They Said It and more.
USPTO Faces Budget Cuts

If you think the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is issuing too many bad software patents now, wait until October. USPTO Director Q. Todd Dickinson warns of an imminent “reduction in patent quality” when he has to reduce his staff by 1,000 people, including more than 500 patent examiners, out of a total of about 5,000, and cut back or reduce examiners' access to on-line databases. USPTO now has about 3,200 patent examiners.

In a letter to Howard Coble (R-NC) and Howard Berman (D-CA), Chairman and senior Democrat of the House Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property respectively, Dickinson also warns that many patents may be delayed or not issued at all because of the tight budget for fiscal 2001, which begins in October of this year. The letter is online at www.uspto.gov/c_b_directorresponse.pdf

News for job hunters: the USPTO is hiring patent examiners. As a software patent examiner, you will be responsible for researching and understanding the history of inventions, patented or non-patented, in your field and making the decision to grant or refuse patents. According to the USPTO web site, salaries for patent examiners in Engineering and Computer Science range from $27,778 to $53,544. There's a 10% recruitment bonus for computer science and electrical engineering specialists.

LJ INDEX—September 2000
  1. Percentage of people who find packaging annoying: 14

  2. Position of shrink-wrap among most annoying packaging types: #1

  3. Position of CDs among most annoying shrink-wrapped packages: #1

  4. Percentage most annoyed by CDs, among people who find shrink-wrapped products most annoying: 39

  5. Position claimed by Lycos among the world's search engines, after partnering with FAST: #1

  6. Number of Web pages surveyed by FAST, according to Lycos, on June 14, 2000: 340,000,000

  7. Number of Web pages Lycos plans to survey with FAST in he coming year: >1,000,000,000

  8. Number of Web pages in Google's survey index on June 27, 2000: 1,060,000,000

  9. Number of web pages with the word “Doubleclick,” according to FAST: 109,973

  10. Number of web pages with the word “Doubleclick,” according to Google: 1,129,996

  11. Total compensation of Silicon Valley CEOs in 1999: $2.3 billion

  12. Percent increase in 1999 Silicon Valley CEO compensation over the prior year: 89

  13. 1999 compensation position of John T. Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, among Silicon Valley CEOs: #1

  14. Chambers' 1999 compensation: $121,701,629

  15. Chambers' compensation as a multiple of the combined salary of every certified teacher in the San Jose Unified School district: >2, with $36.6 million left

  16. Number of women in the top ten in compensation: 1

  17. Number of Cisco executives in the top ten: 2

  18. Number of Yahoo! executives in the top ten: 4

  19. Total compensation of all four Yahoo! executives: $325,463,827

  20. Total compensation of Daimler-Benz top ten executives in 1997: $11 million

  21. World position of United States in CEO-to-worker pay ratio: #1

  22. U.S. CEO-to-factory-worker pay ratio in 1999: 34-to-1

  23. Number of women per 175 men among Silicon Valley CEOs: 4

  24. Number of women among the 100 highest-paid Silicon Valley executives: 9

  25. Opening auction price offered by Tracy Cole for her answers to marketing questions: $20

  26. Number of marketing questions Tracy Cole answers for upwards of $20: 378

  • 1-4: Cheskin Research packaging study

  • 5-11: searches and press releases on Lycos, FAST and Google sites

  • 11-24: San Jose Mercury News

  • 25-26 The Standard