Silicon Valley patent office shelved

September 1, 2013 by Martha Mendoza

Silicon Valley's high tech firms are fighting what they consider a deeply personal federal cut this summer that shelves a planned patent office in this innovation-fueled region.

While most of the country is feeling some pinch from the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, tech leaders say this one is unique and unfair, because the Commerce Department's promised satellite patent offices were never going to be funded by taxpayers.

Instead, they're supported by the $2.8 billion in annual patent fees.

Emily Lam at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group says the decision "makes absolutely no sense." But U.S. Patent and Trademark Office chief financial officer Tony Scardino says the government's across-the-board austerity policy doesn't make exceptions for fee-supported programs.

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5 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2013
Let SV big business pay for it if they want to keep it.
2 / 5 (4) Sep 01, 2013
New Zealand has banned software patents. Obama is leading a campaign against them. The only innovation in software patents was law school graduates inventing yet another niche of conflict to fill their wallets for a generation
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2013
Apple is pissed that it can't patent the rectangle, triangle, and patent being pissed that it can not do so.
not rated yet Sep 02, 2013
I'd expect the process of applying for and using patents to be largely electronic. So what's the point of a physical presence? These Silicon Valley firms who object - I suppose they could protest by not using the patent system. Like that's going to happen.

This reaction is probably a harbinger to what we'd see with any attempted reform of the system.
not rated yet Sep 02, 2013
What makes SV special? Do they think they own the concept of innovation? Well, surprise, out here on the east coast, innovation is alive and well. If we can put up with the insanities of the patent office, why can't SV? Let them stand in line like the rest of us.
not rated yet Sep 02, 2013
@alfie - yes, applying for patents is largely electronic. However in my experience about 10% of patent applications end up requiring a trip to the patent office by the inventor to meet face-to-face with the examiner.

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