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June 19, 2008

Examine This

While Jon Dudas, head of the USPTO, blames idiot inventors with their bad ideas and pathetic prosecutors pushing punk paper as the cause of the pendency problem, head of the European Patent Office Alison Brimelow blames the European Patent Office. How refreshing. "I am worried. You cannot pretend the patent system is maintaining its integrity if you are looking at global backlogs."

Brimelow said that running the Euro patent gauntlet should take 36 months, but often dragged on for four to five years, and some took over a decade.

Brimelow -

I note that people I talk to in the business of seeking patents are increasingly happy to speculate on whether the time has come for mutual recognition, a patent examined in one major institution should be recognised by another.

Brimlow notes that saying no to change is much easier. Americans have a serious not-invented-here kneejerk reaction to international harmonization. "In the end political disagreement are real disagreements and in the end you may have to live with the consequences of not agreeing," Brimelow bemoaned.

Source (worth reading): BBC.

Posted by Patent Hawk at June 19, 2008 11:44 PM | International

Comments

Bull to "Americans have a serious not-invented-here kneejerk reaction to international harmonization.".

Last time I checked, the laws of EPC, Japan et al. differ from the US. That is because each nation ought to set its own national policy on IP and innovation. And (at least until recently perhaps, with all of the harmonization kumbayah) does so.

Asserting changes in this policy merely to reduce an implementing agency's metric is bureaucracy run wild. All too typical -- rather than the agency improving its productivity, it cries for a change in the underlying policy that it is supposed to implement.

Nope. Opposition to such harmonization is not "knee-jerk not-invented-here". It is sovereignty, and liberty.


Posted by: pikkumatti at June 20, 2008 6:18 AM

pikkumatti:

"Opposition to such harmonization is not "knee-jerk not-invented-here". It is sovereignty, and liberty."

Thanks for the comment, precisely proving my point.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at June 20, 2008 9:50 AM

"Opposition to such harmonization is not "knee-jerk not-invented-here". It is sovereignty, and liberty."

I could not have said it better.

Wonder if Europe will adopt our freedom of speech?

Posted by: can't find my flag pin at June 21, 2008 9:32 AM

Hmm, I didn't see her "blaming" the EPO, I saw her saying that there were serious issues (probably including "idit inventors and stupd prosecutors") and that the issues need a solution. One proposal is the recognition of one office's determination around the world.

I hate to be confrontational with you lawyer types, I understand you really do mean well, but give me a fin break, it's hard to mischaracterize what she said into blaming the EPO.

Posted by: e6k at June 21, 2008 3:52 PM

I'm with 6K. Just take what she said at face value, can't you? Many in the USA perceive its national interest to lie in deliberately NOT harmonising with ROW, just like many in England perceive its national interest to lie in NOT joining Europe. It's one view, I admit, but whether it makes any sense is another matter. Attention Americans, it is a delusion to suppose that there is a different patent law model for every country. ROW is standardising on the EPC model, being the fusion of English common law and German civil law, the same German law that Japan and China adopted. If you want to remain exceptional, that's your sovereign choice of course, as Brimelow would be the first to agree. BTW Hawk, how do you get to "bemoaned"? Wishful thinking perhaps?

Posted by: MaxDrei at June 22, 2008 12:23 PM

Politicians often phrase themselves in a way that necessitates reading between the lines. Some refer to that as being diplomatic. "Between the lines" appears to go over the heads of those not inclined to nuance.

Here is, in my opinion, a boring rewrite of this entry -

Ms. Brimelow admitted that the EPO has a pendency problem. In contrast Jon Dudas at the USPTO, who points the finger elsewhere, namely poor quality applications, Ms. Brimlow places responsibility where it belongs: at the patent offices. Her suggestion is that international harmonization would help pendency through coordinated examination. But Ms. Brimelow bemoaned (for your benefit, Max: “bemoan” is a 12th century word meaning: “regard with displeasure, disapproval, or regret”) that the prospect for international harmonization was not sanguine owing to parochial political interests, and that the failure to harmonize would have consequences, i.e., make it harder to solve the pendency problem.

Thanks for reading the Patent Prospector.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at June 22, 2008 3:35 PM

"Ms. Brimelow admitted that the EPO has a pendency problem. In contrast Jon Dudas at the USPTO, who points the finger elsewhere, namely poor quality applications, Ms. Brimlow places responsibility where it belongs: at the patent offices."

