‘We want more startups to succeed because their success benefits all of us. But we also know that recently many startups (and big companies) have seen the power of patents from the other side—as the subjects of abusive patent litigation. By this, I mean, e.g.,, when an entity brings meritless infringement claims against others sometimes preferring patents that are broader and vaguer to assert against entire industries with the sole purpose of extracting settlements just under the cost of defending against the lawsuit, hoping that the alleged infringer doesn’t look too closely at the merits of the claim.’
As Confucius once said, ‘when I was young I would listen to what someone said and expect they would do it. Now that I am older I listen to what they say and watch what they do.’ If PTO management really wanted to help startups they wouldn’t make inventors fight them for years to patent our inventions. Pendency and the fact that there is no longer a sensible rule for patentability that squares with fundamental property rights and the Constitution are the real problems for inventors. As one litigator for plaintiffs recently stated with uncertainty, ‘all patents can’t be invalid?’. This is further proof how out of touch PTO management is with inventors. They appear to us to have been commandeered by large multinational invention thieves. In our view they are at least biased against us and we question if matters are worse. That is one reason we oppose administrative reviews of our issued patents. Others are covered in our position statement.
We believe litigation abuse by plaintiffs is restricted and very uncommon. It certainly does not justify these sweeping changes that deny ALL inventors meaningful and fundamental rights to their inventions and discoveries. Even large corps are now finding it hard to enforce their patents. Imagine how hard it now is for inventors and small entities.
Seldom do infringers and their puppets give a clear description of what they regard as litigation ‘abuse’. Inventors will tell you that’s because if accusers don’t explain it, they wont have to support it. It’s like the vaporous phrase ‘patent troll’. The other problem for inventors is if our accusers don’t clearly define what it is we are doing wrong, we cant adequately defend ourselves and counter. That violates due process, but of course infringers get away with it because these charges are not brought in court. All this plaintiff litigation abuse talk is like a modern day Spanish Inquisition.
For example, if a patent truly is ‘vague’ or ‘weak’ it will be invalidated in court, or at least will if the defendants choose to contest. Often in patent suits there will be multiple defendants. If defendants pool their resources, as they often do, it will be a small cost for each to collectively fight and invalidate -the relative cost of a bagatelle for large corps. That will be the end of that bad actor and likely it will hit the news (large infringers and their PR machines make sure of that) and greatly discourage any truly bad behavior from all other patent holders -and even legal and just behavior by them. Why then do these large multinationals spend millions in lobbying Congress to change patent law instead of mere thousands to stop legitimate bad behavior using existing law? Could it be the bad behavior does not honestly exist or art leas to any meaningful extent, or is it not bad actors or behavior these large multinational invention thieves are aiming at? We believe their intent is to use these isolated or fictionalized accounts as a ruse to force changes in Congress -often at the threat of PAC money for those who do not cave in.
‘there are very strong interests here in Washington, that have very strong ulterior motives to try to knock down and diminish the civil justice system…They like to coming to the branches of government where they’ve greased them with campaign contributions and lots of lobbyists and super-pac threats and all that good stuff’
Thereby they are able to use these baseless or overplayed accusations to make changes to the patent system which in essence legalize theft so they can rob and crush ALL inventors and other small competitors. Today the patent system is so weak that inventors and small entities can no longer find law firms to take their patent suits on contingency. If we cant assert our patents in court against infringers, what good are they? This alone will tell savvy and honorable Congress members and PTO personnel all they need to know.
These and other problems are what the Patent Office and its management should be focused on, not on these falsified and manipulated accusations which are largely pretense and propaganda. Because of the above and the fact that inventors and their attorneys will tell you small entity applications and issued patents have declined sharply over the last several years, it is not surprising to find that confidence and trust by seasoned inventors in the patent system is near bottom. But rather than address those, PTO management instead chases purported problems we question the existence of -certainly not in our businesses. The ship is sinking and rather than bail they want to be sure the correct flag is on the mast. Statements like those of Ms Lee makes one question the impartiality of PTO management. Rather than considering possible future litigation and enforcement which introduce bias into the process when examining applications and any subsequent post grant review, the PTO needs to be focused purely on the merits of the application and patent. In our view PTO management and MS Lee have proven they are not objective or impartial. These things only reinforce our lack of confidence and distrust in them.
Inventors are not surprised at Ms Lee’s statement which only serves to promote the big business falsified and overwrought ‘reform’ agenda. To us they do not differ materially from those she made when she worked in industry.
Inventors regard large multinationals as the principle members of the cabal lurking in the shadows who engineered the gutting of the American patent system and are still pushing to gut it. That has been their most ‘innovative’ contribution to society -legalized theft. Some inventors and small entities question if Ms Lee is still working for them based on how she has ignored the plight of inventors and her public statements.
Still, in fairness we offer Ms Lee an opportunity to debate these issues in an open public forum on this site. We will publish anything she submits verbatim. In return however we claim the right to speak candidly and ask pointed questions in defense of inventors and their rights. Will she accept our offer?
Open debate is something those who promote the dismantling of the patent system -what they call ‘patent reform’, steer far and wide from. Rather, they prefer to make baseless accusations in the shadows they can then use without public debate or scrutiny as pretense to force unnecessary and dangerous changes to further cripple an already wobbling system -changes which will only drive a dagger into a corpse.
We welcome the opportunity to engage in an open public debate with Ms Lee and all advocates of these dangerous and unsupported changes to patent law. If she declines our invitation, it will only further turn inventors and small entities against her and PTO management.
The patent system has reached a crisis for inventors and small entities. We need to end what large multinational invention thieves call ‘reform’. It’s time to rescue and restore.
For our position and the changes we advocate to truly reform the patent system, or to join our effort, please visit us at https://aminventorsforjustice.wordpress.com/category/our-position/
or, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org