This is a story about the new patent office that opened here on Thursday. But to understand why this is momentous, you first need to hear Michelle Fisher's story.
Fisher, founder and chief executive of Blaze Mobile, is a 40-something tech entrepreneur, the kind of woman who makes Silicon Valley proud of itself.
She grew up in East San Jose, and was chosen to be in a special after-school program for kids who showed promise in science, engineering and math. She earned degrees from Berkeley and Stanford, and spent nearly a decade at Microsoft, where she became one of the company's many millionaires, thanks to six stock splits during her tenure.
In Redmond, Wash., at a pitch...