New Patent Reform Law Already A Good Thing... For Patent Attorneys

from the but-of-course dept

While it seems pretty clear that the patent reform bill that became law a few weeks ago won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system, one area of business it's helping tremendously is in increasing demand for patent lawyers. Due to the new law, suddenly law firms are scrambling for more and more patent lawyers:
Patent lawyers are in such demand that their specialty may account for more than 15 percent of law firm job openings while representing just 3 percent of lawyers in the United States.

Such lawyers typically have degrees in fields like engineering as well as law. Some law firms are now almost doubling recruitment fees to meet the growing demand for specialists in intellectual property, or I.P., particularly in technology, said T. J. Duane, a principal at a legal recruitment firm, Lateral Link.
The NY Times article above goes on to point out that the new law has especially made things much more complicated, thereby increasing demand for patent lawyers. It also mentions how law firms are really seeking people who could have been contributing to actual innovation, but have left engineering for the law instead:
The ideal candidate would hold a doctoral degree in electrical engineering, have graduated from a top 10 law school and have worked for four years at a strong law firm, Mr. Duane said.
This is not a good thing. A functioning patent system is one where the rules are clear and fewer lawyers are needed. The fact that the clearest immediate impact of the change in the law is the opposite should give the politicians who supported this law a pretty big reason to rethink it.


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  1.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Dagnabbit!

    I had always hoped when humans spread out across the universe we'd be known as "those guys with the bad-ass military and a no-nonsense attitude" but it looks like instead we'll be "those jerks who produce nothing but legislation and they're not even good at it."

     

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    Grey Ferret, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Dagnabbit!

    Didn't you read the article? We won't be innovating our way across the universe. Those who might have been able to get us there will be too busy suing each other.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Dagnabbit!

    Naw, somebody will eventually invent something that makes interstellar travel economical for the entire species, and before being sued to disintegration everybody and they're smismar will pirate it.

     

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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Dagnabbit!

    Please? Pretty please??? A sad but true button is needed...

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Dagnabbit!

    For the sake of every sentient life in the universe, I hope this is true.

     

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    athe, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    As the saying goes...

    people who could have been contributing to actual innovation, but have left engineering for the law instead



    If you can't innovate, litigate.



    Clearly these people weren't interested in the innovation side of things.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    "should give the politicians who supported this law a pretty big reason to rethink it."

    Careful, this could potentially give a politician a stroke.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    While it seems pretty clear that the patent reform bill that became law a few weeks ago won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system, one area of business it's helping tremendously is in increasing demand for patent lawyers.

    We spent two two-hour class periods in my patent law class going over several of the changes in the new patent law. And we were just scratching the surface. I'll bet dollars to donuts that you don't understand these changes that you are so sure "won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system." You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

    This is not a good thing. A functioning patent system is one where the rules are clear and fewer lawyers are needed. The fact that the clearest immediate impact of the change in the law is the opposite should give the politicians who supported this law a pretty big reason to rethink it.

    Again, you really don't have a clue. Patent law isn't non-functioning because it's complicated. It's complicated because the subject matter is inherently complicated. Seeing as you seem to think in extremes and you abhor nuances, it's no wonder you don't like patent law. A complicated body of law received a bunch of substantive and procedural changes. Of course lawyers who grasp the changes are in need. Grow up.

    You'll whine about anything, Mike. It's just stupid around here lately.

     

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  9.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re: The T-Word

    A, almost an A+. Good work.

    Also, something being "complicated" is nothing more than an expression of the observers inability to understand the entirety of what they're perceiving. There really is no such thing as complicated, all things are simple.

    Luke: "I don't believe it!"
    Yoda: "That, is why you fail."

     

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    A Dan (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    Hell yeah, you just owned that "Mike" guy!

    I prefer the mens rea-style systems, myself, where you actually know if what you're doing is breaking the law. Or, in this case, you actually know that you're copying a patented invention, as you only know the process because the amazingly non-obvious solution is listed out in easy-to-follow steps in a patent.

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    We spent two two-hour class periods in my patent law class going over several of the changes in the new patent law. And we were just scratching the surface.

