Monday, August 18, 2014

Forbes dipping into yellow journalism on patent reform?

from VC/DC: The Patent Crisis Deteriorates

The bigger problem, as we discussed, is that many of the patents should probably never have been granted in the first place. The U.S. patent office in particular has in the last ten years been so overwhelmed with applications that they grant patents for inventions that are anything but, leaving it to the courts and so-called “patent trolls” to sort out which ones really deserved legal protections and which ones were too obvious.

Why has the patent office become so generous with such dubious applications? Last week there were reports of an internal investigation at the patent office, initially suppressed, that revealed widespread fraud by patent examiners, nearly half of whom work from home full time, of inflated hours and unearned bonuses.

While that report (and the attempt to cover it up) are pretty shocking, chaos at the patent office is just the tip of the iceberg. Between the courts, the patent office, and abusive litigation, the U.S. patent system is in dire need of reform. Congress keeps trying, but can’t seem to pass anything of substance—on this or any other subject.

Does the article imply that the business with telecommuting caused the patent office to be generous in granting patents on dubious applications?

Did the USPTO "attempt to cover up" the first report? The same author wrote both reports.

Even assuming everything in the first report is true, did this behavior cause improper patent grants?


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