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Patents Government

US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners 124

McGruber writes: A month after Slashdot discussed "Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office," the USPTO issued a statement that it is "committed to taking any measures necessary" to stop employees who review patents from lying about their hours and getting overtime pay and bonuses for work they didn't do.

USPTO officials also told congressional investigators that they are seeking an outside consulting firm to advise them on how managers can improve their monitoring of more than 8,000 patent examiners. The Patent Examiners union responded to the original Washington Post report with a statement that includes this line: "If 'thousands' of USPTO employees were not doing their work, it would be impossible for this agency to be producing the best performance in recent memory and, perhaps, in its entire 224 year history."

In related news, USPTO Commissioner Deborah Cohn has announced plans to resign just months after a watchdog agency revealed that she had pressured staffers to hire the live-in boyfriend of an immediate family member over other, better-qualified applicants. When he finished 75th out of 76 applicants in the final round of screening, Cohn "intervened and created an additional position specifically for the applicant," wrote Inspector General Todd Zinser in a statement on the matter.
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

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  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @08:04PM (#47899161)

    Little catwalks with one-way mirrors in the sorting facilities. So inspectors can see who is stealing, screwing off, etc.

    • by Cassini2 ( 956052 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @08:32PM (#47899265)

      Management 101: If you don't trust your employees - you are screwed. You need committed and motivated employees, and you must take actions to keep the employees committed and motivated.

      CEO 101: Employee problems are management problems.

      Financial Investor 101: A bad CEO can wreck the company.

      The USPTO has experienced all three problems, and financial investors in lots of different tech companies have paid dearly.

      • Sure. But lawyers have made out like bandits. I wonder how many lawyers are patent examiners?

      • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @08:47PM (#47899333)

        The USPTO has experienced all three problems, and financial investors in lots of different tech companies have paid dearly.

        That's the principle behind government: They play with other people's money, other people's intellectual property, other people's freedoms. So when they f*ck up, other people suffer.

        It's called sovereign immunity [wikipedia.org].

      • They should perhaps pay patent examiners some money annually for each patent that is passed, and take away that money and then some if they're partially or completely overturned. That way they've an incentive to work quickly, and a disincentive to do sloppy work.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @10:32PM (#47899727) Homepage

          Again this would lead to corruption with patent pre-screening and favoured people getting patentable stuff and unfavoured people getting junk and working for free.

          I'll bet core of this problem is yet again right wing performance based measures ie number of patents reviewed and approved. Everyone time right wing idiots do performance based measures it fucks things up. Performance based law enforcement, people get arrested for nothing, law enforcement is in a rush, slow them down and get tasered or shot, so minimum number of arrests per day leads directly to maximum number of million dollar lawsuits great bloody saving, huh. Performance based schooling means, directly leads to stacking classes for select charters schools and teachers with better performing students and sticking the poor performing students in poor schools with cheap teachers, yep, that is going to produce results.

          Stop filling government departments with political appointees, especially management positions, that is the single greatest cause of failure and of course directly leads to even idiots can monitor performance based guidelines, yep, manage them right into the ground.

          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            You still can't accept the fact that Obama has been in office for five years, and accomplished nothing he promised in regards to improving the government.

            If the problem was simply that Bush had appointed idiots to run departments, Obama could have flushed most of them out immediately, and forced the rest to be replaced by now. Except of course, that would require two things: time spent doing his job rather than golfing, ability to actually be an executive.

            As Micheal Moore recently said, one hundred years fr

            • Except Clinton already claimed that one.

            • Obama accomplished something. He got elected as a colored person, and got reelected too. He also brought some troops home. And he cares, true he may care more about blacks than whites and discriminates that way, but in general he cares about everybody, even is he's clumsy in the way he goes about it. It's not easy to do the right thing at the top when you don't know what the right thing is and nobody knows. I mean you may think you know, and even be certain about it, and then you need to review why the Orac

          • > Again this would lead to corruption with patent pre-screening and favoured people getting patentable stuff and unfavoured people getting junk and working for free.

            No, I'm not saying that they would get paid only for passing patents. They would get paid for examining patents. It's just they would get paid more for being successful patent clerks; for passing patents that are enforceable and novel.