    And that is good legislation? If it takes a class of lawyers 2 hours to just scratch the surface of patent law, what hope is there for the non-lawyered inventor? I thought we were supposed to have patent laws that promote progress and useful arts not patent laws that promote law degrees and litigation.

     

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    Phillip (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Coincidence?

    Sure it must be the new patent reform laws driving demand for patent lawyers. It's not as though a patent war has exploded between Google and Oracle. Or Samsung and Apple. Or... well in fact everybody and everyone. Did Techdirt not notice rather large bids for Nortel? Or Motorola? For their patents? Or Google buying patents from IBM? Might firms not be scrambling to shore up their patent portfolios? Not to mention patent trolls filching patent lawyers from legitimate companies?

    Mike, I'm pretty sure you wrote the last sentence and then wrote the rest of the article back upwards to support it. The reforms are fundamentally good and bring the US in line with the rest of the world. ie the rest of the world too sensible to allow software or business patents.

    "It also mentions how law firms are really seeking people who could have been contributing to actual innovation, but have left engineering for the law instead"

    That doesn't even make sense. If they've already left then they have already left.

    Phillip.

     

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    rubberpants, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    Re:

    Aspiring lawyer likes complex laws that require people to hire lawyers and thinks he's smarter than everyone else. News at a 11.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    "Patent law isn't non-functioning because it's complicated."

    At least you admit that patent law is non-functional.

    "It's complicated because the subject matter is inherently complicated."

    Pray tell, how is the subject matter inherently, and not artificially, complicated? Why? What makes the subject matter so inherently complicated?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re:

    And that is good legislation? If it takes a class of lawyers 2 hours to just scratch the surface of patent law, what hope is there for the non-lawyered inventor? I thought we were supposed to have patent laws that promote progress and useful arts not patent laws that promote law degrees and litigation.

    Why do you assume that if the law is complicated, it is detrimental to "the progress"? Substantive patent law isn't that complicated. For example, the written description/enablement/best mode requirement in Section 112, paragraph 1, seems simple on its surface. Applying that paragraph to real world situations is a different story. I spent all morning reading cases from the CAFC interpreting this requirement over the past 40 years. Is that a problem with the law? No. Don't confuse the cause with the symptom.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    "The ideal candidate would hold a doctoral degree in electrical engineering, have graduated from a top 10 law school and have worked for four years at a strong law firm, Mr. Duane said. "

    Hands down the most interesting guy you'll ever meet, guarenteed.

    /s x 100

    (coming from a EE)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re:

    I take it you don't read much patent law. It gets complicated quickly, and not because anyone's making it harder than it has to be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can you explain? Exactly how hard does it have to be and why? Why are the complexities so necessary?

     

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    josh_m (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    "A functioning patent system is one where the rules are clear and fewer lawyers are needed. The fact that the clearest immediate impact of the change in the law is the opposite..."

    The patent laws just changed in dramatic ways; of course there is going to be a short-term increase in demand for new patent lawyers to help clients and corporations transition, as well as years of new litigation to determine how the new statute plays out in practice.

    Now, if we have a dramatic increase in patent lawyers as a percentage of the practicing bar over the next twenty years, blame the new scheme, but this is about two decades to early to judge.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't think I'm smarter than everyone else. I find my patent law class to be difficult, and I have no plans on sitting for the patent bar. I enjoy thinking about IP, so I took the class.

    My point is that I doubt very, very much that Mike has any idea what he's talking about. Look at the Act: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1249enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr1249enr.pdf

    How much of that do you think Mike really digested before he decided it wouldn't do anything to improve patent law? None or close to none. Mike has no idea what the fuck he's talking about here.

    Of course, it's about spreading FUD on Techdirt, so it's doubtful that anyone is surprised by this. Mike would whine about how terrible the law is no matter what the text actually says.

