Problems with Patents


This cartoon from Droidmatters is targeted toward Information Technology, but informs in an easy way some issues with the US Patent and Trademark Office:

Problems with Patents Cartoon

From The Spoilsman: How Congress Corrupted Patent Reform by Zach Carter published on Huffington Post back in October.

“Many people are still looking for work or looking for a job that pays more,” Obama said to a scrum of reporters. “There are more steps that we can take right now that would help businesses create jobs here in America.”

The first item on Obama’s list of immediate, job-creating congressional actions was the passage of patent reform legislation.

“Right now, Congress can send me a bill that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to patent a new product or idea, because we can’t give innovators in other countries a big leg up when it comes to opening new businesses and creating new jobs,” he said.

Besides the fact that the US Patent and Trademark Office re-routes cold fusion/LENR related applications, what else is the problem?

Trolls file hundreds of lawsuits a year over “low quality” patents — lobbyist legal jargon for the questionable or downright bizarre patents routinely granted by the understaffed Patent and Trademark Office. In recent years, patents have been approved for products including a wheeled flower pot (patent No. 7,908,942), the crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwich (patent No. 6,004,596), a decorative box that can be placed in a casket (No. 7,908,942) and an accounting scheme that helps people dodge taxes by moving stock options around (No. 6,567,790). Once approved by the patent office, it’s difficult and costly to overturn the patent in courts, which grant significant deference to the office’s decisions.

What does the newly enacted patent reform mean for innovators?

Here’s one view from Paul Morgan from Patently O 2011 Recap: The Practically Important Elements of the America Invents Act of 2011.

Another view comes from Eric Savitz at Forbes US Inventors: Take Heed of the Revised US Patent Law.

4 Replies to “Problems with Patents”

  1. David French writes (while on a trip):

    Good post Ruby. Mostly true but no-one should judge until they hear the full story;

    Further patent facts:

    – It is easier to patent a stupid idea than a good one

    – the Patent Office only evaluates whether an idea is new

    – good ideas are often not new; many people will think of good ideas

    – a very large number of patents are valid but ineffective

    Enough for now. More later.

  2. We have anticipated obstruction by the US patent office to ECAT. Blocking will create additional awareness about tech suppression and the elites who profit from ignorance, ecocide and war. For humans on this planet It’s a win win situation now. The toothpaste is out of the tube and all attempts to block will be observed with incredulity by decent people.

  3. “Besides the fact that the US Patent and Trademark Office re-routes cold fusion/LENR related applications, what else is the problem?”

    United States Patent Application 20110255645
    Kind Code A1
    October 20, 2011
    Method for Producing Heavy Electrons

    Inventors: Zawodny; Joseph M.
    Assignee: USA as represented by the Administrator of the NASA

    [0002] The invention was made by an employee of the United States Government and may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.

    [0006] Heavy electrons exhibit properties such as unconventional superconductivity, weak antiferromagnetism, and pseudo metamagnetism. More recently, the energy associated with “low energy nuclear reactions” (LENR) has been linked to the production of heavy electrons. Briefly, this theory put forth by Widom and Larsen states that the initiation of LENR activity is due to the coupling of “surface plasmon polaritons” (SPPs) to a proton or deuteron resonance in the lattice of a metal hydride. […] Unfortunately, such heavy electron production has only occurred in small random regions or patches of sample materials/devices. In terms of energy generation or gamma ray shielding, this limits the predictability and effectiveness of the device. Further, random-patch heavy electron production limits the amount of positive net energy that is produced to limit the efficiency of the device in an energy generation application.

    [0019] The present invention is a method for making a device that can produce heavy electrons where such heavy electron production can be used in a variety of applications that includes energy generation. In addition, the present invention is the device made from the disclosed method as well as a system that uses the device to produce heavy electrons. The present invention allows an entire device surface or volume to produce heavy electrons as opposed such production in small random regions of materials/devices. Thus, devices/systems constructed in accordance with the present invention will have performance that is predictable and maximize heavy electron production that results in, for example, maximum energy production for a given device/system or predictable efficiency and effectiveness of a gamma ray shield.

    [0032] The advantages of the present invention are numerous. Devices/systems made in accordance with the present invention control the frequency of the SPP resonance and its uniformity over large surface or volume regions. This will allow an entire device to participate in heavy electron production and ensuing energy generation. The present invention is adaptable to a variety of physical states/geometries and is scalable in size thereby making it available for energy production in a wide variety of applications (e.g., hand-held and large scale electronics, automobiles, aircraft, surface ships, electric power generation, rockets, etc.)

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=20110255645

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