Patents

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
andrew schroeder, east texas, uspto



IP Attorney Responds To Patent Application Rejection By Filing Ranting, Ad Hom 'Remarks'

from the should-try-to-patent-a-scotch-that-isn't-also-a-whiskey dept

There's a lot of anger directed at the US Patent Office, but it mainly originates with people frustrated by the office's "rubber stamp" approval process that has littered the road to success with hundreds of trolling speedbumps, each one waving a stack of overly broad patents and demanding that actual innovators hand over enough cash to cover the rent on their empty East Texas offices.

Patently O has uncovered some anger directed at the USPTO, this time coming from the opposite direction. After a client's application for a telescoping sprinkler was rejected for not being anything the patent office hadn't seen before, patent attorney Andrew Schroeder fired off an apoplectic set of "remarks" to the patent examiner. It starts by suggesting the examiner has a drinking problem and then sinks even lower. Way lower.

REMARKS: Are you drunk? No, seriously…are you drinking scotch and whiskey with a side of crack cocaine while you "examine" patent applications? (Heavy emphasis on the quotes.) Do you just mail merge rejection letters from your home? Is that what taxpayers are getting in exchange for your services? Have you even read the patent application? I'm curious. Because you either haven't read the patent application or are… (I don't want to say the "R" word) "Special."
Andrew Schroeder is too genteel to actually use the word "retarded," but that doesn't stop him from throwing around a bunch of synonymous phrases.
So, tell me something Corky…what would it take for a patent application to be approved? Do we have to write patent applications in crayon? Does a patent application have to come with some sort of pop-up book? Do you have to be a family member or some big law firm who incentivizes you with some other special deal? What does it take Corky?

Perhaps you might want to take your job seriously and actually give a sh.t! What's the point in having to deal with you Special Olympics rejects when we should just go straight to Appeals? While you idiots sit around in bathtubs farting and picking your noses, you should know that there are people out here who actually give a sh.t about their careers, their work, and their dreams.
The USPTO briefly posted these "remarks" before taking them down (and there's more of this spectacular rant at Patently O). As for the patent in question (posted below), the patent reviewer found the tripod sprinkler wasn't anything special, citing U.S. Patent No. 2,694,600, Patent No. 4,824,020 and Patent No. 5,484,154.

Apparently, attorney Andrew Schroeder sent another set of "remarks" to the examiner who rejected this patent application. Oddly enough, it was the same examiner who rejected the sprinkler: Alexander Valvis. This unlucky lightning rod/government employee lists seven patents in this rejection. These remarks have also been removed by the USPTO, somewhat limiting Schroeder's infamy.

Clients hiring Schroeder to assist them in filing patent applications may be surprised to learn that "antagonizing the USPTO" is one of the bonus services the attorney provides. It's certainly not included in the long list of services on his fee page. (It does, however, list an intriguing option called "Office Action," which is available in 2 or 3-hour sessions [$500-$750].) Schroeder's offerings cover a whole range of IP-related services, many of which are thoroughly "explained" by pages that appear to be still under construction. (Click on the "IP Piracy" page to watch a not-yet-uploaded video futilely attempt to buffer itself into existence and marvel as the attorney's phone number [the only text on the page] tells you all you need to know about how "IP Law Stops IP Theft.")

At the end of the day, it appears that patent examiners just can't catch a break, especially if that patent examiner is Alexander Valvis, bane of Andrew Schroeder's existence and destroyer of dreams.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 10:52am

    that is one angry lawyer. Perhaps he bills extra once patents get approved? meh.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 10:56am

      Re:

      Or maybe he guarantees a patent or your money back.

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

    • identicon
      Overtime Shill, 1 May 2013 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      All these innovative lawyers bring forth all sorts of technological advancements and great ideas to the world through their patent trolling organizations and no one appreciates them. Without lawyers and the great ideas and advancements they come up with and use patents to tell everyone about them we would all still be in the stone age. But instead of telling them thank you for their great ideas everyone criticizes them. Sheesh!!!!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      Perhaps he bills extra for the "Office Action" unless the patent gets approved...


