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08.24.13

US Government Accountability Office Refutes White House on Patent Reform, Identifies Software Patents — Not Trolls — as the Key Issue

Posted in Patents at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Government Accountability Office

Summary: Study concludes that software patents are the source of the great problem which includes (but is not exclusive to) patent trolls

A new government report, produced by GAO in a timely fashion, helps support what we have been saying for years. As put in the words of one site:

Government report finds “patent troll” narrative not straightforward

Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office released a report on patent infringement litigation, but its findings didn’t align precisely with what fighters of “patent trolls” might have been hoping to hear.

Here is another take on it:

Our Flawed Patent Process Is What’s Feeding Patent Trolls

[...]

The GAO found that the quality of patents, along with the patent process itself, can in fact spur trolls. The study was originally slated for September 16, 2012, release, so it’s good know government bureaucracy, as always, took its sweet old time. For its part, the government is also promising that it didn’t suffer from any major dilution by way of corporate lobbying.

Steph already knew all that, but using a credible report we need to show to the public and to politicians that the White House is merely going after the symptoms, litigation and patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], not the core issue. The US Government Accountability Office should set Obama straight. Obama was already petitioned on software patents and he nearly ignored the petition, doing nothing concrete on the matter, not even giving “Hope” (except to corporations, especially when he appointed more pro-patents people).

Bloomberg’s business press filed it under “Intellectual Property” and said:

Software patents are the biggest reason for a rise in litigation over inventions, especially against companies that use the technology, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found.

Indeed.

Julie Samuels is doing her usual thing, saying “bad patents” rather than software patents, alluding in a way to her views that not all software patents are bad. Her headline was “GAO Study Confirms the Obvious: Bad Patents Lead to Trolls” and it said:

You might remember that in 2011, Congress passed the America Invents Act (AIA), which at the time, was heralded as it was heralded as “the first meaningful, comprehensive reforms to the nation’s patent system in nearly 60 years.” You might also have noticed that we haven’t talked much about it since then, since the law did next to nothing to really address many of the problems that users, consumers, small companies, and the tech community in general face because of a broken patent system, particularly the patent troll problem.

Mac Asay had this interesting article which puts the patent systems in an even broader context, citing Red Hat:

Why China And India Could Disrupt The US Patent System

Red Hat’s CEO thinks that the US patent regime’s dominance may diminish as developing economies grow.

There is no doubt about it. Patents are a way to drive businesses away. Software patents have already driven some companies out of the US.

The US Government Accountability Office hit the nail on the head this time. Let’s see if Obama and other corporate cronies (they are largely funded by patent-maximising corporations) will actually pay attention. Coming from the government which 5 years ago said it would close Guantánamo and in this week’s news [1] shows no progress, still, we hardly even expect patent trolls to be eliminated. As shown in [2] last week, Guantánamo does not even offer justice. If Guantánamo was ever to close under Obama’s reign, that would be because Obama just assassinates the same people Bush often detained indefinitely, leading only to more hatred towards to the United States [3], fewer “patriots” [4], and more backlash against what nations correctly perceive as violation of national sovereignty, or imperialism [5,6].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. That “Secret” White House Plan to Close Guantanamo

    A few weeks ago, Daniel Klaidman noted in the Daily Beast the existence of a White House memo outlining its proposal to close Guantanamo. The two-page document was circulated to members of Congress in advance of a July 24th Senate Judiciary hearing on the matter.

  2. 9/11 trial lawyer: CIA had its finger on Guantánamo’s mute button1

    Mystery solved, if there was any doubt: It was the CIA that hit the mute button in the war court earlier this year when a defense lawyer for the accused 9/11 mastermind began talking about the CIA’s secret overseas prisons, the lawyer said Monday.

  3. How Drones Create More Terrorists

    The crux of my viewpoint is that drone attacks cannot be compared to “boots on ground” operations. They are two different methods of battling enemies. Wars are mainly about national interests — resources, territory, the balance of power, and religion. Drone strikes directed at terrorists perform a comparable but different role. In battling terrorism, physical elimination of the enemy matters but is not decisive.

  4. Why Can’t The U.S. Air Force Find Enough Pilots To Fly Its Drones?

    Perhaps that’s why the Air Force is having problems finding enough volunteers to fly its drones (or Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or RPAs, as the Air Force prefers to call them). And the problem will only get worse as the military flies more unmanned aircraft for surveillance and strike missions.

  5. Bishops, nuns back Duterte in slamming US drones in Davao
  6. Mindanao nun tags US military use of drones ‘killer program’

    Washington’s drone program was branded “killer program” by a Mindanao-based nuns’ association as it called on the government to reject attempts by the Americans to put up a base in the country.

    Sister Noemi Degala, executive secretary of the Sisters’ Association in Mindanao (Samin), said in a statement e-mailed to the Inquirer that in Pakistan alone, under the so-called global war on terror, US drone strikes have killed as many as 3,549 people, 197 of them children.

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