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March 5, 2009

Qualifications

Roberta Morris of Stanford Law School has prepared a mock application form for Director of the USPTO. It's nicely done, and misses the large point. Whatever checkboxes of experiential minutiae a Director candidate may claim, the challenge is conceptual, and managerial. Does a candidate really understand what the patent office is supposed to do - namely, carefully inspect applications, so as to grant based upon merit, within the boundaries defined by statute and case law? Not treat patents as a political hot potato, as Dudas did. And does the candidate have a sense of resource, rule, and people management, to optimize productivity while not succumbing to production-line mentality? All the experience in the world won't clue someone conceptually clueless, and a relative patent greenhorn with the right headset might do just fine.

Posted by Patent Hawk at March 5, 2009 9:53 PM | The Patent Office

Comments

You know what I think would be hilarious? If Q Todd came back for round two and the rejection rates and quality numbers stayed exactly the same. Let's not even mention attorneys still btching about this and that.

Posted by: 6000 at March 6, 2009 2:01 PM

If memory serves correct, the "Customer is always right!" attitude was quite en vogue during the late 1990s... and it caused a high allowance rate and that brought with it many problems of its own.

The truth is that patent application quality has not changed appreciably in the last 10 years, only the PTO response to patent applications has.

But each PTO response (The Customer is always right! or Reject! Reject! Reject!) has just been a different way for the PTO to avoid having to do proper examination.

Perhaps these are mere indicators that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people is perishing from the earth.

A little free advice, 6000: before you blame attorneys for all the ills in the world, be getting your own house in order (there's certainly enough blame to go around) - many aspects of the government are becoming non-functional and non-responsive to the portion of the population they should be serving* (though still beckoning to the call of big business for personal gain.)

*Yes, I've heard the meme that the PTO now serves the non-patenting public by issuing less patents. And NASA is serving the Florida Citrus Growers Association by launching fewer, more expensive rockets. And Medicaid now serves the interests of the healthy 25 year olds because they've let elderly health care get completely out of control.

It's the new deal: government serving the secondary market because it failed to perform properly its primary function.

Let's hope that patriots rise up, or this country is going down....

Posted by: Director at March 7, 2009 5:43 PM

"Let's hope that patriots rise up, or this country is going down.... "

I agree with you there. But did you realize that rising up will either entail 1. years and years of properly electing officials (never going to happen, majority rule by stupid willfully ignorant people ensures this, intelligent party bosses ftw every single time) or 2. bloodshed (not going to happen until it gets worse)? Are you willing to spill your blood for this nation again? You'll be fighting with whatever weapons you can arm yourself with against the most powerful military in the world. Although, god can only hope that that military realizes that the people are who it is beholdin' to and not their gov. officials when a sufficient portion of the people rise up.


If you are a prosecutor, are you willing to live with the exorbinant examination costs and long waiting times when the system finally settles down to where the gov does a "decent" examination on the technically complex applications of today? How about the likely restrictions on subject matter that can be patented under 101? Are you ready to accept that we likely would not have a completely democratic gov when the dust settled?

Personally I'm not willing to go the bloodshed route. I see that there is opportunity for the right person to effectively take over the gov. politically long enough to change it enough to where it can restore itself without the majority interfering. But who? And how would we recover? Would we recover? Risky...

Isn't it sad that the state of affairs our gov finds itself in is a direct result of majority rule happening for long enough to essentially override enough of the core principles put into place initially to have essentially turned them backwards? Don't look at the history of the IRS or the DMV and the principles leading to their introduction or you might just end up beating your head against the wall.

Posted by: 6000 at March 8, 2009 2:00 AM

Excellent Description, Mr. PatentHawk:

"Does a candidate really understand what the patent office is supposed to do - namely, carefully inspect applications, so as to grant based upon merit, within the boundaries defined by statute and case law? Not treat patents as a political hot potato, as Dudas did. And does the candidate have a sense of resource, rule, and people management, to optimize productivity while not succumbing to production-line mentality? All the experience in the world won't clue someone conceptually clueless, and a relative patent greenhorn with the right headset might do just fine."

Posted by: Patent prosecutor at March 28, 2009 11:08 PM