ABA Journal


Patent Law

‘Are you drunk?’ Lawyer files angry remarks about ‘special needs examiner’ after patent is denied

May 1, 2013, 10:34 am CDT


This lawyer must be a lot of fun at parties.

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 01, 12:18 pm CDT

"Schroeder says he built his own website—it recently got about 30,000 hits—and he is starting a web design business. 'I’m actually pretty good,' he says."

This appears to be the website Schroeder is referring to. It reminds one of the old joke about the architect who had ten ideas and put them all in the same house. Maybe that's just the SoCal style. Strangely, the site also appears not to provide any biographical information about Schroeder (McGeorge Law School and Cal-State Bakersfield). The career change idea might be a good one, particularly if he can find a day job that doesn't involve working with people, ideas, or images.

By Pushkin on 2013 05 01, 12:24 pm CDT

Flying off the handle and attacking somebody personally - - - particularly when it is done in writing and in a non- anonymous setting - - - strikes me as imprudent.

By Yankee on 2013 05 01, 12:46 pm CDT

So. . . he blames the messenger?

By JimB on 2013 05 01, 1:06 pm CDT

I agree with #1 thru 4. What I see is that incompetency is endemic. This guy's rant was probably therapeutic.

By BAAL on 2013 05 01, 1:39 pm CDT

I wasn't aware that the PTO actually denies patents. They apparently granted Apple a patent for rounded rectangles last year. I actually love and admire Apple, and understand they file these for defensive purposes, but it seems like if a business can gain a patent for rounded rectangles that they can gain patent protection for anything.

By Michael on 2013 05 01, 3:27 pm CDT

#2 -- McGeorge Law and Bakersfield are both located well north of the Tehachapies. He may be Californian, but he is not southern Californian.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 05 01, 3:46 pm CDT

"In an interview with the ABA Journal, Schroeder questioned how the Patently-O blogger obtained the file comments. Setting up an online account with the Patent and Trademark Office is an extensive procedure, Shroeder said. “You have to understand that it is a real pain in the ass to interface with the U.S. PTO,” Schroeder said. "So this guy is able to access my record?”
“I don’t know who this guy thinks he is, trolling around” for controversy, Schroeder said. Maybe someone leaked the comments, Schroeder says, but in any event they should have remained confidential."
Patently-O didn't say what prompted them to look at the files for the letters, but they were apparently filed in published applications and therefore accessible to anyone who cared to look in Public PAIR - no "online account" required, just access to the web. If Schroeder doesn't understand that, he's clearly in the wrong job.

By Derek on 2013 05 01, 4:15 pm CDT


That reminds me of a joke, how do you know a person is from LA?

They think San Francisco is in Northern California.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 05 01, 7:51 pm CDT

“You have to understand that it is a real pain in the ass to interface with the U.S. PTO,” Schroeder said. “So this guy is able to access my record?”

Actually, it's relatively self-explanatory, IMHO. Anyone with a Nolo Press book can figure it out. Perhaps he should invest in one if he's having problems.

By BMF on 2013 05 01, 9:57 pm CDT

All files relating to patent prosecution are public and can be accessed at
This attorney is a joke if he believes his remarks are confidential.

By Patent_Examiner on 2013 05 02, 2:03 am CDT

As I understand it, Schroeder has another website where he advertises that he handles estate planning so, for him, being a patent attorney isn't a full-time gig.

That being said, as a patent attorney registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and with nearly two decades experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications, I know full well how frustrating it can be to deal with less than sub-par Patent Examiner. That is not to say that there are not good, if not great, Patent Examiners. I was a Patent Examiner for several years before I went into private practice and I know many Examiners who are intelligent, well-trained professionals.

