The Pro-Software Patents Lobby Continues Trying to Rewrite Outcome of Alice v. CLS Bank Case

Posted in Patents at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Same old stuff “on a computer”

Typewriter with screen

Summary: Despite Alice v. CLS Bank showing that the US has crushed many software patents, those who make money from software patents (not developers but lawyers) continue their attempts to bamboozle the world and rewrite the record

FOR a number of months we have shown how patent lawyers and other proponents of software patents have systematically distorted the truth or selectively reported so as to hide the truth. They would rather have the world believe that nothing has changed following the SCOTUS ruling on Alice v. CLS Bank. It is worse than willful ignorance; it is nefarious and dishonest.

“It is worse than willful ignorance; it is nefarious and dishonest.”One lawyers’ site says that “[o]nly in DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P. has the Federal Circuit found a software invention patent eligible in the face of a challenge” (this is important because CAFC is the original source of software patents and one of the most zealous courts in the world, favouring software patents almost without exception).

Another lawyers’ site says that the USPTO addresses the eligibility of software patents, based on a recent forum that we mentioned last month. The lawyers say that “on January 21, 2015, the USPTO held a public forum in Alexandria, VA to receive feedback from the public regarding the 2014 Interim Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility. Many practitioners provided accounts of their experiences regarding recent interactions with the USPTO related to subject matter eligibility rejections and recommendations for the future.”

When they say “practitioners” they mean lawyers. It’s mostly them, i.e. people who profit from patents, who drive this debate. Now, watch this rhetorical question. Penn Law has titled a session “Will SCOTUS rulings on software patents help or hurt innovation?”

This has nothing to do with innovation, as something called “Innovation Act” may lead people to thinking. It’s about protectionism.

Do patents promote innovation at all? Depends who you ask. Lawyers, who offer no innovation at all, love to speak ‘on behalf’ of people who write computer programs. Consider this new article that perpetuates a myth: “another thing that grows more quickly than population is the rate of innovation, which is partly measured by how many patents are granted to people in that city.”

No, not really. Patents granted are a function of paperwork, not innovation. This is the sort of shallow rhetoric we expect to hear from patent lawyers and their rich clients. Their goal is to repress competition, thus preventing many good ideas from ever being implemented.

From the Penn event’s introduction: “An event hosted by Penn Law and the Penn Center for Innovation asks: “Are Software Patents Critical to Innovation?” A panel of experts will weigh in.”

How many on this “panel of experts” will actually be programmers? This is a Penn Law event, so expect “law” professionals to reign.

Martin Goetz, one of the most vocal proponents of software patents, is meanwhile distorting facts in a pro-software patents site, bizarrely enough claiming that “Alice v. CLS Bank is a Victory for Software Patents”. That’s as inane as saying that a ruling in favour of police brutality helps victims of police. It just makes no sense at all. It’s not just a “man bites dog”-type sensationalism but a misleading statement.

In the absence of clarity in the press on this subject, as opposed to propaganda from patent lawyer, we may continue to see complete nonsense (obviously abstract) ideas from Apple hailed as genius patents [1, 2]. Dell in the mean time is pushing software patents into India, which in principle does not allow these.

To quote a new article from Economic Times (of India), “Dell is looking towards India to transform its research and development capabilities that have lagged rivals for years. The US technology company is strengthening its engineering team here and increasing the number of patent applications filed from India — which, a senior executive said, has already become the largest contributor to software patents for Dell — as the local unit gets a large piece of investment that chief executive Michael Dell has promised for its R&D push.”

Someone should tell Dell that software patents are not legal in India and increasingly they are not accepted in the US, either. Then again, now that Dell is partly controlled by Microsoft we can expect this kind of abusive behaviour, setting aside Dell’s lowering of salaries by driving jobs to Asia (Dell is definitely not going to offer them the same wages it offers in North American and Europe).