Um, she never placed any responsibility for the pendency, she said that the office has a problem with it. You're reading stuff into things that aren't even close to being there. Guys like you are the ones I can take an easy 112 1st on your final for the easy street RCE. Our thanks though, you help keep the production system viable.

You're right about bemoaned, but that's as far as your "interpretation" goes as to being the truth of what was said. I wager a quick call to her office would likely settle the dispute. "Hello, who's to blame for the long pendencies?" "Applicants, but we're trying to pick up after them as best we can since that's our job." And strangely that's the same thing you get from the PTO. Keep in mind placing the blame on you and yours doesn't change the fact that there is a problem. Nobody much cares that patent submission quality might go up and down over time, the only thing the office is concerned about is the problems that result therefrom, a backlog. We can write OA's for poor submissions all day long forever and never care one bit until the line starts to stretch around the block and you're still wasting our time.

Go to a DMV in DC when they're busy, you'll get much worse service than the office will ever give you, and they will not coddle you half as much.

Posted by: e6k at June 22, 2008 5:58 PM

Hawk, the EPO has had "pendency problems" for years. Not all of it is the fault of Applicants: they don't make the Rules, they just exploit them. The EPO record over the last ten years is of successfully attacking pendency. Frankly, given the constraints about which the EPO President can do nothing at all namely 1) national interests on the AC and 2) the independence of DG3, I think the EPO record is outstandingly good. When you know what "AC" and "DG3" are, we can debate. And thanks for helping me out on "bemoan" (although I did have an inkling of its meaning you know). Brimelow doesn't do "bemoan" though. She's definitely not a bemoaning sort of person. Wait till you meet her.

Posted by: MaxDrei at June 22, 2008 10:45 PM

"And strangely that's the same thing you get from the PTO."

Not that strange, really. Did you honestly expect the current bunch of incompetent management lifers and political appointee hacks were going to acknowledge that their total disregard for the law is 100% the cause of the backlog and pendency problems?

I see that the commissioner got a 14% bonus last year. That's too funny. He pushes a rules package that wastes millions, if not billions, and then gets shot down completely after a two hour hearing, and he gets a bonus.

Where else but the PTO? The last refuge of incompetent, law breaking scoundrels.

Posted by: JD at June 24, 2008 6:49 AM

"He pushes a rules package that wastes millions, if not billions, and then gets shot down completely after a two hour hearing, and he gets a bonus."

JD if the rules were counter to controlling law, as the DC holds, then it was up to Dudas's advisors to help him out on that determination. I don't believe the guy even has a law degree does he? Even so, we know he didn't specialize in patents throughout his career. You're placing the blame at his feet for not realizing something that, even if true, which it isn't, would hardly be known to anyone other than a lawyer.

Posted by: e6k at June 24, 2008 6:19 PM

"JD if the rules were counter to controlling law, as the DC holds, then it was up to Dudas's advisors to help him out on that determination. I don't believe the guy even has a law degree does he? Even so, we know he didn't specialize in patents throughout his career. You're placing the blame at his feet for not realizing something that, even if true, which it isn't, would hardly be known to anyone other than a lawyer."

You can't be this ignorant, can you? You continue to amaze.

The PTO received HUNDREDS of comments from practitioners, i.e. lawyers, a.k.a. people who know the law, and they unanimously stated that the proposed rules were contrary to law. And they provided the analysis to prove it.

Mr. Dudas does have a law degree. He should have actually used it when the deluge of comments came in.


"even if true, which it isn't"

I can only assuming you're being your annoyingly coy self on this one. Like I said, hundreds of practitioners looked at the proposed rules and concluded they were contrary to the law. J. Cacheris agreed with them. And the Fed. Cir. will too. You'll have to forgive those of us who've actually studied and practiced the law if we disagree with somebody whose entire legal training consists of a year and a half of patent examining.

Your comments clearly show how ignorant you are.

I advised you to get out as soon as you can because if you stay too much longer, your brain will literally be a calcified lump sitting between your ears.

Time is very clearly running out for you.

Better hurry.

Posted by: JD at June 25, 2008 5:04 AM