Leveraging oneself to the hilt with expensive capital for the right to conduct painstaking research for years on end is completely discounted by anti-inventor forces. Even the mainstream media fails to acknowledge the tremendous work put forth by inventors long before they file their first patent application. Playing by the rules of the patent office year after year to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in the pursuance of patent protection is portrayed as mere cynical positioning to extort.
Having produced a non-obvious, non-abstract invention and playing by the patent office’s rules is no guarantee of a patent granting. Some examiners have refused to issue patent applications regardless of the merits because doing so would run the risk of them losing their jobs if they received further negative reviews from the Patent Quality initiative. All patents run the risk of expensive oppositions from well-funded competitors.
Even when patents issue, such issuance is accompanied by the full-on pinatatization of the patentee. The U.S. government proclaims that the patent rights you earned are not really rights at all, merely franchises subject to the caprice of the government, which is in turn, subject to swaying with the political winds.
Large corporations often practice patented inventions and refuse to pay. Patentees can only reminisce about injunctions. Those who object to the theft of their patented inventions are likely to have their patents subjected to review by a government tribunal. Patent review by anti-patent crusaders at the Patent Trial and Appeals Board is so twisted that comparisons with kangaroo courts in the Stalinist Soviet Union are legitimate.
Politically ambitious state attorneys general have trounced on the notion of preemption by vying with one another to establish anti-trolling units. Some states have gone so far as to require patentees to post reverse bonds as a condition of advancing their litigation.
The Supreme Court is also complicit in the dismantling of the patent system. Its decisions have largely dispatched injunctions to the dustbin of history, introduced tremendous confusion relative to which inventions are patentable, given succor to the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, rendered it easier for defendants to change jurisdiction (which is enormously expensive and disruptive for patentees), and have elevated the risks of plaintiffs being forced to pay defendants’ legal fees. The Supreme Court is in need of being taken to task for endlessly amplifying the patent troll depiction of patentees; such is the result of the Supreme Court’s indulging on propaganda pieces masquerading around as amicus curiae briefs. Unfortunately limited optimism for relief comes from Congress; many United States Representatives still subscribe to the ‘all patentees are trolls’ storyline.
In one of his articles on IP Watchdog, Gene Quinn asked: “Where is Congress? Where are the corporations that need patents? For goodness sake, when is someone going to stand up and do something to fix this mess created by an anti-patent cabal that is destroying America’s patent system?”
I am standing up and will try to play a role in fixing the mess that Mr. Quinn referred to. I am now in the process of writing a book (“The Plight of the Patentee”) designed to change the narrative from “patentees are soulless money-grubbing trolls” to “inventors are the hope for future economic growth and solutions to serious problems.” The Plight of the Patentee will make the argument that patentees should no longer be treated as pariahs. Enforcing one’s patents against parasitic users does not make one a parasite. The Plight of the Patentee will also provide examples of how entrepreneurs that have secured patents have benefitted the economy and mankind—by providing jobs and curing diseases, for example.
Why do I think I am qualified to write such a book? I believe I know patents very well. I have been called a world-renowned patent valuation analyst. I also developed and run the Certified Patent Valuation Analyst designation. I am the author of six books, including Business Model Validation: What Makes Business Models Work?; The Strategic Negotiator: A Manual for Negotiating at the Elite Level; and, Solution Nation: One Nation is Disproportionately Responding to the World’s Most Intractable Problems.
What can you do to help? What can you do to stand with me in righting the many wrongs that are plaguing the patent system?
A crucial part of writing The Plight of the Patentee is conducting interviews with inventors (and their lawyers and investors) that have been wronged by the broken patent system. Sharing your stories and insights is crucial for producing a book that will benefit the entire community of inventors, patentees and patent professionals. I would be grateful to those with a stake in the game to step forward and impart their stories and subject matter expertise to me. To get started, please drop me a note at dwanetick@patentfairnessopinions.