Posts Tagged: "white house"

Will Obama Nominate Anyone for the USPTO?

In recent weeks news has come out that Phil Johnson’s nomination as Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is dead. It seems to be dead due to the protest of at least one Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee, not because the onerous vetting process produced any red flags or because the White House has lost interest. The Senator allegedly unhappy is Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)… [N]ominees [are put] through an extraordinary vetting process that reportedly can take between 5 to 9 months to complete even in the best case scenario. Let’s say that the White House has decided to move past Johnson and will not look back. They must first identify a willing candidate; someone who can pass through the gauntlet that is the vetting process, has the requisite experience and who is willing to take a substantial pay cut. Such an individually would likely having to unwind investments and holdings, or at least put them into some blind trust. Even if the White House can this week identify that person who accepts the invitation to take the position and who is willing to subject themselves to scrutiny that would make an IRS inquiry look like a day in the park, that means we are looking at at least January 2015 before confirmation.

Phil Johnson – An Outstanding Choice for USPTO Director

News of the death of Johnson’s nomination is both a shocking surprise and yet all too predictable in a town that increasingly makes little logical sense . . . From what my sources are telling me, Johnson’s nomination is dead at the moment, but there have been no bridges burned. However, absent the White House reconsidering and moving forward with a Johnson nomination he will not be the next Director of the USPTO. From what I have pieced together so far all of this seems to translate as follows: Johnson has opposition on the Senate Judiciary Committee not inside the White House. Given that Johnson, like the overwhelming majority of the industry, was against expanding covered business method (CBM) review it is easy to speculate where that opposition is coming from, but more on that in the coming days and weeks.

Git’er Done! Take the Brake Off Federal Tech Transfer

Any government truly interested in commercializing its research must realize that time is of the essence, risk is inherent in the process and deal makers should be supported by process. Napoleon adopted the motto: “Not a moment must be lost.” But quoting Napoleon may be too intimidating for times like these, so how about Larry the Cable Guy? Perhaps we still retain enough of the American spirit to embrace: “Git ‘er done!” Time will tell (perhaps sooner than we imagine). We’ve been trying to drive the federal R&D system with the parking brake on. It’s time to put product people behind the wheel, buckle the process people safely in, release the brake, hit the gas and get rolling. Those that used to be far behind are coming up fast in our rear view mirror.

White House Announces Patent Related Executive Action

Currently the President is under fire for Executive Actions, which is something that he railed against when he was Presidential Candidate Obama in 2008, but increasingly embraces. The criticism of the President with respect to Executive Action has heretofore been related to the fact that through executive fiat the President has single handedly re-written laws passed by Congress… No such re-writing of law seems to be implicated in the Executive Actions announced today relative to the patent system. In fact, the Executive Actions on the patent front are largely much ado about nothing and seem most intended to grab headlines. Still, there are a few items that make perfect sense, such as the USPTO working with industry to train patent examiners on cutting edge scientific developments and an expansion of the pro bono program. Still, other initiatives claim to address patent quality but I can’t for the life of me understand how that could be possible. How accurate ownership records kept after the issuance of a patent will help patent quality is a mystery to me, and unexplained by the White House.

Professor Colleen Chien Joins Obama White House OTSP

Santa Clara University School of Law Associate Professor Colleen Chien has been selected to serve in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as senior advisor for intellectual property and innovation to Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer. Chien will take a leave of absence from her teaching duties for at least a year to fulfill her new appointment, which begins Sept. 16.

Reforming the Federal R&D System

There’s nothing in the world like the U.S. public research system which is on the cutting edge of every field of science. However, to fully benefit from this investment discoveries must move from the laboratory into the marketplace. This can only happen when partnerships with U.S. industry are be made on terms conducive to commercialization. Additionally, in a time of tight budgets federal research must be efficiently managed even if that means crossing traditional agency borders to leverage resources and increase impact. Someone must be charged with insuring that the system is running as Congress, the President, and most importantly, the American people intend.

