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. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  2. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  3. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  4. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  5. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  6. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  7. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  8. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  9. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  11. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  12. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  13. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  14. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  15. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  17. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  18. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  19. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  20. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  21. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  22. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  23. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  24. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  25. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  26. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  27. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  28. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  29. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  30. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff


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