Tag Archive for USPTO

Watch John Oliver Take on Patent Trolls: Annotated Edition

John Oliver has covered an impressive amount of tech policy issues on his weekly HBO show Last Week Tonight, the National Journal points out, and he continued this last night, discussing patents and patent reform. Oliver touched on many issues that are familiar to Patent Progress readers: abstract patents and patent quality, trolls suing end…

A New Troll Feeds on Patent Trolls

This has to be one of my favorite stories this year: it seems that patent trolls are the victims of extortion by a new breed of troll (registration required). Here’s the scenario: a patent troll files a suit (or suits) and wins a big judgment. Another company then files an petition with the against the…

Michelle Lee’s Nomination Hearing Goes Smoothly

There were no big surprises in today’s hearing on Michelle Lee’s nomination as head of the USPTO. The Committee went fairly easy on her with their questions, with the possible exception of Senator Durbin, who admits that he knows nothing about patents or patent law, but seems convinced by his Illinois constituents that there is…

Michelle Lee Is a Good Choice to Head the PTO

The White House announced yesterday that it’s nominating current Deputy Director Michelle Lee to be Director of the . By all accounts, she’s done a good job during a difficult time at the USPTO. This is definitely a smart move by the Administration. We’ll have more to say on this later.

Examiners Need the Right Tools to Improve Patent Quality

“Patent quality” is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot. Everyone, it seems, agrees that the could do a better job on patent quality. Why is it that poor quality patents issue in the first place? This is a simple question with a complicated answer. In this post, I’ll look at one…

If Everyone’s Doing It, How Can It Be Innovative?

Dennis Crouch over at Patently-O reports that for Fiscal Year 2014 (which just ended), the granted a record number of utility patents, over 300,000. Dennis determines that this results in an allowance rate of about 70%. Think about that – 70% of patent applications result in a patent. Doesn’t that seem at odds with the…

The PTO’s Culture of Poor Quality Patents

There have been a few scandals at the USPTO in recent weeks. First was a report of nepotism in hiring on the trademark side of the PTO. Then, there were reports that some paralegals working for the Patent Trial and Appeals Board were basically being paid to goof off. This week, the Washington Post reported that not only…

Merkley and Four Other Senators Call for PTO to Improve Patent Quality

Well, this is good to see: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), joined by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), sent a letter yesterday to the Department of Commerce about patent quality. The letter urges a few measures to improve patent quality. Here are the highlights: Review performance metrics…

USPTO Issues Patent to Fraud

This story is so embarrassing for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the patent system, I almost don’t want to write about it. You might remember that about a decade ago, a South Korean scientist, Hwang Woo-Suk, claimed to have cloned a human embryo. Then, it turned out that the work was a fraud,…

Wherein I Join the Ranks of Inventors

Well, it’s happened. A patent that I co-invented has issued. Of course, I don’t own it, because it was based on my work as a software engineer at IBM. But I do take some pride; the invention came from one of my better ideas. We were trying to figure out how to solve the problem…