The problem stems from the fact that during the Bush regime, the political appointees (none of whom were Patent Attorneys or had any direct experience with patent prosecution) put in charge of the PTO essentially turned the Patent Office into the Patent Rejection Office. They implanted a culture where Patent Examiners were essentially told that they could ignore the law regarding anticipation, obviousness, claim interpretation, etc. and make up their own rules. After the appointment of David Kappos, a Patent Attorney, by the Obama Adminsitration to the position of PTO Director, things have improved but the Patent Rejection Office attitude lingers on with Patent Examiners who were "trained" during the Bush years.

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 03, 7:33 am CDT

"ipthereforeiam"! What a fantastic moniker!

I agree completely with ipthereforeiam's comments, although I don't see that much change in the Examining Corp's inclination to reject claims if there is any doubt. There has been some improvement as a result of the appointment of Mr. Kappos (maybe more so in the "customer service" aspects of patent examination), but not that much. Two other legacies of the Bush, Clinton and W administrations still haunt us patent prosecutors on a daily basis:

The largely secret "Quality Review" board or committee. I cannot say how many times an Examiner indicated allowability in an application that I have prosecuted, only to have that allowability withdrawn by "Quality Review," whoever they are, because the claims are "too broad." No prior art, no indefiniteness, only "too broad," and no idea of who made the decision. I lost count after 20 or so, and I've heard it (or its variant "it's allowable subject to Quality Review") so often I can't even estimate how many cases are subject to the unwritten Fourth Requirement of Patentability, "the claims shall not be 'too broad'."

The promotion to the Board of Appeals of examiners trained under political administrations who apparently did not base such promotion on knowledge of the law and/or ability to apply it. I've seen a lot of meritorious inventions go abandoned because the Board of Appeals frequently bends over backwards to maintain a flimsy rejection. It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens often enough that I can't predict the outcome of an appeal, even when we have a pretty good case, and many applicants don't want to incur the expense of an appeal given the probability of success. Hence, the Examiner often is judge, jury and executioner in the patent applications of those who cannot afford to take their application to the Federal Circuit when faced with an Examiner not willing to reconsider a rejection, even when the applicant submits consdierably more evidence in support of patentability than the Examiner provides in support of the rejection.

By inventn on 2013 05 03, 8:21 am CDT

As the parent of a child with Down syndrome, I am furious about Mr. Schroeder's comments. Regardless of his opinion of the examiner, people with Down syndrome and other special needs deserve more respect than he has shown. Using "special", "r-word", "Corky", "Special Olympics rejects",, alone or alongside the other remarks, is demeaning to many with disabilities and proves to me that Mr. Schroeder has no clue what he is talking about.

By SEM on 2013 05 03, 12:24 pm CDT

Yes, dealing with the patent office, and most government offices these days, is a challenge, Mr. Schroeder's letters to the file were out of line. If he needed to vent, and I sure comprehend that, he should have written the letters, gone for a walk, come back, reread them, and decided if he was still upset. Go through a few iterations of that, modify the letters at each turn, until they are a polite and professional version of -- have you read the application and are your rejections reasonable.

While his behavior is questionable (and unethical and precluded by the regs), he has a point about how Patently-O obtained the letters. Out of all the applications on file and all the submissions that get made, how did Patently-O find his?

By thoroughly_disgusted on 2013 05 03, 12:33 pm CDT

I practice family law. If we can avoid going off the handle like this, which we do, I don't know how a patent lawyer can get so upset. It's not like he had (oftentimes justifiably) hysterical clients or a gut-wrenching fact pattern involving children.

By Michael on 2013 05 03, 12:44 pm CDT

Why is it that only the parent of a special needs child took offense at the wording in his comments? Who cares if the PTO is slow or incompetent? So are lots of other agencies. Who cares if his patent was rejected? Social Security routinely rejects disability applications for those on need. The point isn't why this idiot lost, the point is how he handled it. Our laws, first and foremost, must protect those who cannot protect themselves. Thus lawyers must stand up for the rights of the mentally disabled, frail elderly, children, etc., above everyone else. No lawyer should ever belittle those who need the protection of the law the most. By belittling the mentally disabled, this lawyer lacks the basic qualification for his profession. He should be disbarred. Period. I am disgusted by his behavior. Instead of belittling those less fortunate, he should be thankful that he is able bodied and mentally capable.

