I used think that if I followed the law, applied for a patent, and that patent application was approved, then I would receive a patent that protects my invention. But U.S. patents don’t work like that anymore. They are useless if a big corporation decides to steal your invention. Several factors have led to this dire situation but the number one enemy of inventors is the politicized division of the patent office called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Rather than issuing and defending patents, the job of the PTAB is to revoke patents. They are very proficient at this, overturning their examiner colleagues over 90% of the time. My own patents are in limbo with the examining division issuing patents for my Bunch O Balloons invention, but then the PTAB comes along afterward to declare it a mistake. It has cost me millions of dollars in legal fees and enabled a notorious infringer to avoid liability for stealing my invention.
Many other inventors like myself have been cheated.
- Roman Chistyakov was gang tackled with 125 PTAB separate attacks on his plasma etching patents. There is no limit to the number of times a patent can be challenged in the PTAB.
- David Furry lost his gas line leak detector patent to the PTAB – his reward for improving the environment and energy efficiency
- PTAB helped automakers kill Alex Severinsky’s hybrid vehicle patent with 18 trials of a single patent – will he dare to share his next idea?
- David McCutchen invented a shop vacuum that cleans its own filter, but PTAB gave Black & Decker the green light to steal his invention by cancelling his patent.
- Gene Dolgoff is known as the inventor of the Holodeck and pioneer of LCD projectors, but the PTAB has declared a key invention “obvious.”
- Professional golfer Michael Bentley’s golf and baseball swing analyzer won him a patent from the USPTO – but Bentley’s patent faces the PTAB firing squad next month with a 17 percent chance of survival.
- Ron Williams’ Cablz will keep your shades on with comfort, but PTAB revoked his patent also.
- Matt Jarman pioneered video content filtering with Clearplay, but competitors persuaded the PTAB to take back his patent so they can profit instead.
Hundreds more have been scammed. When we apply for a patent, we are sharing our secret, our discovery, with the world. In exchange for sharing our secret we are promised 20 years of exclusive rights, a promise signed and sealed by the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. But with the PTAB, it means nothing. No guarantee. No warranty. Arguably a fraud. It will be revoked – by the same agency that issued it – at least 90 percent of the time.
Inventors – Your inventions, past, present, and future, are jeopardized by the existence of the PTAB.
By Josh Malone, first published by IPWatchdog