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Posts Tagged: "Paul Morinville"

One Inventor’s Unsolicited Congressional Testimony Following Arthrex

Since inventors are rarely allowed to participate in patent discussions in Congress, I would like to submit my testimony here. In Arthrex, the Federal Circuit in effect decided that our rights are subordinate to the government, so the government has the authority to giveth them to us or taketh them away. I would like to remind the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court, and Congress that you are tasked with the honor, privilege and duty to defend our rights. That is the very basis on which you are employed, and you have no function other than that. Our rights preexist you, supersede you, and come from sources that are above your pay grade. They exist as a matter of our birth. You have no legitimate authority to take those rights just because it is inconvenient for the huge multinational corporations that have to now deal with the illegitimate position of owning our rights because so-called judges unconstitutionally took them from us and gave them to those huge corporations.   

USPTO Seeks Dismissal of Class Action Inventor Suit Filed Over SAWS Program

On September 26, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filed a motion to dismiss a class action complaint  filed by two inventors alleging violations of the Privacy Act created by the agency’s handling of its Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS). The USPTO is seeking a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal for failure to state a claim, arguing that application flags under the SAWS program don’t concern individual patent applicants and that omission of those flags from patent application files isn’t the proximate cause of adverse determinations such as increased scrutiny holding up patent grants. The case was first filed this June in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Paul Morinville and Gil Hyatt, two inventors who allege that they have filed patent applications on inventions that have been flagged by the SAWS program. Morinville is an inventor on nine patents who has had 26 patent applications pending at the USPTO since February 2000. Hyatt is listed as an inventor on 70 patent applications and has had patent applications pending at the agency since 1990. Hyatt was first informed that he had patent applications flagged by the SAWS system in June 2017, more than two years after the USPTO officially retired the SAWS program.

Chief Points from Responses to Senator Hirono’s Questions to Section 101 Panelists

Yesterday, we ran a series of excerpts from responses to Senator Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) questions for the record to panelists following the June hearings on U.S. patent eligibility law, held by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. Along with Tillis and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) also posed several questions to the participants in the 101 hearings. Hirono’s questions overall demonstrate a good faith desire to get to the heart of the problems in search of real solutions.

U.S. Companies and Groups to Congress: the Section 101 Reform Draft is Good and Genes are Safe

Seventy-two companies and organizations, ranging from Tivo to Bristol-Myers Squibb and from the American Conservative Union to the Alliance of U.S. Startups & Inventors for Jobs (USIJ)— as well as retired Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel—have sent a letter to Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons and Representatives Hank Johnson, Doug Collins, and Steve Stivers in support of the current draft language to reform Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act. The letter comes as the patent community eagerly awaits a new version of the bill, following three hearings and 45 witnesses in which most voiced their general support for the approach taken in the draft, but several sticking points were identified. The next iteration is expected soon after Congress’ July 4 recess.

Inventors Must Oppose the Draft Section 101 Legislation

When it was announced that I would be testifying to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on IP about Section 101, I was surprised. Not only did they grant a critic of the 101 roundtables a chance to speak, but not one inventor who used patents to fund a startup has testified in any patent-related hearing in decades. This gave me faith that Senators Tillis and Coons are serious about fixing 101 right by considering what inventors need. When the hearing was announced, several inventors contacted me. They wanted to personally tell their stories to Congress. They trusted the government to protect them, but instead lost their careers, their secrets, and their investments of hard work and money. A few even lost their families, their home, or their health. The inventors were happy about eliminating all 101 exceptions, but the draft language of 100(k) and 112(f) transfer the damage to those sections.

Reactions Roll in On Congress’s Proposed 101 Framework: ‘The Right Approach’ or ‘A Swing and a Miss’?

Yesterday, members of congress announced in a press release a proposed framework to fix patent eligibility law in the United States.Reactions to the framework were mixed. While many are delighted that the issue seems to be getting real attention on Capitol Hill, others are skeptical of some of the proposals. For example, Russ Slifer, former Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), described the framework as “a big swing and a miss.” Having attended the meeting on the Hill yesterday in which the framework was released and discussed prior to being circulated to the public, Todd Dickinson of Polsinelli, and the former USPTO Director, said that he can understand how those seeing the proposal without having taken part in the dialogue might be alarmed. “There are still some big questions to answer, but I left the meeting encouraged by the momentum,” Dickinson told IPWatchdog. The discussion, which he described as decidedly “more lawyerly” than previous meetings on the topic, included staffers for both the House and Senate, and from both political parties, which “is a good sign that there is a continued intention to do something,” he said.

Startups with Patents are the Ultimate Anti-Monopoly

Patents are often referred to as monopolies. But that is a fundamental misunderstanding of how patents work to enhance competition. The truth is that a patent is a natural anti-monopoly. In a functioning patent system, inventions become investible assets when they are patented, and the value of the invention increases as market demand increases. Because of the direct relationship between market demand and patent value, a patented invention can attract enough investment to compete with entrenched incumbents in the market for the invention. This effect introduces new competitors into the market who are protected against incumbents for a long enough period that they can survive after the patent expires. Thus, patents act to increase competition by introducing new competitors into the market and thereby create competitive markets. But perhaps even more important, some inventions deliver a strong dose of creative destruction to monopolistic incumbents who did not innovate fast enough, causing those companies to fail and clearing the market of dead weight, thus opening the market to innovative new companies. Patents are the ultimate anti-monopoly in a free market. But for this to work, the market must function undisturbed by crony laws and regulations. A patent must be a presumed valid “exclusive Right.”