      FTFY?

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

  • icon
    Beta (profile), 1 May 2013 @ 10:55am

    remarks

    Does Mr. Valvis have an address for fan mail?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 10:57am

    would that lawyer be infringing some copyright?

    because it reminds me of the monty python's argument sketch:
    "Oh, you came here for an argument you must be in room 2b, this is 'abuse'."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 10:58am

    would that lawyer be infringing some copyright?

    because it reminds me of the monty python's argument sketch:
    "Oh, you came here for an argument you must be in room 2b, this is 'abuse'."

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

  • identicon
    RD, 1 May 2013 @ 11:04am

    Good

    This is what you get from the massive entitlement mentality of "Intellectual Property." Whining babies like OOTB who scream "theft!" and "murder!" (and yes, ootb, you DID, in fact, equate copyright infringement to murder) while lining their pockets at the expense of everyone else. Disgusting.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Good

      "Whining babies like OOTB who scream "theft!" and "murder!" (and yes, ootb, you DID, in fact, equate copyright infringement to murder) while lining their pockets at the expense of everyone else."

      You know, we've never seen Out_of_the_Blue and Andrew Schroeder in a room at the same time...

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

  • identicon
    Overtime Shill, 1 May 2013 @ 11:08am

    The idea maybe obvious now but it wasn't obvious before. Poor patent attorney, how is he supposed to get legitimate patents approved when the test for obviousness is done in retrospect?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 2:50pm

      Re:

      The rejection was for prior art, and a good attorney should have found it before submitting the patent.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re:

        But he is not a good attorney now is he, else he wouldn't be connection a patent rejection with his career, work and dreams, which probably means he view a rejection as a threat to the promises he made elsewhere that he could get the job done.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 6:29pm

        Re: Re:

        u musta failed at sarcasm

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

      • identicon
        Goober, 2 May 2013 @ 4:32pm

        Re: Re:

        BS. You can cram the thing with prior art references and the Examiner will always come up with more. If you aren't a patent attorney, then don't make statements that show how clueless and stupid you are.

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

  • identicon
    gnudist, 1 May 2013 @ 11:09am

    Ip law doesn't "stop IP theft" for the simple reason IP is a fiction maintained by said law.

    It's a solution to a "problem" that is brought into existance by the "solution"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 11:15am

    Well, eventually Prenda's gotta run out of gas, and someone has to take their place of "honor".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 11:25am

    "So, tell me something Corky…"

    Son of a bitch you made me spit my soda lmfao.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 11:33am

    so now you are giving us examples of how the patent office works and how the patent office DOES NOT just 'rubber stamp' patents, and how they actually do look at prior art, and prior patent's in a reasoned and thought out decision process !!!

    WTG, patent office.

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

    • identicon
      Glen, 1 May 2013 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      Even a dead clock gets the time right twice a day.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 8:34pm

        Re: Re:

        a stopped clock yes, a dead clock no.. no such thing as a dead clock.. show me a live clock..

        this is not even close to the example of using a stopped clock, the clock was doing it's job, and showing the right time, the lawyer just did not agree that, that was the actual time.

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

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 1 May 2013 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      When the bar is that low, I'm glad that the Patent Office can manage not to trip over it.

      Let's remember, this guy was looking for a patent on a lawn sprinkler. A few pieces of plastic or metal to connect to a hose so you can spray a wide area with water - something that has been done for as long as there has been water running through pipes. A patent from 60 years ago is nearly identical to what he was trying to patent.

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

      • icon
        Berenerd (profile), 1 May 2013 @ 12:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Not only that but ones that match the kind we have here at my office's sprinkler system on it's lawn.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 2:21pm

        Re: Re:

        Still it makes one wonder, why they accept patents for baked cakes and not sprinklers?

        The thing that caught my attention on this though was the:

        While you idiots sit around in bathtubs farting and picking your noses, you should know that there are people out here who actually give a sh.t about their careers, their work, and their dreams.