    His IP bashing has been really desperate today.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Patent lawyers have to pass a separate patent bar. This means knowing patent regulations, rules, procedures, doctrines, etc. These are unique to the practice of patent law. The subjects of patents themselves are complicated and technical. That's why members of the patent bar have to have scientific backgrounds. I read some patent cases today where the subject matter was over my head: bioengineering, vascular medicine, etc. We're talking about the state of the art in a lot of different arts. How many people do you know could look at a patent application with a claim including "the anhydrous Form IV crystalline modification of 1-(4-amino-6, 7-dimethoxy-2-quinazolinyl)-4-(2-tetrahydrofuroyl)piperzine hydrocloride" and make a colorable argument that it was patentable subject matter, novel, nonobvious, etc. This shit is not easy.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: The T-Word

    Snore. It's obvious Mike doesn't have a clue what changes to patent law the AIA makes and what the consequence of those changes will be. This doesn't stop him from pretending like he knows for sure that it won't make anything better. He's just an IP whiner. Good grief, how do you guys not point this out with me?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 8:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The subjects of patents themselves are complicated and technical."

    I'm not referring to the subjects of patents themselves, I'm referring to patent law itself.

    Notice how you still haven't answered my question.

    and often times that technical jargon is explaining something very simple using obscure language with the intent of hopefully fooling the patent examiner into thinking that it's novel. That's often a problem with patents. People trained in an art may see something as obvious whereas a patent examiner may not know the difference. Something may have had plenty of prior art and may simply be a small modification or manipulation of current knowledge, something that others have used before when the need arises, it's just not all that well known to people who don't run into the problem. But given a specific problem, the patent could be on a solution that several people would easily independently come up with.

    It's like if someone got a patent on a way to make software solve certain math equations. It's not that the patent is innovative, it's that some math equations don't always need to be solved. But when the need arises, several mathematicians will likely come up with similar solutions without patents.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 8:44pm

    Re:

    "The patent laws just changed in dramatic ways; of course there is going to be a short-term increase in demand for new patent lawyers to help clients and corporations transition, as well as years of new litigation to determine how the new statute plays out in practice."

    [emphasis added]

    I think the point that you maybe missing is that why should such a short term increase be warranted? Why should the (new) laws and the legal system be so obscure that people need to spend so many resources testing them to know the outcome?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re:

    (or, rather, why should such a short term increase be taken for granted *)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think part of the point is that the fact that such a short term increase is taken for granted itself is a criticism of our legal system (ie: the patent system).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not referring to the subjects of patents themselves, I'm referring to patent law itself.

    Notice how you still haven't answered my question.


    Sounds to me like you could answer your question as well as I could--if not better. I'm struggling to learn substantive patent law myself at the moment. I'm sure the things I'm struggling with seem simple to someone who's been doing this for a long time. Sorry if I'm not giving the answer you want. I'd be interested in your opinion on the matter if you want to share.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Sounds to me like you could answer your question as well as I could--if not better."

    I think the answer is that we're better off without patents than with them. Your assumption is that just because we have a complicated patent system then we somehow need one. That we somehow even need a patent system to begin with.

    Just because complicated subject matters exist, in mathematics and science, is no justification to have a patent system. Just because patents can conceivably cover certain ideas and fields of study doesn't mean that they should. The fact that a patent can conceivably cover a complicated field of study is different than saying that patent law itself should be complicated, or that patents should even exist.

     

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    josh_m (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re:

    The answer is that no amount of language in a statute can possibly cover every question, outcome, or nuance of real life. I'm reminded of my state's Rules of Professional Conduct, in which a one sentence Rule is explained and examined with four or five pages of Comments.

    The patent system is inherently difficult to legislate because it is intended to draw lines of what will or will not be patentable in the future, before those inventions could possibly be conceived. This isn't a murder statute in which we could clearly define what qualifies as an unlawful taking of life. How could a patent act originally enacted in the time of record players possibly be sufficient to draw the lines between mp3 players, without litigation to determine the scope of ideas of "novelty"?

    The law always requires interpretation. Patent law is just more intricate because the subject matter necessarily has not been created at the time the legislation was written.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Sounds to me like you could answer your question as well as I could--if not better."

    IOW, I think the answer to the question is ... abolish patents. I don't think patents really solve anything beyond allowing the formation of government established monopolies and cartels that do nothing to promote the progress. Sure, they help out lawyers and monopolists, but by and large there is very little to no evidence suggesting that they actually promote the progress. Patent law doesn't need to be so complicated because patents don't need to exist. We're better off without them.

