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US Shutdown Is Good News For Patent Trolls

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the nothing's-going-to-slow-us-down dept.

Patents 84

judgecorp writes "It's just a sidebar on the US government shutdown but, while agencies including NASA and NIST are displaying blank websites, the US Patent and Trademark Office is running as normal because its funding is guaranteed by the US Constitution. Thus, patent trolls can continue to file bogus business patents, while the FTC is closed and can't combat them, and the Department of Justice can't handle appeals and enforcement."

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84 comments

PJ? We need you! (5, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | about 7 months ago | (#45022781)

You'd expect a big story about this on Groklaw, with great insights, backgrounds etc. Too bad Pamela closed her site.

Re:PJ? We need you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023175)

It's not so much as guaranteed funding as it is in fact an enumerated power of Congress.

Re:PJ? We need you! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023267)

Too bad Pamela closed her site.

Too bad the NSA shit the bed for so many people, their businesses and our country's reputation.

Re:PJ? We need you! (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 7 months ago | (#45023273)

Why would this generate a story, it is just a garbage article. Patents aren't reviewed and granted in days or even weeks, you would be considered to have been kissed on the prick if it was done in months instead of years. filing while the government is shutdown won't make the slightest bit of difference unless you expect this shutdown to run for years and in which case I think patent trolls will be the least of your worries.

Re: PJ? We need you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023509)

And of course no patents where filed those months and years ago, so there is provably no patents that just got valid that have to be fought...

Re: PJ? We need you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023767)

And of course no patents where filed those months and years ago, so there is provably no patents that just got valid that have to be fought...

(posted anonymously because I already modded the GP up...)

Fighting a patent take a lot of time and money. There will be precisely zero impact from a shutdown like this. This article is trolling for a flamefest of some bizarre subset of Slashdot readers that:

a) have no idea how patents work, but hold strong opinions about them (most of /.)
b) Are rabidly anti-government to the point where they'll accept as truth anything posted about it (most of /., it seems)
c) I don't have a C.

And in retrospect, it seems the article is pretty much dead on the majority of the interactive /. demographics in 2013. If it was me submitting it, though, I would've tossed in something about Microsoft for good measure.

Re: PJ? We need you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023775)

and of course legal challenges and court cases are things that magically happen overnight. grow up, the story is simply trollbait.

peaceful comments (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45022787)

It also seems like there are less insightful comments since the shutdown, officers gone fishing?

Re:peaceful comments (2)

somersault (912633) | about 7 months ago | (#45023131)

I had no idea some people thought "insightful" (having uncommonly clear perception of what's going on) was the same as "inciteful" (the opposite of peaceful).

Re:peaceful comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45026239)

where, all the public lakes and rivers are shutdown.

Speculation, Not News (0)

Nyder (754090) | about 7 months ago | (#45022789)

The article has no proof to back up that Patent Trolls are putting in patents since the Gov shut down. Bullshit article that landed on Slashdot.

Re:Speculation, Not News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45022867)

Patent Trolls are always putting in patents. This isn't about patent trolls rushing to fill out even more patents now, its about nobody being around to do anything about it.

Re:Speculation, Not News (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45022955)

It takes years to get a patent out of the USPTO, so filing an application now won't make a lick of difference unless the shutdown lasts well past the next election. Plus, the FTC and the DOJ have never had any involvement with getting patents from the USPTO. Only the DoD does (because the DoD can issue secrecy orders that keep a patent application a secret.)

Re:Speculation, Not News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023311)

because the DoD can issue secrecy orders that keep a patent application a secret.

Eureka! We now have our watermark for "obvious" patents. If the DoD doesn't think it's something that they can use against our enemies, allies and citizens, then the patent application is too obvious (implying that some other country may have already thought of it).

Re:Speculation, Not News (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023371)

EXACTLY!

The reason the Patent Office is open is because they are self-funding not because it's funding is guaranteed. It, also, makes money for the government. There however is only a limited amount of time they can remain open until reserve funds run out and it shuts down.

