Print 17 comment(s) - last by BugblatterIII.. on Nov 28 at 8:52 AM

According to the former IBM consul, the patent system has never been healthier

Amid increasingly noisy criticism about questionable patents (see: Apple, Inc. (AAPLpatents animating turning pages) and criticism from veteran judges regarded as some of the nation's foremost intellectual property experts, the head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is firing back.

David Kappos, who has served as USPTO Director for the past several years, delivered a pointed speech a week ago entitled "An Examination of Software Patents" in which he argues that software patents are perfectly valid and comments, "[Critics should] move beyond the flippant rhetoric and instead engage in substantive discussion."

He said in the speech that rather than proof of a broken system, the deluge of smartphone patent lawsuits is a sign that the smartphone industry is engaging in innovation at a "breakneck pace".  Directly addressing those who say the system is broken, he comments rhetorically, "Broken? What?"

But Director Kappos' days of defending the USPTO's current policies are coming to a close, as he announced this week that he would be stepping down.  The lawyer, who previously served as an attorney for International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) did not say what his future plans were.  The announcement was considered somewhat unexpected.

David Kappos
USPTO Director David Kappos [Image Source: Center for Am. Progress/Flickr]

Even Director Kappos' critics praise some of his moves, such as his push to appoint more patent examiners, to reduce a backlog of filings, which in turn tend to lead to hasty examinations.  During his tenure examiners increased to 8,000, a 30% increase.

He also pushed for cooperation with the engineering community via making information available to Stack Exchange, as a means of expediting the search for prior art.

Other moves were largely outside the Director's control.  For example, Congress tasked him with implementing the America Invents Act of 2011, which switches the U.S. from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system for patents filed after March 2013. 

Director Kappos was tasked with executing the change to first-to-file. [Image Source: Unknown]

Yet other moves still were viewed in a mixed light; for example his decision to open patent examination offices in New York City and Silicon Valley drew praise from some, but raised fears from others who feared that it would give software companies a quicker path to inundated the filing channels with "junk" patents.

There has been no announcement yet on who will take over as Director at the USPTO.

Source: Patently

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animations are patents
By tviceman on 11/27/2012 2:25:06 PM , Rating: 5
That is how broken the system is. A gesture as simple as sliding left to right is patented. A rectangle with round edges is patented. The animation of a page turning is patented.

The system is completely broken. What a jackoff.

RE: animations are patents
By andrewaggb on 11/27/2012 2:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. I'm baffled how you can patent animations for things we observe in real life. That's most of what a video game, cartoon etc is.

RE: animations are patents
By BugblatterIII on 11/27/2012 7:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
I should patent hitting someone with a frying pan and leaving the shape of their face in it...

Erm, cartoon-wise I mean. Do Not Try This At Home.

RE: animations are patents
By ClownPuncher on 11/27/2012 2:59:14 PM , Rating: 5
Of course he would praise the work he has done. Most people don't come out and say, "Hey guys, turns out I'm an idiot".

RE: animations are patents
By amanojaku on 11/27/2012 5:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
That's probably because:

"Incompetent People Too Ignorant to Know It"

RE: animations are patents
By ClownPuncher on 11/27/2012 7:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
That explains why Tony Swash has no shame.

RE: animations are patents
By MechanicalTechie on 11/27/2012 6:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
How the hell is David Kappos still employed?

Maybe he owns the patent on incomplience!

RE: animations are patents
By Howard on 11/27/2012 8:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you're going to insult someone, at least spell your words correctly.

RE: animations are patents
By MechanicalTechie on 11/27/2012 10:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
Fair call :)

And I thought it look wrong a millisecond after i clicked Post.

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