Patents: Money on the Side of the Good Guys

Patents Pending,” by Frank Hayes, ComputerWorld, 2 May 2005, http://computerworld.com/managementtopics/management/story/0,10801,101434,00.html.

CW backpage columnist Frank Hayes thinks the new patent reform law may be a bad idea

Riley is an inventor. He likes patents, and not as a way of preventing anyone from using patented technology. Riley wants people to use his inventions and those of other small inventors. He just wants to get paid for his work.

Is the patent system broken? Riley doesn’t think so. Will the proposed law improve things? Riley ran down a long list of provisions in the new law designed to make it easier for big companies to avoid paying for technologies created by small inventors — something Riley says large vendors are notorious for doing.

Small inventors, big vendors, start-ups, standards organizations and customers all have skin in this game. But according to Riley, the proposed new patent law is full of proposals that benefit big vendors.

For example, making it easier to challenge patents sounds good — who could object to spiking bad patents? But the draft law also makes it easier for deep-pocketed vendors to strangle inventors with legitimate patents, just by outspending them in court. And limiting infringement damages means even if an inventor wins a patent infringement suit, his legal costs might not be covered.

Riley’s concern is that patents that cannot get money behind them will be lawyered out of existence under the new regime. If a company or dedicated group of individuals sees that a patent is a threat to them, they will just raise money to destroy it.

Well, that’s the point.

The patent system is broken. Stupid, obvious, uselss patents routinely get through the system. Slashdot and Groklaw report on this pretty regularly. I am glad the Patent Office realizes this.

But to address Hayes’/Riley’s point: Patents are not a right. They are granted by Congress for a social purpose. To quote the U.S. Constitution (a href=”http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html”>Article I, Section 8, Clause 4):

[The Congress shall have Power] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

The only purpose of patents is to promote science and useful arts. Patents are not a human right.

If a patent does not promote science and useful arts, it should not exist. Extending this, if a patent is not profitable to hold it should not exist. If an inventor is unwilling to capitalize his invention — unwilling to secure funding enough to make it defendable — it should be destroyed.

I am glad the United States Patent Office realizes this.

9 thoughts on “Patents: Money on the Side of the Good Guys”

  1. In the rest of the world patents are not rights, but in America the constitution specifically spells out that authors and inventors have rights. What is happening is that large predatory companies are afraid of becoming obsolete and they are attempting to cement their positions by legislating a system which would allow them to take inventor's property. See Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.

    The problem with allowing this is that it is small business which produces the majority of important inventions and those businesses create the new industries and jobs which companies like Microsoft are shipping to China and India. In the end when an inventor is screwed by big business their communities lose the jobs and tax base which they would have created because the big business thief ships the benefits of the invention to low wage countries.

    An invention is private property in America, and such property may be used as the owner sees fit. Using the reasoning expressed in the above commentary anyone's property should be appropriated if they don't use it for any arbitrary amount of time.

    The author needs to review our web site before responding for they are suggesting that people's property should be socialized.

    Ronald J Riley, President
    Professional Inventors Alliance
    http://www.PIAUSA.org
    RJR”at”PIAUSA.org
    Change “at” to @”
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595

  2. Who is Ronald J. Riley? He is not a licensed patent lawyer, not a registered patent agent, not a legal scholar on patent rights and not an employee or ex-employee of The US Patent Office. He is a self-proclaimed “expert” on patent law without any university training on the legalities of this field. He is not a Ph.D. on intellectual property rights and has never prosecuted or defended a patent infringement lawsuit in court.

    In other words, Ronald J. Riley has absolutely no qualifications for offering his off-the-cuff opinions on the validity of corporate patents. Even though he sounds authoritative and says that he consults with “legal scholars”, he is just a novice trying to sound important. Most of the time, he has no idea what he's talking about. In addition, Ronald J. Riley has created several inventor related organizations with several websites. He has appointed himself “President” and “Director” of these little known groups and asks for donations on every page. He even takes credit cards! What are these donations for? To support his efforts to write nonsense about the patent system?

    If anyone is seriously looking for legal advice on patent law or the USPTO, you should consult with a qualified legal professional. Ronald J. Riley may have read a couple of books about patent law, but he is certainly not a patent attorney or anyone that should be taken seriously on these matters.

  3. Who is William Scott? Is this their real name? There is no William Scott listed as a patent practioner on the patent office's web site. Are they a stooge for someone? It is clear that I have gored either their or their employer's ox. The joys of being an activist. And yes, I do attack disreputable companies and especially invention promotion fraudsters.

    http://www.InventorEd.org does take donations from individual inventors but such donations only supply about 10% of our operating budget.

