Tag Archives: Judge Paul Michel

IPCU readers get $200 off 10th IP Corporate Counsel Forum in NY

The 10th annual Corporate IP Counsel Forum will take place this year March 14-15 at the Sheraton Times Square in New York.

The keynote address will be delivered by Hon. Paul R. Michel, Chief Judge for the United States the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2005-2010, ret; Circuit Judge, 1988-2010. Judge Michel is known as a strong advocate of improving the patent system and patent quality.

Judge Michel will address the controversies and issues surrounding the patent system, especially how to address patent enforcement quality in an era of greater IP uncertainty. The title of his talk is “Explore the Future of the AIA.”

Among other issues, Judge Michel will consider:

  • What must be learned from the past to make necessary adjustments in order to spur adequate private investment in R&D and commercialization, and to create new jobs and prosperity.

Leading IP Holders

Other Corporate IP Counsel Forum presenters and attendees include senior IP executives from JP Morgan Chase, General Electric Corporation, NCR Corporation, Royal Philips, Coty, Inc., Intel and Mastercard Woldwide, the Clearing House Payments Company (a global association of leading banks) and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation – WARF.

IP CloseUp readers who register by February receive a $200 discount on the conference fee. Use conference code IPC2XX.

For the program and full speaker list, go here

To register, go here

Image source: worldcongress.com

Patent Reform Effectively Ends Multi-Party Suits, Says Expert

Filing Costs Will Rise; Post-Grant Reviews Will Impede

Dear Bruce,

A new provision I just became aware of in an article by Morrison & Foerster regarding the Joinder and Consolidation provisions of the new American Invents Act absolutely kills a patent owner’s right to sue multiple defendants in a single suit. (AIPLA Lexology Sept. 15, 2011).

In addition, there are ambiguities making it unclear whether a patent owner can sue an infringer and component suppliers of that infringer in a single suit.  Even if you file 20 separate suits in the same court, the court is likely to transfer most of the cases out to defendants’ home jurisdictions based on forum non conveniens.

Sorting it Out

This new patent law is a total disaster on almost all provisions and will take years to sort out.  It is perfect for the big-company infringers who do not want to pay others for infringing upon their patents.  They can throw their patent worries out the window. 

When a client asks a patent attorney how much it will cost to obtain my patent, they have no idea how to answer.  It could run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get past the Post Grant Reviews.  For example, a patent issues and 20 companies each file separate Post Grant Review Petitions, each citing different prior art.  It will be a nightmare for the PTO and cost the patent applicant a fortune in fees.

More Obstacles; Dangerous Consequences

I believe that the number of patents that get through all the obstacles now in place at the PTO and the rising backlog of applications requiring examination will dramatically decrease the number of actual patents sought and enforced by applicants.  Both big and small companies alike may decide it no longer makes economic sense to pursue patents.  That result insures that U.S. companies and other infringers from all over the world will have a free ticket to flood theU.S.with cheap infringing products to further emasculate the U.S .economy.  The supporters of this new law may wish they had never sought it.  The potential unintended consequences have been ignored in the rush to satisfy the special interests currently running the U.S.

This new law throws the USPTO under a train, burdening it with enormous new tasks and no additional funds to run an already overburdened and overworked entity charged with managing the flow of patentable innovation into our economy. According to former Chief Judge of the CAFC, Paul Michel, the PTO has been shown to have the worst IT system of any federal agency.  Worse, this new law assures that jobs in this country will continue to be destroyed and investment in innovation decreased.

Economic Impact

We are back to the days of Standard Oil in the early 1900s, when Teddy Roosevelt took on the trusts and busted some of them.  Who will now step up to do that job again?  In the last 100 years those old trusts have been replicated in the current IT, financial and other oligopolistic industries that are crushing our economy and destroying the U.S. middle class.

A suggested motto for the new patent law: “Bottle Up Patents in the PTO and If They Ever Get Past the PTO, Patent Owners Can Only Sue a Single Infringer in an Infringement Suit.”

Irving S. Rappaport, Esq., CLP
Palo Alto,CA

Image source: urbanchristiannews.com


Judge Paul Michel, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1988-2010 analyzes the Patent Reform Bill at the USBIC (U.S. Business & Industry Council) Senate briefing, September 6, 2011

Pat Choate, economist and author of Hot Property, comments as a member of the USBIC panel before the Senate briefing.

Letter to The Intangible Investor

CEO Addresses Patent Tax Credit


The following letter by Tessera CEO Henry Nothhaft (NASDAQ: TSRA) is in response to “Patentomics,” a column written for The Intangible Investor. The column runs in the current IAM magazine. See “The Devil is in the Details,” below.

*     *     *

Dear Mr. Berman:

Thanks for your recent IAM piece about our New York Times op-ed on patents and job creation. I thought it was a very fair assessment of the plan.

But I’d like to address your concern that a tax credit for issued patents might encourage a flood of trivial or poor quality patents, which the op-ed format did not allow us the space to address. Judge Paul Michel and I believe that restricting this “innovation tax credit” only to patents issued to small entities would greatly reduce the danger of that happening.

Studies (and observable reality) demonstrate that small entities typically only incur the time and great expense of filing for patents when they feel these are vital to their business. In contrast, it is generally large corporations who behave like “patent factories” and flood the office with trivial or me-too patents to be used as industry bargaining chips. Those firms would not be entitled to the tax credit.

Our article was meant only to be a starting point for showing how relieving the patent office backlog could be a powerful tool for kick-starting job creation. By helping the sole source of net job creation in the U.S. — new startup businesses — get their patents when they need them rather than having to wait many years, they’ll be better able to obtain the VC funding they need to scale up their R&D and hiring.

I’m sure that economic policy and tax experts could take our basic idea and improve it considerably. Our job was simply to point to the opportunity.

Not to mention the fact that by linking patents to job creation, we finally got the mainstream media to start paying attention to the critical need for patent office reform — a good thing in and of itself.


Henry R. Nothhaft
Tessera, Inc.

Patent System Proposals Show Promise But

The Devil is in the Details

A plan to resolve significant numbers of patent disputes quickly and cheaply, and another to use patents to create more U.S. jobs are the subject of the October-November Intangible Investor.

In an article, “Is the U.S. Finally Ready for a Patent Small Claims Court?,” by Robert P. Greenspoon, a Chicago patent attorney, he suggests that a court be set up to resolve less auspicious disputes quickly and for less cost.

Greenspoon has great ideas but implementing them may be another matter. The complexity of patent disputes may not lend themselves to rapid-fire adjudication.

*     *     *

In the column I also have a go at The New York Times op-ed, “Inventing Our Way Out of Joblessness.” It was written by Paul Michel, former Chief Judge for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Henry Nothhaft, CEO of licensing company Tessera (NASDAQ: TRSA), and (un-credited) David Kline, co-author of “Rembrandts in the Attic” (with Kevin Rivette) and “The Burning of the Ships” (with Marshall Phelps).

These authors want the federal government to provide a $19,000 incentive for each patent an SME receives to defray the cost of obtaining them. They believe that more small company patents mean more innovation, and in turn, more jobs. Messrs. Michel, Nothhaft and Kline may be on to something. They point out that the U.S. was built on small company innovation.

But they are less clear on what might be done to prevent the inevitable feeding frenzy of patent filings that is likely to ensue or the timing of payments. If it’s upon issuance, filers could be waiting for five years or more.

“Patentomics” will run in the next issue of IAM, out next week.

Image source: climatechangecorp.com

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