Re:Speculation, Not News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023601)

It's like this... the homos that work at Slashdot figure they are part of the "mainstream media" and are just trying to do their part to whip the public up into a frenzy against the evil, uncaring Republicans.

It's that simple. The little faggots on their has-been site think they actually matter.

Re:Speculation, Not News (1)

hazah (807503) | about 7 months ago | (#45024723)

The special ointment for your butthurt is found at the edge of a cliff.

Re:Speculation, Not News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024887)

Thanks. I realize my butt and butt products hold special fascination for you, but next time, I would appreciate it if you used your own butt cream.

What about customs? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 7 months ago | (#45022835)

With the FTC closed, can patent trolls prevent the importation of electronics from the Chinese companies contracted to produce them for American companies supposedly infringing on lame software-related patents?

Re:What about customs? (2)

muphin (842524) | about 7 months ago | (#45022875)

is that why they took down SilkRoad before the government collapsed?

Re:What about customs? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023319)

They took down Silk Road because most of the purchases were made by government employees and the FBI didn't want this to become apparent when sales dried up overnight.

Re:What about customs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023505)

They really just wanted the bitcoins to fund the coming New Goverment Order. That's why they "shutdown" so many of their websites and other systems, too, they're really using them for mining more bitcoins.

Re:What about customs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023663)

Bitcoins will be the new war-gold of the early 21st century.

and so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45022989)

...anarchy ensues.

Re:and so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023173)

...anarchy ensues.

Oh good! Now we can steal with impunity! Except, larceny is a state crime.

Too bad there still are state governments?

But violators can't be.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 7 months ago | (#45022993)

Are the courts open? If not, then anyone who wants to violate a patent can do so w/ impunity, since the trolls can't then file lawsuits - where will they file it?

Also, how does one 'constitutionally fund' something if the money is out?

Re:But violators can't be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023159)

This. If DoJ is closed there are no patents. There is also no punishment for crimes, unless you count police brutality as punishment.

Offcourse, not the whole government was shutdown. The only parts that WERE shutdown is the actual fluff around the actually somewhat important parts of government. It would be a good time to check which thing could simply be closed or moved to other instances, such as regional governments. (Monuments, etc. why would they need to be under federal funding?)

Re:But violators can't be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023339)

The DoJ is closed temporarily. The laws and patents still exist. If you violate the laws you just have to wait a little longer until they do something about it. And AFA any existing investigations or prosecutions are concerned, they're just in a holding pattern until the DC dick measuring contest is resolved.

terrorists and traitors (1, Flamebait)

dltaylor (7510) | about 7 months ago | (#45023177)

If any other bunch of zealots, domestic or foreign, created enough chaos to shut down significant amounts of the US Federal Government, they'd be labelled as terrorists, hunted down and shot.

Why not the Members of the House that have done the same?

Re:terrorists and traitors (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023207)

The Members of the House were elected by the People. The People are the Real Terrorists(tm).

Re:terrorists and traitors (1, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | about 7 months ago | (#45023675)

Actually, the vast majority of House seats are assigned to the individual parties (via gerrymandering) and "elected" by party loyalists during the primaries. The People don't get much of a vote in Congress (Between 3% and 5% of congressional seats are considered "competitive"). Interestingly enough, in this house the Democratic candidates got about 1.7 million more votes that the Republican candidates but have 33 fewer seats than the Republicans [wikipedia.org] . So in a very real sense, the People should not be held responsible for Congress, because they didn't get what they voted for.

Re:terrorists and traitors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024051)

The ACA wasn't passed by elected Senators either. 3 of the votes required to get it to the 60 votes were from appointed Senators, one of which the rules were for the seat to be elected and not appointed but they changed the rules after Kennedy died.

So the precious "Obamacare" has never passed with elected officials either. Anyways most states changed the rules to districting to avoid gerrymandering, so your statement isn't completely true either.