    No I am not a patent practioner. But I am a commercially successful independent inventor. I do depend on a multitude of patent practioners for expert advice. And when it comes to public policy issues I have depended on recently deceased former patent commissioner Don Banner and top IP law experts Irving Kayton and James Chandler. In addition Pat Choate is deeply involved in the public policy aspects of both InventorEd.org and PIAUSA.org.

    My bio is available at http://www.rjriley.com/about-rjriley. I am listed in a multitude of Marquis Who's Who publications. I do highly value First Amendment rights.

    I have ventured numerous companies in my career and also worked for others including running an R&D group in a non-energy subsidiary of Sun Oil. I left Sun in early 1990 to pursue my own patents and have worked full time since as both an inventor and an advocate for preserving a patent system which accessible to all.

    Having experience as an inventor, knowing many other inventors, and devoting a great deal of time to educating government and media for over a decade I probably have a better grasp of the significance of both corporate and independent inventor's patents.

    Large corporations tend to produce incremental improvements in products while independent inventors tend to produce breakthrough inventions. A few contemporary examples are Dr. Damadian (MRI), Wilson Greatbatch (Pacemaker), and Gordon Gould (Laser). Incidentally I have the pleasure of knowing all of them and many more inventors.

    The Alliance for American Innovation and the related trade association of independent inventors known as the Professional Inventors Alliance did mostly prevail in an eight year legislative battle over big company's vision of a reformed patent system. We had fifteen Inventors Hall of Fame inductees and twenty six Nobel laureates who helped us win that battle. We expect to continue to beat the tar out of patent pirates both on the legislative issues and in patent infringement cases.

    Ronald J Riley, President
    Professional Inventors Alliance
    http://www.PIAUSA.org
    RJR (at) PIAUSA.org
    Change “at” to @
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595

    Ronald J Riley, Exec. Dir.
    InventorEd, Inc.
    http://www.InventorEd.org
    RJR”at”InvEd.org
    Change “at” to @

  4. No retread – new and final post :

    In response to Ronald J. Riley, I'm sorry to say that the real “stooge” here is you. But, I'm not surprised by your response. Once again, your natural tendency is to attack and belittle those who try to tell the truth about you.

    You may be able to fool the naive inventor as well as the novice reporter, but you can't fool patent attorneys or anyone else who has a true understanding of the patent system.

    On invention-related blogs your tactics are several. Sometimes, you pose as an innocent inventor who has been taken advantage of. Sometimes, you play the part of the successful inventor who never states the amount of royalties he's received. Other times, you offer baseless predictions about the outcome of selected patent infringement lawsuits. Other times, you're the vigilant patent reformer who is going to “kill” legislation single handedly. And then, there's the egotistical Ronald J. Riley who knows everything about every patent related issue, and who ceaselessly touts his great accomplishments of which I've seen no proof of whatsoever. I've also seen your contradictory posts on different blogs, your constant pleas for donations, and your tireless attempts at self-promotion.

    I've seen your amateurish websites, and have read your inflammatory language and personal biases. I've seen your “amexsux, northworstair, taubman sucks comments, skippy-scam” and other “sux” websites that make you feel important. I can't imagine that anyone takes you seriously. In fact, Mr. Riley, you are your own worst enemy by participating in such pursuits.

    When you offer information about invention scams under your fake name “inventor ed”, that is actually somewhat of a noble endeavor, but when Ronald J. Riley offers his opinions on patent law, patent infringement, confident predictions on who will prevail in patent infringement cases and advice on licensing matters, you are so far out of your league that sometimes I laugh out loud when I read your posts. I will say this much, you are very entertaining.

    You should be careful about offering any patent related advice to anyone. Only registered patent attorneys and patent agents can offer legal advice to individuals on many of the matters that you prattle on about.

    If you want to protect small inventors so badly against all the big, bad corporations, why don't you go to law school and become a patent lawyer? Instead of preaching, editorializing and spreading propaganda, you could ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING instead of just writing about what you “know” is going to happen in the future. Judging from the amount of time you spend promoting yourself and your websites, it appears that you certainly have the time to go to law school. On the other hand, if your blogs are any indication of your reasoning ability, then I seriously doubt you'd make it past the first year.

