Newegg: (patent) Troll Hunter

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http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/how-newegg-crushed-th...

I just thought this was such an awesome story. Actually makes me want to shop at Newegg more.

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That's easy, companies are willing to pay those salaries. Supply and demand. Just like we are willing to pay NBA player... (more)

gallymimus (Jan. 29, 2013 @ 9:21p) |

I read some where that US is only place that grant patent on business process. The joke as i read it, is someone should... (more)

ZenNUTS (Jan. 30, 2013 @ 11:19a) |

Drug patents may be extended 12 years that is a right that others don't have. Drug companies have abused that more than ... (more)

nsdp (Feb. 01, 2013 @ 8:09p) |

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Good read ...

Why doesn't the USPTO revise tech patent lifespans to something reasonable and relevant given the relatively short use of tech-related inventions? (Laser disc anyone?)

I too will be making it a point to shop at Newegg (even) more now! With this precedent, online retailers will have lower costs which means more money for them to keep for themselves and/or they pass the savings on to us. Either way the world is a better place.

Go Newegg!

cool reading, especially the last paragraph.

Javi2 said:   Why doesn't the USPTO revise tech patent lifespans to something reasonable and relevant given the relatively short use of tech-related inventions? (Laser disc anyone?)

Way out of the USPTO's control, talk to Congress. That's something that would need to happen through legislation. Since the AIA just passed, I don't think that Congress will be interested in going right back to change the laws once again.

Ars Technica rocks; I might have happened upon this later today. Great read. Thanks for posting.

Patent system is so #!^ in this country and congress is doing nothing about it.

ultrajonny5 said:   Javi2 said:   Why doesn't the USPTO revise tech patent lifespans to something reasonable and relevant given the relatively short use of tech-related inventions? (Laser disc anyone?)

Way out of the USPTO's control, talk to Congress. That's something that would need to happen through legislation. Since the AIA just passed, I don't think that Congress will be interested in going right back to change the laws once again.


besides, some will say patents are too short. e.g., drug companies only have a fairly short time to sell patented medicines before they go generic because of time consuming studies and several rounds of clinical trials plus lengthy FDA review after their patents.

frugalpete said:   besides, some will say patents are too short. e.g., drug companies only have a fairly short time to sell patented medicines before they go generic because of time consuming studies and several rounds of clinical trials plus lengthy FDA review after their patents.Tell that to all the guys waiting for Viagra and Cialis to have a generic option!

Um, girls, too!

Lee Cheng said: Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.

This made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

frugalpete said:   
besides, some will say patents are too short. e.g., drug companies only have a fairly short time to sell patented medicines before they go generic because of time consuming studies and several rounds of clinical trials plus lengthy FDA review after their patents.


That is at least partially a separate issue. The US Patent would be on the composition of matter, while the FDA exclusivity is different and related to actual specifics of the drug. Patent term is not equivalent to exclusivity. The FDA's website does a decent job explaining some of the differences.

ultrajonny5 said:   frugalpete said:   
besides, some will say patents are too short. e.g., drug companies only have a fairly short time to sell patented medicines before they go generic because of time consuming studies and several rounds of clinical trials plus lengthy FDA review after their patents.


That is at least partially a separate issue. The US Patent would be on the composition of matter, while the FDA exclusivity is different and related to actual specifics of the drug. Patent term is not equivalent to exclusivity. The FDA's website does a decent job explaining some of the differences.
Good link, but the US patent can be on a method of treatment as well. Pfizer just got the method of treatment of ED with sildenafil/Viagra confirmed to extend to 2019 in their lawsuit against Teva. Cialis and Levitra patents expire in the 2018-2020 range also.

Interesting read on the dangers of counterfeit generics and _scams_ associated with them here (see ~ halfway down):
http://www.accessrx.com/research/viagra-patent-expires/

I am shopping my next PC build on Newegg now, and intend to use the shopping cart to celebrate Lee Cheng's victories. Whatever they're paying him, he deserves a great big raise. Thanks Lee!

Javi2 said:   Why doesn't the USPTO revise tech patent lifespans to something reasonable and relevant given the relatively short use of tech-related inventions? (Laser disc anyone?)

I would argue the patent legnth is too short.

I have patents, and they cost a bundle. Then, the date starts not at the time you are awarded the patent, but from when you first file. It sometimes takes 5-6 years to get the patent awarded.

The real problem here (and in many patent battles) is the lack of competence of the patent examiners. They are either super difficult and deny patents without good reason, or are super easy and award patents with insufficient research.

By the way, I am talking about awarding the "claims" in the patents, not the actual patent... These are tough to word properly and it is critical to exclude prior art (like the compuserve stuff in this article).

SteveG

sgogo said:   Javi2 said:   Why doesn't the USPTO revise tech patent lifespans to something reasonable and relevant given the relatively short use of tech-related inventions? (Laser disc anyone?)

