EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.10.11

Head of the USPTO is Confused, Defends Software Patents and Patent Trolls

Posted in IBM, Patents at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos

No change, just a lot of words

Summary: The head of the USPTO, David Kappos (above), speaks about the system he now has a lot of influence over. With a fine-tooth comb, the FFII’s president runs through his words.

THE COMPANY behind silent PR and silent lobbying for software patents has had one of its people arrive at the USPTO’s throne while another created the OIN, which in some sense legitimises software patents (it is a double-edged sword, but not so much for IBM). IBM is in favour of software patents because it has so many of them. Kappos himself belongs in the patent lawyers community, those who are leeches to software developers, they are very rarely developers themselves.

“The open source development model is absolutely fantastic,” says Mr. Kappos in this interview, but it goes downhill from there. Let us see how it starts:

Mm hmm. Yes. Software innovation in the open source area has been wonderful, and it has been a breakthrough business model. And great pieces of software, like the Linux operating system, as an example, have revolutionized much of what we do and are the basis for much of our computing on the Internet. The open source development model is absolutely fantastic.

Right. And what’s incompatible with this business model? That’s right, software patents. So it gets ruined from there on whenever Kappos talks about patents. The FFII’s president (Benjamin Henrion) did a fine job picking out the bits where he falters, such as the point where he says:

No matter what the field, whether it’s biotechnology or mousetraps or wheels, gears and sprockets, software

These are entirely different things. Why even lump them together? As Henrion explains:

Kappos uses the hardware equivalence to make software patentable

Henrion adds that according to “Kappos: [it] certainly does not discriminate against any model of software development so that the marketplace can decide” (really?).

“Kappos thinks patent trolls are OK,” Henrion writes, “companies that buy and assert patents are essentially market-making mechanisms” (he must be joking or he is very thick, but it’s likely that he is neither of those things).

“He is probably surrounded by persuasive lawyers, not truly practising staff — those who are busy making actual products, not writing patent applications.”As long as the USPTO is run by a bunch of lawyers with vested interests (like Kappos with his loyalty to a software patents supporter, IBM), all that this US government supports is a small set of mega-corporations sustaining law which is, by design, discriminatory towards the population at large (see the video below).

To end with a quote from Henrion, “Kappos: so I actually don’t see any sort of major change in the area of software patenting” (amazing nonchalance!). IBM could use some prodding and so could Kappos, who has a blog where people who read Techrights can speak to him very easily and directly, hopefully politely speaking some sense into his mind. He is probably surrounded by persuasive lawyers, not truly practising staff — those who are busy making actual products, not writing patent applications. We never insulted Mr. Kappos and in fact we supported his appointment at the time, falsely believing that this was the man who would bring positive change. He failed us all very, very badly.

Professor Lessig, a shrewd American who opposes maximalists of so-called “IP”, gave the following topical talk some days ago (TinyOgg will indefinitely terminate within 4 days, so we apologise for Flash-only video).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. saulgoode said,

    July 12, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Gravatar

    So the light bulb, your Edison example, is a great example of a famous invention, the product of human creativity in the sciences and the useful arts, and something that the government then rewards a limited exclusive right to for a limited period of time in exchange for disclosing how that thing is made, how it works, so that humanity can benefit from it for all of time, and other human beings can then build on it and create future great advances.

    Thomas Edison’s patenting of the incandescent light bulb is indeed a “great example”; a great example of how the U.S. PTO mistakenly granted a patent 1879 — to the great cost of the courts, and with undue restriction of competition and stagnation of progress — only to later invalidate that very patent less than four years later in 1883.

    Yes, the patent office’s chief administrator’s “great example” of how the patent system is purported to work is instead yet another shining example of how it utterly fails to actually do so. Such a display of ignorance in the very field for which Mr Kappos is presented as an authority is shameful, to say the least.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, well. they always have that “Edison invented the lightbulb” mythology to keep us deluded. Edison was not an American hero, he was an American businessman.

What Else is New


  1. Ahead of Supreme Court Decision, the Patent Microcosm is Trying to Scandalise PTAB

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which defends many businesses from bogus patents and patent trolls, comes under fire from protectors of the trolls (or those who profit from patent Armageddon/legal chaos)



  2. Benoît Battistelli's Misbehaviour Condemned the UPC to Death

    Press coverage regarding the cause for Germany's decision to halt UPC ratification, with suspension pending in part owing to the serious abuses in Munich and Berlin



  3. The Patent Microcosm is Pushing Hard to Weaken Alice and Revoke PTAB's Authority Using an Upcoming Supreme Court Case

    Patent profiteers (not inventors) continue their shameful campaign against Alice and PTAB now that software patents are in shambles and many get invalidated without them being used litigiously



  4. News About Patents Dominated by Patent Trolls/Aggressors, Their Press Releases, and Sympathisers

    A collection of news items from yesterday, demonstrating just to what degree the narrative of patent trolls (or aggressors) is being spread by paying for distribution