By NYS courts ex-wife on 2013 05 03, 1:23 pm CDT

I have a child with Down syndrome and autism. I walked with Chris Burke (Corky) in the 2008 New York City Buddy Walk in Central Park. Although it angers me that adults, especially those who consider themselves professionals, would use the "r" word and attempt to demean others by calling them names associated with people with developmental disabilities, I also recognize the frustration we lawyers encounter when we know we've done something properly, only to hear bad news from someone in an administrative role.

That said, suck it up and move on, Mr. Schroeder. Had you called the woman "gay" or made references to Liberace, I am certain all the main-stream media outlets would have picked up this story and beaten it to death. Unfortunately, it has sadly become somewhat acceptable in our society to pick on those who cannot help their disability, while celebrating those who make huge political announcements at the end of their professional sports careers and then immediately get praise and support from the First Family. What do we expect as a society when our own president jokes with Jay Leno about the Special Olympics? Mr. Schroeder, you could be our next President.

By Tim Emerson on 2013 05 03, 1:23 pm CDT

Mr. Emerson:

Amen. I know mentally ill individuals who are far kinder than most lawyers and judges I encounter. They have 70% unemployment rates yet get no respect and are treated as objects of ridicule and fear. I'd rather deal with any of them any day than deal with the obnoxious idiots in the legal system.

By NYS Courts ex-wife on 2013 05 03, 1:30 pm CDT

WOW - scary that this gentleman is permitted to practice patent law. There are real consequences to this. A client might reasonably rely on this practitioner to his severe detriment. He didn't sign office actions; apparently didn't notice the warning on the Notices of Publication saying that everything would become public record on publication and freely viewable on pair and elsewhere; had no idea how to amend a Spec; one of his claims was a 2 liner; in one case filed but 2 claims; didn't file ADS or nonpub requests; was messing with margins and spacing to make the spec look longer ?imho?(apparently oblivious of CFR/MPEP requirements); his interview summary is scary - clinging to "stud" vs. "ridge" distinction; had apparently no idea about how to classify his filings in EFSweb; repeatedly triggered non-responsive actions; bolded certain elements in his claims; had no idea about claim status identifiers?!?... Amateur hour!!! And forget about courtesy and dignity or just treating a human being with respect. An associate passed me a pair image of one of his client's filing a misc. communication to PTO saying that he's been trying to reach his attorney for about a year with no response. How did he pass the Patent Bar???!?!? WOW. I really feel sorry for his Clients. He seriously needs to get in touch with them immediately and advise them to get a Patent Attorney/Agent with some experience. I'm aghast at the level of representation provided here. Let's hope OED and his state bar make an example out of him and The Commissioner has some leniency for the affected Clients in the wave of petitions to revive sure to flow from this. SMH, this is a disservice to the Patent community of practitioners who strive to provide quality representation. I hope this is a wake up call to inventors to take a look at a practitioner's record on pair before entrusting them with prosecution of their invention.
For shame Mr. Schroeder; for shame.

By Franklin R. Bryan on 2013 05 03, 2:15 pm CDT

I am reminded of a joke told by a Patent Attorney to start a three-day patent seminar many years ago:

"Definition of a Patent Attorney: An attorney.......with insuficient personaltiy ....... to become a tax attorney."

Does that help explain anything?

By Joker on 2013 05 03, 3:04 pm CDT

I think Mr. Schroeder's rant was hilarious and, knowing well the incompetency of our government bureaucracies, likely well-justified. But yeah, this is one of those times that you type out that rant, let it sit for a few hours, and make yourself hit the delete button instead of send.

