Posts Tagged: "Congressman Darrell Issa"

Is Congressman Darrell Issa a patent troll?

Only $128,000 collected from a combined 13 cases? That is less than $10,000 per case, which doesn’t even approach the nuisance value the truly bad actors, the true patent trolls that Issa himself and so many others rail against as extortion artists seek to collect. Indeed, the FTC report on Patent Assertion Entities from October 2016 suggested that settlements of less than $300,000 suggested malicious and malevolent behavior that should raise suspicions of patent trolling. If that is true, what does this say about the ongoing enforcement campaign of Issa’s own patents? It would certainly seem that there are all the indicia of patent trolling that Issa so frequently enjoys pontificating about when he witnesses the behavior displayed by others.

Issa seems to believe patents are an entitlement, not a property right

For the first 220 years of United States black letter law and precedent based directly on the U.S. Constitution, patents are property rights. Even the Republican Party Platform states that patents are property rights. Issa disagrees with all of that. Issa seems to believe that patents are instead some sort of public entitlement like food stamps as is evident in his bill, the America Invents Act, and his continuing actions even last week. Issa’s hypocrisy is so blatant, so obvious and so up front that I’m not sure he even understands what he just said, which is a very dangerous problem. So long as Darrell Issa remains in key lawmaking position in the Republican leadership in Congress, venture capital, patenting, new technologies, startups and jobs will continue to flee from the U.S. to China.

House IP subcommittee looks for further ways to curb patent trolls after TC Heartland decision

The day’s hearing focused on the patent troll narrative despite the lack of a substantive connection between that narrative and the TC Heartland case… Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House IP subcommittee, started his remarks by asking to what degree the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland fixed a decade-old problem. Noting that new lawsuits have hit consumer electronics giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.), Issa went on to say that “patent trolls, in my opinion, are the scourge of the patent world. We have time and time again attempted to stop patent trolls while in fact being objected to by genuine innovators who feel that they will be trampled in our effort to stop the worst of the worst.” Issa also opined that the TC Heartland decision now likely makes businesses of all kinds avoid the jurisdiction of E.D. Tex. “Why set up shop in Eastern Texas if it creates venue for patent infringement,” he said.

Michelle Lee seems to be USPTO Director, but Commerce Department Declines Comment

Michelle Lee seems to still be Director. She is signing patents and Federal Register Notices, but both Commerce and USPTO decline comment on her status… Presumably at some time we will be told who is the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but until then that information is being protected as if it is a State secret. Information on who is running the USPTO seems to be on a need to know basis and I guess the public just doesn’t need to know.

House Subcommittee on Courts and IP holds hearing on PACER system, cameras in the courtroom

The subcommittee convened a hearing to discuss issues of judicial transparency and ethics which affect the system of U.S. federal courts. Republican members of the subcommittee mainly focused on ways of making the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system and a wide array of court proceedings more available to the public… Perhaps the most contentious was Osterreicher’s support for increased electronic communications, especially where it involved cameras in the courtroom… Aside from privacy, some Members were concerned that introducing cameras into the courtroom would encourage grandstanding and playing to the camera.

Michelle Lee continues to sign issued patents, possible larger Administration role suggested

According to an update given by Issa to Politico, Lee has been held over by the Trump Administration and she might be in line for some Administration position outside of the Patent Office… All of this cloak and dagger secrecy surrounding Michelle Lee and the circumstances relating to her resignation and/or being held over is extraordinarily weird. The mixed signals and continued refusal to comment, coupled with the Director’s position being either vacant or held by Lee are leading some to question what is going on, and whether there is a much more serious problem lurking.

IP and the 115th Congress: Meet the Republicans of the House IP Subcommittee

The House Judiciary Committee will set the agenda for any intellectual property legislative reforms that will arise over the next two years during the 115th Congress, and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet will take the lead for the full House Judiciary Committee. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is once again Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and in that role will continue to have tremendous influence on any intellectual property related matters… At the start of the 114th Congress, Congressman Darrell Issa was made Chair of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Despite being an inventor himself, the bombastic Issa has aligned himself with Google and other Silicon Valley elites. Issa is not viewed as a friend of independent inventors, and instead lambasts patents trolls as often as he can. While no one likes a patent troll, Issa has taken the unusual step to equate patent trolls with all patent owners who enforce their patents.

