USPTO Keeps Granting Patents At Record Rates: 6,000 Utility Patents Granted In A Single Week

from the throwing-sand-in-the-gears-of-innovation dept

With the latest attempt at patent reform stalling out a bit, it's worth looking at how the last attempt to reform patents to stop abuse, 2011's America Invents Act, has helped solve the problem of bogus patents. Oh, actually, it hasn't. As Patently-O notes, patenting has continued to shoot up at an insane pace, setting new records along the way. Does anyone actually believe that the US has really become that much more inventive in just the past few years, or can we reasonably assume that the USPTO is passing a ton of crappy patents, ensuring that patent trolling activities over bad patents continue for decades to come? The latest dubious "record" is the USPTO granting over 6,000 utility patents in a single week.
Because nothing says "innovation" like throwing over a quarter of a million monopolies into innovative markets every year. That's not helping innovation. It's throwing piles upon piles of sand into the gears of innovation.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 15th, 2014 @ 1:57pm

    6000 in a week? Man, that's just patently ridiculous.

     

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

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:11pm

    "Does anyone actually believe that the US has really become that much more inventive in just the past few years"

    This quote from the guy that tries to pepper all his arguments with the word "innovation".


    This site never fails to provide comic relief. It's like a parody except the people writing here seem to actually believe part of the BS they spew.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Perhaps you should attempt to understand the difference between "innovation" and "invention" so that you don't make a fool of yourself in public quite so readily in the future.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Yes, there does appear to be contradiction here.

     

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

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah AC, invention means original. To the tech world, innovation means stealing. Get w the program, bro.

     

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  6.  
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    SpaceLifeForm, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:21pm

    This is progress

    Soon there will be nothing in the universe left to patent.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Kronomex, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    "Man, that's patently ridiculous", I'm going to patent that and then trademark it, then register it, and after that copyright it. The power! The power! The trolling will make me rich beyond...

    Quick nurse, give him the sedagive!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, so you're not only illiterate and ignorant, but sexist? How very charming.

    I suggest that if you disapprove of the technology sector's innovations and inventions that you get off the Internet, toss your cellular telephone, unplug your television, and never get another CT or MRI scan.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Patents are not indicative of being innovative, just of growing protectionism.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:50pm

    Re: This is progress

    I patent the universe. That means everything is derivative of my patent and therefore I own everything.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: This is progress

    Oh my god!

     

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

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I suggest if you and your fellow tech blowhards disapprove of patents so much then you should transfer the patents for the above named items to me.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "To the tech world, innovation means stealing."

    First of all 'copying' is not stealing.

    Secondly, patents are stealing. Patents aren't a reward for being inventive (it's not like any of the patents are socially useful), patents are a way for lawyers and patent trolls to deprive others of their living by telling them that they can't do something without giving money to a parasite that did nothing to earn it. That's stealing.

    Patents are a form of dictatorship. The government is allowing private entities to tell others what they can't do. No thanks. Others, and especially the tech world composed of people a whole lot smarter than you, can come up with the same ideas all on their own and they can implement them without your help. No one needs you and I would rather live in a world where I am free to independently invent an idea and implement it and commercialize it than to live in a world where you get to tell me that I can't do something simply because you have a patent on it. If you don't like it keep your ideas to yourself because we don't need you.

    Where is the patent that tells me how to build my monitor? How to build my computer and the processor? How to build my phone? The companies making these devices have all sorts of patents yet none of them are any use to competitors whatsoever. They were all written by a bunch of lawyers with vague and ambiguous words that mean nothing useful to anyone. If anything patents prevent the release of technical manuals because some stupid lawyer in a patent trolling law firm might read one and find some infringing spec. Patents have turned into a minefield where anyone that does anything might end up infringing on something by mistake despite the fact that they didn't need the patent to come up with the idea.

    You're not entitled to the government granting you a patent and I want the government to stop granting patents. I know this won't be popular among undemocratic politicians that desire to pass laws in exchange for campaign contributions and revolving door favors but those politicians shouldn't be in office.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Patents are indicative of growing corruption and back door dealings.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your post is arguably the biggest reason I want patents abolished. Patents aren't about preventing your twisted definition of theft. No one is entitled to a monopoly privilege and there is nothing morally wrong with either independently inventing the same thing or even copying. Patents are supposed to be about promoting the progress of the sciences and useful arts. That you have misconstrued them into something different is reason they should go.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You're not entitled to the government granting you a patent and I want the government to stop granting patents."

    And I want the government to chauffeur you along to the funny farm; however despite my request no doubt being the more rational, neither of us are going to have our wish granted.

     

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  17.  
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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 4:42pm

    Efficient

    I am glad they have gotten Efficient at getting patents filed.

