Patent Funding Scam? USPTO Funding is Like a Ponzi Scheme

By Gene Quinn
October 17, 2011

Jon Dudas at UNH School of Law, 10-1-2011

Several weeks ago I was in attendance at the dedication ceremony at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, celebrating the grand opening of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property. I have written about the event several times already — Chief Judge Rader on injustice and discovery, Chief Judge Rader on obviousness and UNH honors Judges Newman and Gajarsa.  In addition to the Judges in attendance at the ceremonies and conference, one panel during the conference had Mary Beth Peters, long-time Registrar of Copyrights, and Jon Dudas, the former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  It was during the Peters-Dudas panel that Director Dudas dropped what many would probably consider a bombshell.  Dudas said that the funding of the USPTO is like a ponzi scheme, and he is 100% correct.

Let’s back up and provide a little context.  Dudas and Peters were there to provide insight into a variety of intellectual property matters from a regulatory perspective.  Both gave brief presentations and then opened the floor for questions.  Inevitably things turned toward USPTO funding and Director Dudas gave an extremely candid response, and one that will hopefully open the eyes of those who seem chronically myopic — namely the elite ruling class in Washington, DC.  So let’s explore whether USPTO funding is like a ponzi scheme, shall we?

Dudas started off discussing USPTO funding by explaining that while he was at the agency, while he was preparing to testify before Congress at one particular moment, he discussed the funding problem with his senior staff.  “Why can’t I just tell them that the PTO funding is like a ponzi-scheme,” Dudas recounted.  He would go on to say that everyone to a person told him “you can’t say that!”  So Dudas settled on saying it this way: “the funding of the USPTO is similar to the way Congress funds Social Security.”  That seemed to please his advisors and apparently didn’t ruffle any feathers on Capitol Hill.  Of course, those on the Hill probably had no idea what Dudas was saying, after all many leaders (including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) are in denial with respect to Social Security and actually claim that there isn’t a crisis and those claiming Social Security is going broke are perpetuating a myth because they don’t like government, see the YouTube clip below.

You really just cannot argue with those who are in denial and refuse to recognize the cold, hard facts that affect the economic reality of Social Security and other entitlement programs.  Notwithstanding, for those who are grown-up enough to have an adult conversation, we know that the math doesn’t work out in any way other than Social Security going broke and consuming ever increasing amounts of federal revenue.  Why?  Because Social Security is about as close to a ponzi scheme as most average citizens will ever see.

Social Security is funded by payroll taxes collected by the Federal Government, with money coming in this year being paid out in benefits this year.  Surplus monies collected are taken by the Treasury for spending elsewhere in the government, with Treasury Bonds being issued as a form of IOU.  The value of those bonds held by the Social Security Trust Fund is valued at $2.6 trillion.  That means there is no trust fund whatsoever.  The trust fund has been raided to fund other government operations, with IOUs being provided.

According to the OASDI Trustees Report for 2011:

At the end of 2010, about 54 million people were receiving benefits: 37 million retired workers and dependents of retired workers, 6 million survivors of deceased workers, and 10 million disabled workers and dependents of disabled workers. During the year, an estimated 157 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes. Total expenditures in 2010 were $713 billion. Total income was $781 billion ($664 billion in non-interest income and $117 billion in interest earnings), and assets held in special issue U.S. Treasury securities grew to $2.6 trillion.

The report goes on to explain:

Under the long-range intermediate assumptions, annual cost for the OASDI program is projected to exceed non-interest income in 2011 and remain higher throughout the remainder of the long-range period. The combined OASI and DI Trust Funds are projected to increase through 2022, and then to decline and become exhausted and unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis in 2036.

Thus, despite the “head in sand” approach of Senator Reid, there is a huge problem with Social Security.  In fact, according to the Trustees Report, “[t]here were about 2.9 workers for every OASDI beneficiary in 2010.”  The report explains that from 1974 through 2008 the number of workers per beneficiary remained stable and fluctuated only between 3.2 and 3.4.  The report goes on: “This ratio reaches 2.1 by 2035 when the baby-boom generation will have largely retired, with a further gradual decline thereafter due to increasing longevity.”  This has to be alarming to everyone because in 1940 there were 42 workers per beneficiary and in 1950 there were 16 workers per beneficiary.  See Understanding Social Security.  An ever growing base of those drawing payments with an ever decreasing base of those paying in is exactly how ponzi schemes get in trouble and ultimately collapse.