        That seems to me he made some promises to his client and a rejection shows he can't keep up those promises. If a rejection puts his career, work and dreams at risk, either he is the re-inventor of the sprinkler there or most probably he was hired on his word about his ability to get things moving, he probably charged low and made gran promises of how easy it would be to get it approved and gets angry when things don't go his way.

        Morons who make promises that they can't keep are a real problem anywhere specially when they feel they are entitled to the outcome.

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

    • identicon
      aerilus, 1 May 2013 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      i think you are missing the fact that it is a sprinkler on a stick. personally I am just hoping that the lawyer is secretly trolling them as some sort of bet to see who can get the most asinine thing patented

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

  • identicon
    Goober, 1 May 2013 @ 11:59am

    Office Action

    What's so intriguing about Office Action? The patent office rejects a patent by sending an Office Action and the attorney responds by sending an Office Action response. Happens in almost every single patent case many times throughout its pendency. Big deal.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 6:05pm

      Re: Office Action

      $500 - $750 a pop that's what's so damn intriguing about office action

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 8:29pm

      Re: Office Action

      come on you don't expect the authors or "mick the nick" to actually KNOW about the patent application process do you...

      Mick the Nick cannot even demonstrate what a patent IS !!!

      and his knowledge of patents far outstrips his knowledge of the law, or technology.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 12:34pm

    Has that lawyer never heard of re-inventing the wheel. It happens all the time because people do not know everything that has been invented.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 12:46pm

    If the author doesn't know what an Office Action is, he shouldn't be covering any patent stories.

    - Patent Attorney

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

    • icon
      Berenerd (profile), 1 May 2013 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      Comment-ers who don't know how to make constructive comments shouldn't be commenting.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re:

        Between commenter and author, only one of us is being paid to provide information.

        A more informed writer on this topic might have understood that:

        1) The attorney was only saying publicly what most patent attorneys say privately - though not in the same terms. The Patent Office, with its rising fees and declining quality, can be very frustrating.
        2) We don't need to put "remarks" in quotations - that's their official name. It wasn't a tongue-in-cheek heading selected by the attorney.
        3) Citing 7 references isn't weird, so we don't need to emphasize it.
        3a) Examiners are supposed to only use their best references and not be duplicative. So a higher number usually means the Examiner doesn't have very good references.
        4) Responding to "Office Actions" is at the heart of what every patent prosecutor does.
        5) Almost all patent applications are available for public inspection, so the default is to make these kinds of documents available through PAIR. I think saying the PTO "posted these 'remarks'" might confuse people into thinking the PTO specially made the documents available. Papers are "posted" as soon as they are electronically filed.

        Whether we're talking about rubber-stamped approvals, or rubber-stamped rejections (like this attorney), the problem is the same: poor quality examination. The victims may be different. In this case, it's the inventors who suffer - the prosecution process drags on, gets expensive, and ultimately produces a patent with less value because it has been unnecessarily narrowed.

        Having represented both Fortune 100 companies and solo inventors, I can say that the problems are uniformly distributed. The Examiner you get is more or less randomly selected. They can be 22 year-olds with a BS in the wrong field and no industry experience looking at my application that is based on PhD-level research, or they can be intelligent with the technology but be a rookie Examiner or struggle with English. Of course, there are some good ones too.

        Setting the staffing problems aside, the incentives are all wrong at the PTO. Examiners need to make quotas under some twisted point system, so watch them at the end of a quarter suddenly get generous with allowances.

        I think if the general public were interfacing with the PTO the way, and in the numbers, that people interface with say, the IRS, SSA, etc., we'd see more of this outrage. In the current system, I just hear the outrage from clients and translate that into respectfully written arguments. And that's how most of us operate - except for the sorority presidents that are practicing patent law.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 1:38pm

      Re:

      Wow, so you shouldn't talk about anything outside of law then, should you?

      Move along then.. you don't know anything about blogging, so don't comment about it, as you aren't a blogger.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Hilarious. A guy just commented:

        This guy sounds hurt in the butt.


        Now there's a person who gets blogging!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Wow, so you shouldn't talk about anything outside of law then, should you?

