). You now have provided an easy avenue for Big Corp to list inventorship in ways that may align with benefits to Big Corp and away from actual inventors. That troublesome employee who actually conceived of the invention in a team format? Screw him. “Honor” that new guy (the one completely dependent on continuing working for us) and IF the other guy makes a fuss, and IF down the road after a (costly for that troublesome employee) battle, we have change inventorship, then we can “correct” without penalty.

    By the way, one person who championed this change was Mark Lemley, who advanced a “it takes a village” view to inventorship. It is not a coincidence that this is the same Mark Lemley actively seeking to weaken the US patent system.

  54. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 11, 2017 8:14 am

    Anon –

    Thank you for your post. If I misspoke, I apologize. My point was that inventorship is not to be summarily dismissed – and yes, the AIA has made many things much easier – one thing I do love about AIA is that they did away with the requirement for original signatures on declarations, assignments, and the like – now photocopied,emailed signatures suffice which I, for one, was a huge proponent of all along – and it just underscores that the absolute requirement for an original signature pre-AIA was total BS but hey, we had to play by the rules.

  55. Tesia Thomas August 11, 2017 9:47 am

    Inventorship is really hard to prove when your company takes your lab notebook and gives it to a senior scientist…

    Been there.

  56. angry dude August 11, 2017 9:52 am

    Steve

    I’ve been watching this monkey patent business for a while, probably longer than you have
    I know for sure that those teams of “corporate inventors” are total bs – but it’s all good on paper
    You would have to depose and cross-examine those corporate “inventor” dudes under oath (and possibility to go to jail for lying) and the ugly truth may just come out
    All groundbreaking ideas come to one person’s head, not to the entire R&D team of 10
    the “flash of genius” concept is closer to reality than you may think
    (for truly original ideas – not for rank and file incremental junk patents filed by large corps every day)

    P.S I do have BSEE, 2 MSs and a PhD so please just stfu
    i am already angry as hell

  57. Tesia Thomas August 11, 2017 9:57 am

    @ angry dude

    You should no best that academia does not teach ‘flash of genius’.

    It teaches ‘research paper author politics’. And that has moved into patents once those people go to industry.

  58. Tesia Thomas August 11, 2017 9:57 am

    know*

    Lol

  59. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 11, 2017 10:40 am

    Angry Dude –

    I have been doing this for more than 30 years, and I work with Fortune 500 companies, or their equivalents, from all around the world – and whether in fact it is BS or whatever, they seem to make a big deal out of getting inventorship correct, that is listing the inventors who were, according to them, the real inventors for a particular project. Whether the listed inventors are in fact the real inventors or not, that is not my call. We just try our best to get things right and prepare and/or file the applications accordingly.

  60. Sankris August 11, 2017 11:10 am

    Inventorship is extremely important when you think that the inventor makes even something truly evolutionary, so she/he definitely wants her/his own invention having the correct inventorship, like in that case that is going on in social media, from Finland.

  61. Edward Heller August 11, 2017 3:44 pm

    Steve, let’s look at that definition. Inventor = one who invents.

    Now, that is the kind of definition I like.

  62. Edward Heller August 11, 2017 3:46 pm

    Practice tip, there is no vice in naming people who are not inventors. There is for omitting people who are.

    Thus, in a big company, naming inventors is more about corporate politics and making contributors feel good that complying with the law.

  63. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 11, 2017 5:33 pm

    Without, admittedly, doing a lot of research on the subject, here is one case which stresses the importance of proper inventorship and the ramifications of fraud upon the Patent Office.

    http://www.invention-protection.com/improper-identification-of-inventors-may-invalidate-patents/

    Also see:

    http://legalteamusa.net/tacticalip/2013/06/10/improper-inventor-on-a-patent-application/

    And:

    http://www.panitchlaw.com/problems-solved-avoided/identifying-the-correct-inventors-is-key-to-a-valid-patent

    Bottom line – do your best to list the proper inventors!

    How is that, Angry Dude? Am I still crazy? Is there still something wrong with me?

  64. Elli from UK August 11, 2017 5:52 pm

    Tesia, really sorry for your experience “with the notebook”. Some people stares on the rules but in a way of how they can misuse those for their own benefit. Ethics are totally missing and no empathy “what if I would be in the position of the guy I’m stealing from?”