I would argue the patent legnth is too short.

I have patents, and they cost a bundle. Then, the date starts not at the time you are awarded the patent, but from when you first file. It sometimes takes 5-6 years to get the patent awarded.

The real problem here (and in many patent battles) is the lack of competence of the patent examiners. They are either super difficult and deny patents without good reason, or are super easy and award patents with insufficient research.

By the way, I am talking about awarding the "claims" in the patents, not the actual patent... These are tough to word properly and it is critical to exclude prior art (like the compuserve stuff in this article).

SteveG
I imagine it's very difficult to find enough patent examiners who are both competent in IP law and the technical details of so many different topics. I also see a major challenge with some of these trials being conducted in front of a jury full of lay people.

That said, I think there are certain IP practices anyone with common sense can tell is ridiculous, like the one described in this article.

I was really hoping that they were selling a doll that was some kind of patent troll slayer thing that you put on your desk to show other nerds that you're indignant toward those evil trolls too. Then I read the article...now I really wish they sold one...w/ a Newegg cape

Yuyak said:   I imagine it's very difficult to find enough patent examiners who are both competent in IP law and the technical details of so many different topics. I also see a major challenge with some of these trials being conducted in front of a jury full of lay people.

That said, I think there are certain IP practices anyone with common sense can tell is ridiculous, like the one described in this article.


Well, there are over 8,000 patent examiners now and each works in only a single field. In certain fields, most or all examiners have a PhD in that field (not that it qualifies them to know what goes on in industry). Basically no examiners are competent in IP law. They just know the USPTO regulations. It's not the easiest job, but unfortunately the incentives still encourage bad behavior. Examiners are graded and given bonuses based on a "production" count system that encourages them to examine applications in the least possible amount of time and then are rarely criticized as long as they reject an application, so horrible nonsense rejections are commonplace. I don't know how to explain horrible allowances, since most (bad) Examiners are terrified of them and allowances are subject to significant oversight. I think it's just that Examiners only really look at other patents to determine what is new and not obvious, but a lot of the relevant prior work in fields like software is in non-patent literature, like this Compuerve document used in the linked case.

Things are getting better recently, but they are still pretty bad. To discourage Examiners from making applicants request more examination time over and over and milking the resulting production points, the USPTO reduced the production points awarded each time around. Unfortunately, the result is that Examiners now refuse to work on cases that have gone around a couple times, so applicants are forced to wait years in between responses from the Examiner, which is incredibly frustrating because there is nothing you can do about it short of spending thousands of dollars on an accelerated continuation application.

Saw this story on slashdot earlier today, it would make me want to shop Newegg more, but I always start
there anyway... Nice to see the good guys stand up to the trolls and win!!!

Excellent story. Shows how beneficial companies can be when they are run by principled people, who have morals. Most people at the top no longer care for their people, product, society and in some cases their company's profit. They are whores concerned about their paycheck. Would love to see some rationalization of these outrageous salaries being paid, while the company and it's stock is tanking.

While reading the rulings I found that all three patents were rejected based on obviousness.
---------------

Maybe it is time that they change this page on their website: http://www.soverain.com/pdf/patents_found_valid_and_infringed.pd...

+1,000 internet points to Newegg.

Red55 said:   Would love to see some rationalization of these outrageous salaries being paid, while the company and it's stock is tanking.

That's easy, companies are willing to pay those salaries. Supply and demand. Just like we are willing to pay NBA players, movie stars and teachers the salaries that they get.

I read some where that US is only place that grant patent on business process. The joke as i read it, is someone should get a patent on Patent Trolling then sue all trolls for violating the patent.

frugalpete said:   ultrajonny5 said:   Javi2 said:   Why doesn't the USPTO revise tech patent lifespans to something reasonable and relevant given the relatively short use of tech-related inventions? (Laser disc anyone?)

Way out of the USPTO's control, talk to Congress. That's something that would need to happen through legislation. Since the AIA just passed, I don't think that Congress will be interested in going right back to change the laws once again.


besides, some will say patents are too short. e.g., drug companies only have a fairly short time to sell patented medicines before they go generic because of time consuming studies and several rounds of clinical trials plus lengthy FDA review after their patents.


Drug patents may be extended 12 years that is a right that others don't have. Drug companies have abused that more than once.

On obviousness, somethings like an internal combustion closed loop Brayton Cycle steam plant may seem obvious until you find out no one has ever figured out how to burn hydrogen and oxygen in a closed loop at 3080K without melting the turbines. If that were obvious, someone would have figured out how to do that in the last 140 years. It is a complex 3D boundary layer flow problem and you need a supercomputer >10 tflops to find the solution. No one has ever been able to create a phase diagram for it. That is why you need PHD's in the area of examination. The more obvious solution would be to ban business methods and software patents outright. If there is merit to them allow copyright.



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