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

06.05.13

Obama Administration Goes After Phantom Enemy; Patent Trolls Are a Symptom, Hardly the Only Problem

Posted in Patents at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money talks, the suggested ‘reform’ is corporate

A thousand dollars

Summary: More evidence showing that in order to eradicate patent trolls, as well as their large equivalents (patent pools and thickets), we must reconsider patent scope, not size of plaintiffs; President Obama is going only after the small offenders

EARLIER ON we wrote about the racketeering operation known as Intellectual Ventures. It is so vast that it has summoned a legion of lobbyists constantly pressuring the government, seeking to legalise (or keep legal) extortion like its own.

“Acacia uses software parents, which Microsoft habitually passes to trolls.”To understand what Intellectual Ventures is about (world’s largest patent troll bar none; as IP Troll Tracker points out, it’s hard to believe anyone is still unaware of this), think of Goldman Sachs and Mr. Madoff. Both are committing more or less the same crime but at vastly different levels of granularity. One gets a bailout (taxpayers’ money), whereas the other gets sent to prison. Why? Well, pyramid schemes are only cracked down on by the government if they are small; if the scale is large, then there are lobbyists and more work is required (with the risk of retribution) to convict and arrest the perpetrators. Ask AG Holder why he doesn’t convict large banks. He has already said that, fearing prosecution would have a negative effect on the economy, he would rather just let them be. Astounding!

Some days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s friends at Acacia (former Microsoft employees in it) apparently taxing GNU/Linux again. Acacia uses software parents, which Microsoft habitually passes to trolls. As this news shows, Acacia’s patents are “abstract” (i.e. on software) and therein lies the problem. The article says: “In a 14-page ruling issued on May 29, U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte granted summary judgment to EMC Corporation, NetApp Inc., and Quantum Corp. in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Acacia subsidiary Compression Technology Solutions LLC. Whyte ruled that Acacia’s patent, which relates to a process of compressing digital data, is an abstract idea. Abstract ideas are categorically excluded from patent-eligibility under Section 101 of the Patent Act, along with “laws of nature” and “physical phenomena.”

“Another ‘legal’ site uses patent trolls as a distraction again. ““In September 2011, Acacia asserted the patent at issue against seven tech companies — EMC, NetApp, Quantum, Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business Machines Corporation, and Quest Software Inc. All of the defendants settled except EMC, NetApp, and Quantum, represented by Ropes & Gray, Goodwin Procter, and Durie Tangri, respectively.”

Don’t expect David Kappos from the USPTO to pay attention to it. Regarding the latest software patents promotion from Kappos (published in Patently O to make some waves) Pamela Jones wrote: “No, the problem really is deeper than just poor quality patents; the problem is that software never should have been patentable. Software patents are destroying innovation, making it simply impossible to do a thing in software without getting sued. And sued multiple times, if you are successful. To pretend otherwise is to represent the interests of those who are already holding patents, not those who are trying to innovate.”

Tell this to the EFF too. They seem to be targeting one patent at a time, still, and especially patent trolls. This is a misguided, short-term approach.

“This current patent crisis has nothing to do with patent trolls, it is about patent scope.”Several ‘legal’ sites, ones that we habitually mention for promoting the views of patent lawyers in news feeds, continue to distort the public debate about software patents in the US. Mondaq pushes a couple of such views and Managing IP does so too, summarising with “Court issues seven conflicting opinions” and “USPTO responds” (the USPTO is defending broad scope for patenting, as we showed before), but that is not a court of law, it is a rogue institute seeking to increase revenue. Another ‘legal’ site uses patent trolls as a distraction again. This current patent crisis has nothing to do with patent trolls, it is about patent scope. As TechDirt noted the other day, even a student who won the Intel Science Fair got “Threatened With Patent Infringement Claims For Patent Not Yet Granted”. Or to put it another way: “So it goes in America. No one’s immune from the threat of patent litigation, not even 18-year high school students in possession of an award-winning science project in one of the most prestigious science fairs around.” (original article at IDG)

When so many horrible patents get granted and then groomed by patent lawyers’ sites it is no wonder we’re in this sordid mess. “Seems to me that it is Patent Lawyers who mainly endorse patenting. Makes more business for them,” wrote “Anti Software Patent” in Twitter the other day, adding that “Maths done on a calculator isn’t Patentable but if you type it into a computer it is? A calculator is a computer as it Computes!” (as noted yesterday in this essay).

“Suffice to say, the White House will be addressing the wrong problem, obeying corporate requests rather than public requests to re-assess patent scope. “Watch how opposition to software patents gets smeared by patent boosters like Martin Goetz, whose sole achievement seems to be getting a patent on software.

Suffice to say, the White House will be addressing the wrong problem, obeying corporate requests rather than public requests to re-assess patent scope. That’s what all politicians do. According to this, Obama is still going after the symptoms rather than the root cause. The analysis adequately starts by giving this bit of background: “Back in February, we were a bit surprised during President Obama’s “Fireside Hangout” when he appeared to speak out against patent trolls. Historically, most politicians had always tiptoed around the issue, in part because the pharma industry seems to view any attack on patent trolls as an existential threat — and, frankly, because some small time patent holders can also make a lot of noise. However, it’s become exceptionally clear that there’s political will to take on patent trolls. We’ve noted five different patent law bills introduced in Congress, all targeting patent trolls in one form or another.”

“The issue with patent thickets is showing that trolls are not the real problem. “Yes, it’s all about trolls to them. The article carries on as follows: “And now, it’s been reported that President Obama is going to come out strongly against patent trolling, directing the USPTO and others to fix certain issues, while also asking Congress to pass further laws to deal with patent trolling. The President will flat out note that patent trolls represent a “drain on the American economy.” The announcement will directly say that “patent trolls” (yes, they use the phrase) are a problem, while also talking about the problem of patent thickets like the infamous “smartphone wars.””

The issue with patent thickets is showing that trolls are not the real problem. There is a more fundamental problem and that is what Obama should be tackling. The press coverage only concentrates on trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (FOSS-friendly sites aside [1, 2]), which re-affirmes our position that President Obama will only crack down on small abusers while ignoring the massive extortion rackets. “The White House Hates Patent Trolls,” says this alternative news site, but it sure doesn’t hate software patents. Not yet anyway…

The biggest patent abusers are, in the White House’s view, perhaps too big to jail, let alone speak about.

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. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  2. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  3. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  4. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  5. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  6. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  7. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  8. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  9. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  10. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  11. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  12. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  13. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  14. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  15. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  16. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  17. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  18. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  19. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  20. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  21. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  22. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  23. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  24. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  25. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  26. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  28. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  29. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)



  30. What IAM Says About AST, RPX, Ericsson, and IBM

    IAM, the trolls' mouthpiece (also the EPO's mouthpiece, but that's another story), provides updates on trolls and troll-like entities, but further commentary is needed to clarify and counterbalance the promotional language


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