18 Sep


(c) Carrie Devorah

The USPTO hosted its 2nd anniversary just about to implement session at its Alexandria campus to both an online audience and in house in the Madison Auditorium. Online attendees missed the color of being at the USPTO, the inventors museum on the main floor and Inventors Of Tomorrow exhibit on the café floor. YMCA Summer Camp attendees submissions, for different age categories, were on display, in wait for a 6:00 reception for the campers and family. If one had any question of the future of a Green America, the campers robots, pig and other creations most perceive of as trash, was pretty spectacular to peruse.

The America Invents Act implementation rolled out a years after being passed, with little surprise as to Government programs- a lot of papers, $10 words unintelligible to the everyday citizen in an Internet world. It isnt the USPTO’s fault as was disclosed in the post session Q&A. The employees of the USPTO are the Implementers of rules and regulations crafted over on Capitol Hill by Lawmakers and staff. Who do yell at? Not these people doing their jobs, following rules written by GC’s, staff and policy makers who would benefit by getting out in the real world and focus testing their rules before the rules hit the real world.

Things have changed in Regulation Writing. Something called the Internet has come along and been a game changer when it comes to Exclusive Clubs such as Lawyers being the only people qualified or wanting to file papers with Regulatory Agency’s. With a plethora of online Do-It-Yourself papers provided even by the USPTO, the Register of Congress and Staples, the common sense no brainer would be to have written the America Invents Act and accompanying papers in plain old English or, using the word of one of the USPTO staff panelists…. SIMPLIFY.

While the Register of Copyrights failed to define Author in its Title XVII, the USPTO got it “ OMG, don’t they know?” reaction to the follow up line of  Author’s or Originator being defined as First To File by what is found on line supporting a person’s claim to being an Author. Now, meanwhile back at the LOC ranch where the Register of Copyrights hides out is the effort underway to pushing a new marketing cash making effort, coincidental to Facebook and Google et al wanting to claim ALL online IP as theirs. The initiative? Called Orphan Works. Orphan Works? An original 2D Arts IP appearing to have lost its daddy or mommy hence the moniker, Orphan Works which means the premise of finding someone’s FIRST USE online maybe slim to none or someone pretending to or having mocked up a “REAL DEAL.” Photoshop anyone? Has no one been watching the news about warphotos layered to create battles where one did not exist. Relying on the date bottom right corner of a page printed from the Internet as confirmation of date of first use? Faulty too. Has no one on Capitol Hill heard about fake websites or online pseudo personalities telling people they won a Nigerian lottery from a prince who lost his way?

Well it seems it hasn’t. But this isnt new for people wanting to secure a Patent or Trademark by ‘creating’ first presence in interstate commerce. Used to be Copiers were used or waiting at the corner of  Mulholland at Mike’s Garage to get a “certificate” the ancient car passed its Smog Inspection.

The dollars and sense of the process was quite clear… you want something faster, going to cost a lot more to fast track a prioritized examination with a final decision in 12 months, in closer to 5 months…. $4K.

The greater concern of what hath Capitol Hill missed. That a scientist crediting himself for changes to the process the USPTO has implemented standing up in the Q&A putting forth a recommendation the panel moderator thought highly enough to LIKE said a lot. Crowdsourcing, Capitol Hill, beyond the core of Usual Suspects who fundraise on getting mentions for appearances on Capitol Hill…. ask the Scientist or Interested parties who actually tried, succeeded or failed with efforts to protect IP and, as was answered to an audience question- protecting the Time, Dollar and Emotional Investment, oh, and lawyers fees for an idea that will get stolen within seconds of being published, still, Traditional Tuesday, Patent Release Day at the USPTO.

Did you know the USPTO publishes patents at 2:00 Virginia time while good little Americans are fast asleep and people around the world, like in China are wide awake? What was that about China stealing American Intellectual Property? Come again? A mentor taught that Tuesday was Russian Day at the USPTO. As he described, doors would open up 9:00am at the USPTOm and as he described the Russians would march in with paper bags folded under their arms and, at 5:00pm, walk out with the bags packed with printouts. Now, CLICK at 2:00am, and the Virtual Shopping Cart is checked out…. To people no one knows.

Patents being stolen Congress? Nope. The Mentor tweaked a prior perception. Publishing a Patent is a BRING IT ON CHALLENGE to doing it better. American is giving away IP, citizens have paid a lot of money for. In the Internet Age? Thousands of dollars is gone in a second.

The panel fell back on the value of a piece of paper in pursuit of a Patent Violation. Heard it all before, in Copyright, Trademark and all areas of IP. That paper is as good as having bought a plot of dust on the moon. Worthless, if there isnt equity in the matter that a lawyer sees to take something on Contingency. Oh wait, this is IP. Contingency? Fat chance and when pigs will fly. Never going to happen. How many ordinary citizens have the bank to risk their house on an online theft by Mr Mysterious?

There is an option much of the room had not known before, not sure if it is published in the America Invents Act. Inventors have the right to ask that their Patents not be published. How about this? Flip it. Make it mandatory that the Patent NOT be published unless the Inventor makes that request. Give America back a chance to be exceptional!

The micro-entity Status/discount resonated potential for Tax Fraud in the arena of Institution of Higher education and researchers. The definition of what an Institution of Higher Learning is but in the conversation about the Inventor… “Inventor, not a university employee, has assigned his/her invention directly to the research foundation and the research foundation provides the University, an IHE, a non exclusive, non transferable royalty free license for research use to the technology….” Think it explains itself…. Just in case, what did the inventor get as a receipt for his IP and what did the Research get in receipt from the IHE.

Its not that the men and the women of the USPTO don’t know the games people play. They do. They wouldn’t be working at the USPTO if they didn’t. But as one of the attornies acknowledged in our sidebar……. ‘What can we do, they,’ tilting his head towards DC, ‘they write the rules, we….’ His voice trailed off.

Nice people at the USPTO who wont deserve the next Tsunami of criticism once the Thing That Used To Be Called Media finishes with Obamacare and is looking like bloodthirsty packs for a new victim to rip into…. In an effort to head the mob off? Go after the policy makers, the Think Tanks and the GC’s who need to try a new tactic…. Call home and ask Mom, if she can understand what the highly paid experts have crafted? Why Mom? She represents a demographic of inventors that give good honest critiques, like the two women in the row behind me who made the pilgrimage to the AIA First-Inventor-To-File Hands on Patent Filing workshop, anacronym HOW Second Anniversary Forum…. They couldn’t figure the complexity of the text out….. either

Oh… panel planner? Next time print the site adress on the reminder email…. Wink. Peep? Don’t chew out the USPTO. Take the initiative and write the AIA or the forms and directions out in Real English to give Congress an Idiot Proof Example of how a Lawyer or Wonk would sound if they got off their Capitol Hill horse and hung with the homies….


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