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

06.12.14

Patent Trolls Still Wrongly Portrayed as the Main Problem With the Patent System and Legislation Follows Suit

Posted in Law, Patents at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Statue of wisdom

Summary: Efforts to improve the patent system focus not on the real issue/s with patents but instead on phantom issues that help protect the interests of large corporations

According to some new statistics, the sordid mess of patent lawsuits is getting more serious, still. “That’s not a surprise,” insists the article. “Statistics from Lex Machina show that 2013 set a new record for new patent lawsuits. All those legal threats are giving new urgency to the patent reform debate.”

As usual, the straw man which is “patent trolls” takes all the blame, even through some entities — including universities — are selling patents to trolls. Watch the boosters of software patents using the straw man (Boston University is not directly a troll for example, so we know that not trolls are the sole issue). Blaming “trolls” is still the large corporations’ approach for diverting all attention to small offenders, using them as scapegoats while large corporations misuse patents themselves. The issue is the offence itself, not the scale of the offender.

When patents are granted on computer programs and video games (which are abstract) it should be clear that patent scope is the main problem. When new programs are introduced by the USPTO to increase the number of patents it should be clear what the source of trouble really is. Patent lawyers take sides and encourage software patents because there is money to be made from it.

Some large companies act no different from so-called trolls and the use of the term “troll” just mostly refers to scale these days. Trend Micro acted like a troll some years ago and now it receives a taste of its own poison. Consider this new article that says a “Delaware federal judge on Tuesday refused a request by Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc. to partially delay two trials over a nonpracticing entity’s claims they flouted four anti-virus software patents, saying the requests came too late since trial dates had already been set.” (source)

According to Red Hat’s staff, new legislation only tackles trolls. To quote: “Patent reform may have stalled this year at the federal level, but patent trolls may soon find their actions curtailed by a number of patent abuse litigation laws that have been passed or are pending in over twenty U.S. states.

“Last year, the state of Vermont passed a law aimed at preventing “bad faith assertions of patent infringement.” The law targets the practice of sending demand letters with very little, if any information regarding the patent supposedly infringed and would require the asserting entity to provide the patent number, name and address of the company alleging infringement, and other details regarding the nature of the complaint. It is a common tactic for patent trolls, sometimes called “patent assertion entities” or “non-practicing entities” to send letters with very vague information alleging patent infringement to other businesses, both large and small, in the hopes of extorting a settlement from them to avoid a nuisance lawsuit.”

Not only trolls are doing this. Much bigger entities are doing the same thing, so this strategy would not bear fruit. Here is an example of this strategy in action: “When Santa Barbara startup FindTheBest (FTB) was sued by a patent troll called Lumen View last year, it vowed to fight back rather than pay up the $50,000 licensing fee Lumen was asking for. Company CEO Kevin O’Connor made it personal, pledging $1 million of his own money to fight the legal battle.”

The entity might be forced to pay the legal fees, but it does not address the issue of litigation by non-trolls. Here is another example. The reason we stopped focusing on patent issues some months ago is that the press gave up focusing on the real issue, focusing instead on the whole “trolls” distraction. Even Red Hat has become part of this problem.

Everyone recognises that there is a problem with the patent system, but the only voice which counts (corporations) as far as corporate press goes steers everyone away from the real solution.

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 28/8/2016: Q4OS 1.6, ConnochaetOS 14.2

    Links for the day



  2. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  3. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  4. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  5. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  6. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  7. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  8. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  9. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  10. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  11. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  12. 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



  13. 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



  14. 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)



  15. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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



  21. 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



  22. 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



  23. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  27. 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



  28. 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)



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

    Links for the day



  30. 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)


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