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

01.19.13

New Fights Against Software Patents Around the World

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of patent news from Europe, the US, and some other places which suddenly let software patents be

Hartmut Pilch, the habitually-involved founder of the FFII, writes in his blog about the group's latest action which strives to tackle software patents in Europe one patent at a time, as a matter of making a point or precedence perhaps.

Meanwhile, the patent has been revoked. The Opposition Division revoked it for the second time. In 2007 it had already revoked this patent, which had been granted in 2003 and filed in 1998. However the Technical Board of Appeal (TBA) revived the patent and remitted it to the Opposition Division, alleging that the Opposition Division had failed to prove that the feature of simplification to a “single action” (one click) was not novel. In today’s hearing, the Opposition Division considered this feature novel. Moreover it also considered novel the process of ordering a gift for a friend without fully disclosing his address. However the Opposition Division doubted, whether the combination of these two features could be considered an “inventive step”.

Defining what makes a software patent is a legitimate debate, unlike what makes “good” software patents. Amazon is doing badly based on grounds of triviality, prior art, and lack of software patenting in the case of Europe. It ought to make this patent quite easy a target for the FFII.

Meanwhile in the United States, the USPTO enjoys protections from corporations and government (virtually the same under corporocracy) and one notable lawyer who is a product of this system advocates yet more patent monopolies, saying that “Patents Boost American Prosperity” (maybe for lawyers). The idea that academia, for instance, would stop innovating if no patents were offered is totally ridiculous. Masnick’s Web site is dismantling the arguments one by one, concluding:

Yes, we agree that innovation holds the key to future prosperity. The problem is that there is no evidence that the patent system actually increases that innovation, and a ridiculous amount of evidence that it does exactly the opposite. It retards innovation, diverting money from actual innovations that hit the market, to lawyers. The costs associated with the patent system far outweigh any benefits. Could you craft a functioning patent system? Perhaps, but today’s system is not it, and if Judge Michel ever spent time with actual innovators who were the victims of patent trolling, he might learn something. But, you know, that would offend his patent lawyer and patent troll buddies.

More patents boosters, again in the form of patent lawyers, debate the scope of patents:

The chart above shows the percentage of published non-provisional patent applications that include the term “means for” at least once in the claimset. Although not the only way of doing so, “means for” is traditionally used by patent attorneys to invoke the doctrine known as means-plus-function claiming allowed under 35 U.S.C. 112p6. [Soon to be renumbered 35 U.S.C. 112(f)]. As the chart shows, the percentage of applications that include at least one means-plus-function term is well under 10% and seemingly in continued decline. A decade ago, about 1/4 of all applications included this type of claim.

At the legal site Groklaw, Pamela Jones responds with: “So topic one the USPTO asks us to address covers “well under 10%” of the applications for patents. Of course.”

Well, the USPTO likes to focus on rigged debates which hardly address the real questions, as we have explained before. Those are easy to find. It’s either a stacked panel, a push polling-like tactic (dancing around distraction and disinformation), or both.

We are rather troubled to see patents on software getting granted in countries that fought them: South Africa, Israel, and New Zealand. See this press release:

Publishing Data Management announced today that five international patents have been granted for the software engine that drives ProofPlus, its trademarked Financial Compliance and Electronic Document system. Patents have been issued in Israel, Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa and are pending in China, Europe and additional countries. This announcement underscores the significant commitment a company must undertake to protect its inventive efforts in today’s global marketplace.

Europe is not a “country” actually, not even with the unitary patent [1, 2]. Either way, let us hope that multinationals’ pressure (clients of patents lawyers) to make software patentable won’t spread outside of the United States where, in my humble opinion, corporations already have far too much power over the authorities. Imperialism by corporations never-endingly strives to expand for increased profit. It’s governments’ job to place boundaries and represent people, the digital majority

Corporocracy map

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone.”

Richard Stallman

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. NotZed said,

    January 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Gravatar

    “It’s governments’ job to place boundaries and represent people, the digital majority”

    Haha ha ha. You neophyte. After all you write on this blog, how can you say such a thing with a straight face?

    It’s always the “governments” role to represent the landed gentry’s interests. Democracy is just propaganda – a plain and cruel joke – used to subjugate the proles. Anyway, software patents are now a “strategic interest” of the US government, and part of the national security agenda. Don’t expect any waffling lawyers to make any meaningful headway against that.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What I meant was, governments’ job *SHOULD BE* to place boundaries and represent people, the digital majority.

    Clearly this is not happening in most countries which call themselves democratic because elected officials are corruptible and they develop a sixth sense for life after office (how to monetise power).

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