            And the patents could be assigned randomly from the pool of patent clerks that accept the patents.

        • How about when you file for a patent it's only a registry, no checks or validity or anything (like now?). And every single time you attempt to use the patent in court it can be challenged (and possibly declared invalid). The government still gets their money, the patent office can continue with their no value added business model, and everyone else can fight the patent trolls in court on an even footing.
          • It doesn't seem like a good idea, challenging patents in court is likely to be a lot more expensive than any patent clerk could ever be.

        • "They should perhaps pay patent examiners some money annually for each patent that is passed"

          They do. That's the problem. There's no incentive to be overly critical on an application because you don't get paid if you reject it.

          They also get paid more for examining more patents in a given period, which has the same effect.

          The other problem (not enough work) is a direct result of "featherbedding" - managers with more employees under them end up with higher pay grades. This happens in large corporates but far

          • How about not quoting me out of context?

            "... and take away that money and then some if they're partially or completely overturned"

            • I'm not.

              The problem is you have to pay your examiners evenhandedly for _rejecting_ applications as well as accepting them.

              Taking money away afterwards isn't going to help nearly as much as decent statistical modelling of what should be average and then taking a much closer look at examiners who appear to be gaming the system (it's possible to pick up "gaming" to appear average too.)

              The reason is that the interval between patent approval and court overturn may well be a decade or more. People simply don't th

      • Real life 101: If you cannot hold people accountable, they will goof off.

      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

        Not at all. Banks are doing great and they by definition cannot trust their employees.

        It's all about proper security measures being implemented to counter the risk.

        • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
          Tellers at a bank could be completely rep[laced with ATMs or the like. You don't need to trust people much when their jobs are pointless. When you depend on someone's skill, and you don't trust them, that's when you have issues.

          People don't work well as a team when there is no trust.
          • Not exactly true. Bank managers generally do trust the tellers but have to have all kinds of systems in place as a requirement for being insured. It is a CYA because the ones that will hurt you the most are the ones you trust. Banks could lose far more to a teller stealing from them than they ever could from an off-the-street robber. Further, much of the surveillance is also to protect the teller from the dishonest customer. Having a video record of what the teller hands the customer helps keep customers fr

          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

            Actually no sane bank trusts tellers. That's why you have multiple ways of recording everything teller does.

            Same thing with cashiers in retail and countless others.

            You concept of "must trust everyone on the team" is frankly ridiculous. Opportunity makes a thief.

          • Except I cannot purchase a money order at an ATM, without talking to a teller. And my landlord has the habit of sitting on checks for a whole fucking year, before it hits my bank account, and plays this cat and mouse game or memory, see how much you can remember, what checks you wrote out 6 months ago. So I get a money order, it instantly gets deducted, and I send it off to him in the mail, just like it says in the rental contract, which specifies mailed payments, not paypal or anything like that. And I tol

            • I bought that stupid house at a public auction. It was good enough for me, even if the city thinks it's not appropriate for me, and knocked it down for me, it did not live up to their standards of luxury. If anybody had a problem with me buying it at too low a price, they were welcome to show up at the auction and pay more, but other than that I care not about level of luxury as long as it's a roof over my head that keeps the rain out, and my most important luxury item is keeping my own bank account balance

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        Management 101: If you don't trust your employees - you are screwed

        That''s how every business operates now, though. Employees are always under surveillance because the management doesn't trust them not to steal from them in one way or another. Either by actual supply/money theft, or by not working hard enough when on the clock.

        And funny enough, employers have actually made the situation worse on themselves. If they want to know why they can't trust the employees to be "committed and motivated", look no further than the modern low wage, low appreciation, low potential for a

      • Democracy 101:an ignorant citizen wrecks himself and others
    • I bet this is part of why "going postal" is part of the American lexicon.
    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      But then we need another layer of catwalks to watch the watchers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    according to her bio. Most likely, her entire professional career after law school.

