Posts Tagged: "Donald Trump"

Following the money trail from Mapbox to the Kushners and Trump Administration

There are clearly many thousands of companies both large and small with far greater experience and in a far better position to advise Congress on the issue of patent reform. So why Mapbox? As is so frequently the case whenever business and politics intersect, follow the money! We have done just that and we’ve found that a no-name, no-experience company like Mapbox, without any patent applications and no patent litigation experience became thrust into the public debate over patents because all the money people behind Mapbox are card carrying members of the anti-patent efficient infringer lobby.

Trump nominates Andrei Iancu to be USPTO Director

On Friday, August 25, 2017, the Trump Administration announced several nominations, one of which was the nomination of Andrei Iancu to be the next Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Sources had expected this announcement could have come as early as the beginning of July… The fact that Iancu represented TiVo, a patent owner, against big tech in Silicon Valley will undoubtedly lead to a warm reception in certain patent owner segments of the patent community. On the other side of the coin, Iancu’s work in the biotechnology sector will undoubtedly lead to a cold, if not hostile reception.

Former Trump campaign advisor: “Today, patents are worthless.”

“We began noticing that key appointments in the Trump Administration were going to Republicans who were very anti-patent,” Caputo noted. These appointments include Vishal Amin, who Trump selected to serve as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) within the office of the President. Amin had an important role in drafting the America Invents Act of 2011, especially those provisions regarding the PTAB which was just targeted by US Inventor’s protest. Caputo also raised concerns over the potential patent views of Joseph Matal, who is currently the acting Director of the USPTO. Many inventors believe Matal is lobbying to remain the Director and not just serve in the interim after Michelle Lee’s resignation.

The next PTO Director must grasp the fundamental fact that a patent secures a property right

A group of private companies, professional associations, conservative policy organizations, and investors/commercializers sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging the Trump Administration to pick as the next Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office someone who “recognizes the value of patents in connection with growth of the U.S. economy, and grasps the fundamental fact that a patent secures a property right.” Headlining this coalition is the American Conservative Union, Conservatives for Property Rights, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, and IEEE-USA.

Who Owns the Rights to the Word ‘Covfefe’?

“Filing a trademark application with the goal of claiming a right to a particular term – with nothing more – is a fundamental misunderstanding of our trademark laws,” Alston & Bird partner Jason Rosenberg, explained. “Individuals and corporations rushing to design t-shirts and coffee mugs with phrases like ‘What the covfefe?’ on them aren’t likely to be able to claim ownership of the term, or stop anyone else from using it. You cannot simply hear a word you like, file a trademark application, and claim it as your own.  In the United States, the law requires more.”

Koch linked group backs Phil Johnson as next PTO Director

Conventional wisdom in patent political circles says Iancu, but the pro-patent community has long supported Phil Johnson, although not in a particularly vocal or effective way. With a Koch backed entity like the Taxpayers Protection Alliance getting involved there is no doubt Johnson’s chances have been enhanced. If other Republican donors, operatives and think tanks were to follow the deal that may have seemed like a done deal for Iancu might quickly become not so much a done deal after all. In other words, if pro-patent Republicans get off the bench to support Johnson there might just be a July surprise.

President Trump must pick a PTO Director who believes patents are private property rights

The Supreme Court has long stated patents are property rights, and the statute says they are to be treated as they are property rights. Taking property rights away with such a fundamentally flawed process is practically un-American… It is absolutely essential for the President to pick someone who believes patents are private property rights, not public rights. The next Director should also believe that as a property right title in a patent must at some point quiet in order for ownership to be certain and investment to be property incentivized, because without ownership questions resolved only a fool would invest the sums necessary to take most paradigm shifting, game changing innovation to market.

Is Trump being bamboozled by Obama holdovers on patent policy?

The USPTO’s Obama holdovers Michelle Lee and Tony Scardino are simply co-opting the exact language used in Obama’s budgets for fiscal years 2015 to 2017 into Trump’s 2018 budget and then directly attributing Obama’s policies and statements to President Trump even though Trump has never taken a position on anti-patent legislation… Are these failed Obama era policies now carried over into the Trump Administration by Obama holdovers simply mistakes? Some sort of scrivener’s error? Or is it a direct attempt to carry over failed Obama policies in the name of President Trump? You be the judge. Perhaps you can tell me: Is Trump being googled by Obama holdovers? Or is Trump himself the swamp?