Re:terrorists and traitors (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#45023671)

In the Westminster system the same dead locked funding scenario is called a "double dissolution". It's a constitutional trigger for a general election, the theory being that if the government of the day can't get their agenda funded by a hostile senate, then we pick a new government/senate that can at least keep the fucking lights on. What's the point of electing a bunch of public servants if they stubbornly insist on derailing the delivery of public services?

Re:terrorists and traitors (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 months ago | (#45025013)

In the Westminster system... pick a new government/senate

In Westminster, the "senate" is chosen exclusively by Betty Windsor.

Re:terrorists and traitors (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 7 months ago | (#45025377)

In the UK, yeah, the House of Lords is a pretty closed house, but the Westminster system is used in other places too. In Australia we use it, and our senators are voted in every second election (twice the term length of the house.)

Re:terrorists and traitors (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#45033059)

Your incorrect, the Queen does not pick them, she simply rubber stamps their appointment, in the same way she rubber stamps a general election and a new parliment. Tell me, when was the last time the Queen refused to use that stamp, when did she actually "choose" to do anything other than her cerimonial duties? Aside from that, I was talking about Australlia where senators are elected rather than appointed by the government of the day.

One of the very few exception to the monarchy staying "hands off" the government is her role in breaking the "double dissolution" senarion. If the PM refeused to call an election the Queen can sack them and call an election herself. That exact senario played out here in the 1970's when Gough Whitlam refused to call an election after his budget was rejected twice by the senate.

Re:terrorists and traitors (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 7 months ago | (#45026281)

What a wonderful self perpetuation system on a path to total tyranny. Perhaps a shutdown is a good thing, Perhaps we can keep it shut down for a year or two and find out that things actually get better.

It's legitimate (4, Interesting)

fritsd (924429) | about 7 months ago | (#45023699)

In other democracies, it's an uncommon but perfectly legitimate thing that a member of parliament can write a motion to send the government home.

It's called a "Vote of No Confidence". *IF* that vote passes, the government falls.

The reason why it's uncommon is as follows: that MP or political party is saying "We must disregard the will of the majority of the people who elected this government. we don't care about our jobs and the jobs of the other parliamentarians we currently have. This issue is so important that we are willing to overrule everything to ensure the government can't enact this law: "over our dead bodies". If that means that the people won't trust us anymore and stop voting for us for 12 years, so be it. This issue is more important than us being ever re-elected again."

IOW, it's a good thing that this mechanism exists to contain excesses, but in a normal democracy it has a price

Re:It's legitimate (1)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#45027001)

Sounds like a fair price. If you're not willing to put your [insert body part here] on the block here then it's not important enough to implode the government.

Complete misrepresentation (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023237)

It is sad how bad the editors are at their job. Just a quick glance at the linked article will find the full quote included therein:

The USPTO, for example, is established in the US Constitution, and has its own funding that doesn’t depend on annual Congressional appropriations to the extent that some others do.

But that funding won’t last forever. And if the budget deadlock remains in force for more than a few weeks, the USPTO will cease most operations along with the rest of the Department of Commerce as part of a Shutdown Plan that went into effect in September.

And reading the full quote, we see that the OP completely 1) misread 2) misunderstood what they were being told. Did the OP intentionally misread the article, or was the OP a total idiot? We don't know the answer to that question.

Re:Complete misrepresentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025189)

Don't forget that OP also got to use the term "patent troll" despite that it benefits all patent applicants.

Re:Complete misrepresentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025285)

The OP is obivously not XOR

In other news (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 7 months ago | (#45023249)

Does this mean NSA mass surveillance analysis is taking a back seat? or is it just the essential services that are shutting down?

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45028969)

On the news last night James Clapper was pissing and moaning about how 75% of his people were furloughed. FEMA was warning that if we have a disaster we're doomed... but they'll still grope you at the airport.

Greatest show on earth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023295)

i no longer know if America is real or just a sitcom. Really! the goverment has shut down?. Stay tuned as Trolls invade in the next episode.

Re:Greatest show on earth... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023323)

If only it had aired on Fox, America would have been canceled by now.