    The fact that people have to spend a lot of resources worrying about not infringing on someones patent before doing anything suggests a broken patent system. Patents should only be on ideas that others are very unlikely to independently invent. If others are likely to independently invent similar ideas (without patents) then those ideas are not patent worthy. When people and businesses have to constantly do extensive and expensive patent searches before doing anything, that's a bad sign. When a lot of lawyers are getting hired to either sue others or defend against patent lawsuits, that's a bad sign. It suggests that people are getting sued for frivolous, non-patent worthy ideas that are likely independently invented. This is especially true since IP infringement damages are absurdly and unacceptably high, especially if the infringement was intentional. The idea that people must put a lot of resources into avoiding infringement is nonsensical. Those resources are better spent actually innovating.

    If we are to have a patent system, we need to make some simple changes to the patent system. Most patents never make it to product. Every patent that never makes it to product is a bad patent. One simple change should be, if you don't use it, you lose it. If you're a patent troll and you don't actually do anything, then those patents should be promptly invalidated for anyone to freely 'infringe' upon. Contrary to popular lawyer opinion, acquiring patents just to sue others does no one any favors.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:39pm

    Economic Damage

    Meanwhile in China, due to the magic of selective enforcement, politically well-connected companies are free from the threat of being damaged by the patent system. That is a major reason why manufacturing is fleeing to China as fast as it can.

    Chinese manufacturers just get on with innovating and driving the price down. Oh sure, it is not the kind of innovation that patent lawyers approve of. There are lots of small changes and copying from others. But they are selling product. They are employing their people. They are paying taxes to their government.

    If the patent system makes American goods less innovative and more expensive than Chinese goods, then is that going to influence sales? Walk into your local TV store and try to find a television which is made in USA. Go looking for the US television industry. It used to be big, but now it is gone.

    The US manufacturing sector is still pretty big. USA makes aircraft and electrical machinery. Those industries are moving out too. The employment losses are only just starting.

    Heard of the "rust belt" in USA? There seems to be rather a lot of it. Using Google Maps, go for a wander around Detroit, MI. You will be stunned at the amount of vacant land and derelict buildings there are, close to the city center.

    Handing over your manufacturing sector to other countries is doing tremendous damage to the economy of the USA. Planet earth is finite. Human beings are going to find a way to live sustainably, or rather a lot of us are going to die in the ecological catastrophe. Who is going to supply the goods for the new sustainable way of living?

    The patent system does not deliver the benefits that the lawyers advertise, plus its cost is vast. Economists have been saying this for years. Stop getting snowed by the patent bar. They talk a great game, but they deliver disaster. Americans, this is your wake up call.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 9:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The answer is that no amount of language in a statute can possibly cover every question, outcome, or nuance of real life."

    But why should patents conceivably attempt to cover every question, outcome, or nuance of real life? Why should patents conceivably cover such tiny incremental advancements or modifications? Why can't we have a legal system that doesn't assume the possibility, but instead one that assumes that most things aren't covered to ward off so much legislative effort? I think part of the problem is that people and law firms have grown accustomed to the fact that our legal system is tolerant of frivolous lawsuits that attempt to cover every question, outcome, or nuance of real life. I think part of the problem is that these law firms have grown way too accustomed to having a government that is willing to allow them to misuse the legal and patent system to micromanage everyone's minor question, outcome, or nuance of real life. Such is not a free market society, but a government-industrial controlled one. One way to correct this is to make the legal system less tolerant of such frivolous attempts. Lower infringement damages to something reasonable and fewer people will attempt to use the patent system as a lottery every time someone breaths or makes some other 'nuanced' move. and substantially increase the damages for such frivolous attempts and, again, all these law firms wouldn't keep attempting to misuse our legal system to micromanage everyone's lives and businesses to their sole and personal advantage.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "every question, outcome, or nuance of real life."