USPTO gets $3.6 billion in President’s FY 2018 budget, avoids fee diversion

Under President Trump’s FY 2018 budget the USPTO will receive $3,586,193,000 from fees collected and to be available until expended. This appropriation would result in $0 being provided to the USPTO from the general fund of the United States. Any fees collected by the USPTO in excess of that amount would be deposited into the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund and remain available until expended. There does not appear to be any mention of any fee diversion anywhere, which would mean the USPTO has dodged the fee diversion hands of an often greedy federal government who over the last 30 years has frequently diverted user fees to other purposes.

Patent Office workforce reduction should focus on eliminating ‘dead weight’ patent examiners

In pursuing President Trump’s federal workforce reduction plan the USPTO must target those patent examiners who have long been refusing to do their jobs. Losing these patent examiners to a workforce reduction will cut the “dead weight” from the Office without the Office losing productivity… And another thing that USPTO must do is this: Hire only those fluent in English to be patent examiners. As crazy as it sounds, patent examiners are hired by the USPTO who struggle mightily with the English language. It boggles the mind how a patent examiner who will be required to correspond in writing and speak verbally with applicants and their representatives can be employed for a position when they are not fluent in English, which is the official language of the Office.

Trump FY 2018 budget cuts $1.5 billion from Commerce, how much will come from the USPTO?

With a proposed budget of $7.8 billion and $1 billion in cuts to identify, questions arise about where those cuts will come. Is the USPTO budget safe?Will the cuts be across the board cuts with the USPTO being asked to account for 35% of the $1 billion, which would reduce the USPTO budget to $2.967 billion for FY 2018? According to a chart prepared by the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association, the largest single fee diversion came in 2011 when $209 million was diverted from the USPTO. If the USPTO must cut its budget by some $350 million that would far and away be the largest single year fee diversion in the history of the U.S. patent system.

How ‘The Donald’ Does Intellectual Property

Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States (POTUS), managed to get elected based at least in part on his real or perceived success as a businessman. In the last dozen years or so, he achieved this reputation in part by licensing his “Trump” brand name—a kind of intellectual property (IP)—to third parties… “It may come as a surprise to most people that many of Trump’s buildings, resorts and golf clubs aren’t even owned by him,” says Sonia Lakhany, trademark attorney and owner, Lakhany Law, PC, a national award-winning trademark law firm. “They just bear his name for branding purposes. In return, Trump collects fees for the use of his brand, without ever investing a dime into the actual projects.”

USPTO Breaks President Trump’s “One-In Two-Out” Executive Order

At the quarterly PPAC meeting, USPTO Deputy CFO Frank Murphy (listed on the agenda as Acting CFO) stated that USPTO is moving forward with its proposed $710 million fee increase, despite the Trump’s ‘One-In Two-Out’ Order. PPAC Member Bernie Knight (former General Counsel of USPTO) then asked Mr. Murphy whether the $710 million fee increase is subject to Trump’s ‘One-In Two-Out’ Order. Mr. Murphy responded that he does not believe the $710 million fee increase is subject to Trump’s ‘One-In Two-Out’ Order because, in his view, it is not a “new” regulation but rather is an “amendment” to an old regulation. Mr. Murphy also responded that, even if the $710 fee increase were subject to Trump’s ‘One-In Two-Out’ Order, the USPTO would look to eliminate two regulations in other agencies within the Commerce Department, not the USPTO’s own regulations. But how can the USPTO eliminate regulations in other agencies? Can you imagine the likely fight that will occur between the USPTO and those other Commerce Department agencies (NIST, Census, ITA, NOAA, BEA, BIS, NTIA), as the USPTO seeks to gore the ox of these other agencies, without offering any of the USPTO’s own regulations for repeal?

Trump signs Executive Order to eliminate job killing, outdated, unnecessary, ineffective regulations

In this Executive Order, President Trump orders the heads of each agency to designate a Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO) within 60 days. In addition to the designation of a Regulatory Reform Officer, the Patent Office (along with many other agencies) will be required to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force, which will be made up of the RRO, the agency Regulatory Policy Officer, a representative from the USPTO’s central policy office, and at least three other senior level USPTO officials as determined by the Director of the USPTO. When considering the recommendations of the Regulatory Reform Task Force, the agency head has been told to prioritize those regulations identified as being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.

Will the Trump Administration Be Pro Patent?

One of the many questions about the Trump Administration after its first month is how it views the U.S. patent system. I asked several experienced veterans of the patent reform wars to review the article and share their thoughts on some key questions. Do you feel that the Trump Administration will be pro-patent? Can you provide any reasons for your opinion? What do you make of the decision to retain Michelle Lee? Do you think the Administration and Congress will work together on patent reform this session and if so, what elements are most likely to be addressed?