USPTO Director Kappos delivers speech on software patents, the PTO and innovation

Director David Kappos

Director of the USPTO David Kappos delivered a keynote address last week  to the Center for American Progress that focused on software patents and the smartphone “patent wars.”  The speech is noteworthy for the Director’s strong defense of software patents. The entire speech is worth reading – here are a few excerpts to induce you to:


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Four Key Trends Driving the Future of Patents

Futurist Thomas Frey: In July, David Kappos, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, announced expansion plans for the USPTO that would involve opening satellite offices in Denver, Dallas, and San Francisco. These coupled with the previously announced office in Detroit would draw on a diverse new talent pool for future examiners.



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How to defeat patent trolls

patent troll

Patent trolls rack up legal and licensing bills.

The scourge of inventors everywhere are firms that collect and enforce patents of dubious value—with no intention of creating the invention described in those patents. They force large companies to rack up legal and licensing bills, and scare away startups from putting out novel products.  These firms raise prices for all of us, and they generally slow down the future. Everyone hates them.


OECD warns quality of patents ‘falling dramatically’


Companies are filing overly broad patents on obvious ideas in the hope that one day the technology will become feasible.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that “the quality of patent filings has fallen dramatically over the past two decades. The rush to protect even minor improvements in products or services is overburdening patent offices. This slows the time to market for true innovations and reduces the potential for breakthrough inventions.”


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U.S. Government Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents

gene patents

The issue of gene patents has long been a controversial and emotional one.

Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.


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ACLU Takes on Biotech Over Patent on Genes


Lisbeth Ceriani, a breast-cancer survivor who was also a plaintiff in an ACLU case to overturn the patent on the BRCA gene held by Myriad Genetics

For Lisbeth Ceriani, news that a judge had invalidated the patent on the gene that almost killed her was a victory. Gene patents, she says, are “turning our bodies into commerce.”


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The Reciprotating Combustion Engine From Hoyt Engine Alternative Technologies


Featured invention at the Colorado Inventor Showcase 2009

The Reciprotating™ Combustion Engine is an innovative motor design that provides significant improvements in overall efficiency over the traditional internal combustion engine (Otto cycle). These improvements are described in and protected by pending domestic and international patents. The Engine creates a source of direct hydraulic pressure that can be stored and utilized to perform any engine-driven work.

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New Study Shows Patent Systems Hinder Innovation


Bill Tomlinson. associate informatics professor, used a computer game to test how U.S. patent law affects innovation

A new study challenges the traditional view that patents foster innovation, suggesting instead that they may hinder technological progress, economic activity and societal wealth. These results could have important policy implications, because many countries count on patent systems to spur new technology and promote economic growth.


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Bill Gates Has A Plan For Hurricane Calming Technology


Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets of New Orleans Aug. 30, 2005.

Good news, folks. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has turned his attention to controlling the weather. Five U.S. Patent and Trade Office patent applications, made public on July 9, propose slowing hurricanes by pumping cold, deep-ocean water in their paths from barges. If issued, the patents offer 18 years of legal rights to the idea for Gates and co-inventors, including climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.


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General Electric’s Light Within A Light


General Electric’s new Energy Smart CFL.fluorescent light is one of those things that makes you scratch your head and wonder: How the hell do they do that? A fluorescent spiral lamp into a traditional bulb?

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