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[News] USPTO Feeds Monster Lawyers (Not Science)

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Lawyers Fined $72.6 Million For Screwing Up Patent Application, Not Letting
Company Sue For Enough Cash

,----[ Quote ]
| Rob Hyndman points us to the news that a law firm has been hit with a $72.6 
| million judgment for legal malpractice, after a company who had hired the law 
| firm to handle its patent applications claimed that the law firm screwed up 
| the applications, making it that much harder for the company to shake down 
| other companies for cash.    


Of Patent Trolls and Trademark Champions: A Tale of Two Spangenbergs

,----[ Quote ]
| But that version misses the byzantine backstory to this suit: Spangenberg and 
| her husband Erich already sit atop a sizable fortune, won through 
| intellectual property litigation.  


We've Had Patent Trolls And Copyright Trolls... So Why Not Trademark Trolls?

,----[ Quote ]
| So, it was really only a matter of time before we got "trademark trolls," as 
| well. To be honest, we've had a few stories about a guy named Leo Stoller, 
| who has been dubbed a trademark troll after registering trademarks on all 
| sorts of common words and then insisting no one could use those words without 
| paying.     


This is innovation???


Has the US patent system gone too far?

,----[ Quote ]
| When Samuel Hopkins came up with a method for improving the production of
| potash, it was probably just the kind of invention that President George
| Washington had in mind when he created the US patent system. Hopkins, who in
| 1790 received the first American patent ever issued, had discovered a way to
| increase the production of a critical resource used to make glass, soap, and
| soil fertilizer.


Backlog At The Copyright Office Highlights Massive Problem With The System

,----[ Quote ]
| As you hopefully know, you don't need to register to get a copyright these
| days (and haven't since 1976), but you can still register, and need to do so
| if you want to sue someone else for damages. So, professional creators still
| register copyright on pretty much everything they do -- though the process is
| still a bit unclear even to the experts. At the recent copyright conference
| at Santa Clara University, one of the more amusing moments was when someone
| asked about registering blog posts and how that could/should be done -- and a
| bunch of the world's foremost experts in copyright law (including multiple
| representatives from the Copyright Office) effectively threw up their hands
| and said they had no clue what actually needed to be registered and how. It
| resulted in a lot of rather awkward laughter from folks in the room.


Intellectual Monopolies Kill: Two Examples

,----[ Quote ]
| If people with breast cancer genes are demonstrably suffering in this way,
| statistics tells us that some of them will be dying as a direct result of
| Myriad's aggressive defence of its unwarranted intellectual monopolies.

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