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Google Patents

Former Google Lawyer Michelle Lee To Run US Patent Office 91

Posted by timothy
from the insiders-and-outsiders dept.
First time accepted submitter Tigger's Pet writes "The BBC report that 'Google's former top patent lawyer has been put in charge of America's patent and trademark office (USPTO). Michelle Lee was made deputy director of the USPTO this week and will run the agency while it seeks a new boss. Ms Lee joined the patent office after leaving Google in June 2012 but said the opinions of her former employer would not guide her work.' Maybe she will use her knowledge from some of the insanity she has seen to actually tackle the current situation of patents, patent-trolling and lawsuits, so that companies can concentrate on true development which benefits all their users, not just the lawyers."
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Former Google Lawyer Michelle Lee To Run US Patent Office

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  • Or... (Score:4, Informative)

    by swb (14022) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @02:05PM (#45696411)

    "Maybe she will use her knowledge from some of the insanity she has seen to actually tackle the current situation of patents, patent-trolling and lawsuits, so that companies can concentrate on true development which benefits all their users, not just the lawyers."

    Or maybe she will use her knowledge to simply reinforce the patent system so that holders of large patent portfolios with products in the market are just more immune from all patent challenges, not just trolling challenges.

    Which would actually be a worse outcome, since at least the broken system seems to be allowing patent challenges, even though they appear to be cynically motivated.

    It's not at all hard to see a trolling "fix" that simply denies challenges. It's easy to see some law getting passed that says "well, you may have a patent for X used in Company's Product Y, but because they have a working product an N other patents for the product, the product would exist anyway because your patent is only a small part of a larger entity."

    And now you've eliminated trolling, but you've also made it so that big companies can just steal things from startups or smaller competitors.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Sunday December 15, 2013 @02:21PM (#45696559)

    Huh, I didn't realize that. Looks like, for large companies at least (there are some discounts for individual inventors), the fees [uspto.gov] break down roughly like this:

    • Filing/search/examination fees: $1600
    • Issuance of an approved patent: $1780
    • Maintenance of an approved patent over its full lifespan: $12,600

    So basically the USPTO gets $1600 if the patent is rejected, or $15,980 if it's approved.

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