On Friday, August 11th, inventor rights group US Inventor held an event at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where the group honored excellence in high quality patent examination. US Inventor also staged a peaceful protest to raise issues surrounding high rates of patent invalidation resulting from decisions made by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Despite going on with the protest after the USPTO denied a use permit application for the event, a source from the event reports that all planned aspects of the protest, including the burning of patents in clear view of the USPTO, occurred without anyone going to jail.
Randy Landreneau, a member of US Inventor’s managing board, said in a phone interview that the day’s events seemed to be very successful from the viewpoint of those protesting. “We did about as good as we could have hoped for,” Landreneau said. “We did it all and didn’t get arrested.”
According to Landreneau, patent owners and others taking part in the protest began to arrive to the USPTO facilities in Alexandria, VA, around 7:30 AM Friday morning and began the day handing out flyers to anyone passing by. A picture we received this morning from Josh Malone, Fellow at US Inventor, shows current USPTO Acting Director Joseph Matal speaking with Paul Morinville of US Inventor along with Roman Chistyakov and Bassam Abraham of Zond, a company that saw a total of 371 patent claims invalidated by the PTAB after being faced with 125 petitions for inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. “We were happy that we were out there protesting and trying to bring these PTAB issues to light,” Landreneau said.
The unique event received international coverage as it was broadcast by BBC.