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Taking action against Patent Spam

Patent SpamI’ve written about it before, how the patent process is fast approaching spam levels. We now have offensive patents (offensive in more ways than intended), defensive patents, speculative patents, frivolous patents, even downright fraudulent ones.

The New Scientist informed me that:

100 patents are issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office every working hour, overstretching staff there, Congress heard last week

So I thought I’d check on precisely what the USPTO guys told Congress. Here’s a quote:

Patent examiners completed 332,000 patent applications in 2006, the largest number ever, while achieving the lowest patent allowance error rate — 3.5% — in over 20 years. At 54%, the patent allowance rate also was the lowest on record. Patent allowance rate is the percentage of applications reviewed by examiners that are approved. The agency also processed a record number of trademark applications in 2006. USPTO trademark examining attorneys took final action on 378,111 trademark applications, a 36% increase over the previous year, and achieved a record low final action error rate, with mistakes found in only 3.6% of the trademark applications reviewed in FY 2006.

Link.

Maybe it’s time to publish lists of the top 10 patent applicants by volume; we publish car emissions and gas consumption, so why not do this?

Posted in Four pillars .


5 Responses

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  1. James Governor says

    we already know the answer to numbers one and two- HP and IBM. they actively *market* the fact they file more patents than anyone else. I keep telling them patents dont equal innovation, but i am a lonely voice. i agree the patent system suffers from terrible denial of service attacks.

  2. Paul Downey says

    And then there are these characters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_Ventures

  3. Mike says

    Here’s Audi comparing itself to NASA indeed! http://www.leyton.org/diary/2006/10/23/backfiring-adverts/

  4. bobby says

    Top Patent Holders for 2006:

    1 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP — 3651
    2 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD KR — 2453
    3 CANON K K JP — 2378
    4 MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO LTD JP — 2273
    5 HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT CO L P — 2113
    6 INTEL CORP — 1962
    7 SONY CORP JP — 1810
    8 HITACHI LTD JP — 1749
    9 TOSHIBA CORP JP — 1717
    10 MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC — 1612
    11 FUJITSU LTD JP — 1513
    12 MICROSOFT CORP — 1463
    13 SEIKO EPSON CORP JP — 1205
    14 GENERAL ELECTRIC CO — 1051
    15 FUJI PHOTO FILM CO LT D JP — 918
    16 INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG DE — 904
    17 KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS NV NL — 901
    18 TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC — 884
    19 SIEMENS AG DE — 857
    20 HONDA MOTOR CO LTD JP — 836
    21 SUN MICROSYSTEMS INC — 776
    22 DENSO CORP JP — 770
    23 NEC CORP JP — 744
    24 RICOH CO LTD JP — 695
    25 LG ELECTRONICS INC KR — 695



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