IS THIS WHAT WE HAVE COME TO?
Yesterday I attended the 17th l All Ohio Annual Institute on Intellectual Property, held in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio each year. As always it was informative and, dare I say it, entertaining.
As I was settling into my chair for the talk entitled Professionalism: Developments in USPTO Practice, I was fully prepared NOT to pay attention. Since I don't file patent applications I knew that much of the talk would not directly concern me. But as the big cheese general counsel from the USPTO began to speak I found myself riveted upon his words.
As I said, I don't file patent applications, but I have been AROUND patent law for a long time. I have a passing familiarity with patent prosecution jargon. And I was aware that charges of inequitable conduct routinely arise when patents are in dispute.
But I had no bloody idea.
Big cheese PTO general counsel had a passel of PowerPoint slides and a well thought out speech. And his message was very clear.
No more submitting papers to the PTO without READING the papers.
Sorry but you can't continue to bury information that undercuts your patent application under a mountain of spurious stuff.
No more patent applications with 3,000 dependent claims.
Can't file a document and repeatedly support it with a a bogus check, or repeatedly fail to put money in a deposit account.
He had many other examples of what some people apparently believe to be proper advocacy.
I was stuuned. And saddened.
Sure, the importance of intangible property cannot be overstated. Admittedly, the stakes are often very high.
You can call me naiive. You can tell me that I don't undertand. And you will be right.
Because I cannot imagine being asked to do or doing any of the things that big cheese PTO general counsel described.