@ 12: so it was all Bush's fault after all? I KNEW it!

By Just Some Bloke on 2013 05 03, 3:08 pm CDT

It provided a few of my fclients and I with a good laugh, and I impressed my partners by correctly spotting the unfortunate Corky reference. I dont know whether or not Harry Moatz (sp?) is still at PTO OED, but if he is, this dude will be getting his carrer change wish in no time.

So Cal v. No Cal - Actually, everything north of the SF Valley is No. Cal., and everything east of Sepulveda might as well be Nevada.

By Joe Fonebone on 2013 05 03, 3:18 pm CDT

I can hear Eric Cartman saying "Government agencies kick ass dude."

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 05 03, 3:47 pm CDT

That's good work checking into Schroeder's background.

From the article, Schroeder said: “And if I didn't know anything about patent law I’d be like, ‘Andrew Schroeder is a real pr---.’"

Based on what @20 mentioned, I guess it's time for Mr. Schroeder to start calling himself a pr---.

By RCE on 2013 05 03, 3:57 pm CDT

"So this guy is able to access my record?”

Is this attorney completely unfamiliar with the concept of public records? Given that the USPTO will grant a patent for nearly anything, I suspect that he isn't particularly familiar with patent law either.

By Jim on 2013 05 03, 4:00 pm CDT

I've been an IP paralegal for almost 30 years -- I received email copies of his responses from several different sources within hours of them being filed. I think that many of us in the industry received copies. Who first retrieved and sent them? Who knows - anyone could have obtained them from public PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval) after they were filed. Although I was totally appalled by his comments, they were both hysterical and very sad. Yes, it can be very frustrating dealing with the PTO, but treating anyone with such disrespect will not engender a positive result. I think that his client is getting the worst end of this -- I bet you that those applications will never be allowed. No matter what happens now. His poor, poor client.

By IP Paralegal on 2013 05 03, 4:04 pm CDT

This guy's great! OK, he shouldn't have made the "Special Olympics" jokes, but you have to give him credit for standing up and owning the rant. He's prepared to be the bad guy to say what he has to say. I hope he tries his hand at ERISA next, and shares his inevitable frustrations in that realm with the DOL and IRS.

By ERISA Geek on 2013 05 03, 4:29 pm CDT

@25 - thank you!
@26 - I know the PTO takes a lot of heat... but the rectangle with square corners ipad patent example above is a design patent. Design patents are much, much, much easier to get and only cover the ornamental design applied to industrial goods. A non-provisional utility patent is a different beast entirely. It must be brand new, never done before, non-obvious to one of ordinary skill in that art, fully enabled teaching including writing and drawings of how to make and use the invention; useful; in the past, the applicant couldn't have done certain things like disclose publicly, offer to sell or use the invention publicly, or sit on their invention; must pay exorbitant fees; wait several years generally; jump through a myriad of procedural and substantive hoops; generally hire EXPERIENCED and expensive patent counsel with legal and engineering experience to thoughtfully respond within short time windows to the Examiner's rejections; artfully define their claims to precisely and definitely define their invention; AND now - they must also beat everyone else to the patent office to file first. Even AFTER FULL disclosure, several years of arguing with Examiners as to the merits, process, and form, after tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars spent; IF IF IF a patent is granted, they'll have to pay pay pay to maintain those rights - else it goes abandoned after 4 years. Even once granted, there are so many Achilles heels and holes that it can't be valued, can likely be designed around, questioned, or potentially invalidated. It's no easy thing to get a US Patent. USPTO Examiners generally are very smart, very dedicated engineers with incredible work-load and time constraints who bend over backwards to help bonafide inventors.... but will NOT rubber stamp a case. They are the gate-keepers knowing all too well the harm a bad patent can do. (at least in my experience). They take a lot of heat, but they are devoted public servants and deserve our respect. I know, like this atty., that there are exceptions to the rule but the overwhelming majority of them exhibit great professionalism and dedication. In exchange for an applicant paying tremendous amounts and fully disclosing their invention to the public (over 7 million patents freely published / and countless millions of applications which didn't blossom into patents published - freely accessible to teach the state of the art), the Patent office grants a small period of monopoly (less than one twentiethish the term of a copyright) to recoup R&D costs to incentivize such investment. We have the BEST patent system in the world! It could use some tweaking - like in markets/fields where the R&D costs are low, there are no major barriers to entry, and lesser term is required to motivate like apps and software. imho. The patent paradigm is so important, it's explicitly provided for in the Constitution itself to counter the locked-up knowledge of guilds. The Framers wanted to further the progress of arts and sciences by allowing Americans to invest their time and money into making and disclosing great ideas to the public. I'm sorry for the rant but serious inventors, companies, and patent attorneys take umbrage to these kinds of debacles and casual demeaning of something that we take as so important. Forgive the bad typing; I'm at lunch. :)