        No, but he clearly couldn't be bothered to spend 10 seconds looking up what an Office Action is before attempting to make fun of it.

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=patent+office+action&l=1

        Tim thought he was making a joke, but the joke's on him since he comes across as a clueless noob writing about issues of which he has no grasp.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 7:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_action

          Don't know what you are rambling about, but I disagree Mr. Cushing did a good job in bringing to light some facts that saw somewhere in his own words and put forth some of his opinions without the legalese language customary to attorneys speaking to each other.

          If I call a sphere a ball, it is still a sphere.
          Maybe your forgot common English and can't understand it, or most probably you find it offensive for some narcissistic reason either way, what I take from your comment is that something bugged you and you are angry and want to strike back at him using lame reasoning to do it along the way.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 8:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "comes across as a clueless noob writing about issues of which he has no grasp."

          yes, if you replace 'comes across as' with IS

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 4:24pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 1st, 2013 @ 12:46pm

      He really is extremely unqualified to write about these things. Just thought it was a funny piece.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 8:47pm

      Re:

      we all know Masnick does not have a glue about patents, technology, IP, copyright or 'laws'.

      Apart from a handful of cult like followers most people come here to read what stupid and crazy things he is going to come out with next.

      if you have read his posts over the years, it is clear he has never even bothered to look into the process's involved in taking out a patent application.

      He does not WANT to know, or, not capable of knowing, one of the other.

      he is either wilfully stupid, or just stupid, I tend to lean toward the later.

      Mansick still believe it is the result or goal that you patent, and that patents have nothing to do with the description of a METHOD to achieve a certain outcome.

      He thinks it's the outcome of the patent that is patented, not the method used to achieve said outcome.

      he believes that everything that appears 'obvious' once you hear about it, must have been equally obvious before you knew about it, he thinks Watts steam engine patent should have stopped for the duration of the patent the development of patenting ANY device able to produce motive power.

      'you got a patent on an aspect of a steam engine, so you cannot patent a jet engine or an electric engine' kind of thing.

      it's amusing, because he just puts this crap out, and if anyone questions him, (enough) he will launch into Ad Hom attacks, but will never recant or admit his almost total ignorance.

      I wonder what else his cult followers would 'swallow' from Masnick if given the chance, but I try to keep that mental picture out of my head !!!!

      but it is amusing sometimes.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2013 @ 12:24am

        Re: Re:

        So you have a glue, then, Mr. "Pure it in"? Yeah, and we all know where your glue comes from - it's the earwax filling the cavity where your brain should've been!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2013 @ 12:26am

        Re: Re:

        Oh, tell us more about what you believe and think Masnick believes and thinks.

        Why do you suppose what Masnick says is contradictory to what you say Masnick believes and thinks, is he trying to deceive you?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2013 @ 12:55am

      Re:

      I pictured it as a brick through a window

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 1:35pm

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 1:42pm

    This guy sounds hurt in the butt.

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

  • identicon
    USPTO, 1 May 2013 @ 2:46pm

    response letter

    So, tell me something Corky…what would it take for a patent application to be approved? Do we have to write patent applications in crayon?

    yes...in red...like your ass would be if you had the balls the say this in public.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 3:42pm

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2013 @ 6:12pm

    Butt hurt but obviously not the same guy as he didn't cuss and make any derogatory comments about Tim being 'special," just unqualified. Also seems to be using a VPN and liberally changing up his locale.

    All I can say is butt attorney is butt hurt.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 2 May 2013 @ 3:44am

    He can kiss his career as a IP-lawyer a good-bye at least in the patent field. I can see the target at USPTO getting pissed and spreading the info so any patent this lawyer is involved is rejected. Not beautiful, not right but it can happen. It's a very bad thing to get on the bad side of anyone in charge of judging what you are trying to defend...

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

  • identicon
    Sarah, 28 Aug 2014 @ 12:47pm

    Well that situation escalated quickly...Unfortunately that response really isn't going to get him anywhere with the patent. Thanks for sharing!

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


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