Techdirt is reporting that Jon Dudas, head of the US Patent Office, is lamenting the continuing quality drop in patent submissions. Unfortunately, while this problem is finally getting the attention it deserves, the changes being implemented don't seem to be offering the correct solution.
Of course, the guy quoted at TechDirt is Mike Masnick, who has blazed new pathways in cluelessness about patents over the last few years.
Mike's "bible" is Jaffe and Lerner. You may remember them? The ones that praised Qualcomm for the way it handled patents, shortly before Qualcomm went down for inequitable conduct and its head lawyer was summarily fired. The ones that referred to "George" Clarke, and who no better understanding of Robert Clarke's paper than they did of his name. Go for it, Mike -->
[Dudas] is now complaining that the Patent Office is being overwhelmed with really crappy patent applications. You think? Lerner and Jaffe pointed this out years ago and it's not difficult to see why. With the USPTO approving tons of bad patents, and the courts all too often siding with the patent holder and expanding what's patentable, combined with people who have done nothing getting hundreds of millions just for holding a piece of paper, is it really any surprise that the incentive structure would push people to file for as many bogus patents as possible, in hopes of getting them through the obviously questionable process?
Even the NAS/STEP study admitted there was no evidence for an increase in low quality patents, but a lack of evidence has never stopped Mike, and likely never will.
Further evidence of Mike's cluelessness resides in the link he was citing, which began:
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently received an application seeking a patent for what was claimed to be a better way to stand in line while waiting to use an airplane toilet.
Mike Masnick, wake up! That application (by IBM) already issued as a patent, and has been withdrawn. Nothing "recent" about it.
Further, Dudas had already used that story in Hollywood. San Jose was a recycle of old news. Mike, maybe you can try your schtick in the Catskills, or in Miami Beach, with the 80 year olds, but you're too dated for prime time. Maybe you should go on ice, with S.1145.