    Sankris, do you mean the fresh Gaps and slots case in which Nokia copied the invention during the licensing negotiations and put their main negotiator as the inventor of their patent? That’s a really bold one! Didn’t they think if they would get ever caught? Of course they almost didn’t and they trust their lawyers. I heard that the lawyer of Nokia would have been bragging that in case it is really a duplicate patent, it is the patent office to blame, not them. So you can make whatever if patent office lets it through. Following that logic it would not be very long road to take the next step and corrupt an EPO examiner and get things done. Maybe we small players are playing with too fair rules.

  65. Tesia Thomas August 11, 2017 6:01 pm

    @Elli from UK,

    Thank you. It’s alright. Luckily though all the scientists that I worked with at that company loved me. It was just upper management unwilling to give me the ‘career boost’ of inventing for their multinational company since I’m young.

  66. Anon August 11, 2017 7:17 pm

    Mr. Heller,

    You err.

    Let me remind you that all named inventors must take an oath that they are true inventors.

    Falsehoods on such an oath may rise to the level of fraud on the Office, which still (despite the AIA) may have severe penalties.

  67. Edward Heller August 11, 2017 8:35 pm

    anon, if they swear falsely, anon, they are subject to penalties. The question is whether the true inventor is named, or true inventors omitted.

  68. Anon August 11, 2017 8:53 pm

    Your first sentence reflects my correction.

    Your second sentence appears to retreat back to your error.

    Simply put, the question you aim for in your second sentence is NOT the only question that is pertinent here.

    Your statement to which I commented upon above remains in error

  69. angry dude August 12, 2017 10:45 am

    STEVEN WEINRIEB @63

    I could make a bet for some of those very complex hi-tech “software” or “hardware” patents with multiple corporate inventors listed that if I cross-examine and depose them under oath at least a few of them would not be able to explain the essence of their invention to me…

  70. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 12, 2017 10:47 am

    AD –

    An inventor does not necessarily need to know how an entire system works – all an inventor needs to have done, to be considered an inventor, at least here in the US, is to have contributed something to the overall invention – see the case law previously cited.

  71. Anon August 12, 2017 1:01 pm

    Careful Steven, 😉

    You apologized once for possible misrepresentation of what an inventor means in the US, and your post at 70 reflects again a shoddy and incorrect interpretation – specifically, “contributing something” is decidedly NOT what the case law previously cited supports. Those merely following through on directed development “contribute something.”

    The winky icon is there because I think that you mean the more extensive definition and, after all, this is just a blog, and not a court of law. If you do not mean the more extensive definition and DO mean the loose standard, then your statements are in error to that extent.

  72. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 12, 2017 1:11 pm

    Anon –

    I did not apologize for anything – I am generally stating what has been the acceptable definition of an inventor here in the US after having been an examiner and a patent attorney for many years. I don’t need my statements to be nit-picked or parsed by someone who posts as Anon. Are you a patent attorney, agent, examiner?

  73. Anon August 12, 2017 5:47 pm

    Patent attorney.

    And if you consider my corrections as “nit-picking,” then ALL of your experience has been for naught.

  74. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 12, 2017 6:05 pm

    Then you need to take the Patent Bar Exam again.

  75. Anon August 12, 2017 6:48 pm

    Steven,

    I laugh at your suggestion, and ask you to consider your own snippet from the MPEP at post 48 does not support your other too-broad views on what it takes to be an inventor.

    Feel free to point out anything that I have mispoken upon. Or what section of the Patent Bar Exam would support your view as opposed to what I have stated.

    Lastly, please spare me the tripe of “you use a pseudonym or post anonymously.” I have posted in this forum many times both a defense of such as well as pointed out that doing otherwise (i.e., using one’s own actual name) has no hold on veracity or anything else related to the discourse here.

  76. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 12, 2017 7:13 pm

    Anon-

    If I truly had the time and inclination to respond to your tripe, I would, but I don’t – it’s simply sad that you have no idea as to what an inventor really is as has been noted by the prevailing patent law.

    BTW – if one wanted to check you out on the registry of Patent Attorneys, what would they look under – ANON?

  77. Anon August 12, 2017 9:38 pm

    Steven,

    My posts HERE are clear, so your rather feeble excuse of “responding to my tripe” is more than a little disingenuous.

    It’s funny that you now want to accuse me of having no idea, when it is your own posts (duly noted) that are simply incorrect.

    I do hope that you practice law with better discipline.

  78. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 12, 2017 10:09 pm

    Spoken like the true ANON that you are.