    It seems that one only see tenures like that nowadays in government, or in a family owned business. At least in the case of a business we have the pressures of the market which can topple a business that falls too far behind. A government agency can continue for decades with the same inefficient practices without any kind of market correction, with the same cronyism, the same cushy pensions (instead of 401Ks) and sick days

    • I can't believe this was voted up. I know quite a few people that have worked for the same company almost his or her whole life and it isn't a government position. One started as a mail clerk and is now a director. Bad actors are bad actors in any organization. The length of employment has zero bearing.
  • to eliminate patent examiner fraud. The method, of course, is patented.

  • OY (Score:2, Insightful)

    Good grief. The IG report involved a dozen or so examiners. The actual number is not stated There are over 8,000 examiners at the PTO. Gimme a friggin break.
    • One bad patent has significant financial impact for the country. We will give you a break when you can cover the loss. Each time.

    • IG compliants are like cockroaches, if you see one there are probably another 100 or so waiting to be discovered. After 20 years working in the gov't most of the negative comments I see here are true. You have about 10% that are doing a great job, the next half do the bulk of the grunt work. The last 50% are made up of substandard workers. If you fired the bottom 20% on any given day the only thing you'd noticed at work would be the availability of more parking spots in the morning and possibly the prod
      • If you fired half of the GS-15 supervisors you wouldn't notice anything. Examiners are on production and actually get cases out the door. Show me another government agency where they actually have to produce, as opposed to just show up (including Congress).
      • "If you fired the bottom 20% on any given day the only thing you'd noticed at work would be the availability of more parking spots in the morning and possibly the productivity would go up since management could spend more time training and less time on personnel (off duty/discipline) issues."

        Management would notice it, because it reduces the number of people under them, so their pay grade might be diminished.

        That's why it's so bloody hard to ratchet staffing levels down in govt departments.

  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @08:38PM (#47899301) Homepage Journal

    Though it is complicated by the government service issue, there are ways to measure performance...

    - Salt the case load with fictitious, bogus applications intended to be declined. In fact, this can both detect work that is disingenuous, and start applying some quality checks. Applications that are so flawed as to be obvious can be expected to fall through as approved if examiners are just phoning it in.

    - Break up the review process, no insight into the next step for any examiner. At some point, some examiners will be doing too little work to keep up, or the backlog will inspire some investigation. Perhaps.

    - This is an oldie. Full tracking of the examiner's work, down to the keystroke.

    - Even older, time to put up the performance chart. Peer pressure will probably not work in Civil Service, but it's a valiant try nonetheless.

    Now, the real trick is how to measure performance. That scares me.

    • The problem here is not dishonest work on the patent logs, it's dishonest work on the time cards/sheets that tell the bosses how much to pay. Uhm, some computer logging software is about to fall off the patent logs for 14 years being up!

    • by jonsmirl ( 114798 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:10PM (#47899417) Homepage

      The problem is that the patent office is a papermill and the number of patents being granted has be growing at around 5% a year compounded for the last 25 years. I'm pretty certain that the number of patentable inventions found each year is not growing at 5%. Instead the definition of what is patentable keeps expanding into areas where it doesn't belong. The growth mainly benefits patent lawyers and patent office employees. We've gone from granting 100,000 patents a year 20 years ago to 300,000 a year now.

      Do a little projecting out - if that same growth is maintained in 20 years they'll be granting 900,000 patents a year. And we'll have a pool of 12 million active patents to deal with. To support all that you'll need 25,000 or more examiners. Of course patent infringement lawsuits will be totally out of control - no human can be expected to know the contents of 12M patents and not infringe on them. Heck, I can only read three or four before my head explodes.

      The simple fix is to limit the patent office to granting a fixed number of patents each month. And I'd set that limit at 10,000 or less per month. Doing that stabilizes the number of employees at the patent office. And do you really believe there are 10,000 inventions made each month worthy of patent protection? I sure don't believe that there are that many. I'd set the limit even lower - 5,000 or less. Setting the limit lower simply gets rid of the junk and makes the ones that do get granted more valuable.

      • by pepty ( 1976012 )
        The priority date is the date the application is filed, not the day the patent is granted. This would just create a huge backlog of submarine patents that would come back to bite people later. That or everyone would just file with WIPO first.
        • Keep a pool of about two months worth of patents that might meet the bar of being granted. Then reject the rest. The value of a patent is inversely correlated to how many patents are being granted. When there are fewer patents on better ideas, those patents will be respected and fulfill the original purpose that inspired the creation of patents.

