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

03.21.13

US House Hearing on Patents a Sham, Stacked With Lawyers/Corporations

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When corporations are allegedly people and corporate lawyers — people whose professional agenda is to prop up ‘IP’ — are writing the laws

Washington

Summary: No signs of real change because hearings involve lawyers of large corporations rather than representatives of public interests

The USPTO remains a farce of a system which strives to assimilate patent offices all around the world to itself. It needs to be stopped or else we will all face the consequences, be those consequences visible or not. A lot of what we buy costs little to manufacture, but since we pay patent tolls prices can be inflated considerably.

Groklaw writes about the House hearing we were referring to the other day. It is a debate for lawyers only, based on this summary which states:

Thursday was the hearing on abusive patent litigation by the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. By abusive patent litigation, they mean trolls — or as one calls them when one holds one’s pinky genteelly in the air, NPEs, nonpracticing entities. I put out a call for one of Groklaw’s own to attend and let us know what happened. Webster was able to attend, and he has provided an eyewitness account for us in his own inimitable style.

The chairman of the hearing, US Representative Bob Goodlatte, opened with a statement, as did several members of the subcommittee with a little speechifying of their own, and then the invited witnesses of the day each told about their company’s experiences with abusive litigation, except for one, a lawyer whose firm represents trolls and who opined that the patent system is working well overall. If you click each of the following names of the witnesses, you can download as a PDF the written testimony each provided in advance:

* Mr. Mark Chandler, Senior VP, General Counsel and Secretary, Cisco Systems, Inc.
* Ms. Janet L. Dhillon, Exec. VP, General Counsel and Secretary, J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
* Mr. John G. Boswell, Sr. VP, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, SAS Institute, Inc.
* Mr. C. Graham Gerst, Partner, Global IP Law Group, LLC
* Mr. Philip S. Johnson, Sr. VP and Chief IP Counsel, Johnson & Johnson
* Mr. Dana Rao, VP and Assoc. General Counsel for Intellectual Property Litigation, Adobe Systems, Inc.

Mark Bohannon, Red hat’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Public Policy, wrote about this hearing as follows:

As President Obama pointed out in February, the patent reform legislation Congress passed several years ago hasn’t “captured all the problems” and the bill “only went about halfway to where we need to go.”

“[Patent trolls] are a classic example. They don’t actually produce anything themselves,” the President said. “They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.”

It is important to keep contacting policy makers on this important issue. If you haven’t done so, let the members of the Judiciary Committee in both the House and Senate hear from you. Your voice is important and can make a difference.

Your voice is important and but unfortunately you cannot make a difference. Why? Because unless you have the name of some giant corporation next to your name and you claim to have a degree in law, these people will treat you like dirt and will never give you a platform, let alone any influence.

The FSF is about to have a more suitable public event about patents — one where actual scientists participate. Here are the details which the FSF published this week:

Chicago, IL – Room 1040, 10th floor, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, Philip H. Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St., Water Tower Campus, Loyola University Chicago

Going back to Groklaw, Posner, a critic of the patent system and of software patents in particular [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], is mentioned in this article which alludes to the patent fight against Android:

Motorola has now filed its response to Apple’s appeal of Judge Richard Posner’s decision to toss out Apple’s claims against Motorola (and vice versa), and it adds its own cross appeal [PDF] on the vice versa part — especially challenging the implication of Judge Posner’s ruling that there can be no injunctive relief for FRAND patent owners ever, as a categorical rule.

A blanket denial of the right to seek injunctive relief, Motorola argues, violates patent law, contradicts eBay v. MercExchange [PDF], where the US Supreme Court held that it was error to come up with a categorical rule that “injunctive relief could not issue in a broad swath of cases”, and violates the original expectations of donors of technology to standards bodies. In fact, it says any such rule would violate the US Constitution, which provides that Congress shall have power to secure exclusive rights for inventors, and in the Patent Act Congress came up with, it says every grant to a patentee includes the right to exclude others. Motorola asserts that it has never waived its rights to injunctive relief and states that there is no language in its ETSI agreements requiring it to do so. Motorola argues that there should continue to be a case-by-case analysis under eBay, with judges having discretion to make such decisions based on the particular facts of each case.

Fair warning, though: the PDF is 737 pages. The actual brief is one-tenth that, 73 pages, so I’ve done that part of it for you as text. The rest is a collection of patents at issue, judge’s orders in this case, and one from a related Apple v. Motorola litigation in Wisconsin, which is where this case began, before being transferred to Illinois and Judge Posner.

Posner, a US judge, has so far been the exception when it comes too his views on these patent battles and software patents, which he opposes. The house hearing had nobody like Posner in it; it was just a bunch of lawyers bickering and gloating over patents.

Here is LG using patent FUD against its biggest national rival. It’s about software patents:

The Samsung Galaxy S4 possibly uses a new type of eye-tracking software that LG believes violates one of its own patents.

LG on Tuesday claimed that its South Korean competitor may have violated the company’s patent which pauses video clips when a user turns their head away from the video they are watching.

During the Samsung Galaxy S4 event last week the company announced the new feature as one of the smartphones best new options.

Samsung however was very clear in stating that it does not actually use eye-tracking technology but rather facial recognition software.

Apple too is reportedly being hit by patents relating to software:

The Wall Street Journal reports that patent holding company Intertrust Technologies Corp. has filed suit against Apple, accusing the Cupertino-based company of infringing on 15 of Intertrust’s patents related to “security and distributed trusted computing.”

Publications like the Wall Street Journal view the patent problem as trolls hurting large corporations such as Apple. But it’s not the real issue. It’s just a symptom of the real issue. The multinational corporations try to change the law to benefit corporations, not trolls and not anyone else. People should be outraged by this.

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

A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    March 21, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Gravatar

    “Because unless you have the name of some giant corporation next to your name and you claim to have a degree in law, these people will treat you like dirt and will never give you a platform, let alone any influence.”

    Naah, you just need cash. Lots and lots of cash. It doesn’t matter what name or which qualification it’s attached to.

    Corruption, plain and simple.

What Else is New


  1. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  2. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  3. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  4. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  5. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  7. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  8. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  9. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  10. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  11. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  12. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  13. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  14. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  15. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  16. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  18. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  19. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  20. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  21. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  23. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  24. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  25. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  26. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  27. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  28. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  29. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  30. Links 17/5/2015: NuTyX Saravane 15.05, Panasonic and Firefox OS

    Links for the day


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