Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hewlett-Packard focuses on patent quality, not patent quantity

The WSJ reports of Hewlett-Packard [H-P, a member of the Coalition for Patent Fairness]:

H-P has been focusing on "the quality of the patents that we seek, as opposed to the quantity," Mr. Light said. As a result, he added, H-P is seeking broad patents that relate directly to its main businesses, avoiding the costs of filing patents that may relate to more specific processes.

WSJ also mentioned Carly Fiorina:

H-P's current strategy is a departure from the approach under former CEO Carly Fiorina, who tried to boost the company's profile as an innovator, said Rich Doherty, an analyst the The Envisioneering Group who follows patent filings. Mr. Hurd, in contrast, seems more focused on shorter-term financial results, he said. He also said H-P seems to be keeping secret certain innovations, especially in its services division, rather than filing patents. "They've turned the ratio of public patents to private proprietary advantage," he said.

Fiorina, who pushed "invention" at H-P was ousted for not innovating, and separately was involved in the H-P "pretexting" scandal.

See previous IPBiz posts:

http://ipbiz.blogspot.com/2005/02/fiorina-out-at-hewlett-packard.html
http://ipbiz.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-hewlett-packard-pretexting-impacts.html

Separately, WSJ noted IBM was, once again, at the top of the issued patent list at the USPTO:

In 2008, International Business Machines Corp. generated more U.S. patents than any other company, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office compiled by research firm IFI Patent Intelligence. IBM was granted 4,186 patents last year, IFI said, up from 3,125 in 2007. It was the 16th consecutive year that IBM led the patent pack.

However, author JUSTIN SCHECK did not mention some of the kinds of patents IBM obtains, such as the "airplane toilet queue" patent. Of more recent vintage, note IBM's US 7,475,086 (related to application Ser. No. 11/421,123), titled Method of automatically removing leading and trailing space characters from data being entered into a database system, first claim: A computer implemented method of automatically removing space characters from data being entered into a database system comprising: creating a table through which data is to be entered into the database system, the table having at least one column; indicating upon creation of the table whether leading and trailing space characters from data being entered into the at least one column are to be removed; enabling a user to issue an insert command in order to enter the data into the at least one column; determining, in response to receiving the insert command, whether there is an indication associated with the at least one column that leading and trailing space characters from the data being entered into the at least one column are to be removed, removing leading and trailing space characters from the data being entered into the at least one column if it is determined that there is an indication that leading and trailing space characters from the data being entered into the at least one column are to be removed; leaving leading and trailing space characters from the data being entered into the at least one column if it is determined that there is not an indication that leading and trailing space characters from the data being entered into the at least one column are to be removed; and entering the data into the at least one column.

**Of quality, note also the USPTO continuing education program-->

Analysis of USPTO Continuing Education for Practitioners (CEP) Pilot Program.

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