          Software patents are just totally broken. It is far, far too easy for a good software engineer to infringe dozens of patents through independent invention. And no o

          • by pepty ( 1976012 )

            Keep a pool of about two months worth of patents that might meet the bar of being granted. Then reject the rest.

            I don't understand what that means; I'm not certain you do either. First of all, til SCOTUS or the USPTO say otherwise, all patent applications either meet the requirements or don't. How exactly is the USPTO supposed to play favorites? Hire a contractor to pick "good" patents"? Plus there's the other problem: unless you get about 147 other countries to go along with this plan, PCT patents applied for through WIPO internationally are enforceable in the US.

      • So the answer your propose is to arbitrarily limit demand. I would expect many rejected applicants to be on court with valid complaints that their application was never considered on its merits, as should be expected by law. You shift the work from the PTO to the courts. Stupid.

        • Shifting it to the courts is a very effective filter. Most of the rejected applications will not get appealed since they aren't worth the burden of the cost of the appeal. But the PTO may make mistakes and this would allow them to remedy those mistakes.

          An alternative would be to allow for reapplication with the same priority date but require the inclusion of more evidence of why the patent should be granted. Of course if the PTO still doesn't believe it makes the cut into the 10K a month it will get rejecte

          • I was responding to a proposal that cars be rejected outright, arbitrarily, and let the courts act as a filter to vet those, which would, to me, turn the court into a preliminary examiner. Such a waste, as the court should decide that that PTO ess negligent in merely refusing to accept applications dur to workload.

            And that would be negligent, and is. The PTO should perhaps work on streamlining the work, maybe automating the intake and initial comparison of applications to both competing and existing paten

            • The bar for patents need to be raised much higher. One way of raising that bar is to simply limit the number being granted. Only grant a patent for something that truly is a significant invention. I don't believe anywhere close to 300,000 significant inventions are made each year.

              Imagine if we only granted 50 patents a year in each field allowing patents. 50 patents is a small enough number that humans working in these fields could be expected to know what is patented and to then respect those patents. (50

              • Your solution violates the Fourth Amendment at least.

                • If they can't be limited then I'll settle for the PTO admitting that software is math (which it clearly is) and banning all software patents.

                  In my opinion patents in software and electronics have perverted from promoting the arts and sciences to destroying them. Pretty sure the founding fathers didn't intent for 300,000 patents a year to be issued. It was 50 years before the PTO broke 500/yr.

    • So in other words, add a shit load of costs for no real gain. Perhaps become a part of the DoD?
    • Though it is complicated by the government service issue, there are ways to measure performance...

      - Salt the case load with fictitious, bogus applications intended to be declined. In fact, this can both detect work that is disingenuous, and start applying some quality checks. Applications that are so flawed as to be obvious can be expected to fall through as approved if examiners are just phoning it in.

      - Break up the review process, no insight into the next step for any examiner. At some point, some examiners will be doing too little work to keep up, or the backlog will inspire some investigation. Perhaps.

      - This is an oldie. Full tracking of the examiner's work, down to the keystroke.

      - Even older, time to put up the performance chart. Peer pressure will probably not work in Civil Service, but it's a valiant try nonetheless.

      Now, the real trick is how to measure performance. That scares me.

      There's no need to salt the system with bogus applications. Simply review a sample of each employees work.

    • by pepty ( 1976012 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:37PM (#47899527)

      Though it is complicated by the government service issue, there are ways to measure performance...

      - Salt the case load with fictitious, bogus applications intended to be declined. In fact, this can both detect work that is disingenuous, and start applying some quality checks. Applications that are so flawed as to be obvious can be expected to fall through as approved if examiners are just phoning it in.

      - Break up the review process, no insight into the next step for any examiner. At some point, some examiners will be doing too little work to keep up, or the backlog will inspire some investigation. Perhaps.

      - This is an oldie. Full tracking of the examiner's work, down to the keystroke.

      - Even older, time to put up the performance chart. Peer pressure will probably not work in Civil Service, but it's a valiant try nonetheless.

      Now, the real trick is how to measure performance. That scares me.