     

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  18.  
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    tracyanne, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 5:03pm

    USPTO

    That's one government agency that won't be listed in the GAO's report for bureaucratic inefficiency.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I know. The very thought that politicians will stop using undemocratic backdoor dealings with industry interests to pass more IP laws and expand them is ridiculous. IP extremists are the ones pushing for undemocraticly secret negotiations and they are the ones undemocraticly giving revolving door favors in return yet they are the ones taking the moral high ground. Right.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to define the terms, making clear the areas where they overlap and where they do not.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    An apparently thoughtful response. Unfortunately, it manifests a meager at best understanding of patents in general, patent law, and practice.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Useful arts relate to patents, whereas science relates to copyright. Yes, modern vernacular may suggest otherwise, but that would be a mistake.

    The advocacy of copying is indeed a very simplistic view. Nothing quite like watching someone else do the heavy lifting with labor and money, and then swooping to reap benefits of something in which a party has made zero investment.

     

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

  23.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How about actually correcting the comments, then? Just saying "you're wrong" is meaningless.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:40pm

    Just keep in mind that, if our current patent system was in force back then, the lightbulb would never have been invented, nor would television. Too much prior art.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 11:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What you just said? That's a repost of a rehash of a rejiggle. Be original or go home.

    Oh, wait...

    (and yes, I know I'm not being original.)

     

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

  26. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "No one is entitled to a monopoly"

    Agreed!

    So let's see MIke Masnick discuss Google's market share.

    And see him demand that Google release their patents into the public domain.








    Uh huh.











    Let's see that.






    Everybody wait for it.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 16th, 2014 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So let's see MIke Masnick discuss Google's market share.


    Ok. I worry that Google has too much power, though it does seem that there is growing competition in all important areas -- and little to no lock-in. Android is a little scarier than elsewhere since there's slightly more lock-in, and I wish that Google was much more open with Android.

    And see him demand that Google release their patents into the public domain.


    That one I wholly agree with. Google absolutely could help change the debate by announcing that it will not use its patents offensively. And, of course, I've said similar things in the past, contrary to your claims: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120209/18063117722/if-google-is-serious-about-reforming-patent-m ess-it-should-make-bold-statement-stop-using-motorola-patents-to-demand-cash.shtml

    I think Twitter's patent program (which lets engineers themselves block any legal actions by the company) is a good start but that companies could and should go much further: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120417/10324218529/twitters-revolutionary-agreement-lets-origina l-inventors-stop-patent-trolls.shtml

    Though, to be fair, Google has not launched *any* patent lawsuits against another company (it has only responded to inbound patent lawsuits with counterclaims). The one exception -- which I called the company out on -- was going to the ITC against Apple (though that was Motorola, really, and Apple was already suing over Android anyway): http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120820/02045620096/google-launches-patent-attack-apple-disappoint ing-first-company.shtml

    Google did recently make a promise not to use patents to sue open source efforts, but I actually criticized the company directly for not going nearly far enough (and, even arguing that the statement suggested a greater proclivity to sue others): http://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20130328/11323422494/google-promises-not-to-launch- patent-lawsuits-against-open-source-software-could-go-much-further.shtml

    But, yes, I think Google could make a big statement by officially stating that it will not use patents offensively, and I'm disappointed the company has not done so.

    Uh huh.


    Okay.

    Let's see that.


    All for it.

    Everybody wait for it.


    Didn't have to wait long.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wanting someone arrested and committed to a mental facility, for having a different opinion?

    And your request is supposed to be rational?

    Go choke on a CD.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And how exactly would that reaping be done without doing some heavy lifting and spending money?

    The only way that your scenario would work is if you were to somehow persuade the inventor or creator to sign over the patent or copyright to a corporation, or something. Wait...

    ...that's the thing we're complaining about.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 6:13am

    Re:

    Whut? Prior art has never prevented ANYTHING from being invented. Innovated and improved on, perhaps, but not invented.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re:

    Derp!

    Sorry, prior art has never prevented anything from being invented, innovated or improved on.

    The patent system does prevent innovation and improvement without a license, which nobody is obliged to grant.

    Sorry.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First of all no company is required to do any heavy lifting. If you are so worried about being copied then don't do anything. Others will invent and innovate without you.

    Secondly patent trolls do no heavy lifting. They acquire patents and steal from the innovators that do all the heavy lifting.

    Thirdly coming up with ideas is not heavy lifting. Anyone can sit around and come up with ideas all day. Implementation is heavy lifting. Patents are a form of watching someone else do the heavy lifting of innovating and swooping in and stealing their profits.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 8:02am

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

    I find it hilarious that even after all the times you've called out google on their BS (the employee no poaching agreement comes to mind) that anti techdirt trolls still claim you tow the google party line

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Kronomex, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 4:37pm

    Pure and simply put: it's all about the money and control.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2014 @ 5:14am

    This post has a misleading statement

    The post asks whether America has suddenly become more inventive. The answer is that more than half of all patent applications are from foreign entities, virtually all of which produce actual products. The question then becomes, has the world become more inventive? The answer is yes. The rates of invention AND innovation continue to climb at an exponential rate according to multiple studies, even in the face of crushing lawsuits by patent trolls that has apparently (according to some) halted any invention or innovation in some fields.

     

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


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