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Posts in Capitol Hill

Dishonest Roll Call Editorial on Follow on Biologics

Earlier today James Love and James Glassman published what can only be described as an intellectually dishonest op-ed piece on RollCall.com.  The two James either simply do not understand patent law, the biologics legislation they detest or have an agenda that requires lying and obscuring the truth using scare tactics and falsehoods.  I don’t really know whether they are as…

Fixing America’s Health Care System

On Thursday morning, August 13, 2009, CNBC aired a segment titled Fixing America’s Health Care System on Squawk Box, which is CNBC’s longest running program.  Appearing on the program were Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who is a former FDA deputy commissioner, Tommy Thompson, former Health & Human Services Secretary and Wisconsin Governor and Jim Greenwood, a former Republican Congressman who is…

David Kappos Confirmed as USPTO Director

With no notice to the public, and after the Senate was reported to have adjourned for their August recess, on Friday, August 7, 2009, David Kappos was confirmed as Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While I applaud the quick action by the Senate to get Kappos confirmed, I must…

Kappos Nomination Unanimously Forwarded to Full Senate

Earlier today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of David Kappos, former Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for IBM, to be Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, a job that also comes with the title of Director of the Patent and Trademark Office.  The vote in the Judiciary Committee was unanimous, with all Democrats and Republicans…

Suggestions for Fixing the US Patent System

In order to jump start a constructive debate I throw out the following nine suggestions that would, in my view, assist in solving the patent crisis that we are in; a crisis that could easily lead to the irrelevance of the US patent system as a whole. 1. Revise the Examiner Quota System This is not the first time I…

David Kappos Shines at Senate Confirmation Hearing

To start the confirmation proceedings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced David Kappos this morning with a lengthy and impressive recitation of Kappos’ credentials and experience.  He started out with IBM as an engineer after graduating with highest honors from the University of California Davis with a degree in electrical and computer engineering, and moved to…

Patent Reform Dead Now and for the Future

Once upon a time I used to not get worked up at all about proposals for patent reform, because after all they almost always didn’t seem to go through, or even if they did what was passed was hardly what was suggested. Then, my good friend John White told me several years ago that this time patent reform was going to…

Will USPTO Money Run Out Before FY 09 Ends?

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 6:59pm Pacific Time The last presentation at the NAPP Annual Conference is presently ongoing, with William Smith of Woodcock Washburn giving a presentation regarding hot topics before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. Smith is a former member of the Board while at the USPTO. His presentation is a good one, and sobering…

Bipartisan Questioning of Patent Reform in US Senate

Today I am in San Diego, California at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Patent Practitioners. I will be speaking later this afternoon regarding the status of Patent Office rulemaking and providing an update of Patent Rules that were implemented over the last year, so I have patent rulemaking and patent reform on the mind. Thus, when I…

Sample DMCA Take Down Letter

It just came to my attention earlier today that someone had copied an entire article from IPWatchdog.com and posted it to their own website last week.  How is it possible that anyone doesn’t realize that you just cannot do that?  More likely, it is known that you cannot do that but people do it figuring they won’t get caught.  One…

Recording Industry Victory in Usenet File Sharing Case

The recording industry has scored gold in its court battle with Usenet, which advertises itself as a massive online file sharing community. See: Arista Records v. Usenet, 07 Civ. 8822 (S.D.N.Y. June 30, 2009) The case, filed back in 2007, pitted the record companies against Usenet, with the recording industry alleging widespread infringement of copyrighted recordings through downloading over the…

Senate Acts to Prevent USPTO Furlough or RIF

Last night the United States Senate passed a bill that authorizes the United States Patent and Trademark Office to shift funds between different USPTO accounts in order to avoid the Patent Office having to furlough or terminate patent examiners.  Under the Senate bill the USPTO would be able to shift funds from the Trademark side of the building, which is…

American Ingenuity Will Lead US to Prosperity

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has been out in front on patent and intellectual property issues for years, and he is at it once again.  Senator Hatch has recently been very active with respect to writing op-ed articles explaining what all of us in the patent community have known for a very long time.  My hope is that his profile will…

Liberal Think Tank Says Patents Are Destroying the Planet

I was doing some searching online today regarding climate change and the vote that will take place tomorrow in Congress regarding the so-called cap and trade legislation that, if enacted, would raise the cost of electricity for every American family by an estimated $3,100 per year.  As I surfed around the web I stumbled on to what can only be…

Obscure Patents: KSR Does Not Mean Much

So much has been made about the United States Supreme Court’s decision in KSR v. Teleflex, which happened just over 2 years ago. Occasionally I like to take a look at how the Patent Office is handling KSR. Admittedly, this is not a scientific study, and is more aimed at having fun and perhaps also explaining so we never forget just how absurd the Supreme Court’s decision in KSR actually was. Those familiar with the KSR decision and history will recall that the non-patent experts on the Supreme Court, including Justice Antonin Scalia who openly admitted he didn’t understand patent law during oral arguments — calling patents “gobbledygook,” decided to completely do away with an objective, understandable and repeatable test in favor of a completely subjective test without any concrete boundaries. Yes, in their infinite wisdom the Supreme Court decided that the law of what is obvious should be conducted on a case by case analysis and an invention is obvious if it is “common sense.”