By Franklin R. Bryan on 2013 05 03, 4:31 pm CDT

*** My humble non-expert opinion only***
The real question is: is this jackass "practitioner" advocating drunk and high on crack? Though the schmuck clearly has no shortage of testicular fortitude, or sense of humor, he seems quite law, ethics, standard of care, mpep, cfr, and usc-challenged. This is an esoteric and dangerous field requiring very, very gentle treading - which should be apparent to someone who took and passed the Patent Bar!!! That he can make jokes and take this so lightly is infuriating! How man inventors' (and their families) hopes, dreams, and bank accounts have been destroyed by this jackassery? And when they realize (perhaps several years down the road) they haven't heard anything from him... it'll be too late to do anything - perhaps forfeited and forever barred. @California bar ethics - this sure seems like gross malpractice imho. Sure hope there's no windfall from all the traffic to his site/s he generates on this. Sure hope he has ample insurance and someone conditions his ability to further jeopardize clients on a strict condition precedent that he inform all present and past clients of his inexperience. @OED amiright??!? SUSPEND/REVOKE without delay. Appalling. This is akin to an actor performing actual brain surgery.

By Franklin R. Bryan on 2013 05 03, 4:58 pm CDT

Any lawyer who would, in public filings, make jokes about mentally challenged people (even stooping to the use of "r" word) doesn't belong in this profession. "Not my finest hour," as he put it, doesn't even begin to describe how appalling these letters to the examiners were.

By Really? on 2013 05 03, 5:16 pm CDT

Examiners are usually hired straight out of college. They are then taught "how to reject patent applications", not how to "issue VALID patents." They have no idea what their role in the business world is, merely that they're government employees hired to reject patent applications. I'm typically told things like "I don't see that exact phrase in the description" or "you don't define the prior art in the background" or .... None of these things are required (and in fact are bad practice) in the US. And don't even get me started on working the count. The ones that are there a few years can literally do 2-3 days work and take a weeks credit by working the count improperly, but they know that there's no cost effective way for practitioners to address their hi-jinks.

As a group, examiners deserve all of this scorn and more.

Schroeder is a moron for filing this response, but it's not the first time and won't be the last that such a response was warranted.

By associate on 2013 05 03, 6:27 pm CDT

Whatever the slowness or issue with the USPTO, what this guy tried to patent is laughably obvious: A camera tripod with a rotating sprinkling head on top, fed by a waterhose. I have seen versions of it in use in the fields and lawns of America and other countries for several decades.

By Patent Troll on 2013 05 03, 7:19 pm CDT

Scuttlebut is that the letter went viral among examiners in the Patent Office; no doubt someone there alerted someone outside of the Office, and from that point, until the PTO pulled the letter from the database, it was open season.

Publication dates are critical information in the patent field. If Schroeder didn't know that patent files become public 18 months after the filing date, he was woefully ignorant of the law he was supposed to be practicing. (Use of the past tense seems appropriate here.) And whatever his clients' chances of getting a patent, the only way this helped was if the examiners now feel bad for the inventor, and give the new attorney a break. I don't want to say the "R" word ...