    I truly feel sorry for you Mr. Ronald Riley. If your legacy turns out to be the person whose patent rhetoric never accomplished anything, then you've wasted your life by trying to sound like a patent attorney, but not having the credentials or the knowledge to offer any credible patent advice.

  5. William Scott, Esq. Disbarred! ! Who are you working for now and in what capacity?

    See: http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:-k-E11aDKmEJ:www.cftc.gov/opa/adv01/opawa17-01.htm+%22William+Scott+Esq.+%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&lr=lang_en

    In the Matter of Curtis McNair Arnold and London Financial, Inc. Filed April 16, 2001. Curtis McNair Arnold and London Financial, Inc., and their former counsel William Scott, Esq., and the Scott Law Firm, P.A., filed two separate applications under the Equal Access to Justice Act and the Commission's implementing regulations, seeking awards of attorney fees and other expenses associated with Scott's debarment as counsel in this proceeding. After a careful review of the record, the applications of Curtis McNair Arnold and London Financial, Inc., and their former counsel William Scott, Esq., and the Scott Law Firm, P.A. for fees and other expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act were denied. Administrative Law Judge, Bruce C. Levine. CFTC Docket No. 97-12.

  6. My Dear Ronald J. Riley,

    Well sir, you are certainly living up to your reputation. As you undoubtedly know, the disbarred William Scott that you spent hours trying to find is NOT me.

    Why don't you contact him to verify my claim (if he's still alive). If he is alive, I'm sure he won't appreciate your accusations that he is the writer of my posts. You'd better be careful – he might hit you with one of those SLAPP suits that you're so fond of. I suggest that you refrain from blaming this innocent man before I contact him and inform him of your nonsense.

    But, once again, here is the Ronald J. Riley technique in action. Never getting your facts straight, never bothering to check them out properly and never worrying about wrongly accusing innocent people that could be convenient scapegoats for you.

    Thank you for proving my point about you. I'm sure if you look hard enough, you'll find an attorney named Ronald Riley who has been disbarred over the past 20 years.

    You're a deviously clever fellow Mr. Ronald J. Riley. But, then again, you know that all ready.

  7. Actually I did check and it seems that the attorney in question who just happens to have exactly the same name 🙂 as you also was a lobbyist for hire. It seems quite obvious that your current activities would be consistent with the background information I uncovered. After all, just what kind of work would an attorney-lobbyist who was disbarred five years ago be doing today?

    Now we all know that patent pirates & invention promotion frauds play really nasty and coincidently you appear on the scene posting defamatory remarks to a multitude of web sites and even creating a Blog in my name. So the fact is that you have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to smear me. Time is money and I doubt that you are doing so for nothing. I think that you are a paid stooge and I see no reason to believe your claim that you are not the disbarred lawyer-lobbyist.

    Ronald J Riley, President
    Professional Inventors Alliance
    http://www.PIAUSA.org
    RJR (at) PIAUSA.org
    Change “at” to @
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595

    Ronald J Riley, Exec. Dir.
    InventorEd, Inc.
    http://www.InventorEd.org
    RJR”at”InvEd.org
    Change “at” to @

  8. Dear Mr. Ronald J. Riley,

    Excuse me, but I'm telling you once again that I'm NOT the disbarred attorney William Scott. However, now that you've pressed the issue I am going to contact him directly to deal with you about wrongly using his name in this instance.

    Once again, you refuse to do your homework before making accusations. Once again, you don't care about the falsehoods you circulate on the internet. Take (5) minutes out of your very busy day and contact this William Scott for yourself. After you find out that he is definitely not me, I'll be happy to accept your apology.

    I have not “smeared” your name in anyway. I've only pointed out the truth about how you operate and your lack of any proper patent credentials. If I had truly “smeared” your name, you would have gone ballistic by now with threats and credible defenses for your verbiage on the blogs.

    All you've managed to do is find another person with the same name as mine who has been disbarred. In your mind, this discovery must be the answer as to why I've posted the truth about you. Sorry, but you will ot find personal vindication by associating me with this other William Scott. You see Mr. Riley, that sort of childish tactic just doesn't work.

    The moderator asks how I know you? I've been reading your posts for the last several weeks on patent bogs and just couldn't
    control my impulse to let others know about your lack of understanding of patent law, infringement suits and licensing matters. Someone had to eventually call your bluff and it might as well be me. You have no degree in patent law and you have no credentials that allow you to offer patent advice to anyone.

    You should stick with your fake name “Inventor ed” and warn others about patent scams. This is actually providing a needed service to small inventors.

