Wednesday, August 05, 2009

CAFC overturns USPTO and SDNY in pro se Taylor case

The pro se guy won this case. The CAFC concluded:

Because the district court should not have dismissed Mr. Taylor’s complaint, this
court reverses. This court remands to the district court with instructions to enter
judgment in accordance with this opinion.

The bad act of the Patent Office:

This court finds that the Office’s [USPTO's] course of action in accepting Mr. Taylor’s deficient payment on the
one hand, while on the other hand expiring his patent without notifying him under MPEP
§ 2531 that his payment was inadequate, was arbitrary and capricious.

Equitable relief can redress bad acts of the USPTO:

Mr. Taylor’s informal complaint at the district court broadly requested the court to
grant him any relief deemed appropriate. This court determines that the appropriate
relief in this case is equitable. A district court’s equity jurisdiction provides broad and
flexible powers to deliver justice in unique factual circumstances. “The essence of a
court’s equity power lies in its inherent capacity to adjust remedies in a feasible and
practical way to eliminate the conditions or redress the injuries caused by unlawful
action. Equitable remedies must be flexible if these underlying principles are to be
enforced with fairness and precision.” Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U.S. 467, 487 (1992). In
this case, equity would counsel that the PTO should reinstate Mr. Taylor’s patent upon
receipt of his payment for all outstanding maintenance fees. This relief will remedy, to
this court’s best estimation, the PTO’s arbitrary and capricious actions.

Have the people of patent reform considered such anti-inventor activities by the USPTO?

Here, the USPTO took the guy's money AND expired the patent, and took him through
a variety of judicial proceedings.


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