Whether you like Rick Perry, the Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate, he is right to call Social Security a ponzi scheme. As a strategy for winning the White House I don’t like the rhetoric, but those are the facts.  Undoubtedly, there will be some who don’t like the comparison between a ponzi scheme and Social Security, but before you jump to any erroneous conclusions why not take a look at how the Security and Exchange Commission defines the term “ponzi scheme.”  The SEC says:

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.

If you don’t think that is exactly what is happening with Social Security you really need to wise up.

All those bonds the Trust Fund are holding are just promises to repay, but everyone knows that someone who is broke cannot repay a debt.  When money out exceeds money in and all the reserves have been blown through Social Security will collapse, just like all ponzi schemes.  Those who have been in the longest obtained great benefits compared to what they paid in, and those who entered late or never entered at all get screwed, having paid a lifetime worth of payroll taxes only to receive nothing.  Clearly, if Social Security were a private sector operation it would be a ponzi scheme and people would go to jail.

Now let’s return to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The USPTO is user fee funded.  It collects money for the promise of delivering a service in the future.  Due to the backlog of patent applications today that means you file your patent application and then you likely have to wait between 2 to 3 years for the patent examiner to pick up your file, depending on the technology area most closely associated with your invention.  As of August 2011 the Patents Dashboard shows that the average time to a first office action is 28.2 months.

Every year the USPTO collects more money than Congress allocates to the agency.  Does that sound familiar?  Of course it does, at least if you have been paying attention.  Social Security collects more money each year than it pays out, which will continue right until it ceases, at which point taxpayers will have to begin subsidizing Social Security.

So what happens to the excess money collected by the USPTO?  Just like the excess funds collected by Social Security, funds over and above what has been allocated are turned over to the Treasury for use by the government at large.  In other words, those funds paid for the provision of a service (i.e., examination of an application) are siphoned off by Congress and used for activities wholly unrelated to the operation of the Patent and Trademark Office.  Sound familiar?

What is worse for the Patent and Trademark Office, at least compared with Social Security, is that there has never even been an IOUs given to the agency.  The funds are just taken, and we are approaching $1 billion so siphoned off from the USPTO since 1992.  That doesn’t sound like a lot of money in government terms, but the USPTO budget last year was roughly $2 billion, so that $1 billion siphoned off is a meaningful amount of money and exactly explains why there is an enormous backlog and pendency is so high.  The Patent Office hasn’t had the funds to appropriately hire given the increased demand in a U.S. patent and they haven’t had adequate funds to invest in the agency as a going concern.  Worse is the fact that the USPTO stands to have nearly $800 million siphoned off this year if we continue to fund government through Continuing Resolutions (i.e., $2.7 billion revenue to PTO projected; spending frozen at $1.9 billion as per FY 2009).

In the latest changes to the patent laws, the America Invents Act, Congress seemingly rectified the funding issues for the USPTO, but upon close scrutiny it is just business as usual, although it is now arguably even more like Social Security.  Why?  Because Congress has finally set up a Fund for the Patent and Trademark Office.  After all that Social Security Trust Fund proved to be so well operated and exceptionally useful why not have one for the USPTO?

In the America Invents Act Congress established a Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund. The pertinent part of the law explains, with emphasis added:

If fee collections by the Patent and Trademark Office for a fiscal year exceed the amount appropriated to the Office for that fiscal year, fees collected in excess of the appropriated amount shall be deposited in the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund. To the extent and in the amounts provided in appropriations Acts, amounts in the Fund shall be made available until expended only for obligation and expenditure by the Office…

So in other words, the USPTO gets to use the funds in the Fee Reserve Fund to the extent that Congress says they can use the funds in other appropriations Acts.  So the USPTO gets to use the funds if Congress says they get to use them, thus nothing has changed.  The only thing that has changed is now there is a dedicated pot of money for Congress.

For crying out loud Congress isn’t even hiding what they are doing!  They didn’t even call the “Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund” a “trust fund.”  No illusions, no promises and most certainly no money held in any kind of “trust” on behalf of the USPTO and those stakeholders who fund the agency and a variety of Congressional pet projects via siphoned monies.