    I am not a lobbyist and I have no agenda (as you do). But, I always do my homework first, so I don't wrongly accuse people of misdeeds. Maybe you should so the same.

  9. On 4-4-06 William Scott finally admits “Excuse me, but I'm telling you once again that I'm the disbarred attorney William Scott.”

    So now that that is laid to rest I must point out that you are not listed on the USPTO list of patent practioners, yet you keep asserting that I know nothing about patents and the patent process. Just what is the basis of your claim to have the expertise to make such a determination? Perhaps you can supply your registration number and then we can have a meaningful conversation.

    Now I must ask again, which invention promoter or patent pirate do you work for?

    Perhaps you need to do a better job on your homework. Your assignment for the week is to read http://www.InventorEd.org cover to cover several times. It is comprised of more than 500 web pages and when printed is about 3000 pages. Now that will not make you an expert but it will enlighten you a bit. Hopefully once you have studied the material you will be able to overcome the affiliation of the little person syndrome.

    Ronald J Riley, President
    Professional Inventors Alliance
    http://www.PIAUSA.org
    RJR (at) PIAUSA.org
    Change “at” to @
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595

    Ronald J Riley, Exec. Dir.
    InventorEd, Inc.
    http://www.InventorEd.org
    RJR”at”InvEd.org
    Change “at” to @

  10. Just a note that Mr. Scott has contacted me, and informed me that he intended to write “NOT the disbarred attorney.” The original begining of his comment was a particularly unfortunate typo. I corrected this as quickly as I can, and I am sorry I did not manage to updateit in time for Mr. Riley's reply.

  11. First of all, thank you Dan for correcting my post with the proper statement that “I am NOT the William Scott” that Mr. Ronald J. Riley is prattling on about.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Ronald Riley, being the opportunist that he is, took advantage of a typo which comes as no surprise to me. Even with the typo, my post made it crystal clear that I am not the person that Mr. Riley is referring to. And now, in a final attempt of desparation, Mr. Riley is purposely playing games, acting like a clown and providing proof that he is the prankster that I know him to be. It is obvious that he cares nothing for the truth.

    Thank you Ronald J. Riley for showing your true colors. I'll be watching you.

  12. Dan, it is unfortunate that Mr. Scott keeps making such blunders.

    For example, on the novice page for beginning inventors at http://www.InventorEd.or/novice/ I advise inventors to use patent counsel if at all possible. And on another page I address the issue of picking a patent practioner to obtain the best price while getting the best quality patent. http://www.inventored.org/attorney-or-agent/. In other words at no time have I ever offered legal advice. What I do is offer upper level guidance on the overall process. This is something that few patent practioners are able to do. My experience is that the great majority of legal professionals are good at advising what can or cannot be done but are not good tacticians

    There are over 500 pages of information for inventors on the site.

    And for the record the stooge we know as William Scott, Esq. also is posting similar material to many other web sites and coincidentally there are two other aliases being used with virtually the same writing style who appeared in the same time frame.

    Clearly my advocacy on behalf of inventors antagonizes a couple of groups. One is the invention promotion industry. Numerous invention promotion companies have requested and received quality time. None have been happy campers in the aftermath of such. The most recent promoter to suffer at our organization's hand is Davison and Associates in Pittsburg. A few weeks ago the court assessed Davison $26 million dollars. It was our network which gathered the evidence of ongoing fraud long after discovery was complete which enabled the FTC to argue for such a staggering award. We have another case in the works which will be even more dramatic than the Davison case.

    When I say we I am referring to scores of volunteers who quietly work behind the scenes. It is those volunteer's contribution of time which allows InventorEd.org and PIAUSA.org to accomplish their respective missions.

    We will continue to shine the disinfecting light of media exposure on patent pirates like RIM, Microsoft, eBay, Google, Gateway, and the rest of the crowd who dare to characterize their victims as patent trolls and the invention promotion frauds who are fleecing people for typically $10,000 to $20,000 to the tune of at least $400 million dollars a year for the whole industry.

    I have a bit of advice for the person using William Scott and a number of other aliases, and that is that he/she/it should stop wallowing in self pity and indigence and become a productive member of society.

    Ronald J Riley, President
    Professional Inventors Alliance
    http://www.PIAUSA.org
    RJR (at) PIAUSA.org
    Change “at” to @
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595

    Ronald J Riley, Exec. Dir.
    InventorEd, Inc.
    http://www.InventorEd.org
    RJR”at”InvEd.org
    Change “at” to @

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