Huh? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 7 months ago | (#45023483)

So we are guaranteed patents, but not justice?

Re:Huh? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 7 months ago | (#45025081)

No. You're guaranteed the opportunity to file for a patent and possibly have it granted, even if the shutdown continues although there could be some trickle down delays. And you're still guaranteed eventual justice, it just may not ultimately be as soon as you'd like.

Washington Monument Syndrome (5, Insightful)

Dialecticus (1433989) | about 7 months ago | (#45023527)

This is just an example of Washington Monument Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , wherein the government (or a branch of it), when faced with budget cuts, first shuts down whatever site or service will cause the most uproar. Never mind the graft, never mind the mountains of wasteful spending, just cut funding to fire departments, schools, police, whatever will get noticed and inspire outrage the fastest. The idea is to apply pressure to the taxpayers, the budget office, the ways and means committee, or whoever else is capable of deciding that they should get more money. They do this every single time.

It's exactly the same as a petulant child who, upon being told that he can only have two pieces of candy instead of five, holds his breath and stomps his feet in an effort to reverse the decision. And it's equally mature.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023551)

This is just an example of Washington Monument Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , wherein the government (or a branch of it), when faced with budget cuts, first shuts down whatever site or service will cause the most uproar. Never mind the graft, never mind the mountains of wasteful spending, just cut funding to fire departments, schools, police, whatever will get noticed and inspire outrage the fastest. The idea is to apply pressure to the taxpayers, the budget office, the ways and means committee, or whoever else is capable of deciding that they should get more money. They do this every single time.

It's exactly the same as a petulant child who, upon being told that he can only have two pieces of candy instead of five, holds his breath and stomps his feet in an effort to reverse the decision. And it's equally mature.

Perfectly describes Baracky Obumbles, doesn't that?

Before you mod this down, note well that Obama is doing shit like trying to barricade off Mt Vernon [infowars.com] , despite the fact that George Washingtons's home is privately-owned. (Yeah, nasty partisan news source there, but the fact that you're not getting that information from larger news sources should tell you something....)

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023633)

I'm surprised you aren't in favor; the move comes right out of the Reagan playbook.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 7 months ago | (#45025313)

I'm surprised you aren't in favor; the move comes right out of the Reagan playbook.

IOKIYAR. Always and forever, remember this: IOKIYAR.

Particularly if you're St. Ronald, of course.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 7 months ago | (#45024875)

Yeah, nasty partisan news source there, but the fact that you're not getting that information from larger news sources should tell you something....

Nice. "The less reporting, the larger the conspiracy!" Even Infowars hasn't reported on Barack HUSSEIN Obama's quadrillion-dollar black budget for orbiting mind control rays ... that must mean they're already operating!

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 7 months ago | (#45024147)

And that's why World War II veterans wanting to see a completely unstaffed memorial to the war they themselves fought in had to storm the ridiculous barricades like it was Omaha Beach.

I think this time at least a few people will see through the stage props and realize they've caught the government at their own game. Whether they'll bother to do anything about it, if they can even figure out that they should, is doubtful.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45026927)

Storm the barricades? WTF? They were let in by some congressmen who walked down and, well, let them in.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 months ago | (#45025187)

This is just an example of Washington Monument Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , wherein the government (or a branch of it), when faced with budget cuts, first shuts down whatever site or service will cause the most uproar.

If you think parks and monuments are the only things that have been shut down, you haven't been paying attention at all.

But regardless, what does this say of House Republicans trying to now fund parks and monuments piecemeal, ignoring things like food inspection in the process?

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45026069)

This is just an example of Washington Monument Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , wherein the government (or a branch of it), when faced with budget cuts, first shuts down whatever site or service will cause the most uproar.

If you think parks and monuments are the only things that have been shut down, you haven't been paying attention at all.

If you think he said that, you didn't read his post.

But regardless, what does this say of House Republicans trying to now fund parks and monuments piecemeal, ignoring things like food inspection in the process?

