« Not Rusty | Main | Patent Tax »

December 3, 2007


Patent rube Viet D. Dinh in the right-wing American Spectator sucks corporate fumes for air as he goes gung ho for the sorriest patent legislation since 1793.

An example of the litigation abuse engendered by the current system is the rise of "patent trolls," speculators who acquire and sue bona fide patentees but neither contribute to or otherwise expand the marketplace of ideas nor increase or improve consumers' choices. These speculators profit at the direct expense of consumers and risk-taking inventors and investors.

Wrong. Many inventors must rely upon patent enforcement firms, as they do not have the resources to practice their inventions, and infringing corporations more often than not refuse to negotiate patent licenses, relying upon their overwhelming financial resources to crush inventors in legal costs. Besides, patents are a commodity (that's why they are called "intellectual property"), subject to free trade; only a fascist would want it otherwise.


The under-funded and over-extended United States Patent and Trademark Office does not have the resources to adequately evaluate the burgeoning number of applications, and too many low quality patents are being issued as a result.

Not true, and a non sequitur. The USPTO has plenty of money, but an abomination for management, so attrition is atrocious. Tossing the nincompoops from the PTO begins to solve that problem; no legislation required; just a change to competency in the White House. As it is, bowing to political pressure, the patent allowance rate has dropped precipitously as a result. The non sequitur is that resources have no relationship to allowance rate.


In particular, the Act will protect inventors' property rights and encourage innovation by providing a meaningful administrative review process to clarify the scope and validity of patents, and the Act will clarify and modernize the damages rules, thereby eliminating the perverse incentives that foster litigation.

There is already an adequate reexamination procedure. Apportionment of damages has already been shown an abysmal nightmare; the White House, and Chief Judge Michel of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals have been outspokenly adamant against the proposed damages apportionment.

Dinh is a hack for the Coalition for Patent Fairness, corporations hell-bent on gutting patent enforcement because patents to them are more trouble than they are worth.

The Patent Act of 1793 was a statutory miss, granting patents without examination for novelty, that lasted until 1836. Patent law history links: Ladas & Parry; Alternative Law Forum; Jason O. Watson; About.com.

Posted by Patent Hawk at December 3, 2007 12:27 PM | The Patent System


Isn't this the same Bushie Viet Dinh that out neo-conned the neo-cons, and was responsible for the worst parts of the Patriot Act?

That's all we need...another polemic patent "expert" that wouldn't know a 102 rejection if it bit him in the butt.

Posted by: BabelBoy at December 3, 2007 4:27 PM

From a reader who preferred to remain anonymous -
Comments on Viet Dinh from a 2002 article:

"Part law school professor, part political pit bull, Dinh has navigated seamlessly between the worlds of Ivory Tower academia and sharp-elbowed Washington politics to leave his imprint on a wide array of policy decisions."

"Dinh was the chief architect of the USA Patriot Act, the legislation approved by Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that gives law enforcement agencies vastly expanded powers to track terror suspects. He has been the official responsible for crafting a series of anti-terrorism initiatives that would, among other things, require the fingerprinting of potentially tens of thousands of visiting foreigners from Middle East countries and would put foreign students on a much tighter leash. He revamped the law enforcement guidelines that Ashcroft announced in May to give FBI agents new powers to snoop in mosques and surf the Internet."

"Democrats on Capitol Hill have publicly chastised Dinh for disregarding the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. An irritated former Secretary of State Warren Christopher challenged him at a law conference last summer by suggesting that the administration's refusal to identify terrorist detainees reminded him of Argentina's notorious practice of simply making prisoners "disappear." "

"Too brilliant, some of his Democratic detractors on Capitol Hill say. While demanding anonymity because of frayed relations with Ashcroft's office, several Democratic officials describe Dinh in terms such as "rawly political," and have even coined a derisive nickname to describe his aggressive politicking: "Viet Spin." "

Quote from Dinh: "“The only thing I have are ideas. I have half-baked ideas, I have quarter-baked ideas, and I have fully baked ideas. And then I have this little file,” he recalled saying. “It’s the crazy-ideas file.” "

Other observations:
-his real name (minus a few accents) is "Dinh Dong Phong Viet" ("Ding dong" says it all!)
-he is on the board of News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch), owner of Fox News.
-he worked on the Clinton impeachment team
-he wrote a brief in favor of Bush in Bush v. Gore
-he was Assistant US Attorney, confirmed by a Senate vote of 96-to-1 under John Ashcroft (only H. Clinton voting nay)
-After law school (Harvard), he clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman, a Reagan appointee, whose alumni network of mostly conservative lawyers form a tight clique. The next year, he clerked for Sandra Day O’Connor.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at December 3, 2007 4:49 PM