PTAB patent cemetery -

“I have joined with U.S. Inventor and other stakeholders to ask the USPTO to focus on the tremendous harm that post-issuance reviews cause to the ‘economy and the integrity of the patent system’ when they are used as weapons against small inventor-owned businesses.” Josh Malone

On October 25, the AIPLA Annual Meeting will host a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Inter Partes Review (IPR) trial to determine the fate of a pair of patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to Zaxcom for a Digital Recording Wireless Microphone. Zaxcom is a U.S. manufacturer of high-end, specialized wireless microphones and recording equipment for the film and television industries. The company was founded in 1986 by Glenn Sanders, the named inventor on the challenged patents.

I met Glenn at the trial on his first patent last week, which was held at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. I monitor the PTAB docket in an attempt to help inventors and their novice attorneys navigate the “patent death squad”, or at least expose the more blatant examples of abuse. I help them if I am able, but at the very least I Uber down to the USPTO headquarters from my new home in Alexandria to lend moral support.

The Zaxcom case caught my attention for several reasons. First, this was not a patent troll asserting a stack of vague, overly broad patents, but was an inventor-owned company that was producing the invention. Second, Glenn was manufacturing his invention and creating jobs in the United States. Third, the technology has won Engineering Emmy Awards and has been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a Technical Achievement Award. Finally, Chief Administrative Patent Judge Scott Boalick was on the panel. How could the USPTO grant a patent, the claimed invention earn Emmy and Academy awards, and then the USPTO decide the patent was likely to be invalid? Especially when Director Iancu is traveling throughout the country and testifying in Congress that it is a new day at the USPTO and that he has restored balance at the PTAB?

This article first appeared on IPWatchDog. To read the rest of Josh Malone’s Article, click here.