Justin Cohen Quoted in IP Watchdog on Congress’ Review of Patent System

“Does anyone at Mapbox understand the company’s patent filing activities?”

At the July 13th hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Mapbox staffer Tom Lee had some rather explosive things to say about patents. “In general, the quality of software patents in our system seems to be very poor,” Lee testified to efficient infringer ally, patent troll and House IP subcommittee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Further, Lee assured members of the House IP subcommittee that he knew software engineers who would consider it “an embarrassment” to be listed as an inventor on a patent.

Further, Cohen went as far as to contact staffers with the House IP subcommittee to determine the criteria and process which goes into selecting panel witnesses for hearings on IP matters. “I first contacted Rep. Issa’s office, who referred me to the staffers on the House’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet,” Cohen said. “I spoke with a staffer named Joe Keeley, who did not provide many details. He merely stated that the chairman (Rep. Issa) makes the decision and the staffers looked for small businesses in the tech sector. I asked specifically how they decided on Tom Lee from Mapbox, but he did not provide any specifics. I’d like to ensure that Congress is relying on good, well-vetted information as they consider making additional adjustments to our patent system.”