False Patent Pending Claims By Phorm

Keith Mallen (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Office of Fair Trading

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Office of Fair Trading Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Keith Mallen (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Sir or Madam,

Phorm

http://www.phorm.com

Make claims on their website regarding their technology and describing it as being 'Patent Pending'. For example

http://webwise.phorm.com/discover/introd...

Left Bottom

There are other mentions about 'Patent Pending' on the website.

My research via

http://gb.espacenet.com/search97cgi/s97_...

Indicates that all of Phorms 'published' patents have been denied on the basis of prior art.

I apologise for not providing direct links but the evidence is there. In both cases Phorms patents have been rejected on the basis of ALL claims being subject to prior art.

I understand that the 'proper' route for complaints about false website claims or advertising might be via 'Consumer Direct' but their website hurts my eyes and is unnavigable.

I am left with the concern that Phorm, by claiming 'Patent Pending' status on their supposed technology may be giving a false message to prospective investors in the company.

Whilst my question might not lie within the remit of an FOI request as such requests might be interpreted at the present time I might suggest that the Patent Office, UK and Worldwide, considers this possibility.

For the moment I am requesting that you ask Phorm and any Patent Body; UK, WPO, PTO to provide evidence that Phorm has current filed, but yet unpublished, Patent applications or Published applications, that may have been refused but are capable of rescue, which could qualify as being 'Patent Pending.

Obviously such a request might cause concerns regarding how the patent system operates but if companies are going to claim 'Patent Pending' for the possible sole purpose of financial gain then I would suggest that disclosure of such information is something that needs to be investigated.

For the moment I would like to know either from Phorm or from the appropriate Patent Authorities minimal disclosure about Patents the company has in place or in process such that they can claim 'Patent Pending' on their website.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Mallen

Keith Mallen (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Sir or Madam,

My recent FOI request is now overdue a response.

I do understand that it might not strictly be considered as such and you may not be able to divulge the information requested. If so then such a response would be understandable.

Otherwise any information regarding your progress or advice on the matter would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Mallen

Mary Linacre, Office of Fair Trading

Dear Mr Mallen

We do not appear to have received this request. Did you ever receive an
acknowledgement? If not, can you please forward the request back to us.

Regards

Mary Linacre

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Keith Mallen (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Mary Linacre,

Thank you for your reply. Apparently the system has hiccups every so often. Please find the original request copied below..

-----------------------
Keith Mallen

28 July 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Phorm

http://www.phorm.com

Make claims on their website regarding their technology and describing it as being 'Patent pending'. For example

http://webwise.phorm.com/discover/introd...

Left Bottom

There are other mentions about 'Patent Pending' on the website.

My research via

http://gb.espacenet.com/search97cgi/s97_...

Indicates that all of Phorms 'published' patents have been denied on the basis of prior art.

I apologise for not providing direct links but the evidence is there. In both cases Phorms patents have been rejected on the basis of ALL claims being subject to prior art.

I understand that the 'proper' route for complaints about false website claims or advertising might be via 'Consumer Direct' but their website hurts my eyes and is unnavigable.

I am left with the concern that Phorm, by claiming 'Patent Pending'status on their supposed technology may be giving a false message to prospective investors in the company.

Whilst my question might not lie within the remit of an FOI request as such requests might be interpreted at the present time I might suggest that the Patent Office, UK and Worldwide, considers this possibility.

For the moment I am requesting that you ask Phorm and any Patent Body; UK, WPO, PTO to provide evidence that Phorm has current filed, but yet unpublished, Patent applications or Published applications, that may have been refused but are capable of rescue, which could qualify as being 'Patent Pending.

Obviously such a request might cause concerns regarding how the patent system operates but if companies are going to claim 'Patent Pending' for the possible sole purpose of financial gain then I would suggest that disclosure of such information is something that needs to be investigated.

For the moment I would like to know either from Phorm or from the appropriate Patent Authorities minimal misclosure about Patents the company has in place or in process such that they can claim 'Patent Pending' on their website.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Mallen
-----------------------------------

Yours sincerely,

Keith Mallen

Keith Mallen (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Mary

Did you get the last one?

Burp and Apologies.

Keith

Enquiries, Office of Fair Trading

Ref: EPIC/ENQ/E/69338

Dear Mr Mallen,

Thank you for your email to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The
Information Access Team has asked me to respond to you.

Since the OFT does not have powers over the Patent Office / The
Intellectual Property Office (www.ipo.gov.uk ) and does not have access
to Patent Office's data, we suggest you contact the Patent Office
directly with your query concerning Phorm's claims they had a 'patent
pending'. Unfortunately, the OFT does not have the legal powers to
contact them on your behalf.

In terms of your views on the Consumer Direct (CD) web site, I have
passed your comments on to our CD web team for their information.

Yours sincerely,

Julia Vergho
OFT Enquiries

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Keith Mallen (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Dear Julia

OK, thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll see what the patent office might come up with.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Mallen

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