You see, the funding of the USPTO is like a ponzi scheme because those who apply today are paying for the examination of patent application filed nearly 3 years ago.  In order for the Patent and Trademark Office to have the funds to examine patent applications filed today people have to continue filing patent applications in the future, those with patents issued have to continue paying maintenance fees and/or we have to trust that Congress would make up any deficit faced by the Patent and Trademark Office.  Trust Congress?  That is absurd enough, but trust Congress relative to USPTO funding?  That is downright absurd.

Those who have been long time readers know I have been pretty hard on Director Dudas over the years, particularly with respect to the now failed claims and continuations rules and the second pair of eyes rules that caused the Office to nearly grind to a stop.  One thing is undeniably true, however.  During his tenure he Congress allowed the USPTO to keep 100 cents on the dollar.  His record on the fee issue is very strong, and he is undeniably correct to point a finger at the funding nonsense.  It has to stop!

For more of our writings on the America Invents Act please visit our Patent Reform page.

For more of our writings on funding the Patent Office please visit out PTO Funding page.

FOR THE RECORD: Anticipating comment nonsense allow me to say: I do not (and will not) support Rick Perry for President, and I did enjoy my conversation with Director Dudas after his panel.  While I have had substantive disagreements with Dudas he seems like a really nice guy.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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 25 Comments comments.

  1. Baited and Switched October 17, 2011 11:02 pm

    Thought I was getting an article on USPTO funding, ended up with partisan Social Security talking points. Sorry I clicked through.

  2. Mark Malek October 18, 2011 8:12 am

    Great article Gene – very disturbing, but great. Sad state of affairs. I like the reference to the “Elite Ruling Class” in DC. There is likely no bigger scam in the world than being a politician in DC.

  3. Just visiting October 18, 2011 9:44 am

    “despite the ‘head in sand’ approach of Senator Reid.”

    Gene … please stick to patent law … rather than politics. The Republicans had control of the Congress and a Republican president for a good part of the 2000s, yet you blame “Senator Reid” for putting his head in the sand. The Social Security problem has been known for decades, so don’t go pushing all of the blame to one side of the aisle. The Republicans had their chance to fix the problem, but they didn’t. Maintain this heavily biased view of the facts, and I’ll start referring to you as “Bobby.”

  4. Dan Feigelson October 18, 2011 10:15 am

    Gene, did M. Dudas explain to you how his proposed claims-and-continuations rules were meant to rectify this situation, if at all? I always assumed they were designed to discourage filings and reduce the total number of claims to be examined, thereby leaving more examiner time available to examiner applications already in the pipeline, but that also would have entailed a reduction in incoming fees, no? Anyway, it’s a refreshingly candid admission from a former member of the administration.

  5. Stan E. Delo October 18, 2011 11:38 am

    Gene-

    Interesting article, and the analogy to Social Security is a valid one (Unfortunately) It seems to me as if the only solution to keeping Congress out of our pockets by them swiping our filing and maintenance fees will probably have to be a stand-alone bill to permanently end fee diversion, like the amendment Senator Coburn tried to get into the AIA. Getting something like that done will be very difficult at best, but the proponents could probably gain a fair amount of good will for publically exposing the seamier side, shall we say, of the games Congress has been playing with the funds we are paying into the USPTO for an agreed upon service in good faith?

    All the talk of how Congress has *fixed and streamlined* US Patent law is just talk after all, and seemingly willfully deceptive in some cases, or maybe some or most have just been completely bamboozled? It could be argued with very little stretching of the imagination that fee diversion is an unwarranted public taking of our revenue, while also obstructing the timely granting of our legitimate US patent rights, the latter of which is the worst part of it in my opinion. My chances of finding financing or licensing inventions is seriously hampered by the delay in getting my patents examined and either granted, or failing that, providing a decision point to move on to something else before it gets too late.

    Stan~

  6. Keith October 18, 2011 11:47 am

    I’m really at a loss. Social Security will “collapse?” What does that even mean?

    I think everyone realizes that long term underfunded liabilities in Medicare and SS are a looming problem. But how could the system have been structured any other way? They didn’t wait 30 years to start paying benefits, right? They had to start paying current beneficiaries with payments from future beneficiaries right from the start, or else the system would have been written off as a stupid joke. Honestly, pointing out some similarities to how a ponzi scheme operates and saying that SS is therefore headed for collapse because of how the system is set up is ridiculous. Assuming that nothing will be done to fix it before benefits are significantly reduced is utter nonsense. Stick to lecturing in outrageously priced bar review courses, please.

