SANTA CLARA, Calif. – As many as 100 new patent examiners and administrative patent law judges will be setting up office in Silicon Valley by 2014, said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), after receiving an award from the IEEE here.
The Silicon Valley office is one of three satellite locations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office mandated by a broad and controversial patent reform bill passed last summer. The U.S. General Services Administration is now seeking a site close to mass transit for the Silicon Valley office in Santa Clara, San Jose or Sunnyvale, Lofgren said.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed “offered them the 14th floor of San Jose City Hall to help accelerate their move, though not as a permanent location,” said Lofgren.
In an event at the Marvell Semiconductor headquarters here, the IEEE gave Lofgren an award for distinguished public service for her record on issues supporting the electronics industry and engineering profession. After a short ceremony attended by Bay Area academic and industry luminaries, Lofgren spoke on issues of concern to the high tech community such as intellectual property and immigration.
“A lot of my colleagues back in Washington don’t get who we are,” she said, calling out Marvell founder Weili Dai, formerly of Shanghai, who attended the event. “A majority of our companies are founded by Americans who came from somewhere else,” Lofgren said.
“We want to make sure people who want to start companies here don’t wind up going someplace else,” Lofgren said, adding that current H1-B visa and other immigration laws need to be reformed.
Separately, Lofgren said she didn’t vote for the 2011 patent reform bill because she didn’t like compromises in the final package “that didn’t solve the problem of patent trolls.” But she did work to lobby for a satellite patent office in Silicon Valley and applauded the part of the bill enabling it.
She noted the patent office has a backlog of 620,000 pending patents, and as many as 500,000 new patents are filed every year. With a local branch of the patent office “products can be brought from the drawing board to the marketplace faster and easier, creating a more direct path to economic growth and the job creation,” she said.
In the day of pigeon mail and horse carriages a local office made great sense. Even today though the easier ability for face-face will help, but not as much as it might have 50-100 years ago. As the representative mentioned, it will be another employment opportunity for lawyers. Funding for academic research should be based on govt 'investment' getting a share of the IP, and any licensing fees. If Google (or Sun) came out of US-funded research the govt (ie the taxpayers) should get a reasonable portion of the booty, not just the profs and VCs. There also needs to be a 'nationality' limitation on patents. Non-citizens applying for US patents should pay a 'visa-like' fee (ie much higher than a citizen, or a permanent resident might). YES I am sounding 'protectionist', and with the decline in our economy we are headed to a 3rd world stature UNLESS we head it off at the 'pass'.
@MClayton Sounds like a point of research for me - if what you say is true then I agree. Universities were a great source for IP/designs that can be used and this was developed using our tax dollars in some cases. So, they may be ours by definition.
Start by killing the Dole-Bayh Act which legalized using tax dollars in university research to create PERSONAL patents for the university instead of freely sharing with all universities for faster progress (e.g. in microbiology). Suddenly,the open sharing AND peer review disappeared in favor of secrecy until patent applied. Paid by my tax dollars. Did it improve progress or retard it?
@David.Bley The idea of "people" within the constitution was pretty much "people of means" not "common people".
So, the founding fathers probably didn't even think that the average person would have a greater education than themselves and thereby have the potential to resolve issues despite the laws. Too bad the lawyers have been effective at obfuscation and "fud" to the opposite.
If you cannot strike the generals, the soldiers are greedy hordes eager for booty, and the war is not reaching an end that is equitable for society then attack the supply chain.
Now all they need is sufficient qualified patent staff, a new set of patent laws for all aspects of patenting, shorter patent duration for patents in areas of fast progression, and a way of ensuring that no patent is used to impede progress.
Once the above is complete we can discuss the corrections that are harder to make. Like getting lawyers to accept reducing their involvement and/or profits. After all, if patent litigation were not as lucrative then it would be a greater challenge to find lawyers who want to do it when fewer lawyers that see the pot of gold. When it is difficult to find a lawyer to take the job then abuse may be curtailed. But, likely the greedier of the companies will sponsor talent into the litigious roles and away from constructive work.
Patent reform is a fraud on America. Congress and Obama are both to blame. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and destroying their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. The bill will make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. In this way large firms are able to play king of the hill and keep their small competitors from reaching the top as they have. Yet small entities create the lion's share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, “startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” This bill is a wholesale destroyer of US jobs. Those wishing to help fight this bill should contact us as below.
Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors. Congress and Obama tinkering with patent law while gagging inventors is like a surgeon operating before examining the patient.
Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways and set America on a course for sustainable prosperity, not large corporation lobbied poverty, should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.
Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html for a different/opposing view on patent reform.
Just because they call it "reform" doesn't mean it is.
"patent reform"...America Invents Act, vers 2.0, 3.0...
“This is not a patent reform bill” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) complained, despite other democrats praising the overhaul. “This is a big corporation patent giveaway that tramples on the right of small inventors.”
Senator Cantwell is right. All these bills do is legalize theft. Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is. The paid puppets of banks, huge multinationals, and China continue to brain wash and bankrupt America.
They should have called these bills the America STOPS Inventing Act or ASIA, because that’s where they’re sending all our jobs.
The patent bill (vers 2, 3, etc) is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Congress passed it and Obama signed it. Who are they working for??