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

01.23.13

USPTO ‘Debate’ Already Rigged by Patent Lawyers

Posted in Patents at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents protest in India

Summary: Software patents are assumed to be OK and software developers of this world do not participate in debates about it, perhaps because of the way these debates are designed

The problem caused by patent trolls probably receives more coverage than software patents, which are the trolls’ weapon of choice. A trolls tracker spots a trend:

US federal courts are divided into 94 districts. When patent-holders file a lawsuit against a product that’s sold nationwide, they have pretty wide leeway as to where to file their case. That’s allowed for quite a bit of “venue shopping” in patent cases, and several years ago the remote and rural Eastern District of Texas started to become surprisingly popular.

Over time, East Texas became known as a place very friendly to patent plaintiffs and unfriendly to patent defendants, particularly out-of-state or foreign tech companies. Judges there were reluctant to let cases be transferred out of their district, and some patent-holding companies began setting up Texas LLCs in order to better argue that Texas was the right venue for them.

The trends as seen by so-called ‘IP’ lawyers are different. These lawyers would rather focus on legitimising software patents, which help them make money irrespective of the holder (troll or not). One law firm writes:

In a recent blog entry, Director David Kappos of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gave something of a three-month status update after the implementation of several mechanisms of the AIA, including third party prior art submission. As of December 17, 2012, the USPTO has received 270 prior art submissions, which Director Kappos calls “in line with expectations.” Notably, the leading art group for such submissions was Technology Center 3700, which, according to Kappos, “includes many software-related inventions such as those found in electronic gaming devices and medical equipment.”

The debates on software patents in the USPTO are regularly infiltrated by lawyers. We gave many examples in 2012. While programmers are busy writing code lawyers are busy ensuring they keep their middleman role. Law sites prepare to stack the consultation. Here is another example. Where are the software engineers in all this? Here is another example:

Suffice it to say, the patent attorneys disagreed with Mulligan, though they did so earnestly, out of a genuine belief that one can separate out patents covering trivial or commonplace activities from other software patents in a coherent, justiciable way. What I found most striking is that none of the patent attorneys present defended the status quo. Rather, they agreed that the scope of software patents should be radically narrowed. That seems like a good baseline for discussion.

So the author demonises abolition (of software patents) proponents and then takes the side of lawyers by legitimising software patents, the “baseline” as he calls it. It’s as if the only position that’s permissible is that some software patents are “good” and others are “bad”.

Over in Europe we have a similar issue because of the example USPTO sets. The corporate press in the US plays along with the lie that more patents mean more innovation. The source of the claim is one that profits from patents:

The U.S. Patent Office and Trademark Office awards hundreds of thousands of patents each year. This week, IFI Claims Patent Services, a producer of patent databases, released its top 50 ranking of companies awarded the most U.S. patents in 2012.

The Irish press too glamourises software patents this month:

http://www.iriHe joined Microsoft in 1999 as a software developer in Seattle and registered more than 20 patents for inventions in computer security.

In his last role at Microsoft, leading the PM team for the forthcoming Windows 8 Store, he felt the entrepreneurial urge, and left to start app development firm…

Rex Djere has this suggestion for the USPTO:

TLWIR 53: Transforming the Broken U.S. Patent System with Free Software-Style Reforms

In The Linux Week In Review 52, I talked about the need for a Linux Reference System, a GNU/Linux computer guaranteed to work with the latest free software and drivers. In TLWIR 53, I will present some ideas on how to fix the broken U.S. patent system.

Innovation comes from freedom, not restrictions such as patents. It’s common sense for developers. For others it is an unspeakable truth. They want us to believe — by repeating their propaganda line — that more restrictions make greater innovation.

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

What Else is New


  1. Claiming That Microsoft 'Loves' Linux While Windows Update Bricks Devices With Linux

    The sheer absurdity of claims that Microsoft -- which not only attacks those who distribute Linux and GNU but also blackmails them, takes them to court, or bricks their products without any liability -- 'loves' Linux



  2. Protectionist Reign: Corporations in Complete Control of Everything With Domination Over Patent Law

    How multinational corporations, joined by the corporate press that they are funding, promote a corporations- but not people-friendly patent policy in north America



  3. Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

    Links for the day



  4. Links 29/10/2014: Ubuntu Touch Tablet, Puppy Linux 6.0

    Links for the day



  5. Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft is Bricking Devices With Linux (Yet Again!), So a Microsoft Booster Spins/Paints Linux Devices as 'Fakes'

    Microsoft delivers rogue drivers through Windows Update and they brick Arduino microcontrollers



  8. How Bill Gates Continues to Pass Wealth From the Public to His Own Bank Account

    Having put a universal tax on many things (not just computers) and evaded tax using the classic 'charity' trick, Gates is now buying the media, the schools, politicians etc. and earns as much as 10 billion dollars per year while the public is taught that Gates is a giver, not a hoarder of the worst kind



  9. Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: September 14th, 2014 – October 25th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  11. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  12. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  13. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  14. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  15. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  16. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  17. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  19. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  20. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  22. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  23. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  24. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  25. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  26. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  27. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  28. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  29. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  30. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time


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