  7. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 1:18 pm

    Keith-

    So you actually believe Social Security will be able to take in less money than it pays out and remain solvent?

    Your comment is extremely naive and demonstrates an acute lack of understanding of Social Security, economic reality and the basic underlying truths.

    For example, were you aware that in 1942 the life expectancy for men was 64.7 years old and for women was 67.9 years old? See: http://demog.berkeley.edu/~andrew/1918/figure2.html

    This means that the average male in 1942 would NEVER receive Social Security payments, and there were still 42 workers per beneficiary. That is how it started and was able to collect more than it paid out.

    Do you also know that in 2008 the life expectancy for men was 75.5 years old and for women 80.5 years old? See http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/births_deaths_marriages_divorces/life_expectancy.html

    So that means that living to the current life expectancy means men collect Social Security for 10+ years and women collect for 15+ years, and now we have about 3 workers per beneficiary.

    So perhaps you should arm yourself with the facts. Knowledge is power!

    -Gene

  8. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 1:25 pm

    Baited and Switched-

    Perhaps if you read the article you would have noticed that it was about USPTO funding. Former Director Jon Dudas made the Social Security comment, so I reported that and explored the problems with Social Security and then compared them with the USPTO.

    The fact that you think this is a partisan article demonstrates just how little you understand about an issue of enormous consequence for our nation. The facts are there clear for everyone to see. The nice thing about the Social Security discussion is that when discussing the problem it is NOT at all partisan. The solutions to the problem can be partisan if we allow them to be, but the problem is just a simple matter of math, actuarial science and economics. You cannot pay money you don’t have. Social Security will collect less than it pays out. The Federal Government through both Republican and Democrat Administrations have raided the trust fund. There are $2.6 trillion in bonds sitting in the trust fund that presumably will have to be repaid (assuming Congress does nothing), which is more than the federal government brings in annually in tax revenue. Social Security is the easy issue to deal with, but Medicare is going broke as well, as anyone who is fair will acknowledge.

    Sorry if the truth offended you. I trade in truth here, not fantasy.

    -Gene

  9. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 1:27 pm

    Dan-

    I didn’t get into the claims and continuations rules with Dudas. I hope to at some point. I would really like to interview him and hope we can talk about what he was trying to accomplish.

    Thanks for reading.

    -Gene

  10. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 1:34 pm

    JV-

    Why do you jump to conclusions?

    It is fair and accurate to say that Senator Reid has his head firmly implanted in the sand if he thinks Social Security isn’t facing a financial crisis. That is unquestionably true. I notice you do not even seek to challenge that true statement, but rather attempt to turn this into a partisan discussion. Point to Gene.

    Social Security has been a problem for decades and it is one that both Republicans and Democrats refuse to address in an adult manner. So you can point to the Republicans and blame them if you want, that much is fair. But then you MUST also point to the Democrats and blame them. Remember, President Obama had complete control of government at the beginning of his term and a 60 vote margin in the Senate. They could have done whatever they wanted and they did not chose to do anything about Social Security. Whether you like it or not that is just the facts.

    As far as placing blame, it seems you are accusing me of being partisan. That is ABSURD! Just look at my record. I don’t let partisan politics get in the way of me pointing out when folks take bad policy positions and do stupid things. I went after Jon Dudas and the Bush era patent office harder than anyone. I have been a big supporter of David Kappos and the Obama era patent office. I have taken Congressman Paul Ryan (who I greatly respect) to task for his opposition to a true end to fee diversion, and I have written that Congressman Rogers has misrepresented fee diversion for many years and is not to be trusted despite his letter promise. So if you think I am partisan I think YOU need to take a long hard look in the mirror. If you do you will see who is partisan.

    -Gene

  11. Mark Nowotarski October 18, 2011 2:27 pm

    Gene,

    I think “escrow” might be a more useful metaphor for the USPTO’s the funding mechanism than “ponzi”.

    When the USPTO receives examination and search fees, they are immediately transferred to a special fund with the Treasury because the funds have not yet been earned. This is analogous to a law firm placing a client’s retainer in an escrow account because those funds have also not yet been earned.

    The Treasury funds are transferred back to the USPTO when the USPTO completes the tasks the funds were collected for. These tasks include performing a searches or issuing final dispositions. The same is true for law firms. They can’t get access the client’s funds until after the billable work is done.

