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Posts Tagged: "patent quality extremism series"

Placing limits on innovation may exclude great inventions before it’s known what has been excluded

Since U.S. patents are granted with exclusive right to exclude, the only way to realize values of inventions is licensing, suing for damages or both. This reward mechanism would depend upon corporate cultural attitude to patents. In the early time, corporations were more willing to license and buy patents. After corporations have developed a culture of using free inventions, patent owners are unable to get rewards and unable to enforce their rights due to excessive enforcement fees. Thus, the only way to recover tiny values is selling patents to enforcement firms… All inventions are rare birds that cannot be mass-produced like articles in production shops. Thus, the patent office must use the most inclusive fishnet with an ability to capture as many inventions as possible. Since each invention is unknown at the time of capturing, one cannot design any method to capture all good inventions. Placing any limitation in the capturing method could exclude great and even greatest inventions before the patent office even knows what would be excluded.

High patent quality standard adversely impacts all inventors

High novelty, high non-obviousness standard, inconvenient court venue for patent owners, and limited availability of injunction remedies, reduced damages, threaten liabilities will hurt all classes of inventors except that it has less impact on corporate inventors. The invalidation procedure will discourage inventive activities of all classes with most serious impacts on independent inventors and accidental inventors. This is one biggest class of inventors who often come up with game-changing and surprising inventions. When would-be-inventors run into problems or solutions, why would they spend time and money to make inventions, spend more money to get patents, and get the business to defend patents in endless invalidation actions? High patent quality standard forces existing professional inventors to leave their invention business and discourage young people from becoming future inventors. In this highly uncertain time with a large number of dormant epidemic diseases, one or a few inventions may save population life when vaccine is unavailable.

High patent quality standards have caused U.S. to lose technological advantages

The U.S. inventor pool is now limited to corporate inventors and a very few resilient professional inventors. The number of professional inventors will rapidly decrease with fewer and fewer of young people joining the inventor population… U.S. patent applications are predominately filed by foreign corporations, while for all other national patent offices the domestic applications comprise a super majority. In 2016, the Chinese patent office received totally 3,465,000 applications for three kinds of patents, making an increase of 23.8% year on year. The number for invention, utility model and design are respectively 1,339,000 (increase by 21.5%), 1,476,000 (increase by 30.9%) and 650,000 (increase by 14.2%). China has a high share of domestic applications (which means that inventive activities take place inside the country). The total application number in 2016 is 1,339,000+1,476,000=2,815,000. Patent applications filed with China patent office in 2016 is almost ten times of the U.S.-originated applications filed with the U.S. patent office. The number of patent applications filed with Japanese patent office is close to the U.S.-origin applications filed with the U.S. patent office. South Korea will surpass the U.S. in application filing number.

How patent quality extremism and money-can-buy-fairness have ruined the U.S. patent system

Patent reformers argue that too many patents can hurt business, and low-quality patents cause problems. Their lobby activities have successfully persuaded the Congress to pass the AIA, with the primary purpose to raise patent quality…. The patent office uses all patent rules in an even-handed manner to all applicants. So, it treats corporate applicants and U.S. individual applicants in the same way: entering frivolous rejections, using one-way bias high patent quality standard, giving the same opportunity to demand inter-party review (by paying $23,000), and affording the same opportunity to defend a challenge to patents (which would consume hundreds of thousands of dollars of attorney fees). Nobody can question those rules.  However, this money-can-buy fairness practices have distorted technological landscape. Frivolous rejections can force individual inventors to abandon their applications, but do not affect giant foreign corporations; outrageous fees and maintenance fees can discourage individual inventors, but will not affect foreign corporations; and the right of harassment can be used by all corporations but not U.S. independent inventors.