Patent Haters Take Notice! University Innovation Fuels Robust Economic Activity

But how could Universities ever be characterized as non-practicing entities in the first place? If we are going to be intellectually honest there is no way you can characterize Universities as non-practicing entities. University innovations have laid the foundation for thousands of startup companies since 1980; in fact well in excess of 7,000 startup companies have been formed. These startup companies are not just high-tech companies, they are the highest tech companies based on the most cutting edge research and innovation our country has to offer. These companies are not imaginary or mythical, but rather they are real, tangible and operating companies; they exist! These startup companies are also U.S. formed companies that are located in the U.S. and employ U.S. workers. Now that is a jobs plan if I ever saw one!

Opinion: Regrettable White House Intervention on Patent Trolls

What’s regrettable is that the White House didn’t wait for such empirical data on patent litigation and instead rehashed the findings of discredited studies of PAE-related lawsuits and their purported economic consequences. Specifically, I mean the infamous $29 billion victims are said to have paid to patent trolls in 2011, a number that has echoed around the Internet and made it into congressional debate despite its dubious origins. The number was produced by a study that failed to adequately define just what a troll is – even universities and many manufacturers were included – and then harvested its data not from a reputable polling or academic institution but from a company that has a dog in the patent fight and profits from fueling fears about infringement lawsuits.

Obama on Patent Trolls – Much Ado About Nothing

There is no doubt that the Obama position will be loved by Google and other Silicon Valley technology giants that despise the patent system. Given the revolving door between the Obama Administration and Google, the long-term close relationship between President Obama and Google (see here, here and here), and the fact that patent issues don’t resonate with John Q. Public, it seems likely that the President stepping in now to allow him to tout that he is engaged with issues of importance in the minds of tech giants who will be asked for large checks later this week.

White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues

Today the White House announced major steps to improve incentives for future innovation in high tech patents, a key driver of economic growth and good paying American jobs. The White House issued five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations designed to protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure the highest-quality patents in our system. Additionally, the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers released a report, Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation, detailing the challenges posed and necessity for bold legislative action.

Integrating the Federal R&D System into the Economy

We have made significant strides over the past 30 years through laws like the Bayh-Dole Act, the Federal Technology Transfer Act, and supporting Executive Orders leading to the creation of 9,000 new companies around university inventions, the development of 153 new drugs from federal funding now protecting public health world-wide, the leadership of the U.S. biotechnology industry, the addition of $836 billion to our gross domestic product supporting 3 million good jobs from university patent licensing between 1996-2012, etc. Still as far as we have come, it’s clear that we could be doing even more to reward the hard earned taxpayer dollars spent on public R&D.

White House Shares Plan to Mitigate Trade Secret Theft

Not long after it was reported that a Chinese military unit might be responsible for a number of cyber attacks that have taken place on US infrastructure and businesses, the Obama Administration unveiled its strategy to put an end to the theft of US trade secrets by foreign governments and foreign competitors.

White House Petition Seeks Take Down of Jerk.com

Last week, a petition was created to petition the White House to take down the website Jerk.com. To date the petition has unfortunately not received many votes. Earlier today I was the 28th e-signer of the petition. My guess is that this is due to lack of publicity more so than anything else. Once people learn of the petition my guess is that the signatures will accumulate quickly, but will there be enough time to reach the 100,000 signature threshold by February 22, 2013?

White House Seeks Input to Shape IP Enforcement Strategy

I am all for coherent strategies, but this seems a bit odd if you ask me. During the summer months in the last year of President Obama’s first term? Could this have anything to do with the fact that he is increasingly unable to raise campaign contributions from Wall Street and is instead nearly exclusively turning to Hollywood for donations? Frankly, even if there are broader political motives at play, it is about time that IP take on a more prominent role.

IP Contributes $5 Trillion and 40 Million Jobs to US Economy

Today I attended the an event on Intellectual Property and the US Economy which was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds. The purpose of the event was to unveil a study — Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus — prepared by the Economics and Statistics Administration and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The study found that intellectual property intensive industries support at least 40 million jobs in the United States and contribute more than $5 trillion dollars to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). That is to say that 27.7% of all jobs in the U.S. were either directly or indirectly attributable to IP-intensive industries, and the amount contributed to the U.S. economy represents a staggering 34.8% of GDP.