    See “Earned Income” from the USPTO’s annual report for details http://www.uspto.gov/about/stratplan/ar/2010/mda_06_02_04.html

    The USPTO’s Treasury fund is growing at close to 10% per year. It now stands at about $1.4 billion. http://www.uspto.gov/about/stratplan/ar/2010/par_01.html That means that the number of patent application filings, including continuing applications, is growing faster than the USPTO’s examination capability. The USPTO is hiring new examiners but it takes a while for them to come up to speed. Until then the funds they collect from Treasury won’t cover their costs.

    The USPTO could increase its overall productivity per examiner through technology investment but they can’t get access to the funds in Treasury. I’m not really sure what their options are.

    So it certainly is a frustrating situation, but I wouldn’t call it a Ponzi scheme.

  12. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 2:50 pm

    Mark-

    Thanks for the comment and the links.

    I don’t think the USPTO funding is really a ponzi scheme, although it does seem to have at least some traits in common with at least the SEC definition. It is an enormously frustrating problem because Congress has the ability to make a change and right things moving forward but seems to have no interest in doing anything. The infuriating part to me is that they now set up this fund and act like the PTO can spend the money, but it is still contingent on Appropriations Acts. That isn’t a change at all. The money is there, Congress just won’t let the PTO have access to it.

    I wonder what will happen if interest in US patents declines, for example in an era when there are prior user rights and large corporations might rather keep trade secrets given then have an infringement defense not previously enjoyed. If applications dip and the PTO cannot fund the level of operations necessary will Congress make up the difference? I doubt it.

    I think it is fair to say that the funding is “like a ponzi scheme” in at least some ways. Whether it is a government run ponzi scheme or whether it is identical to Social Security is perhaps an entertaining discussion, but the PTO funding is an embarrassment. Hopefully someone will take notice.

    Cheers.

    -Gene

  13. Blind Dogma October 18, 2011 3:09 pm

    I don’t think ‘escrow’ is the proper terminology at all.

    If someone dipped into “escrow” funds and spent millions upon millions of those funds with ZERO tie-in to the agency or the applicants, that would be called THEFT.

  14. Stan E. Delo October 18, 2011 3:33 pm

    Part of the problem with calling it a Ponzi scheme, is that presumably Ponzi artists Knew that they were doing what they did, and therefore amounts to unethical behavior as BD suggests. In my opinion the USPTO had no real control over their predicament, and likely will not in the foreseeable future. (Large sigh) What a shame when Bob and David are trying so hard to make things better for us all….

    Stan~

  15. Just visiting October 18, 2011 3:54 pm

    “Why do you jump to conclusions?”

    I’ve seen this song and dance from you before.

    I hear the Republicans and Tea Baggers complain all the things that need to be done (e.g., cut entitlement programs, cut taxes, cut [insert just about anything here]), but where were those voices when the Republicans had control of the Congress and the White House?

    “It is fair and accurate to say that Senator Reid has his head firmly implanted in the sand if he thinks Social Security isn’t facing a financial crisis. That is unquestionably true. I notice you do not even seek to challenge that true statement, but rather attempt to turn this into a partisan discussion. Point to Gene”
    If you were an Examiner, and I would respond that your taking of Official Notice is not accompanied by findings of fact supported by substantial evidence. When you give me direct quotes (and the full context in which they were stated), I will be more than happy to concede (or not) that point.

    FYI – I believe he said that SS is fully funded for the next 40 years so “its not in crisis.” Also, there is difference between saying “its not in crisis” and “Social Security isn’t facing a financial crisis.” One statement is about the present and another statement is about the future. An article on Fox News says that 40 years is close to 25 years, but admits that “Social Security is technically flush with a $2.5 trillion surplus.” As such, after a little research, I’m less inclined to hand you that point.

    “So you can point to the Republicans and blame them if you want, that much is fair. But then you MUST also point to the Democrats and blame them.”
    I didn’t assign more blame to one side or the other – you did. The only blame I’m passing out is the Republicans’ penchant for talking a good game for one portion of their constituents (i.e., tea baggers and their forbearers) yet never seriously following up on it because they value reelection over principles and they don’t want to touch the “third rail” of politics.