By Ham Solo on 2013 05 03, 7:49 pm CDT

Funny I haven't seen a single comment from anyone about the merits of the rejection. I read the Examiner's rejection and I agree with the Examiner. Schroeder was arguing elements that were not in the claim. The examiner said a "ridge" shown in the prior art was a "stud." I think that is a reasonable interpretation absent a special definition in the specification. Shroeder's argument for a special definition wasn't persuasive. The application doesn't say, "for purposes of this invention the term stud means...." He just tried to argue that when he described stud he didn't use the term "ridge."
To be sure, I've worked with plenty of bone headed examiners. But for every bone-headed examiner there is a bone headed attorney. I'm afraid in this case, Shroeder was the retard. If he wanted to limit the claim in the way he was arguing, he should have added the limiting language to the claim.

By Andrew on 2013 05 03, 8:10 pm CDT

Metaphorically speaking, Man on Fire? If this guy thought his track record with the USPTO was bad before, I'd say he headed for new territory. Memo to his potential future clients: maybe not such a red hot choice for your next patent application.

By Jim on 2013 05 03, 8:33 pm CDT

If most patent applications get denied, then patent law applications are kind of like applications for relief in deportation proceedings.

If building a good reputation, for the private Bar, involves winning applications, and, if winning applications involves taking cases that can be won, (cases with merit), then now I begin to understand why the ABA Journal published that piece a while back on the need for hiring Immigration Judges who are (potentially) qualified to be federal court of appeals judges, (just like Patent Judges should be potentially qualified to be federal court of appeals judges).

If it’s all about spotting the winners from among the losers,
apparently not everyone has this ability.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 05 03, 9:01 pm CDT

Considering that Schroeder prosecuted US 7721477, you might think he knew a better way to release his frustration. Unless of course the patent lacks utility...

By Ham Solo on 2013 05 03, 9:19 pm CDT

COME ON!!!!?!? Good find Ham Solo.
"1. A pig board for the purpose of displaying various images comprising: a planar member shaped substantially to the profile of a pig; the planar member comprising a first side, a second side, an anterior end and a posterior end."

"17.A peel-away pig board which statically clings to walls comprises a top side, a bottom side."

Interesting that in '09 when he responded to the office actions, he actually used claim status identifiers, signed the response reflecting his reg number, used a certificate of mailing, and seemed to follow best practices yet in the enumerated cases he seemed to have forgotten how to do this? Perhaps he lost his paralegal at some point!??

By Franklin R. Bryan on 2013 05 03, 9:45 pm CDT

Wow. How dare he lose his temper and show a human personality defect in a moment of sheer frustration over an apparently broken system. In my world this kind of thing happens all the time...mostly by Judges. Yank his ticket for being insensitive to the learning disabled? Shucks, guess me and my kind should have been tarred and feathered and run outta town a long time ago. Stop taking everything so seriously. He had a bad day. We don't know what the backstory is, what his wife's excuse was that morning, etc. Should he go into web design?...probably. Throw him out? No way. A lot of judging on this site. I am humbled to be associated with a profession containing so many perfect people.

I have made a career, and a lot of clients a lot of money, having a...well, big personality. The Cal Bar is too busy with the outright debt consolidation fraud epidemic perpetuated on the elderly and poor, the bankruptcy attorneys whose business plan is to sign up the poorest among us as clients who are trying to do right and then...well, thats the extent of their help once the clients check clears and mortgage thievery to throw him to the Lions. Geez....

By Just a Big Dumm Civil Trial Lawyer on 2013 05 04, 12:19 am CDT


The George W. Bush regime's political appointees made the PTO extremely dysfunctional as compared to what it had been only a few years earlier. Allowances, or lack thereof, at the PTO were driven by political mandates rather than whether or not there was a technological advance.