    and I think you did a good job of hitting the nail on the head. The law shouldn't attempt to cover every possible "question, outcome, or nuance of real life." That's absolutely ridiculous. But what the law should do is it should sufficiently deter those who attempt to misuse it to control "every question, outcome, or nuance" in the real life of others. It can do so through higher frivolous lawsuit penalties and by not imposing absurd potential damages against defendants for no good reason. Otherwise, everyone is encouraged to be a plaintiff and to think up elaborate schemes to extort money from others. Heck, look at negligence schemes alone. Laws need to be in place to avoid frivolous negligence attempts. Otherwise, people will abuse the system. They'll purposely slip in a store just to blame the store and sue them, especially if they can potentially get awards that are disproportionally higher than actual damages and if the penalties for frivolous lawsuit attempts are very small to almost non-existent.

    The law can resist frivolous lawsuit attempts by being more specific about what the law explicitly does not cover. and it could do so by simply not covering so much. It can do so by not imposing ridiculous penalties against defendants for no good reason. It can do so by imposing higher sanctions against plaintiffs who file ridiculous lawsuits. and it can do so by simply granting far fewer patents and raising the patent worthy bar.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and it could also do so by simply not covering so much. *

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The patent system is inherently difficult to legislate because it is intended to draw lines of what will or will not be patentable in the future, before those inventions could possibly be conceived."

    This is part of my criticism of the patent system. The fact is that there is plenty of evidence suggesting that patents only hinder innovation and there is little to no evidence suggesting that the spur innovation.

    http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htm

    Patents are a government established monopoly. Government established monopolies are known to cause economic harm. They cost jobs, reduce aggregate output, and increase prices. They harm consumers.

    No one is entitled to a government established monopoly. If these things are to exist, they should only exist to the extent that they are socially beneficial. If someone wants special monopoly privileges, the burden is on them to justify those privileges. But, like you suggest, it is very difficult to measure any progress that patents allegedly promote. It's difficult to distinguish between a patent worthy idea and a non-patent worthy idea. If the patent system can not reasonably distinguish between a patent worthy idea and a non-patent worthy idea (and by reasonably, I also mean without spending a ton of resources doing so, because such a waste of resources is socially harmful and diverts resources away from innovation as well) then I say we abolish patents. Not every idea is patent worthy. For our patent system to simply assume that every idea is patent worthy is nonsense. Plenty of innovation has occurred, and will continue to occur just fine, without patents. We are better off without patents than with a system that can only poorly differentiate a patent worthy idea from a non-patent worthy idea. and we are certainly better off without patents than with a system that simply assumes that most (or all) (new) ideas are patent worthy.

    The fact that these lines are so difficult to draw, and require so many resources in doing so, is in fact a criticism against having patents. Remember, if someone wants a government established monopoly (a patent), the burden is on them to justify it. and if we can't reasonably and reasonably efficiently draw these lines and determine or measure the extent of social benefit or harm that patents are causing, then their burden of justifying the patent system has not been met. Such a lack of meeting that burden is grounds to abolish patents.

     

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  36.  
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    josh_m (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All good points, and I think the AIA is going to shrink what is patentable and make many of the patent troll claims harder to make.

    I am not saying that a statute should define every nuance, but that we often need some understanding of the nuances to practice every day. We need litigation to define the scope of patentability under the existing scheme in order to counsel meritorious inventors. If I have a client walk into my office with a device that resembles an mp3 player but has a cool new feature, I couldn't issue a patentability opinion if all I knew was that a patent must be "novel." I need the decades of case law that defines that word, and I need to apply that law to the prior art.

    What I am getting at is there will be holes in this statute, like any other, that will drastically affect legitimate business (ie not patent trolls) with the uncertainty that words bring. We need lawyers and lawsuits to figure out what those words mean, so a short-term uptick in the demand for patent lawyers should not be a surprise.

     

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  37.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    How is this all FUD? Explain it in detail, and debunk it. Remember, FUD has 'and' in it, not 'or.' Fear, Uncertainty AND Doubt. We all Doubt that these laws do the general public the least bit of good. You should start there.

     

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  38.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did you even look at the sponsors?