    “As far as placing blame, it seems you are accusing me of being partisan. That is ABSURD!”
    Gene … I’ve posted at least 3 or 4 times the last couple of years calling you out for being partisan and introducing politics into discussion about patents. You’ve been consistent in your partisanship, and I’ve been consistent in calling you out on it.

    “I went after Jon Dudas and the Bush era patent office harder than anyone. I have been a big supporter of David Kappos and the Obama era patent office.”
    Funny how that worked out – trust me, I’ve noted the difference and wondered how you would react to it. I think David Boundy went after “Jon Dudas and the Bush era patent office” much harder than you.

    “So if you think I am partisan I think YOU need to take a long hard look in the mirror. If you do you will see who is partisan.”
    Gene … you were attacking these individuals on strictly patent issues – where your primary interests lies. However, take away patent-related issues, and you bleed Republican red, through-and-through. Don’t deny it, but we all know it is true.

  16. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 4:46 pm

    JV-

    You say: “where were those voices when the Republicans had control of the Congress and the White House?”

    RESPONSE: A valid point, but not one that rebuts anything that I wrote. Senator Reid is in denial. There is a financing crisis facing Social Security. You are the one who has turned this into a partisan issue. All I did was write about the funding mechanism, the economics of Social Security and the reality that it is going broke. Hardly breaking news and hardly controversial.

    You actually said: “Official Notice is not accompanied by findings of fact supported by substantial evidence.” relative to my saying that Social Security is going broke and Senator Reid is in denial.

    RESPONSE: You can play games if you like, but if you really are an attorney or agent you have to know what I am writing is true, unless you have shielded yourself from news for the last several years or are buying into the myth that Social Security is well funded.

    As far as no evidence… please re-read the article. I provide evidence directly from the Trustees Report. Please also see my response above at #7. There is plenty of evidence. The fact that you choose to ignore the facts doesn’t mean that there is no evidence.

    You said: “I didn’t assign more blame to one side or the other – you did.”

    RESPONSE: I see. You didn’t actually read the article. That is unfortunate. I spent a good amount of time writing the article and you chose to ignore the words used and rather impart whatever meaning you wanted to despite the words I used. I didn’t point the finger at anyone. I merely pointed out Senator Reid is in denial, which of course any fair minded person knows. I also blamed the “the elite ruling class in Washington, DC.” So I did not point the finger at Democrats. The fact that Senator Reid is a Democrat and is in denial doesn’t mean that Social Security problems are purely the fault of Democrats. The fact that you could twist what I so clearly wrote into something it is not suggests you are projecting. Perhaps you blame the Democrats more than the Republicans. After all, it has been the Republicans that have been coming up with plans to try and save Social Security — save one misguided Texas Governor and current Presidential Candidate.

    You actually said: “I’ve posted at least 3 or 4 times the last couple of years calling you out for being partisan and introducing politics into discussion about patents. You’ve been consistent in your partisanship, and I’ve been consistent in calling you out on it.”

    RESPONSE: JV, your problem is you have never been right when you call me a partisan. I didn’t hear you calling me a partisan when I was lambasting Dudas or President Bush. I didn’t hear you call me a partisan when I wrote about wanting federal funding for stem cells and saying that was a huge mistake by President Bush. I never heard you call me a partisan when I wrote about Paul Ryan being misguided, or when I wrote about Congressman Rogers playing fast and loose with the facts regarding fee diversion. In fact, the only time you call me a partisan is when I have written negative things about Democrats. What this means is that YOU are the partisan. You have the audacity to believe that I am correct when holding Republicans to account and just plain partisan when I point out the errors of Democrats. That is, by definition, partisan on your part.

    One of the biggest arguments we have had is over global warming. You still believe the fabricated data and ignore all the true data I provide. That isn’t partisan, it is about science and I view science very differently than you do. The reality is that those supporting human global warming can’t come up with models that predict the past, and the data they relied on was admitted to be faked by the e-mails of the researchers. The undeniable truth is there is climate change, but the climate has been changing for millions of years. Those (like you) who subscribe to only one view (i.e., that man is responsible for everything) have prevented real research into the climate because anything that challenged the orthodoxy was suppressed.

    You actually said: “I think David Boundy went after “Jon Dudas and the Bush era patent office” much harder than you.”

    RESPONSE: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even when they are mistaken.

    You said: “However, take away patent-related issues, and you bleed Republican red, through-and-through.”

