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

06.19.13

White House Should Identify USPTO as the Problem, Not Patent Trolls

Posted in Patents at 1:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos
USPTO’s most recent head and software patents apologist, IBM’s David Kappos

Summary: Continued analysis, accompanied by new stories, of the patent situation and what is needed to address the increasingly recognised harms of patents

Patent trolls are a major source of harm, but they are not the principal source, never mind what the White House is trying to tell us [1, 2, 3]. The corporations-leaning USPTO, with its ludicrous monopolies on algorithms constantly and endlessly (without boundaries) being granted to companies large and small, is the real problem. According to this post, even dining businesses are seriously affected by USPTO stupidity, To quote: “Innovative Wireless Solutions LLC, a non-practicing entity [....] filed 40+ lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas against a variety of hotels, hotel chains, and restaurants/coffee shops/delis” (over patents).

Even the ITC is playing a role in this problem. It gives ‘teeth’ to the USPTO.

Watch the moronic arguments of this man who defend patent trolls getting dismantled one by one:

Former Sen. John E. Sununu has an op-ed in the Boston Globe today that perfectly encapsulates the talking points of those who oppose efforts to clamp down on patent trolls.

[...]

Of course, former Sen. Sununu said that, although to be fair he was talking about banks, not inventors.

But this isn’t about pointing out hypocrisy. It’s about examining incentives. What kind of incentive is it if a person can make a fortune simply by getting a patent, instead of having to develop the patent into a business? We won’t get more innovation; we’ll just get more patents and more lawsuits, which is exactly what’s happened.

As the Obama Administration’s recent study showed, for every dollar a patent troll makes, the defendants who paid them lose ten dollars. That’s a net loss to the economy. Clearly, the incentives are wrong. We should be incentivizing entrepreneurship, not patent lottery tickets.

The Troll Tracker has its own take. Trolls are not the sole issue though.

An international team produced this paper (from Hall el al.) in which it recently explained why patents won’t help Europe. It’s a continent where small by businesses are abundant and trolls hardly exist. To quote the abstract:

A surprisingly small number of innovative firms use the patent system. In the UK, the share of firms patenting among those reporting that they have innovated is about 4%. Survey data from the same firms support the idea that they do not consider patents or other forms of registered IP as important as informal IP for protecting inventions. We show that there are a number of explanations for these findings: most firms are SMEs, many innovations are new to the firm, but not to the market, and many sectors are not patent active. We find evidence pointing to a positive association between patenting and innovative performance measured as turnover due to innovation, but not between patenting and subsequent employment growth. The analysis relies on a new integrated dataset for the UK that combines a range of data sources into a panel at the enterprise level.

The patents boosters, in the mean time, are confirming that UPC (unitary patent) would aid trolls in Europe and turn British lawyers into trolls. Jack Ellis writes:

Experts suggested that patent litigators based in England could be the counsel of choice for many Unified Patent Court (UPC) plaintiffs at a debate on litigation finance held in London last week.

Panellists at the discussion, held at the offices of litigation finance and insurance broker The Judge, suggested that recent civil litigation costs reforms in the United Kingdom and the increasing sophistication of the country’s litigation funding market could make the services of British practitioners especially attractive to patent owners seeking to assert their rights in the UPC.

Once established, the UPC will cover at least 13 countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom; at most it could hold jurisdiction over all 25 signatory states, with the prospect that Poland and Spain – which have opted out of the UPC for the time being – and any future European Union members could come on board at a later stage. “Either way you look at [the UPC jurisdiction], it will at least be comparable to the United States in terms of GDP and population,” said panellist Alan Johnson, partner at Bristows. “Around about 600,000 patents will suddenly be able to be litigated on a pan-European basis. In addition to a wider injunction being available, higher damages will also be possible. Almost as certainly as night follows day, you can see a group of patentees thinking right now about where they can enforce [in the UPC].”

Nazer [1, 2], who recently focused on trolls more than on software patents, finally returns to talking about patent scope in relation to this ruling on a SAP case. He says:

The long-running patent battle between Versata and SAP saw a lot of action this week. Back in 2007, Versata filed a lawsuit claiming SAP infringed a patent on a method “for pricing products in multi-level product and organizational groups.” This dispute – which raises important issues about patents and software – is proceeding both in the courts and at the Patent Office. Yesterday, EFF joined an amicus brief supporting SAP at the Federal Circuit, where SAP is arguing that it does not infringe. Meanwhile, at the Patent Office, SAP won a landmark ruling finding that the invention was not patentable because it merely covers an abstract idea.

This case showed failure at the USPTO more than anything else and a European company, SAP, was affected the most. It is time to shun the USPTO, the source of many of today’s problems, including impeded innovation. We don’t need then USPTO to document and publish ideas anymore, we already have the Internet. The USPTO got warped into a protectionism apparatus, not a source of knowledge.

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. GitHub is Moving the Free Software Movement Into “Check”

    GitHub's growing levels of control over Free software projects (GitHub itself is proprietary and Microsoft-controlled) ought to alarm the community; it's a lot worse than most people care to acknowledge, based on weeks of detailed analysis of GNU/Linux distros



  2. Links 6/4/2020: New Red Hat CEO, elementary OS Hera Updates

    Links for the day



  3. When the Decision is OK and the Judge's Motivations Are Also OK

    Justice Huber made the right call; but the bullies and charlatans who conspired to undermine laws and constitutions will never be satisfied



  4. The Fall of the UPC - Part XII: Doing the Unthinkable by Blaming the Judge's (Justice's) Wife?

    Team UPC and its media partners never cease to amaze us; anybody who stands in their way is either portrayed as a Russian stooge or too ignorant to be worth talking to



  5. The Fall of the UPC - Part XI: Lies Told by Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) in Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Today we look at misleading claims (or lies) published by Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Germans' constitutional court (FCC) had pointed out the obvious, namely that UPC ratification would be in violation of the German constitution



  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 05, 2020



  7. Links 5/4/2020: MindSpore, Covid-19 Projects and More

    Links for the day



  8. EPO is Just Like Some Cruel Political Party and Not a Patent Office

    The "cabal" which runs today's EPO (even the word "Mafia" seems suitable here) isn't acting -- not even remotely -- like a patent office; it's a patent-printing operation ("protection money" as income) that uses shallow political stunts to manufacture consent with the EU's 'generous' assistance



  9. Digitalisation and Digital Technologies as a Ploy to Justify Illegal Software Patents

    Say "hello" to the next weasel word/s; from the "hey hi" hype wave we've now moved to something "digital" (which can mean just about anything, including algorithms of all sorts)



  10. The Fall of the UPC - Part X: How We Shall Catalogue UPC Lies

    The cult that Team UPC became (one member lying to another member, maintaining a false version of reality) will be judged based on underlying facts, not lying about facts; we start with a token of contempt for IP Kat and Bristows LLP (there are overlaps)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 04, 2020



  12. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  13. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  15. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  17. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  18. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  20. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  21. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  22. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  24. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  25. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  26. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  28. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  30. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts