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Posts Tagged: "Obama Administration"

The Honeymoon is Over: Time for Iancu to Take Action on PTAB Harassment of Patent Owners

Just over 18 months ago, Andrei Iancu assumed control of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As the Director of the USPTO, Iancu has changed the tone of the conversation over patents in America. During President Obama’s second term the USPTO became aggressively anti-patent and anti-innovator. The speeches, policies and inaction of Director Michelle Lee led innovators and observers to correctly claim that the Obama Administration had come to champion the viewpoints of infringers, not the technology innovators. Director Iancu changed that almost overnight. Where Director Iancu has failed, however, is with respect to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). With great fanfare, Director Iancu created a Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) that we were told would result in more decisions of the PTAB being declared precedential on the entire PTAB. There was hope that the POP would address the most important issues, such as serial challenges to the same patent over and over again, the use of the same prior art over and over again, and once and for all require the PTAB to apply the Federal Circuit view of what it means to be a real party and interest. Unfortunately, real reform of the PTAB has not happened despite tinkering with the Trial Guide. In important ways the PTAB is worse, and the efforts that have been undertaken incorrectly form the appearance of reform.

DOJ Antitrust Chief Raises Standard Setting Concerns

Increasingly, Delrahim’s speeches are moving past where he began in his USC speech in November 2017, discussing this being the appropriate time to now have a discussion about the proper role antitrust enforcement plays with respect to standard setting, to his LeadershIP April 2018 speech where he explained the Antitrust Division will not hesitate to enforce against collusive anticompetitive conduct detrimental to patent owners. Furthermore, Delrahim has now several times discussed his view that in a free market, competition based economy the remedy for patent owners violating obligations to SSOs is a contractual remedy, not an antitrust remedy.

Happy Birthday Patent System: Hope Springs Eternal

In 1790, the U.S. patent laws were first enacted and individuals could obtain a patent under the new federal government. For about a century beforehand, British citizens in the various parts of the American colonies could obtain patents for that region, and Britain and other European countries had patent laws as well. But the new American patent system was different: it was democratized in that anyone could participate, without the need for consent from the Crown. The origins of patent laws date back to the Fifteenth Century when Florentine regents sought to attract and keep innovators and their inventions. Elizabeth I was a keen ruler in passing various patent laws to encourage foreigners with ideas and inventions to relocate to Britain, as well as encourage domestic innovation.

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?

Slump in Clean Energy Patents Causes Concern

As of late, the spike of clean energy technology innovation is slowing down in the United States, during a time that the Trump administration is aiming to drastically cut government research spending in the industry… The slump in clean energy patents is a direct result of the downturn in oil and gas prices, according to Morico. “When oil was trading at over $100 per barrel just before the crash in 2014, there was a lot of investment going into renewable/clean energy. After the prices of oil crashed, investors started cutting back their investments in renewable/clean energy because the costs of many of these technologies couldn’t compete with low oil and gas prices,” he explained.

Governments’ Thumb on the Scales

These government agencies target successful, inventive U.S. firms. They politicize their processes and disregard the exclusivity that rightfully belongs to patent owners. They take away private property from the creators and give it to favored domestic companies like Samsung and Huawei, which apparently lack the smarts to win fair and square in market-based competition or by ingenuity. It’s time that America put an end to these threats, foreign and domestic. Either you believe in property rights and free enterprise or you don’t… In essence, Chinese, South Korean and FTC officials demand the benefits produced by free markets and property rights for free from American innovators in mobile technology, who took all the risk and made investments in research and development.

Patently Surreal: The Obama Strategic Plan on IP Enforcement

It is almost impossible to believe this report is the work product of the Obama Administration. The section on patents, which begins on page 134, reads like a cross between a Monty Python skit and a Soviet era, propaganda laden news report. Perhaps the Obama Administration is trying to rewrite history and brainwash the entire industry into believing that President Obama has been a tremendous defender of the U.S. patent system. Simply stated, the Obama Administration can write all they want about the importance of the patent system and how patents are critically important for innovation, but the reality is that the future of American innovation has been forfeited (or at least heavily mortgaged) by a calculated, intentional, and willful dismantling of the U.S. patent system for the benefit a handful of politically well connected companies that helped President Obama get elected and then re-elected.

