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Archive for June, 2009


Patent Office Allowance Rate Falls to 42%

According to the AIPLA (American Intellectual Property Association) the allowance rate for patent applications in the U.S. fell to 42% in the first quarter of 2009.

090102USPTO_ALLOWANCE_RATEThis continues the trend of falling allowance rates that started in 2002. Why has the allowance rate changed so dramatically in the last six years?  Sometime early in this decade, the USPTO started to define the “quality” of examinations by the allowance rate.  The USPTO tracks the allowance rate of every examiner and grades the quality of their examinations by their allowance rate.  If one examiner’s allowance rate is higher than the average allowance rate of the group they work in, their examination of applications will be considered to be of lower quality.  If an examiner never allows any patent applications, they will be considered to have the highest quality examinations.  This has created a perverse incentive for examiners.

For an update on the allowance rate click here.

 

A number of scholars[1] have suggested that the logical basis for property rights is scarcity.  Property rights efficiently allocate these resources and avoid conflicts.  These scholars argue that ideas and inventions are not subject to scarcity and therefore intellectual property rights should not exist.  These arguments seem to be particularly prevalent among Libertarians, including the Cato Institute and Von Mises Institute, and the open source community. 

 

A number of scholars[1] have suggested that the logical basis for property rights is scarcity.  Property rights efficiently allocate these resources and avoid conflicts.  These scholars argue that ideas and inventions are not subject to scarcity and therefore intellectual property rights should not exist.  These arguments seem to be particularly prevalent among Libertarians, including the Cato Institute and Von Mises Institute, and the open source community.  In this article we will examine whether there is a lack of scarcity in the creation of ideas.

 

A number of scholars[1] have suggested that the logical basis for tangible property rights is scarcity.  Property rights efficiently allocate these resources and avoid conflicts between competing rights of individuals.  These scholars argue that ideas and invention are not subject to scarcity and therefore intellectual property rights should not exist.  These arguments seem to be particularly prevalent among Libertarians, including the Cato Institute and Von Mises Institute, and the open source community. 

 

None of these securities laws were able to prevent the stock market decline of 2000.  Sarbanes Oxley was passed in 2002 in reaction to several corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, and WorldCom.  The legislation set new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms.  The act contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional corporate board responsibilities to criminal penalties, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the new law.

 

              Sarbanes Oxley was passed in 2002 in reaction to corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, and WorldCom.  The legislation set new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms.  The act contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional corporate board responsibilities to criminal penalties, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the new law.  This law has effectively killed off the possibility of going public in the U.S.

 

Given a Voice on Patent Reform by AIPR,

Inventors Send a Clear Message

Researchers, Engineers and Patent Professionals Fear that

Weaker Patents Will Make America Less Competitive

New York, NY, June 4, 2009 – A non-profit organization, American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR), has been formed to give a voice to American innovators – inventors, scientists, engineers, researchers, small companies, investors, patent owners and intellectual property service providers – in the ongoing debate on patent reform.

 
Phoenix: Mythical Fed Chairman Muses on the Economic Growth of the 90s

Phoenix: Mythical Fed Chairman Muses on the Economic Growth of the 90s

The Federal Reserve Chairman was sitting in his office contemplating the fantastic problem that he and the other fed governors were trying to solve.  The Federal Reserve, since its inception in 1913, had never faced such a dilemma.  Huge federal budget surpluses were likely to wipe out the federal debt in the next couple of years and the fed chairman was concerned how the Federal Reserve was going to control the money supply.  Buying and selling treasury notes was one of the major methods the Federal Reserve used to control the money supply.  Controlling the money supply was necessary to control inflation, ease recessions and deal with banking crises, such as 1930’s style runs on banks.  The Federal Reserve buys treasury bills when they want to increase the money supply and sells treasury bills when they want to decrease the money supply.  If the federal deficit was paid off, then the Federal Reserve would have difficulty using open market operations to control the money supply.  The Federal Reserve could still alter the discount rate or the required reserve ratio of banks to alter the money supply, but open market operations have a more immediate.

 

The cost of a patent application usually comes in the early stages of commercializing your invention.  This makes it difficult to estimate a return on obtaining a patent.  If you do not have a revenue stream associated with the patent, then it is an extremely expensive speculative investment.  So what can we do to reduce the risk on investing in patents?

 

Given a Voice on Patent Reform by AIPR,

Inventors Send a Clear Message

Researchers, Engineers and Patent Professionals Fear that

Weaker Patents Will Make America Less Competitive

New York, NY, June 4, 2009 – A non-profit organization, American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR), has been formed to give a voice to American innovators – inventors, scientists, engineers, researchers, small companies, investors, patent owners and intellectual property service providers – in the ongoing debate on patent reform.

 

Will the Supreme Court use the In re Bilski 545 F.3d 943, 88 U.S.P.Q.2d 1385 (Fed. Cir. 2008) case to deny patent protection to information age technology?  Many observes believe that this case will have major implications for software and business method patents.  The Bilski patent application covered a method of hedging risks when trading commodities.  The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled that the Bilski patent did not fall within the subject matter of patentable material.  It reached this decision based on the so called machine or transformation test.  Bilski did not recite a machine or transform matter from one state to another state according to the court.

 

Note that this post is based on free audio CD, titled How to Make Your Patents a WMD- Weapon of Market Domination.  If you want a free copy of the audio CD click here

For a businessperson to be able to make an informed investment decision, he needs to know the cost and timeframe the investment will require and compare them to economic benefits.  Today I am going to present the costs associated with obtaining a patent in a traditional patent acquisition timeline.  After this, I will discuss how these costs can be deferred to lower the risk of an investment in a patent. 

 

Note that this post is based on free audio CD, titled How to Make Your Patents a WMD- Weapon of Market Domination.  If you want a free copy of the audio CD click here

Now that you have an idea of what rights a patent (see Rights Obtained with a Patent) will provide you, I will discuss the major economic reason for obtaining a patent.  You should not be interested in non-economic awards, ego-boosters or that-a-boy reasons for obtaining a patent.  But if you are, you might as well quit listening this program now.  The single most important reason for obtaining a patent is to obtain a market advantage that generates dollars.  The fact that a patent provides you a property interest in an area of technology should give you some marketing advantage.  For instance, the patent might prevent your competitors from offering a certain feature and this feature means you sell more of your products or services or a patent might lower your manufacturing costs or raise your competitors and now your margin is higher or you sell more products because you can sell for less.

 

Note that this post is based on free audio CD, titled How to Make Your Patents a WMD- Weapon of Market Domination.  If you want a free copy of the audio CD click here

In order to understand how these companies (see the article The Value of Patents: Case Studies) were able to create patents that were Weapons of Market Domination, you need to understand the legal rights you obtain with a patent.  Under United States law, a patent gives you a right to exclude other from the manufacturing, importing, selling, or using your invention.  Two key points in the previous sentence are the right to exclude.  A patent does not give the right to do any of these things.  The second key point is your patent right is limited to the United States.  If you want patent protection in foreign countries, you will need to file for a patent in those countries. 

 

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