Is Patent Law Transparency Is an Oxymoron?

November 18, 2021

Here’s a quote for you:

patent examiners were being guided to flout the Supreme Court.

Who is writing this? A crazed and unappreciated patent attorney? A mechanical engineer who thought working on patents would be fun? A zonked out MBA who thought that cutting and pasting from random patents would result in an award?


The statement comes from the Public Interest Patent Law Institute. You can read the article with that statement on the Piplius Web site or just click this link: “Patent Office Secrets Revealed!”

I have looked at a handful of patents, and I thank my lucky stars for blunting my interest in becoming a legal eagle. But even a clueless person like myself marvels at some of the patents granted. Let me cite one example. Banjo (now SafeX) went on a patent filing spree. Some of those patents explain the fancy math used in the Banjo / SafeX system. Does the patent cover the information in those novel inventions? My reaction is, “What the heck?”

The Piplius (I love that made up word) write up says:

The secret guidance concerns the application of the part of the Patent Act that prohibits patents on abstract ideas, laws of nature, and natural phenomena. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld this prohibition. Each time, it has emphasized that patents combining these categories of subject matter with generic or conventional components are invalid.

So what? The write up says:

The Patent Office cannot retract unlawfully granted patents, but it can and must prevent such patents from being granted in the future. It can do so easily by re-instating the guidance the last Director unilaterally rescinded. That guidance is consistent with Supreme Court precedent and fully open to the public. The next Patent Office Director can and must restore it. 

How many patents may have been processed so that laws were allegedly violated? My thought is that an eager first year at one of the estimable law schools might look into this question. On second thought, nah, who cares unless it is billable. But I chuckle at the notion of secret procedures.

Stephen E Arnold, November 18, 2021


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta