Our goal is to restore the American patent system to where inventors and small businesses will once again have a realistic expectation we will be able to commercialize our inventions.
To accomplish that we must have a patent system that encourages us, not discourages. Presently for example, it is far too hard, expensive and slow for us to get patents for our inventions. That is in part why small entity issued patents and filed applications have plummeted to only about 10% of their historical shares, if not less and still falling. For us the PTO has become the Patent Rejection Office. Some attorneys tell us the problem begins with the examiners. They believe many are not competent in their fields and in too many instances examiners are from foreign countries and speak poor English so it is difficult for our attorneys to even carry out a productive conversation, let alone prosecute a technical application to a successful conclusion -allowance and issue. Perhaps that is why so many examiners regularly issue out of hand lengthy boilerplate rejections. In one case an examiner cited a 10 column passage of a reference to reject a five word limitation in a pending claim. If the examiner cannot cite a specific passage of approximately the same length in the reference to a claim limitation in question, then it cannot be factually said the limitation has been met. Where is accountability?
Perhaps the reason for these canned rejections is that far too few examiners are qualified and competent in their fields and they feel they can only get in trouble if they erroneously allow a claim versus rejecting. The problem is that every unjustified rejection only drives up the prosecution costs for our patents. If we run out of money before we are able to enforce our patents, let alone obtain them, we go out of business and will never invent again. Is this what Congress, the President, and the courts want?
But the Constitution says…
“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”
If the purpose of the patent system is to discourage inventors, then they have nailed it. If the purpose is to promote and encourage, then they are heading in the wrong direction.
Then again, maybe the PTO is still being controlled by employees who came in with prior directors who had close ties with large multinational serial infringers (former employees of, etc) and they have set this policy of trigger finger boilerplate rejections? If so, a house cleaning is severely overdue. Maybe that’s what the new director is still sorting out? In that case, we encourage a thorough purge. There is no place in OUR patent system for agents of large multinational infringers whose aim is to legalize theft of our inventions. As in the case of big business fat cats, great heft often comes from grand theft. It gives a new meaning to the old phrase, the ‘filthy rich’.