Obama’s Anti-Patent Bias Led to the Destruction of His Legacy

Barack Obama came to office with the suspicion that patents caused higher prices and created market inefficiencies. He set a mission to disassemble the patent system, which culminated in the America Invents Act… Obama supplied power to the market incumbents, thereby fortifying their monopoly power, while depriving market entrants of critical tools. By strengthening incumbents and their industrial oligopolies, he harmed competition from market entrants, policies that generated the slowest growth in history.

Maria Pallante fired as Register of Copyrights in Policy Power Grab

In a fast moving story that developed late last week, Maria Pallante is now the former Register of Copyrights. According to The Register, critics believe this was an attempt by certain well placed tech giants in Silicon Valley to assert influence over U.S. government policy during the waning days of the Obama Administration.

10% of judicial emergencies are in EDTX, the preferred venue for patent litigation

Three of the judicial emergencies, just less than 10 percent of all judicial emergencies in the U.S. federal court system, are in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.). With the judicial vacancies in E.D. Tex., the concern is that a growing docket of patent infringement cases could create a bottleneck for the court, greatly increasing the amount of time that it takes the court to issue a decision. Business litigation is typically given a backseat to criminal litigation in district courts as American law upholds a suspected criminal’s right to a speedy trial. The vacancies also naturally result in an increased percentage of U.S. patent infringement cases assigned to Judge Rodney Gilstrap. This January, we reported that Judge Gilstrap could be deciding as much as 20 percent of all patent infringement cases filed in U.S. district courts. The fact that one judge could be deciding as much as one-fifth of the patent infringement docket at the district court level seems a little less than democratic.

Innovation only occurs when entrepreneurs are incentivized to take risks

Believing that innovation does not come from risk taking inventors, entrepreneurs, start ups, or even from the likes of Silicon Valley, is naïve in the extreme. Unfortunately, this “you didn’t build that” belief system seems to permeate President Obama’s thinking with respect to innovation, and has trickled down within the Administration. This view is also shared by many in Congress too. Sadly, this fatalistic view removes the virtues of work and ignores the sacrifices it takes to succeed. Worst, such a world-view belittles risk taking, which is an absolute prerequisite to business success, particularly with respect to innovation.

Appellate court upholds net neutrality rules that will hurt U.S. consumer, stagnate Internet innovation

The reason why net neutrality came up in the American political discourse in late 2014 has much to do with paid prioritization. Paid prioritization is an agreement in which a broadband service provider negotiates an arrangement with a content provider that results in the content provider being given priority access at congested Internet nodes. The Obama administration came out strongly on the topic of paid prioritization, calling for it to be explicitly banned by the FCC. The White House also called for rules preventing ISPs from blocking content or intentionally throttling any kind of data transmission. By the end of September 2014, the FCC had received 3.7 million public comments on the subject of net neutrality.

Obama Administration strongly supports Defend Trade Secrets Act

Earlier today the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy, which strongly supports passage of s. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). The policy statement explained: ”The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016… S. 1890 would establish a Federal civil private cause of action for trade secret theft that would provide businesses with a more uniform, reliable, and predictable way to protect their valuable trade secrets anywhere in the country.”

Merrick Garland’s deference to federal agencies should be concerning to patent owners

Given the fact that the IPR processes at PTAB have been worrisome for many patent owners, the possibility that Merrick Garland would continue his longstanding deference towards federal agencies should cause at least some concern. Many believe the procedures creating the post grant challenges implemented by the America Invents Act (AIA) are not only one-sided against the patent owner, but fundamentally unfair to the point where due process has been compromised. Rubber stamping agency decisions, as the Federal Circuit is doing with the USPTO, would be a terrible mistake and further erode already tattered patent property rights.

President Obama should nominate Judge Raymond Chen to the Supreme Court

Chen, an Obama appointee, was confirmed only several years ago by a vote of 97-0. Born in 1968 he is 47 years old, meaning he could easily serve on the Court throughout the next generation, in modern times an important consideration for a Presidential nomination to the High Court. Chen also comes from the Federal Circuit, which is anything but politically controversial, primarily responsible for handling patent appeals. Chen would also become the first Asian American to serve on the Supreme Court, another potentially important consideration for President Obama, who has shown throughout his term in Office that he likes breaking glass ceilings with appointments and nominations. Thus, Chen would have virtually all the same upside as would Srinavasan without any of the baggage that would make confirmation difficult, if not impossible.