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

08.27.13

The GAO Report Calling for the End of Software Patents Already Being Misrepresented by Proponents of Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michael Bloomberg
Net worth of $27 billion

Summary: ‘Intellectual property’ boosters like Bloomberg and proponents of the notion of “bad software patents” (implying some are “good”) may still be rewriting the record while patents continue to limit competition, the real driver of innovation

The recent GAO study showed that Obama's patent reform is rather misguided. Bloomberg’s press apparatus continues to misrepresent it. GAO speaks of “Software Patents”, not “Questionable Software Patents” (which can mean a subset of them) and this is something that we see a lot of when it comes to sites that favour software patents. Here is how it’s put in this case:

Questionable Software Patents Lead to More Lawsuits: GAO

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

So why the headline? It’s clearly software patents that were blamed, so why rephrase it? Why not preserve the original message? Other lawyers too tried to paint the culprit as “bad patents”, as we showed the other day. It is unlikely to be a coincidence, as some are funded by investors of trolls like Vringo.

Here is another new article from lawyers-friendy press. Citing an old ruling from CAFC, it once again tries to dismiss interpretations that said many software patents had died. The headline said that the Federal court is ‘foggy’ on patent software issues, even though — as we showed at the time — this is not quite the case. Patent lawyers’ sites tried to control — and successfully did so — the corporate press. They made it seem like consensus said nothing had changed, even though a precedent was made that can invalidate hundreds of thousands of software patents, including some of the latest spooky ideas from Google (tracking users for ‘security’).

It is being noted right now that it is becoming hard to enter the market because of abundance of patents. As Against Monopoly put it:

The other day, the New York Times published instructions for aspiring inventors on how to take their inventions through the patent granting process and on to the retailers’ shelves link here. The examples are a couple of aspiring inventors and describes the pitfalls, the costs, and a rough estimate of the likelihood of success.

Patent laws in the US — like its Draconian copyright laws (see new example below) — are certainly not helping the US economy. But it helps the ecosystem of lawyers, that’s for sure. The problem is that they control the press on these matters and distort public opinion.

It is not unusual for patent law to be misrepresented by opportunists, exploiting ambiguity such as the phrase “as such” (in New Zealand and Europe) to make software patents possible while officially denying that’s the case. Right now in India we see that happening, as a room for misinterpretation is left to legitimise software patents in India. Murdoch’s press makes it look like software patents are now possible in India. To quote a new WSJ report (another billionaire’s press):

Could the simple Latin phrase, per se, which translates as “in itself”, lead to confusion in verifying whether a computer-related invention deserves a patent or not? Some members of the $108 billion Indian information technology industry, intellectual property (IP) law firms and anti-patent lobby groups say it can.

The inclusion of some terms that are not defined by local laws in the government’s draft guidelines on patents for computer-related inventions (CRIs) leaves room for ambiguity and misinterpretation when examiners grant or reject such a patent, they say. The guidelines were released in early August.

The terms include ‘per se’, algorithm, hardware, firmware —and CRI itself.

CRI “has not been defined in any of the Indian statutes and is construed to mean, for the purpose of these guidelines, any invention which involves the use of computers, computer networks or other programmable apparatus and includes such inventions, one or more features of which are realized wholly or partially by means of a computer programme/programmes”, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) acknowledged in the draft guidelines, and called for feedback from industry stakeholders by 8 August.

Actually, India has been very clear on this subject. Software patents are not allowed.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Larry Lessig Threatened With Copyright Infringement Over Clear Fair Use; Decides To Fight Back

    If you read Techdirt, you’re almost certainly familiar with Larry Lessig, the law professor at Harvard who (among many other things) has been an avid advocate for copyright reform and campaign finance reform, an author of many books about copyright and creativity, a well-known public speaker whose presentations are stunningly compelling, entertaining and informative, and the founder of some important organizations including Creative Commons. Of course, as an expert on copyright and creativity, and someone who’s actually been involved in some of the key copyright legal fights over the past decade (tragically, on the losing side), you might think that a record label would think twice before issuing a clearly bogus threat to sue him over copyright infringement. Well, apparently Liberation Music was either unaware of Lessig’s reputation and knowledge, or just didn’t care.

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. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  2. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  3. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  4. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  5. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  7. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  8. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  9. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  10. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  11. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  12. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  13. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  15. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  16. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  17. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  18. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  19. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  20. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  21. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  22. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  23. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  24. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)



  25. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Originators of Software Patents Will Undermine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Now that the actions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which have been consistently upheld by the CAFC in precedential decisions, are suddenly being questioned the patent microcosm gets all giddy and tries to undermine PTAB (again)



  26. That Time When the Administrative Council Helped Battistelli Crush Oversight (Audit Committee) and What ILO Said About It a Month Ago

    Things are becoming ever more troublesome at the EPO as the Administrative Council enjoys inaction from the International Labour Organization (ILO), in spite of its role in destroying much-needed oversight at the behest of Battistelli



  27. The EPO's Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

    A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli's failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up



  28. A Surge of Staff Complaints About the European Patent Office Drowns the System, Disservice to Justice Noted

    Self-explanatory graphs about the state of the justice [sic] system which is prejudiced towards/against EPO workers, based on internal reports



  29. Links 16/8/2016: White House Urged by EFF on FOSS, Go 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Links 15/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC2, Glimpses at OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

    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