    RESPONSE: And you bleed a brand of liberalism that ignores facts and exalts mythology. You actually seem to think Democrats can do no wrong. I feel sorry for you. You are a bitter partisan and you don’t even know it.

  17. Just visiting October 18, 2011 5:37 pm

    “Senator Reid is in denial.”
    No … you are in denial. He specially stated that “[Social Security is] not in crisis.” You rephrased his statement to be ‘Social Security isn’t facing a financial crisis.” The transcript I found happens to be the same interview you reproduced in the Youtube clip. There is a difference – one is a statement of the future, and one is statement about the future. I believe Reid is correct when he says that SS is not in crisis. A issue that might arise is 25-40 years (depending upon who you want to believe) is not a crisis.

    The most relevant dictionary definition for “crisis” I could find is “a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome b: a situation that has reached a critical phase ” I don’t believe the current situation with SS raises to that the level of a crisis. This isn’t a crucial time or a critical phase no more than it was 10 years ago or will be in 10 years.

    “You can play games if you like, but if you really are an attorney or agent you have to know what I am writing is true.”
    No … what you wrote is wrong. You mischaracterized his statement, and as a result of that mischaracterization you’ve stated that Reid has his “head in the sand.” You heard what you wanted to hear – not what he actually said. I’ve already repeated (twice) what he said and what you said he said. They are very different statements.

    “I provide evidence directly from the Trustees Report.”
    I wanted evidence on Reid’s statement – not on the state (past, present, or future) of SS. Also, I think my first post admitted that SS long-term future has been an issue that has been raised for decades. As such, your “evidence” addresses an issue that has not been contended. Are you sure you weren’t an Examiner in a former life?

    “I didn’t point the finger at anyone.”
    Except Reid.

    “I also blamed the ‘the elite ruling class in Washington, DC.'”
    A phrase far more likely to be used by Republicans than Democrats. I listen to Rush about 10 minutes every 3 months – I know the code words.

    “After all, it has been the Republicans that have been coming up with plans to try and save Social Security.”
    See my point about pandering but never following through.

    “I never heard you call me a partisan …..”
    I found it all quite amusing. However, as I previously implied, your patent partisanship trumped your political partisanship, which is perfectly understandable.

    “just plain partisan when I point out the errors of Democrats”
    Where you “point out the errors of Democrats”? I thought you weren’t being partisan? Which is it – blaming Democrats or blaming the “elite ruling class?”

    “The reality is that those supporting human global warming can’t come up with models that predict the past, and the data they relied on was admitted to be faked by the e-mails of the researchers.”
    One set of data may be faked – honestly, I don’t know because I haven’t researched the issue. However, one falsified data set doesn’t explain all the other valid data sets. FYI … until we get a model to that accurately predicts tomorrow’s weather, I’m not concerned about their inability to predict the past climate.

    “The undeniable truth is there is climate change, but the climate has been changing for millions of years.”
    Don’t got a problem with that … but you assume (falsely) that because the climate has been changing (on its own) for millions of years that the climate cannot also be changing because of man-made reasons. Another Examiner-ism – assuming that the truth of one set of facts results in the truth of another set of facts despite there not been a necessary correlation.

    “You actually seem to think Democrats can do no wrong.”
    Really??????? Where I have ever wrote that? Where I have ever even implied that? You’ve banned people from your blog from making patently false statements. Gene – I defy you to back up that statement about my beliefs with a quote that even remotely resembles that statement. Your statement about me is so f’ing false that I’m embarrassed for you. For that one, I suggest you ban yourself for a couple of days. Jeesh … talk about a bittter partisan … you need to take a look in the mirror.

  18. JV October 18, 2011 5:39 pm

    I see that Gene has put a hold on my posts — somebody has some really thin skin.

  19. Gene Quinn October 18, 2011 7:25 pm

    JV-

    No thin skin at all, your comment just wound up in spam.

    I have no particular desire to debate someone like you who is hyper partisan and thinks everyone else is the problem. You choose to live in denial and that is fine, but if you are going to live in denial you shouldn’t get so upset when someone (like me) points out the truth. How or why you cannot handle the truth is not my issue though. So proceed in your blissful way believing Social Security is not facing a financial crisis. If that helps you get out of bed in the morning more power to you.

    -Gene

  20. Judith_IP October 19, 2011 4:50 pm

    I’m not going to argue politics with you, but I will say that your use of Republican keywords is unfortunate.

