More from the we are doomed department.  The other day the Department of Justice placed an ad seeking 10 trial lawyers who are mentally retarded.  See “U.S. Department of Justice Seeks to Hire Mentally Retarded Trial Lawyers for Voting Division.”  Maybe the DOJ could loan one of its newly hired retarded trial lawyers to the United States Patent & Trademark Office to teach USPTO personnel how to turn an upside down piece of paper right side up.  The article below explains that the USPTO actually rejects faxes that are received upside down.

Question:  Once the fax is removed from the fax machine, how does the USPTO person know that the fax was upside down when received?  Answer:  The USPTO holds the document in front of his or her face and if the top is on the bottom then the fax must have come in upside down and must be rejected!

Possible Solution:  Turn the fax machine upside down as it is receiving the upside down fax then the fax will be received right side up.  I understand this solution was proposed by a USPTO clerk who unlike 99% of the staff had once worked in the private sector in a for profit business.  She had a vague memory of how the “little people outside government” dealt with upside down faxes.  Management rejected this solution because federal regulations required that they ask for a request for proposals after first funding a study by an outside consulting firm hired to investigate various environmentally safe solutions to the problem.  USPTO management realized that as a result of President Obama’s massive budget freeze, the USPTO did not have the funds to pay for the study, much less pay for all the new double-sided-automatic-page-reversing green (the fax paper is recycled from used tiolet paper) state-of-the-art ethanol-powered fax machines made in China ($126,000/unit when purchased in bulk and the government always purchases these hummers in bulk to get the savings for the taxpayers) and  the office space necessary to house the new machines.  “I know, the headline seems like a joke. After all, what do you do if someone inadvertently fed a page upside down into the fax machine? You simply turn the page over or, if you get an electronic version, use the reader software to rotate it. Apparently this is not within the standard operating procedures of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. No, if your fax comes in upside down, they send you a message in return saying that they can’t accept it and to re-fax.  Here’s a copy of the letter that a source, who regularly deals with the USPTO, passed along to me:”