PTAB: DCs Latest Unaccountable, Power Grabbing Government Board
Government is always looking to expand its ability to lord over the private sector.
Congress has done far more than its part - passing all sorts of laws that have very little to do with the Constitution and its extraordinarily limited role for the federal government.
But Congress doing all that overreaching itself - eventually brought some angered scrutiny from We the People. Congress doesn’t care what we think, mind you - they just don’t want to hear it from us.
So about a century ago government began erecting myriad, unelected Executive Branch departments, agencies, commissions and boards. To unilaterally add those very many busy hands to the power grabbing government was doing.
But that too drew angered scrutiny from We the People. Because even though these very many departments, agencies commissions and boards aren’t elected - the President who oversees them is. And if it’s possible, the President likes hearing it from us even less than does Congress.
So the next evolutionary step in growing government - was government creating “independent” bureaucracies. One step further removed from the Constitution and accountability. Populated by autonomous, unelected bureaucrats - who answer to our elected officials…almost not at all.
Which is awful if you want limited, responsible government. But it is fantastic if you are an elected official who wants unlimited, unaccountable government - and to avoid any scrutiny for its growth and unaccountability.
Congress - despite its best efforts - does operate at least somewhat in the light of day. The Executive Branch agencies operate in shadow. These completely unaccountable independent boards - execute in pitch darkness.
These heinous government entities are a relatively recent idea - but are springing up with increasing frequency. We got one of these heinous boards in Obamacare - the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB, Obamacare’s Super-Legislature:
“The individual mandate isn’t Obamacare’s only unconstitutional provision, or even its most unconstitutional provision. That distinction belongs to the Independent Payment Advisory Board. A heretofore unreported feature of this super-legislature makes it even more authoritarian and dangerous than anyone knew.”
We got another in Dodd-Frank - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Court Rules CFPB's Structure Is Unconstitutional:
“The judgement states: ‘The Director enjoys significantly more unilateral power than any single member of any other independent agency. By ‘unilateral power,’ we mean power that is not checked by the President or by other colleagues. Indeed, other than the President, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire United States Government, at least when measured in terms of unilateral power.”
Has that ruling killed the CFPB? Heavens no. This is Washington, D.C. after all.
And then there’s the spawn of the America Invents Act - the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
As Washington is wont to do, they name a bill after inventing - and an extrusion therefrom is killing inventing.
“Bassam Abraham and Roman Chistyakov, two Boston-based engineers, in 2002 created a new technology for depositing metals at the micro scale. It had wide-ranging applications, from microchips to shaving razors. The two men, joining a longstanding American tradition stretching back to the signing of the Constitution, filed patents for their invention.
“Then their technology drew the attention of several massive, Fortune 500 companies, whom Abraham and Chistyakov would end up taking to court for allegations of patent infringement.
“In response, those same Fortune 500 companies brought Abraham and Chistyakov's patents in front of an entity called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)—an ‘administrative law court’ where a panel reviews challenges against patents previously issued by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).
“For just ten patents Abraham holds the PTAB received some 125 petitions, he said, challenging a total of 371 claims (patents are divided into ‘claims’).
“He noted that those same patents had been granted after review by six different examiners at the PTO….
“The PTAB panel returned its results: of 371 claims challenged, it invalidated all 371. Abraham's patents, along with the 25-person company he and Chistyakov had grown based on them, were toast.
“‘It's pretty much destroyed our business. We're a very small company. We had people, we had to lay them off. And we're just limping,’ Abraham said.”
Oh look - Big Government and Big Business working tentacle-in-tentacle (they have tentacles, not hands and arms) to destroy the Little Guy. Over, and over and over again.
Even the anti-patent people - admit PTAB is destroying patents. They have no compunction with this admission - because they in fact want to destroy patents.
“The (United States Patent and Trademark Office) USPTO is no longer so friendly towards software patents. In fact, many such patents that have been granted are nowadays being invalidated.…The judges at PTAB…continue to nuke software patents.”
Well that’s fantastic. DC has reverse-engineered the government entity responsible for issuing patents - to now destroy patents.
Patents that government entity its own self had issued - are now destroyed by that same government entity.
This is insane. This is the USPTO saying “Congratulations, you have a patent.” And then saying “Psyche. We were just kidding.”
But not until after you took them and the patent they gave you at their word. And done what the Little Guys mentioned above did - spent even more time and money to start businesses and hire people.
And then the government comes back and yanks the rug - they themselves weaved - out from under you.
Far too frequently - at the behest of huge companies far larger than are you or I.
Big Government and Big Business win. We the Little Guys - We the People - lose.
As does our nation - and our nations economy.
Because human nature dictates - if you can’t get paid for something, you stop doing that something.
If you get screwed out of your inventions - you’ll stop inventing inventions.
And then where are we, our economy and our country?
Absolutely nowhere - is where.
This first appeared in Red State.