    I have other issues, such as "first to file" doctrine, rather than "First to prototype" doctrine being used,. but I'll need to read it fully before committing to stupidity...again. :)

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I fear that these laws will cause more public harm than good. I'm uncertain that any good will come from these laws. I doubt that any good will come from these laws.

     

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  40.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:53am

    Re:

    We spent two two-hour class periods in my patent law class going over several of the changes in the new patent law. And we were just scratching the surface. I'll bet dollars to donuts that you don't understand these changes that you are so sure "won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system." You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

    Heh. Why must you always make such bad assumptions?

    In the last couple months I've been involved in three separate full day events that actually involved looks at AIA and what it would mean. These events are popular in Silicon Valley law firms these days, and apparently -- contrary to your suggestions -- various patent attorneys have thought my views might be helpful. Hence the invites. I've had detailed conversations with patent lawyers all over Silicon Valley. I've read the act itself many times.

    The changes will have little to no impact on the problems of the system, because none of them address the actual problems of the system.

    Again, you really don't have a clue. Patent law isn't non-functioning because it's complicated. It's complicated because the subject matter is inherently complicated.

    You should read Bessen & Meurer. No offense, but I trust them over some kid in law school.

    Seeing as you seem to think in extremes and you abhor nuances, it's no wonder you don't like patent law. A complicated body of law received a bunch of substantive and procedural changes. Of course lawyers who grasp the changes are in need. Grow up.

    Again, a functioning change is one that decreases the need for lawyers, not increases it. One that increases the need for lawyers is a broken system, as it is increasing expense without increasing innovation. This is not an opinion, that is a fact.

    For those who prefer substance to our obnoxious law student's snotty attitude, you can check out Mark Lemley's analysis of the changes wrought by AIA here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1929044

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Re: As the saying goes...

    "If you can't pay your mortgage, become a litigator" is more like it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You really are one of the stupidest people that comments on this site. Your complete lack of critical thinking is almost comical.

    Unfortunately, most law schools actively work to convince their students that studying law is one of the highest pursuits of man. They delude you into thinking that lawyers are some of the most intelligent people in our society. Nothing could be further from the truth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    staff, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    right for once

    "New Patent Reform Law Already A Good Thing... For Patent Attorneys"

    and frequent large infringers, but only for patent attorneys in the short run. In the long run the system will collapse as inventors are switching to trade secrets.

    They should have called the bill the America STOPS Inventing Act or ASIA, because that’s where it is sending all our jobs.

    “This is not a patent reform bill” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) complained, despite other democrats praising the overhaul. “This is a big corporation patent giveaway that tramples on the right of small inventors.”

    "patent reform"

    Senator Cantwell is right. Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is. The agents of banks, huge multinationals, and China are at it again trying to brain wash and bankrupt America.

    The patent bill is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Who are the supporters of this bill working for??

    Patent reform is a fraud on America. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and killing their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. The bill will make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. Yet small entities create the lion's share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, “startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” This bill is a wholesale slaughter of US jobs. Those wishing to help fight this bill should contact us as below.

    Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors. Congress tinkering with patent law while gagging inventors is like a surgeon operating before examining the patient.

    Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html for a different/opposing view on patent reform.
    http://docs.piausa.org/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Is that a problem with the law? No."

    Yes. For imposing such high potential infringement penalties and for imposing such small penalties for frivolous lawsuits. For granting such bogus patents encouraging more lawsuits. The law can do a lot to limit frivolous lawsuits. It can abolish patents or it can substantially alleviate their scope. but it chooses not to. The problem is with the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: right for once

    "...China are at it again trying to brain wash and bankrupt America."

    Where is your tin foil hat? We're all somehow being brainwashed by China's mysterious brainwashing mechanisms that can only be resisted through the use of a tin foil hat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re:

    " none of them address the actual problems of the system."

    More like " none of them address what I see as the problems of the system.".

    Just because you say it (and a few of your anti-patent lawyer friends back you up) doesn't make it true. Opinion, a wonderful thing that we can all have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Just because you say it (and a few of your anti-patent lawyer friends back you up) doesn't make it true."

    If only this were the argument that is being made. But it's not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "... so a short-term uptick in the demand for patent lawyers should not be a surprise."