      - The first would waste 1 or 2 days of patent examiner time per bogus application. On top of that, each bogus application could only be used a handful of times before they were known throughout the section, so the ~$10-50K it would take to hire patent agents to create each bogus application would add up quickly. Copypasta applications would be too easy to spot, as would ones that are quickly thrown together. A 500 page patent application from a pharma is not something you just whiz together overnight. A better bet might be to just assign the same application to two examiners 5% of the time and then compare the first office actions they submit. That would work so long as examiners can't compare their caseloads ...

      - Breaking up the review process would mean that many patent examiners would have to familiarize themselves with each patent as opposed to just one. That could easily double or triple the man hours necessary to examine each patent, and significantly delay each office action. Which is why I suggested only duplicating the effort 5% of the time.

      - Full tracking of their workload would be a PITA all around. A program that monitors how many hours are actually spent on each portion of the examination, as well as when those hours are spent, would be good enough.

      - Performance charts, monitoring, rank and yank, etc: might work in biotech and organic chemistry sections where there is no shortage of qualified applicants, but in IT if you make the working conditions any more unpleasant everyone will just head off to the private sector. If you want examiners willing and able to work like patent attorneys, you'll have to compete on the patent attorney pay scale ($250k per year and up).

      • Well, I guess the answer is to prosecute the people fudging their time sheets. I mean really, this is a crime. Or at least it appears to be. And once people understand there would be criminal penalties, perhaps they would simply be honest.

        http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc... [cornell.edu]

        Whoever, knowingly and with intent to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof, possesses any false, altered, forged, or counterfeited writing or document for the purpose of enabling another to obtain from the United States, or fro

        • Union protects the criminal not the employer.

          • A lot of the time a _good_ union(*) will tell an employee they don't have a leg to stand on when making bogus claims.

            It's not in their interest to back unreasonable demands, as it antagonises employers and other union members alike.

            (*) ie, not the Teamsters.

      • I don't even believe that you have to use Bogus applications, I think you can resubmit rejected applications with slight alterations. Then you can compare the original submission results with the new submission results and see the differences. If someone is not doing the work, it should be obvious based upon the underlying research for acceptance or rejection.

        • by matfud ( 464184 )

          Not easily as there is quite a lot of back and forth comunication over a very long period of time (up to multiple years) before a patent is granted.

    • Though it is complicated by the government service issue, there are ways to measure performance...

      You forgot the most important measure of performance: income generated for the Patent Office. The fake attempt at reigning in employees is just to distract from what the real problem is: the more patents, the more profit for the USPTO.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Now, the real trick is how to measure performance.

      They've already done that. It's right there in the summary; "the best performance in recent memory and, perhaps, in its entire 224 year history."

      So obviously they are rigorously measuring their stellar performance ... otherwise how could they make that sort of claim?

      What? You don't think that's credible? You must be one of those tea bag knuckle-dragger anti-government types. The rest of us know better than to question the noble creatures inhabiting our sacred government.

      <sarcasm, you dolts>

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

      Work reviews - like code reviews. Everyone "shows their work" to everyone else, and everything gets reviewed, every week. Less optimal than individual workers working at peak efficiency, but more optimal than most people screwing around with no oversight whatsoever.

  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Krishnoid ( 984597 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @08:39PM (#47899307) Journal

    When he finished 75th out of 76 applicants in the final round of screening, Cohn "intervened and created an additional position specifically for the applicant"

    It's about time! I can't believe they only now got around to creating a position dedicated to checking for a filing's obviousness.

  • by American Patent Guy ( 653432 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @08:53PM (#47899355) Homepage

    USPTO officials also told congressional investigators that they are seeking an outside consulting firm to advise them on how managers can improve their monitoring of more than 8,000 patent examiners. The Patent Examiners union responded to the original Washington Post report with a statement that includes this line: "If 'thousands' of USPTO employees were not doing their work, it would be impossible for this agency to be producing the best performance in recent memory and, perhaps, in its entire 224 year history."

    STUPID! This problem was solved years ago: when people commit fraud, you send them to a jail cell! The few overt miscreants suffer, while the rest are given cause to think twice. These officials are doing nothing more than complaining how hard their jobs are and setting up a smokescreen for their incompetence.