Why haven't we moved food inspection to the states/territories already? It's not like our food sources are the same from the Virgin Islands to Alaska, or we have the same standards of health in California and Louisiana. The worst part about the shutdown is that we don't know how long it will last, so we don't know whether or not to start handling these things ourselves.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 months ago | (#45027153)

Why haven't we moved food inspection to the states/territories already?

Because, among other things, "food safety" and "race to the bottom" are two things that shouldn't go together.

The Pure Food and Drug Act is over a century old now. Try asking why a federal law was enacted to begin with.

Re:Washington Monument Syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45029311)

Why haven't we moved food inspection to the states/territories already?

Because, among other things, "food safety" and "race to the bottom" are two things that shouldn't go together.

What's so bad about a race to the bottom? Why shouldn't states compete to have minimal but effective regulations, or private food certificates?

The Pure Food and Drug Act is over a century old now. Try asking why a federal law was enacted to begin with.

I did; although it was originally enacted with good intentions, they didn't think ahead and it has devolved into rent-seeking for large corporations. Do you cite this example because you know everyone DIDN'T have Yelp back then?

Democrats as shills for lawyers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023619)

Quote: "Thus, patent trolls can continue to file bogus business patents, while the FTC is closed and can't combat them, and the Department of Justice can't handle appeals and enforcement."

How silly! You're making the mistake of assuming than any Democratic administration, much less our current Chicago machine one, is against patent trolls. Look at how much money lawyers give to the Democratic party. Or check and you'll find that the East Texas judge that just ruled in favor of Lodsys was a Obama appointee.

It's the Republicans who look out for small businesses, including software developers, and have long deplored bullying, greedy lawyers. It's the Democrats who serve at the beck and call of those greedy lawyers. Heck, that's so obvious, I think even journalists know it.

That's why it's silly to think that the current FTC and DOJ are going to go against these trolls.

Re:Democrats as shills for lawyers (1)

TC Wilcox (954812) | about 7 months ago | (#45023811)

How silly! You're making the mistake of assuming than any Democratic administration, much less our current Chicago machine one, is against patent trolls. Look at how much money lawyers give to the Democratic party. Or check and you'll find that the East Texas judge that just ruled in favor of Lodsys was a Obama appointee.

Empirical observation - Patent trolls have done quite well no matter which party has been in party.... It is almost like neither party cares to stop them....

US Shutdown is Good News for /. Article Trolls (2)

swillden (191260) | about 7 months ago | (#45023707)

Numerous problems with this story:

1. PTO isn't open because its "funding is guaranteed by the Constitution". The Constitution merely authorizes Congress to establish a PTO. The office is open because it doesn't rely on government funding; it's funded by application fees.

2. Given that the patent process takes years, having the FTC down for a few days won't have any effect. That is assuming that the FTC even has any role in patent approval/validation, which I don't think is true.

3. The federal courts and much of the DoJ are not closed... plus having them shut down for a few days won't have any effect on patents.

Re:US Shutdown is Good News for /. Article Trolls (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 7 months ago | (#45025055)

3. The federal courts and much of the DoJ are not closed... plus having them shut down for a few days won't have any effect on patents.

...for now. Federal courts apparently have about 2 weeks worth of funding to continue to operate. After that, staffers may be furloughed for non-essential tasks, and essential staff would not be paid until after funding is approved. I'm sure working unpaid for an indeterminate period of time will motivate them to do their very best work.

If it comes down to figuring out what is or isn't an essential task, I'm going to bet that almost all non-criminal cases get put on the back burner until the funding is passed.

Re:US Shutdown is Good News for /. Article Trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025199)

The office is open because it doesn't rely on government funding; it's funded by application fees.

You are halfway right. The USPTO can fully fund itself from fees, and it used to do just that. However; a while back, they turned budget authority over to Congress (don't ask me why). So, even if they take in more money than they spend (and right now they are), they can still get shut down, and they will be, when there appropriated funds run out.

Patent Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023737)

We should have given it the same treatment we gave the other public buildings when we had the opportunity in the war of 1812

Re:Patent Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023895)

Wow, you really think it refers to an actual office, don't you? Do you also believe your "ministers" are religious figures?