Private corporations can be as equally incompetent as government agencies. Just ask anyone who has had to deal with a customer service representative or in-house counsel.

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 04, 1:32 am CDT

@26 Given that the USPTO will grant a patent for nearly anything,

If only that were true.

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 04, 1:34 am CDT

Not Cal State Bakersfield, but Cal Poly SLO (a good science and engineering/ school).


And what's wrong with McGeorge? Justice Kennedy was (still is?) a visiting lecturer there.

By Jedediah Smytheson on 2013 05 04, 1:37 am CDT


(just like Patent Judges should be potentially qualified to be federal court of appeals judges).

Don't get me started on the PTO's APJs.

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 04, 1:44 am CDT


That was well said.

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 04, 1:48 am CDT

Schroeder needs to come down with MS or get hit by a car and become paralyzed in order to get some empathy for the handicapped.

By redraiderbruce on 2013 05 04, 1:08 pm CDT

It's patently obvious he's a moron (hey, if the shoe fits) and his "invention" probably worthless.

By NOE JERRY BROWN on 2013 05 04, 3:34 pm CDT

For those of you who are not patent attorneys/agents, there are individuals employed by the Patent Office who hold the title "Special Program Examiner." To me, this is tho origin for Special Needs Examiner.

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 05, 12:39 am CDT

@ 43: Cal-Poly is not just a another good science and engineering school--it's a school that's so tough that at one point it was rumored to have the highest suicide rate of all colleges.

By BMF on 2013 05 05, 4:11 am CDT

There are tougher schools. An exceptional suicide rate suggests a severe mismatch between admission standards and academic standards.

(Or else a really, really bad social scene...)

By Ham Solo on 2013 05 05, 4:40 am CDT

I certainly appreciate his rancor in dealing with that particular government bureaucracy. I have had my moments with them. Ugh!

By Pocahantas on 2013 05 06, 6:24 pm CDT

Look, idiot. You're a lawyer. You don't exactly have a professional responsibility to spread sunshine and happiness. Litigation, cease and desist letters, you name it, you deal with conflict as a matter of profession. When you deal with the Patent Office, one of the most complex bureaucracies on the planet, you know you will be dealing with rejection.

One of the reasons a client pays you by the hour is because you are less emotionally involved with the proceeding. It ain't your blood, sweat, tears and toil that went into the "two legged tripod" you were trying to patent. The delusional inventor is the one who is blowing his money on your billable hours. He is allowed to get emotional. You're not. You know that this is business, not personal. Or you should know that and not dig a deeper hole for yourself. File a continuation, an appeal, or schedule a phone conference and beg and plead for any kind of coverage. If the examiner is judge, jury, and executioner, you shouldn't be calling him names.

If you bring your emotions to work, you shouldn't be working. Plenty of lawyers are assholes, but the smart ones know when and where they can be assholes. If after 20 years you haven't figured it out, then maybe this job isn't for you.

By Charlie Bagel on 2013 05 07, 6:38 am CDT

And it only takes four or five years to figure out how to not have your comments removed (should one, on occasion, so choose).

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 07, 12:19 pm CDT

McCleod @53,, I might have figured out a formula, but its not much of a trade secret. It's called hoodwinking the editor into believing you're adding value. Let me give you an example of how it works.

They don't pay you for the imagined added value, but they will send you, free of charge, all the editions they mistakenly believe you've added value to. (I asked for four copies. My son says I should have asked for more.)

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 05 07, 3:59 pm CDT

Well, when you get your picture on the cover, then request five copies for your mother.

(I understand that is standard).

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 07, 6:14 pm CDT

When JPTOS published one of my articles, they sent me five complimentary copies. Of course, JPTOS doesn't have photos on the cover. Bummer. :(

By ipthereforeiam on 2013 05 07, 9:38 pm CDT

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