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05.25.14

Don’t Count on Patent ‘Reforms’ in the US

Posted in Law, Patents at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: In patent law, just like in most other areas of law, ‘reforms’ achieve nothing except reinforce the status quo

BOGUS ‘reforms’ are common vehicles for ‘normalising’ what’s already in place; such is the case with the NSA ‘reform’ that has been branded “Freedom”. Newspeak triumphs again.

The ‘Freedom’ Act basically stamps (for approval) what was lumped on top of ‘Patriot’ Act in the same way that patent ‘reforms’ in the US (also named along the lines of “invent” or “innovation”) basically authorise patent trolling and do nothing to limit patent scope, which expanded over time.

Years ago we cited reports that Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll (which is highly connected to Microsoft), spent millions lobbying the US government along with Bill Gates. They don’t want anything to change. Now we know that patent trolls continue getting their way in Congress because money — not logic — drives US policy. To quote a long new report: “Trial lawyers are heavy donors to Democratic politicians, including Reid. A Washington Post article on Reid’s fundraising during his 2010 campaign noted big-money fundraisers taking place at a Florida trial lawyer’s home, as well as one held in California by the top securities class-action law firm, now named Robins Geller Rudman & Dowd.”

Another report from the same site shows how hard it has become to challenge patent trolls in the US:

Judge: FindTheBest can’t use anti-extortion law against a patent troll

[...]

Last year, consumer search website FindTheBest tried to use an anti-extortion law to fight back against Lumen View Technology, a patent troll that attacked it with a “matchmaking” patent. While FindTheBest was able to knock out Lumen’s patent in short order, its lawsuit based on the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act came to an end this week.

The judge’s opinion recounts some of the facts that led up to the RICO case, such as Lumen’s attorney, Damian Wasserbauer, accusing FindTheBest CEO Kevin O’Connor of committing a “hate crime” for using the term “patent troll” against one of Lumen’s owners.

Basically, not only patent law is flawed in the US; it’s now expanding to copyright in the sense that APIs are deemed copyright-able.

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