Check the box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023749)

Another way for oblamer to harm the public while advancing his propaganda.

ARTICLE IS A TROLL IMHO (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45023763)

Long time slashdot lurker, first post. To disclose my bias: I'm a patent attorney, but I'm also a long time EFF supporter and member. This article is a bit disingenuous or wrong. The Constitution does not guarantee funding to the Patent Office. Instead, at best, Article 1 section 1 clause 8 says that Congress shall have the power to grant limited monopolies to inventors to further the progress of arts and sciences. A patent is only granted to someone who files an application, pays $$$$$ fees, invents something new (never been done before), is not obvious, and teaches the public fully how to make and use the invention. The fees are so much for filing and prosecuting an application that the Patent Office is the ONLY branch of government that is self-sufficient needing no taxpayer moneys and instead they generate such a surplus that the extra cash goes to other branches to help them operate. The quid pro quo from patent filings is awesome for the republic (not withstanding non-practicing entity trolls). We, the people, get $$$$ massive filing, prosecution, and maintenance fees, attorney fees, a full public disclosure of the technology such that once the patent expires (or if it doesn't issue as is often the case, the public is free to use the technology. Therefore, the patent office isn't shut down because it's actually generating revenue and it's accepting new disclosures from around the world. If we shut down then we wouldn't know e.g. Taiwan's latest greatest encryption protocol; China's new nuclear process; Russia's new oil exploration method... Our patent office is NOT the enemy. Far from it. They maintain a fully public accessible website of over 9 MILLION Patents fully text searchable; MILLIONS of published applications that didn't become patents (maybe not new or non-obvious enough or didn't comply with formalities)....MILLIONS of design patents... all free all available for the public - Aaron, may he read in peace, would approve. Our founding fathers realized it was essential for us to be dominant in the innovation and technology field that's why it's in the Constitution. Just wanted to toss my two cents in. IMHO.

no. (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 7 months ago | (#45023907)

TFA claims:

The USPTO, for example, is established in the US Constitution

No. No, it's not. The power -- not the obligation -- to issue patents and copyrights is established in the Constitution, but the USPTO is no more established there than any agency carrying out any other power of Congress.

Bad summary - self funded, not guaranteed (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 7 months ago | (#45024389)

Summary: "... the US Patent and Trademark Office is running as normal because its funding is guaranteed by the US Constitution."
Article:

The USPTO, for example, is established in the US Constitution, and has its own funding that doesn’t depend on annual Congressional appropriations to the extent that some others do.

See, Subby, it's not that the funding is guaranteed by the Constitution, but that the funding comes from its own fees rather than Congressional allotment. Consider, the very same clause in the Constitution that establishes the Patent Office also establishes the Copyright Office... And yet, the Copyright Office is closed [copyright.gov] . The difference is that it only costs $35 to register a copyright, and costs upwards of $3000 in fees to get a patent.

Dumb Post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024395)

Why did samzenpus let this through? The poster knows nothing about the patent system. USPTO has 4 weeks of funding, no other Constitutional guarantees. Patents are not challenged by anyone until AFTER they are approved/rejected. Get a clue!

US Shutdown is GOOD NEWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024563)

yep.

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024627)

i swear this site has gone downhill over the last 13 years

Read It Sometime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025921)

The issuance of patents is authorized in the US Constitution. Funding is not guaranteed. Patents are not guaranteed - the US has not always had a patent system in place. It is merely permitted.

When did they change the Constitution? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 7 months ago | (#45026805)

Last time I checked, the only thing the constitution has to say about patents was that Congress CAN grant them, and they were supposed to be placed on a short leash, what with the limited times clause and the purpose explicitly being the promotion of progress. As others have said, a part of why the USPTO is still running is because of their funding model. This is just something done by statute.

Reexaminations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45027681)

The PTO being open also means reexaminations of patents can continue. The ITC is closed, so trolling in that venue is sidelined for a bit.

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