Sunday, June 15, 2008

PatentHawk blog whacks Joff Wild

In a post titled The Snake, the PatentHawk blog takes on Joff Wild of IAM:

Criticism of the USPTO has reached comical proportions, and the joke is on us: inventors and prosecutors. When there is a universal howl from the U.S. patent bar about the agency, while the PTO itself crows about a lurch down in allowance rate, and a federal court rules that the PTO acting illegally, you may think something afoot. Jeff Wold of IAM Magazine, sitting comfortably across the pond in merry old England, wonders.


Wold, showing how he thinks by projection, thinks that all patent attorneys should think about is what's good their business.

Gee Jeff, perhaps it should occur to you that maybe Mr. Quinn is a bit less self-interested, less concerned about what foreigners will think, and more worried about a return to sanity in examination practice, for the sake of integrity in the U.S. patent system.

First, IPBiz thinks the guy's name is Joff Wild, not Jeff Wold.

The post of Wild that offended PatentHawk included the text:

Written by patent attorney and law firm partner Gene Quinn, they begin with the chronicling of an alleged revelation by one unspecified senior patent examiner working in one unspecified arts group says that he and his colleagues no longer issue any patents because the way the office is run means that they earn more money and get less hassle if they do it that way. Most of the nine people commenting on the story have very little problem with its veracity, although the final response from someone who seems to work inside the office is very dismissive.
Following on this from this first post, Mr Quinn then goes on to detail another example of USPTO dysfunctionalism that he received in an email after writing his original blog. This is followed by a piece which focuses on what he considers to be a junk patent that has issued (in contrast to some more legitimate applications that have not been granted) and another one which suggests that the time may have come to rework the US patent system completely to allow for both petty patents and a higher-level examined patent right that retains a presumption of validity.
“With the ever growing backlog and examiners refusing to issue patents in certain groups it is time for action and we need to put on the table in a serious way the privatizing of the Patent Office. Clearly the federal government does not have the ability, resources and knowledge to handle innovation and something radical needs to be done before this starts affecting our economy,” Mr Quinn writes.

When Joff wrote: "It is also a fantastic get-out for the office itself, which can say its critics are nothing more than serial moaners who have lost a relatively easy life and never back up their complaints with facts," IPBiz thought of the wildly exaggerated patent grant rate numbers of Quillen and Webster, which were never backed up by facts.

The same could be said about "irresponsible scaremongering" in the text: To do otherwise is irresponsible scaremongering that harms everyone who has a stake in the ongoing development of the US patent system and plays straight into the hands of those who would like to see it reined in.

****Separately, on IAM -->

However one big difference between the dotcom gold rush and the present green-tech boom is that in the latter you are not going to get by without doing meaningful R&D. The internet companies of the late 1990s could talk a great game, but did not have anything much more than dreams underpinning their plans; green-tech businesses have no option but to produce something palpable, something that people can hold on to.

Among the items that these companies can put in front of potential investors is patents. And it looks like these are becoming very important. In an article originally published by Dow Jones newsletters, we are told that green-tech litigation is now beginning to rear its head. "I think we're really starting to see just the beginning of it," the report quotes Morrison & Forrester LLP attorney Eric Walters as saying. "There have been cases across the board of different clean technologies' trade-secret litigations and patent litigations filed in the last year or two." Of course, when companies start slugging it out over patents, you can be sure that they feel something very valuable is at stake. Investors may not like the expense and the worry a court case produces, but it is a confirmation of sorts that they might have put their money in the right place. And if their side wins, well it can be very exciting news indeed.

IPBiz notes that it is not clear that a patent application on Coskata's bioreactor has published. And then there is the "burning water" of Kanzius. Talking a great game can still be a winner; Kanzius certainly fooled Lesley Stahl and viewers of "60 Minutes."


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