  5. Amazon's 1-Click Patent Continues to Tarnish the Image of the USPTO and of Patents in General

    Public ridicule and scorn over the shallowness of patents granted in the US is inevitable (Amazon has a patent even on white background in photographs), demonstrating that patent maximalism does nobody a favour, only a great disservice to both patenters and the public at large



  6. Bristows LLP Tries Hard to Maintain the Illusion That UPC is Alive, Using Media Placements and Paid Plugs

    Ever-so-desperate efforts to keep the Unitary Patent (UPC) in headlines, even though nothing is happening and nothing is likely to happen any time soon



  7. Links 22/8/2017: Linux 4.13 RC6, Mesa 17.1.7, Wine 2.15, Android O

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: July 2nd – July 29th 2017

    Many IRC logs



  9. IRC Proceedings: June 4th – July 1st, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  10. IRC Proceedings: May 7th – June 3rd, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  11. IRC Proceedings: April 9th, 2017 – May 6th, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  12. Patent Scope Recognised as Essential For Patent Quality, But Software Patents Continue to be Granted

    Patents that are toothless, clawless lions are being accumulated by companies that should know various courts would scrutinise these enough to rule them invalid



  13. Litigation and Patenting Versus Research and Development

    reminder of who's 'stealing' jobs from engineers and who it is done for (who benefits from mass taxation rather than actual production)



  14. The Federal Circuit Has Become the Go-To Place For Patent Appeals Arising From USPTO Errors

    Patent appeals that come to CAFC as a result of bad Patent Office decisions now outnumber the appeals coming from district courts (an extraordinary situation)



  15. The Truly Odd Concept of Design Patents, Which the US Supreme Court Might Crush Very Soon

    The epidemic of shallow patents, which has already resulted in patents on mere designs, be soon end; but not before an unprecedented gold rush for such patents



  16. Quality of European Patents Has Sunk, Value Diminished

    The trouble associated with declining patent quality at the European Patent Office and early warnings about it from the staff union



  17. The Notorious 1-Click Buying Patent Expired Rather Than Invalidated

    As proof of the fact that many bogus patents (typically on software) are worthless but not invalidated, we now have Amazon's patents reaching their end of life



  18. PTAB Crushes Software Patents and Patent Extremists Are Not Happy About It

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a legal facility which invalidates many software patents, still faces opposition from those who profit from software patents (not software developers)



  19. Software Patents and Patent Trolls Are Almost the Same Problem (Still)

    Apple just got sued again, Microsoft-connected patent trolls continue serial litigation against Microsoft's competitors, and a bike shop gets sued using software patents



  20. Links 20/8/2017: KStars 2.8.1, Fedora Design Interns

    Links for the day



  21. Lack of Independent Judiciary Under the Unitary Patent (Like Boards of Appeal Under Battistelli, in Defiance of the EPC) Will Possibly Kill the Unified Patent Court

    Germany, a key player in UPC negotiations (most patents at stake), cannot proceed to ratification and Britain's expected exit from the European Union further restricts any progress



  22. The Staff Union of the EPO Has Long Warned About Declining Patent Quality

    The quality of granted European Patents (EPs) has been declining sharply and the EPO's staff representatives have warned about it for a long time, only to find themselves severely reprimanded for telling the truth



  23. The EPO's Management Needs a Perception of Security Crisis

    The EPO follows that familiar pattern of writing about every Islamic terror attack in Europe (and in the US too) while media in Munich tells a story where facts are yet uncertain



  24. Links 18/8/2017: Wallpaper of Plasma 5.11, Oracle Liberates Java EE a Bit

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/8/2017: Krita 3.2.0, New Raspbian GNU/Linux OS

    Links for the day



  26. Corruption at the European Patent Office and Systematic Bullying That Leads People to Suicide/Bankruptcy

    A look back at 3 years of intensive EPO coverage and what's coming up next (suppression of truth behind closed doors in the courtrooms)



  27. Supreme Court Decision on TC Heartland v Kraft Food Brands Group Already Vacates the Eastern District of Texas

    Patent trolls are losing their mojo as patent lawsuits drop 21% in the Eastern District of Texas and this collapse is expected to accelerate



  28. Media Dominated by the Patent Microcosm Spreads Myths and Defends Patent Trolls, Collectors

    Popular culture myths, such as Edison being a prolific inventor, and what we all ought to know about an actual patent epidemic (vast increase in the number of patents granted, bringing the total to over 10 million in the US)



  29. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Squashes Many Software Patents (Abstract) and §101 Seems Safe From Lobbying by the Patent Microcosm

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), together with the Alice-inspired §101, is an efficient eliminator of bogus patents on software and there is no end to that in sight



  30. Ericsson Hired From the World's Largest Patent Troll and Became a Massive Troll in Europe

    Ericsson's patent aggression campaign (even in Europe) carries on; it turns out the person behind this strategy came from Intellectual Ventures


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts