Will President Trump tinker with the USPTO?
As we all know, Donanld Trump is a master brander. We saw him at work during the campaign use his skill to effectively eliminate his competition during the primary season. His campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” may go down in history as one of the most effective slogans ever created. Many say that Trump has used the value of his brand in order to increase the perceptual value of his properties. He has also used his brand to give life to otherwise mediocre properties. Put the word mark “Trump” on a building and it is no longer just a hotel but a coveted Trump property.
While Trump is big on Trademarks, he doesn’t appear to own any patents. It is not clear whether this is due to lack of knowledge about the power of a patent, or he simply has not gotten around to utilizing patents. As the new head of government, the president-elect will nominate the head of the USPTO. That choice will be an important development to watch particularly for patent trolls and other entities who monetize patents. Many observers look for him to also appoint judges that are likely to curb the reach of such entities. If that happens, that might affect the way trolls enforce patents particularly if the current leanings towards requiring trolls who lose to pat attorney fees continues. The one thing that has kept trolls in check has been the fear of getting hit with a hefty fee motion. If Trump has his way, that might become an insurmountable wall for the patent trolls, not unlike the one he intends to erect at the southern border!