  79. Anon August 13, 2017 10:24 am

    I suppose that you think that your reply at 78 is somehow “cutting” or perhaps “witty.”

    It’s not.

    But that just the true STEVEN WEINRIEB that you are, eh? 😉

    May I suggest that you stick to dealing with items of substance? Your dallying in the insults is not working out too well for you.

  80. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 13, 2017 10:32 am

    The same can be said for you.

    You know, I looked you up on the USPTO registry – I put in ANON as the first name, ANON as the last name, ANON as both names – no records were found, so I guess that you don’t exist.

  81. Anon August 13, 2017 1:03 pm

    The same can be said for you.

    You tried that (first) – it didn’t work out too well for you. (note that I have dealt with items of substance, including pointing out that your own reference to the MPEP does NOT support your broader view of what being an inventor means).

    Let’s see you get to at least that point, eh?

    May I (again) suggest that you stick to dealing with items of substance? Your dallying in the insults is not working out too well for you.

  82. STEVEN WEINRIEB August 13, 2017 1:13 pm

    As I have said before, posting as ANON means that you stand for nothing – you have no integrity, no professionalism. He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing. Period. End of story. Your bluster is not worth any more responses.

  83. Anon August 13, 2017 2:51 pm

    I heard you the first time Steven.

    You were wrong then too.

    Maybe in your spare time you might want to check out the fact that pseudonymous and anonymous correspondences have a long – and valued history in the US.

    That path – of yours – leads nowhere. It is ad hominem at is most empty. Instead of name calling and empty labeling, try instead focusing on the merits (I note that you STILL have not done so).

    It is rather humorous though to watch you preach that which you refuse to practice. but I am “sure”*** that if you continue to clench tight your eyes, and that if you continue to refuse to see that your not addressing the merits of what is put in front of you and instead trying to merely label the person putting those things in front of you, the items of substance will magically change to how you wish that they were.

    *** I do wish that I had a good emoticon for sarcasm…

  84. John Fetter August 29, 2017 6:03 am

    Disagreements and arguments instead of productive discussion – perhaps we might try looking at something that is useful. STEVEN WEINTRIEB suggested @ 41 that, “if there was realy “Cooperation” between the countries who are members of PCT, then it should not matter where you file your PCT application – all PCT applications eventually go through the International Bureau at WIPO – and I have found this to be particularly annoying where an inventor outside of, for example, the US, can file a US provisional application at the USPTO, can then file a US non-provisional application at the USPTO, but he cannot file a PCT application at the USPTO, even when he is claiming priority back to his US provisional and non-provisional applications, because he is not a resident or citizen of the US. Which geniuses implemented that rule?”

    I have successfully applied for a PCT based on a UK application while not a UK resident, successfully applied for a PCT based on a US application while not a US resident and successfully applied for a US patent based on an Australian application while not an Australian resident. Simply team up with a co-inventor who is resident and assign a country that is barely on the map to the co-inventor.

  85. Benny August 29, 2017 6:46 am

    John,
    if you have an ISA in your home town, why do you want to file with the Americans? Think they speak better English or perform better searches?

  86. John Fetter August 29, 2017 9:15 am

    Benny – Processing patents obediently in one place gives greedy government officials the idea they have a right to tie a collar around my neck, chain me to a block of concrete and rifle through my pockets.

  87. Benny August 29, 2017 9:54 am

    Hadn’t noticed that one lot of officials are any less greedy than any others, but I’ll take your word for it. Always using the same law firm to prosecute patents does give them the notion that they are entitled to the keys to safe, but engage two and they start chatting and billing me for the time they spend on the phone comparing golf scores. Sometimes.

  88. John Fetter August 29, 2017 10:14 am

    Revenue collectors. In every western country there is at least one government department dedicated to monitoring hardworking inventors ONLINE with the intention of depriving them of as much money they made out of royalties and out of the sale of patents, as possible. Inventors are regarded as easy targets.

  89. Benny August 29, 2017 10:20 am

    Ah. Over here we call it corporate tax, but they also give government grants to invest in new tech (strings attached, of course, generally related to employment). Under the terms of my employment, I don’t see a red cent even if I invent a nuclear powered levitating mousetrap (with built in phone charger)

  90. John Fetter August 29, 2017 10:31 am

    I am not referring to matters corporate. And I am not talking about grants, which drag engineers into technical prostitution. I am talking about inventors.