    The PTO’s funding is not a Ponzi scheme in that they spend the collected funds on hiring, and prosecution costs associated with current applications. Ponzi scheme requires the payout of unrealistic profits to past investors, in order to lure new investors or to have existing investors take greater rirks. Certainly unrelated to either Social Security or the PTO’s funding. It’s a political naming game. Which is not where we should be taking this discussion.

  21. Anon October 19, 2011 10:36 pm

    Judith_IP,

    Would you be more comfortable with the naming of the action for what it is: THEFT?

    Money is paid into the Patent Office for express purposes related to patent examination. Funds have been withdrawn and sent to the general coffers and used on completely unrelated ventures to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Much to the contrary of the implication of you rpost, this excess fund THEFT is not being spent on hiring and prosecution costs. The STOLEN money has never been seen again in the Patent Office.

    I wonder why our esteemed politicians did not make it a point to introduce a bill solely targeted to returning any and all fees actually collected from applicants to the Office? (Well, I don’t really – do you?)

  22. Gene Quinn October 20, 2011 10:41 am

    Judith_IP-

    You can actually say with a straight face that Social Security does not payout unrealistic profits to past investors? Do you even know how social security works? Do you realize that those who spend their entire retirement years collecting Social Security will receive approximate 3 times what they put into the system? I doubt you are aware of the facts, which makes it curious why you would comment, because if you knew the facts you would understand that what you wrote is clearly erroneous.

    As for use of Republican keywords being unfortunate, what an interesting thing to say. You claim you don’t want to talk politics and then add that jab. And I bet you think I am a partisan. LOL.

    As for the characterization of the PTO funding as “like a ponzi scheme,” that is of course correct, whether you choose to believe reality or not. I did not say it IS a ponzi scheme, and I quite clearly and accurately present the evidence, in the form of uncontroverted fact, that support the similarity between a ponzi scheme and PTO funding. Perhaps you should re-read the article and try and focus on the nuances.

    -Gene

  23. Stan E. Delo November 1, 2011 5:41 pm

    Just Visiting writes in small part;

    > I’ve seen this song and dance from you before.
    >
    > I hear the Republicans and Tea Baggers complain all the things that need to be done (e.g., cut entitlement programs, cut taxes, cut [insert just about anything here]), but where were those voices when the Republicans had control of the Congress and the White House?
    >
    > “It is fair and accurate to say that Senator Reid has his head firmly implanted in the sand if he thinks Social Security isn’t facing a financial crisis. That is unquestionably true. I notice you do not even seek to challenge that true statement, but rather attempt to turn this into a partisan discussion. Point to Gene”
    > If you were an Examiner, and I would respond that your taking of Official Notice is not accompanied by findings of fact supported by substantial evidence. When you give me direct quotes (and the full context in which they were stated), I will be more than happy to concede (or not) that point.
    >
    > FYI – I believe he said that SS is fully funded for the next 40 years so “its not in crisis.” Also, there is difference between saying “its not in crisis” and “Social Security isn’t facing a financial crisis.” One statement is about the present and another statement is about the future. An article on Fox News says that 40 years is close to 25 years, but admits that “Social Security is technically flush with a $2.5 trillion surplus.” As such, after a little research, I’m less inclined to hand you that point.

    JV- Gene’s posit has not been addressed at all as far as I am concerned. It really doesn’t matter too much whether you happen to be Conservative or Liberal, or Republican or Democratic in the final analysis. Inventors and hopefully a few others are just interested in what actually works. Witness an astounding patent that allowed the construction of an amazing aircraft in the form of the A-12 which was secret, and then later the implemention of the tech to allow the SR-71 Blackbird to get past Mach 3, or in excess of 2400 MPH. The pilots used to take Roast Beef sandwiches with them, and then just hold them against them the wind screen for a few minutes, to have a *hot* lunch. The windscreen generally was about at 300 degrees or perhaps a little hotter at speed, sometimes going up to 600 degrees or so . (Ouch!!)

    Stan~

  24. Stan E. Delo November 1, 2011 5:47 pm

    #3,477,455
    Supersonic Inlet for Jet Engines
    David H. Campbell
    Patented November 11th, 1969

    Somewhat serendipitous to me, as I was born on November 13th somewhat earlier than that of course.

    Cheers,
    Stan~