Don’t Be Fooled by His Patent Purge: Elon Musk is Just Another Hypocritical Tech Billionaire

In 2014, Elon Musk made Tesla’s patents available for anyone to use for free, stating that “technology leadership is not defined by patents.” Earlier this month, Musk announced again that he had released all of Tesla’s patents, promising the company “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” Musk believes patents only serve “to stifle progress” and that by releasing his patents he can help get progress moving again—and that progress will somehow win the fight against climate change. But do patents stifle progress, and will releasing patents really have this result? Patents are a trade with a government. The inventor agrees to disclose the invention to the public in exchange for a limited exclusive right to the invention. No one else can make, use, sell or import the invention without the inventor’s permission. The public interest is served because the invention is publicly disclosed, so anyone can improve the invention and patent that advancement. And anyone can design around it and patent that invention. If the invention has commercial value, no doubt many people will jump in and do one or both.

A Journey Through the Chinese Patent System: The differences in how patent rights are treated

The trade dispute between the US and China started with a US accusation of intellectual property theft on the part of China.  Is China really “stealing” intellectual property?  I’m not so sure.  Perhaps the Chinese are stealing trade secrets, and if parties are engaged in such activities they should be punished, but there is a lot of taking that has been legitimized – even authorized – by the Congress and the Supreme Court in recent years.  U.S. patent law is today enabling foreign corporations, including Chinese corporations, to legitimately take intellectual property developed in the U.S.  That is not theft.  It’s just business.  And far more damage is being done to the U.S. as the result of legalized appropriation of patented innovations than could ever be done by the theft of trade secrets.

PPAC Fee Hearing Discusses Proposed Increases to Late Payments, AIA Trial Fees

Lisa Jorgenson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), asked the agency to better justify the increased surcharge for late maintenance fee payments as well as the increases to IPR and PGR trials. Jorgenson noted that much of the additional work required by SAS Institute would take place after the institution decision and thus it might make more sense to divide the fee increase such that the pre-institution fees bear less of the increase than those charged post-institution. Roland McAndrews of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) also sought additional justification for the 525 percent increase to the late payment surcharge for maintenance fees, noting that the desire to encourage on-time payments alone didn’t support that increase… Josh Malone, inventor of Bunch O Balloons, noted that the day’s hearing on fee increases was “based on an unrealistic and aspirational value proposition,” namely that the fees paid for obtaining a patent would actually result in the grant of a patent which was backed by the full faith of the U.S. government.”

What Mattered in 2017: Industry Insiders Reflect Biggest Moments in IP

Unlike previous years where we had near unanimity on the biggest moments, this year we see wide variety of thought, from SCOTUS to Capitol Hill to the DOJ… Steve Kunin focus primarily on the Supreme Court patent cases, which Bob Stoll also mentions but then goes on to discuss the lack of momentum for more patent reform and the nomination of a new Director for the USPTO as key moments. Paul Morinville also mentions the political on Capitol Hill, but focuses on Members of Congress not buying into the patent troll narrative like they once did. Erik Oliver focuses on a rebound in the patent market, Alden Abbott sees a pro-innovation, pro-patent Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust as a dramatic shift for the DOJ. Ben Natter, Jess Sblendorio and Alexander Callo focus on the Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam, which declared the prohibition against registering disparaging trademarks unconstitutional.

Predicting Oil States after Supreme Court Oral Arguments

After oral arguments were held on Monday, November 27, 2017, I again asked a number of industry insiders what thoughts and predictions they now have after having the benefit of hearing the Q&A that took place between the Justices and the attorneys representing the petitioner, respondent and federal government. Their answers follow, and show that there is little agreement among those watching this case with respect to what the likely outcome will be.

Independent Patent Owners File Briefs with Supreme Court in Oil States

A review of amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of oral arguments in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC revealed that, by and large, the American tech ruling class wishes to see SCOTUS leave the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) intact in the face of the constitutional challenges facing the PTAB in the case. Today, we’ll review a series of briefs filed by amici representing many of the smaller players in the U.S. patent system who have by and large been railroaded at the PTAB, an agency which invalidates patents at an incredibly high rate, fails to follow Congressional statutes regulating its own activities and stacks administrative patent judge (APJ) panels to achieve policy objectives desired by the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Protest in Support of American Inventors at the US Supreme Court on November 27th During Oral Arguments in Oil States

U.S. Inventor, the nationwide inventor advocacy organization representing over 13,000 members, including, individual inventors, university research institutions, patent holders and intellectual property dependent start-up businesses, today announced that its members will stage a protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on November 27th during oral arguments in the case of Oil States Energy Services, LLC v Greene’s Energy Group, LLC.

Amendments in IPRs? Welcome back to the future

The industry reaction to Aqua Products v. Matal has been swift. In IPWatchdog’s Industry Roundup blog post, there was broad acclaim. However, for those involved with post-grant proceedings before the AIA, however, Aqua Products at most means a return to the amending regime allowed under the previous inter partes post-grant procedure, inter partes reexaminations. Given that IPRs were explicitly designed to extend and amend the previous inter partes reexamination procedures, a comparison of amendment practice under the two procedures makes a number of lessons clear.