Bill in US Congress to Overhaul Patent Law

By Blane Warrene
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The US government is starting down the long, arduous path of patent reform. Obviously this will entail lengthy debate and would hopefully at the very least move patent law in the US a few steps ahead.

This issue is certainly of importance to those in the open source arena, as even though many developers of all sizes are releasing patents into the open, the direction legislators take will either improve or worsen intellectual property issues and licensing.

Of equal interest is Linus Torvald’s foray into protecting the Linux name. Some have reacted poorly to Torvald’s moves – however, as the LinuxInsider piece reflects – he communicated his concerns several years back.

Personally I look at trademark and patent issues far apart from one another and see no harm in Linus protecting his namesake. I am sure we all see the value in his contributions to our world.

We have had commercialization discussions before facing the growing pains of Linux and open source in general entering the marketplace alongside the mavens of proprietary software. Certainly as we track the new GPL, we should equally track and comment on this new road toward patent reform.

I think most of us who have dealt with patents would agree with many who have already sounded off on the issue that first and foremost increased funding and more targeted and trained staff at the US Patent and Trademark Office would be a solid first step.

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  • Ronald J Riley

    1) The proposed legislation is not really about patent reform, rather it is about predatory companies who have incurred large liabilities as a result of their theft of other’s intellectual property attempt to make changes to the patent system to avoid the consequences of their disreputable conduct.

    2) Personally I see merit in the open source movement. But I am amazed by how naive many people in your camp are about the patent system in general and especially about the motives of companies like Microsoft and IBM in promoting so called patent reform. Anyone who thinks either company has your best interests at heart is in for a very rude awakening. All these companies want to do with patent reform is tilt the system even further in their favor and cement their position.

    3) Remember when IBM was king of the hill? remember how upstart Microsoft go the upper hand? Has it occurred to you that Microsoft knows that some inventive upstart will eventually do the same to them that they did to IBM?

    4) I am the President of the Professional Inventors Alliance. We are the same people who successfully pulled most of the fangs from the last so called patent reform effort and we are doing the same once again. What is being offered as patent reform is no reform at all. It is nothing short of an attempt by the most unsavory players to legitimize their unethical and crooked conduct. welcomes those who see the truth to join our efforts hand the Microsoft like companies another defeat on the so called “patent reform” front.

    Ronald J Riley, President
    Professional Inventors Alliance
    RJR ?at?
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595

  • Mr W.

    When I posted a comment to your last blog post I got an automated email from your anti spam tool wanting confirmation that I emailed you?

    Don’t want to seem offensive, I enjoy reading your posts and on the occasion I do post a comment, well I’d rather not have an email from your anti-spam tools.

    Of course, if this has nothing to do with the new Sitepoint blogging software and/or you then please accept my apologies.

  • williamscottesq

    I’d like to comment about the above reply by 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 is not part of any effective lobbying group that could seriously lead to change. 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.

  • rjriley5000

    William Scott, Esq. Disbarred! !


    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.

    It seems that William Scott Esq. also was a lobbyist for hire (at least his ex firm offers such services) and that his 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 William Scott Esq. appears 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 William Scott Esq. has spent a considerable amount of time posting under William Scott and about a dozen other aliases. Time is money and I doubt that William Scott Esq. is doing so for nothing. I think that William Scott Esq. is a paid stooge.

    Now the question is who does William Scott Esq. work for?

    Ronald J Riley,
    President – Professional Inventors Alliance – – RJR”at”
    Exec. Dir. – InventorEd, Inc. – – RJR”at”

    Change “at” to @
    RJR Direct # (202) 318-1595
    Generally available 9 AM to 9 PM EST
    May be availabe plus or minus two hours.