    I think part of the point is that frivolous patent lawsuits are already a huge problem. There is a lot the government can to do that will clearly and quickly make frivolous patent lawsuits far less attractive, both in the short term and in the long term. Yet it chooses not to and that should be of concern.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (frivolous patent lawsuits are so attractive exactly because we have a legal system that encourages them. That should be corrected and there are ways that could very easily discourage them, both in the short term and in the long term. The government chooses not to implement any of those ways).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    6, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " How many people do you know could look at a patent application with a claim including "the anhydrous Form IV crystalline modification of 1-(4-amino-6, 7-dimethoxy-2-quinazolinyl)-4-(2-tetrahydrofuroyl)piperzine hydrocloride" and make a colorable argument that it was patentable subject matter, novel, nonobvious, etc."

    Sht son, that's ez street. It's eligible because it is a composition of matter and presumptively there is some utility for it (just ask the inventor). It is novel and nonobvious because nobody has presented any evidence the contrary.

    I know you're feeling supar smart today youngen, and while the masses may be rtarded still some of their issues are meritorious regardless of their explanation of the issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    BeeAitch (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: The T-Word

    Snore. Why don't you explain why Mike (or any of us, for that matter) don't understand instead of just whining about an opinion you disagree with on a blog that you voluntarily visit and read?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    dwg, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: As the saying goes...

    If you can't think for yourself, tar and feather an entire profession. There, FTFY, fuckhole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    dwg, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: The T-Word

    Yeah, that's right. That's why Congress--the Act's authors--and the USPTO, who will implement it, can't agree on something as simple as Section 102(b). Mate, I don't care how smart you are or think you are--that's overcomplicated. We shouldn't have to wait to see how things like this fall out through litigation--legislation should be clear on its face...I know that's a tall order, and I know it would probably put you out of a job. Understandable that you'd argue it's fine as is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Patent reform

    Politicians? What do you expect? Most politicians are lawyers too, so why wouldn't they pass laws to give fellow lawyers more business? The whole system is corrupt.

    I made a prediction some years ago that the whole patent system would one day dissolve in a sea of uncontrolled litigation. It looks now like we're headed in that direction and well on the way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re:

    In the last couple months I've been involved in three separate full day events that actually involved looks at AIA and what it would mean. These events are popular in Silicon Valley law firms these days, and apparently -- contrary to your suggestions -- various patent attorneys have thought my views might be helpful. Hence the invites. I've had detailed conversations with patent lawyers all over Silicon Valley. I've read the act itself many times.

    Bully for you and the SV folks. Unfortunately, you've only spoken to a narrow field of patent attorneys, ones who may cater to a particular industry and therefore may not be the most objective judges of the AIA.

    Furthermore, just because you've read the AIA many times does not mean that you fully understand it. Your understanding of the subject can only be proven by demonstration (i.e., explaining what the AIA means). Bald assertions of understanding and appeals to conversations you've had with SV patent attorneys are not convincing.

    Again, a functioning change is one that decreases the need for lawyers, not increases it. One that increases the need for lawyers is a broken system, as it is increasing expense without increasing innovation. This is not an opinion, that is a fact.

    No, that's an opinion. You're making a value judgment, which is inherently based on one's beliefs and morals. A judgment of whether something is "better" can be based in facts, but it does not make the judgment a fact in and of itself. And just like any opinion, your opinion is subject to scrutiny and reasonable debate. Coloring your opinion as fact is the height of arrogance.

    For those who prefer substance to our obnoxious law student's snotty attitude, you can check out Mark Lemley's analysis of the changes wrought by AIA here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1929044

    You know what's interesting? Prof. Lemley cited 20 changes effected by the AIA, a number of which I would consider quite significant, and you still claim that the AIA "won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system". No?

    Assuming that you think fewer patents are better, you're telling me that the expansion of what is potentially prior art during prosecution "won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system"? You think that the changes regarding multi-defendant patent lawsuits "won't actually do much to improve our broken patent system"? Really?

    Perhaps if you would care to explain why, then you can really demonstrate how well you understand the AIA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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