Tech sector giants have been crying and moaning about how the patent system has run amok and needs to be scaled back, and continually beg for patent reform that would gut the patent system and weaken patent rights. Immediately after successfully lobbying for the America Invents Act (AIA), they are back at it again supporting new legislation aimed at making it more difficult to enforce patent rights pending in Congress. If they prevail with the passage of the Innovation Act, they will be back at it again no doubt. The longer term goal is to strip the International Trade Commission of its patent jurisdiction, which would make it impossible to stop the importation of infringing goods prior to entering the country. See Will the ITC Lose Its Patent Jurisdiction and Are Some Patent Holders More Equal Than Others?
The grumbling of the tech giants is increasingly being picked up by patent abolitionists who say “see, even Microsoft thinks there should be no patents,” which only adds to the hysteria. Of course, Microsoft is one of the top patenting companies year after year and they aggressively pursue software patens themselves. So while some of Microsoft’s public statements suggest that they do not like software patents, they aggressively seek them and then aggressively pursue licensing strategies. So it seems that Microsoft may talk a good game about software patents being undesirable and a real scourge, but when push comes to shove they will get as many patents as they can. Quite curious if you ask me!
So why do the tech giants want to make it hard for small businesses and individuals to get patents? Do you remember when “Wang” was synonymous with “computer,” or at least “word processor”? Perhaps not, but once upon a time it was indeed. The story of Wang is the story of technology companies generally speaking. What has always been true is that technology companies that reach the top are only passing through on their way down; to be replaced by smaller, leaner companies that pursue appropriate strategies and have solid and expandable innovations in demand.
Even mighty Microsoft couldn’t maintain their monopoly, and only the foolish would anticipate Google, Facebook and other tech giants to be on top indefinitely. That isn’t how the tech sector works, or is intended to work. But if a vibrant, robust and strong patent system is not there for start-ups today they will never become the giant, innovation shifting, growth companies of the future. That would be terrible for the economy, lead to stagnant innovation and guarantee that slothful, giant companies that have lost the ability to innovate would remain dominant rather than going the way of the dinosaur.
Lookout Mobile Security is seeking a Patent Hacker/Engineer for its San Francisco CA office location.
At Lookout, we build amazing products that help people all over the world stay safe while using their mobile devices. Every day, we’re hard at work inventing new technologies and ideas that allow Lookout to be absolutely simple to use, but remarkably effective. Plus, the problems we get to work on are really fun.
The same way you might have title proving your ownership of a house or car, we care about having title to our inventions (i.e. patents). We certainly don’t like the software patent shenanigans that have been going on lately, but at Lookout we’re building real and valuable technology and we don’t think it’s fair for someone to come along and blatantly copy everything we work so hard to build. The way we use patents at Lookout helps protect our hard work and defend ourselves from frivolous lawsuits.
Patents are fun. Writing good patents is an extremely challenging, yet fascinating, problem. You need to take an invention and get to the heart of what makes it special, then figure out how to describe it in a sufficiently broad way to capture the whole invention (and not just a particular implementation) while making sure there aren’t easy ways to design around it. We call it patent hacking because writing solid patents is a creative process that has a lot in common with building (and breaking) software—you need to think of all the ways you can make something work and all of the ways you can circumvent how it was designed to work.
On Monday, August 5, 2013, the the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), a nonprofit association of academic technology transfer professionals, released the highlights of the AUTM U.S. Licensing Activity Survey: FY2012. The AUTM survey shares quantitative information about licensing activities at U.S. universities, hospitals and research institutions.The full report is scheduled for release at the end of the year.
The highlights of the survey reveal that University licensing and startup activity continued to see a robust increase during fiscal year 2012.
Institutions responding to the survey reported $36.8 billion in net product sales from licensed technologies in fiscal year 2012. In addition, startup companies formed by 70 institutions employed 15,741 full-time employees. This was the second year in which AUTM asked questions specifically targeted at ascertaining the economic impact of academic technology transfer.
President Lincoln was an independent inventor and patent owner.
Historically, innovation by individual inventors has driven our economy by creating new jobs and companies. Consider the names of some individual inventors who ultimately formed companies to exploit their ideas, but who initially manufactured nothing: Westinghouse (air brake), Ford (car), Gillette (razor), Hewlett-Packard (oscillation generator), Otis (elevator), Harley (motorcycle shock absorber), Colt (revolving gun), Goodrich (tires), Goodyear (synthetic rubber), Carrier (air treatment), Noyce (Intel), Carlson (Xerox), Eastman (laser printer camera), Land (Polaroid), Shockley (semiconductor), Kellogg (grain harvester), DuPont (gun powder), Nobel (explosives), the Wright brothers (aircraft), Owens (glass), Steinway (pianos), Bessemer (steel), Jacuzzi (hot tub), Smith & Wesson (firearm), Burroughs (calculator), Houdry (catalytic cracker), Marconi (wireless communication), Goodard (rocket), Diesel (internal combustion engine), Fermi (neutronic reactor), Disney (animation), Sperry (Gyroscope), Williams (helicopter), even Abraham Lincoln who was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,469. These are individuals who, in most cases, worked alone, without government or corporate support, yet, created not just new inventions, but whole new industries that employ millions of people today.
It can be argued, of course, that most of these inventors ultimately created manufacturing companies and that companies who merely buy patents from individual inventors contribute nothing. That seems to be much of what you are hearing. But what about small companies that are struggling to compete against corporate giants and need a strong patent system to level the playing field? As the inventor of the MRI scanning machine, Dr. Raymond Damadian, observed, it’s the small companies (not giants that ship their jobs to India and China) who provide the economic spark for new jobs in America.
The Law Office of David J. Rosenblum is seeking a Patent Attorney/Agent for a Telecommuting, Independent Contracting position.
Patent preparation and prosecution in the electrical arts. All work is reviewed before submission to client. The pay range is 35-50% of billings.
Must be registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Please include registration number in the submission. At least one year of patent preparation/prosecution experience is required.
This top tier international firm is seeking an experienced and seasoned patent litigator for its Los Angeles office. The ideal candidate will have 2-6 years of Patent Litigation experience in ITC and District Court patent litigation. Preferred background will include an undergraduate degree in engineering, math, computer science or physics, and an advanced degree is a plus. Membership in the Patent Bar is preferred but not required. This firm requires stellar credentials and large firm experience.
This prominent national firm seeks a highly qualified patent attorney with a Ph.D. in Biology or relevant technical field to join the Washington, D.C. office. The candidate will represent clients and provide legal advice in all aspects of patent law, including acquisition, prosecution, licensing and defense of intellectual property rights. The candidate would be responsible for providing legal advice on patent prosecution, including invention capture, strategic patent portfolio management, and life cycle planning for commercializing technologies; performing due diligence related to evaluating patent portfolios for acquisition, merger, and licensing opportunities; and advising and representing clients in patent licensing opportunities and in legal proceedings regarding patent infringement. The candidate must be a member of or capable of waiving into the D.C. Bar and be registered with the USPTO. Minimum 2 years of technical experience in Biology required.
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