    And ... I'd really like to know by what standard the patent examiners claim to "be producing the best performance in recent memory". Their memory doesn't seem to be terribly reliable...

    When you really want to find misery, look first to the bureaucrats...

  • Tell them that the leadership has had it with this culture and will start directing the Inspector General to arrest employees who behave in this fashion and charge them with defrauding the federal government. Throw their ass in prison, don't fire them. Contractors get charged with defrauding the federal government and it's no better when a federal employee does it, especially when overtime is involved.

    Everyone bitches about fraud, waste and abuse, but the majority of the people who'd unleash the various OIG

  • by The New Guy 2.0 ( 3497907 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:13PM (#47899427)

    I had this problem at a place I used to work... we were an "answer the e-mail" schedule, and we went six weeks without anybody in our department getting any work commands for the system. I had no choice but to tell my boss the reason why I couldn't close any tickets was because I had no tickets. We checked, saw we were at zero usage, got laid off, and claimed half our pay for the next 99 weeks.

  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:35PM (#47899519)

    I have had an examiner on a recent patent application who was not knowledgable in the required physical-geometric structures.

    She insisted that a straight object was actually a helix! My patent attorney and I explained the difference, but she and her boss ignored the plain geometric truth and refused to budge and threw out my claims.

    I'ld rather have a high level of competence and accept some level of goofing off. You do need a break once in awhile to stay sane.

    • by pepty ( 1976012 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:54PM (#47899591)
      How did you phrase the claim? Regardless, it varies a lot from one section to the next based on the job market for the applicants. Biology/Pharma/Biotech/O-chem has had huge layoffs over the last 15 years, so there are plenty of PhDs with years of industrial experience, patent writing experience and perhaps a JD for each examiner position that opens up. Software and engineering, not so much.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @09:56PM (#47899593)

    ...she had pressured staffers to hire the live-in boyfriend of an immediate family member over other, better-qualified applicants. When he finished 75th out of 76 applicants in the final round of screening, Cohn "intervened and created an additional position specifically for the applicant...

    Can someone now say this is any different compared to what happens in those "third-world" countries? Seriously!!

    Now I believe the mantra, "It's who you know..."..."not how much you know or anything else..."

  • "If 'thousands' of USPTO employees were not doing their work, it would be impossible for this agency to be producing the best performance in recent memory and, perhaps, in its entire 224 year history."

    I tried to track down the reasoning behind a patent that has been recently issued covering growing plants by shining lights on them. The light bulb has been around since about 1880, and I expect we have been using them to grow plants since about 1881. You can't get anything out of them about how someth
  • "If 'thousands' of USPTO employees were not doing their work, it would be impossible for this agency to be producing the best performance in recent memory and, perhaps, in its entire 224 year history."

    No. No it wouldn't. Because you get behavior like this [youtu.be]. Where they aren't actually looking at what they're SUPPOSED to be researching. They're, at best, skimming and passing it along, which takes minimal to no effort.

  • step one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Revek ( 133289 ) on Saturday September 13, 2014 @10:28PM (#47899715) Homepage

    Make them come to work instead of working at home.

  • It feels like this is just one indication that the patent system is corrupt. How can you prevent that a patent isn't going through an application process without a flaw?

    One way to weed out bad workers is to have a cross-examination of the patents. If there's a great deviation between the review results from the two reviewers (or three if you want to make it even safer) then it's an indication that one of the reviewers may not be doing his/her job. Of course - it's not a single patent that you can detect thi

  • Is the management at the USPTO so incompetent that they cannot do this themselves? If you are a manager, you know what your people are doing. If you don't, you should be fired. The solutions to this problem are bleedingly obvious, but unpalatable, so they need to spend millions paying someone else to give them the options, that they then won't implement...

  • I just figured out why the patent system is so screwed up. One word .. union.
  • Yeah, blame it all on the examiners--don't pay any attention to the management which requires them to process and pass as many patents as they can in as little time as possible, because that brings in the most money. It's all the fault of those "lazy" employees who basically do what they're told! :p ;)

    If you really want to change things, don't measure performance by how many patents are granted! Because there's no surer way of guaranteeing that bad patents will be passed than that!

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