The Uncertain Status of Michelle Lee Wounds the Patent System, Causes Political Anxiety

Going to DEFCON 1 has no doubt begun, and will only continue, as those who are opposed to Lee staying continue to publicly explain why she must go. As this story continues to drag out there will be more of this, and if she is nominated to serve as Director those that oppose her will be extremely well organized and will mount a significant challenge to her confirmation. The groundwork is already being laid. It could get very ugly I’m afraid, which would only divide the industry and seriously wound whoever is ultimately given the job.

Is Michelle Lee Still PTO Director?

How much longer can there be no official announcement regarding the status of Michelle Lee? The continued silence raises very serious questions, particularly given that there have been public announcements made regarding others who have been specifically held over to serve in the Trump Administration. Undoubtedly, at some point continued silence about Lee’s status will mature into questions about her authority and whether any actions she takes are legal or perhaps simply void ab initio… If no answer is forthcoming in very short order someone will need to speak up, at least internally, because from the outside the facts give reason to suspect the possibility that a former USPTO Director may be refusing to relinquish power and the rest of the agency is just going along with it.

Commerce Lists USPTO Director as Vacant, USPTO declines to comment on Michelle Lee

If Lee did not resign and she has been asked to stay on as Director why has the Patent Office declined to comment? Further complicating matters, if you visit the Department of Commerce leadership webpage, the position of Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is listed as “Vacant.”

America Needs Startup Experience in the USPTO Director

We just don’t need another lawyer or lobbyist to run the USPTO. We need more this time. We need someone from the grassroots who understands the very real hurdles facing America’s most innovative segment. Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) comes to mind. He has built a company based on his patents and is a strong advocate for strong patents for startups. Hans Høeg, Congressman Massie’s Chief of Staff, also comes to mind. He is an inventor with a couple dozen patents and a startup built on patents. He also has four years navigating Congress and the government in his role working for Massie. He understands how patents work at the grassroots level, he understands the processes of the USPTO, he is experienced in patent law and licensing, and he understands how to navigate politically.

Who will President Trump Nominate as the next Director of the Patent and Trademark Office?

Among the names under consideration is Randall Rader, the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals. But according to patent expert and noted commentator Hal Wegner, who generally does have well placed sources for this kind of information, the short list currently includes Phil Johnson (Johnson & Johson), Michael McKeon (Fish & Richardson), and Steve Pinkos (American Continental Group)… Another scenario being floated is that current USPTO Director Michelle Lee will be asked to stay on, a rumor flamed by remarks by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) made at a CES panel last weekend… There has also been some speculation that Kevin Rhodes, who is Chief IP counsel at 3M, is or was under consideration at one point.

The Four Consequential Patent Trends of 2016

Suffice it to say that 2016 has been an interesting year. The political climate is much different than one year ago amidst a growing tide of nationalism abroad and populism here in the United States. Throw in a massive migration crisis stemming from the Middle East, a slew of unexpected celebrity passings and the fact that the Chicago Cubs are lovable losers no more, and we’re about to wind down a year which seems nearly mythological in stature… As we turn the page onward to 2017, it’s a good time to take another look at some of the major trends shaping the IP and technology landscape in the United States and abroad. From increasing competition with an Asian powerhouse to the continuation of a misleading narrative about patent system abuses, the past year leaves us with many important narratives to consider for the year ahead.

Inventors Protest California Congressman Darrell Issa

In my 54 years, I’ve never protested anything. I’ve complained to my friends and family and sometimes to a few unfortunate strangers. So this has been the first time publicly protesting anything for me… Darrell Issa was a cosponsor and a major political driver of this startup killing legislation, which is why inventors are going to his events to educate him and his potential voters. Issa’s race is very close with some polls showing him down by several points. His competitor believes in strong patents. This draws a clear distinction between the candidates and inventors and startups in California’s 49th district want to be represented by someone who will preserve their rights, and their companies.