The bottom line is, the debate, the law, the media coverage etc. continue to be driven by large corporations. They are foisting myths and misleading statements onto us to make us complacent or at best apathetic if not supportive.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 17, 2021

  2. The Oligarchs' Parties Will Never Choose the Side of Software Freedom Because Free Software Cannot Bribe Officials

    The tough reality is that next week's (or this coming week's, depending on what Sunday counts as) inauguration ceremony is partly symbolic as all the same and important issues remain largely untouched, for corporations control almost everything of significance

  3. COVID-19 Has Actually Helped Software Freedom Due to Financial and 'Spare Time' Factors

    Developers and users are increasingly exploring what the Free software world has to offer; this is actually measurable and it contradicts claims to the contrary

  4. Future Plans and Using Videos to Complement Text

    Remarks on recent and impending site changes; We are not replacing text with video, we're just trying to enhance the presentation a bit, especially where visuals help make a point or where browsing through Web sites (or leaks) is more suitable than static, linear presentation

  5. InteLeaks – Part XVIII: Intel Does Not Know How to Properly Do Research and It Seems Apparent Unscientific Methods Are Used to Justify Poor Documentation

    There appears to be a severe crisis at Intel; they cannot recruit scientists (or those whom they recruited are walking away) and as a result the company produces bad products with poor documentation (or highly defective chipsets that top-notch marketing cannot compensate for); in this video we walk through some examples of how studies are being conducted (as already noted in Part XVII)

  6. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part III: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Seems More Like a Victim of Destabilisation Campaigns

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), which turns 36 later this year, is looking to raise money that helps support the GNU Project, soon 38 years old and likely the most important Free software project to exist (ever)

  7. Links 17/1/2021: EasyOS on Raspberry Pi and GNU libsigsegv 2.13

    Links for the day

  8. InteLeaks – Part XVII: The High Cost of Microsoft Windows Users in GNU/Linux Development Teams

    A look inside Intel explains what holds back the technical team, which bemoans the lesser technical people getting in the way and not even using the product that they are writing about

  9. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 16, 2021

  10. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part II: Why Bradley Kuhn Left the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    The founder of the FSF is still at the FSF (albeit not publicly) and the person who lobbied to oust him has basically been 'banished' by the founder

  11. Links 16/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 Release Candidate, Zeroshell 3.9.5, FreeBSD Report, and GhostBSD 21.01.15

    Links for the day

  12. Free Speech on the Web Not Respected by Companies That Used to Support Software Freedom

    Mozilla does not have to make its Web browser about politics; it can just make an excellent piece of software that is neutral about the Web pages that it renders, based on the user's personal preferences

  13. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part I: We Are Under Attack by Corporations and Their Salaried Facilitators

    The corporate takeover (taking over the Commons, produced by volunteers who are motivated by altruism) is a subject we must speak about and somehow tackle; this series will highlight uncomfortable or difficult truths

  14. InteLeaks – Part XVI: Intel Cannot Do Command Line, Even When It's Vastly Simpler and More Suitable for Development

    The Developer eXperience (DX) team at Intel seems to be full of Microsoft drones instead of developers and/or mildly technical people; this has not only harmed the quality of documentation but also upset staff, alienating people who actually understand what developers need (more than buzzwords like "DX")

  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 15, 2021

  16. Links 15/1/2021: KaOS 2021.01, Whisker Menu 2.5.2, Istio 1.8.2

    Links for the day

  17. InteLeaks – Part XV: Intel is Blind to Blind and Colour-Blind People

    Intel does not seem to grasp very basic concepts associated with accessibility; nevertheless, Intel shamelessly tries painting itself as "woke" and a "justice warrior" (policing speech while overlooking much-needed practical work)

  18. Links 15/1/2021: GStreamer 1.18.3 and Proton 5.13-5

    Links for the day

  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 14, 2021

  20. Links 14/1/2021: Wine 6.0, Debian 11 Freeze, and Alpine Linux 3.13

    Links for the day

  21. Patent Propaganda and UPC Jingoism Instead of Actual News

    Today's so-called 'news' about the EPO (Europe's second-largest institution) and the failed UPC is nothing short of shameless propaganda

  22. Links 14/1/2021: Season of KDE 2021 Selection, Mesa 21.0.0-RC1, Tor Browser 10.0.8

    Links for the day

  23. InteLeaks – Part XIV: Technical Incompetence and Incoherence Leading to Alienation and Brain Drain

    The idea that Intel "loves Linux" or "supports Linux" is somewhat of a sham; one needs only to consider what Intel insiders are saying about that, having witnessed it firsthand

  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 13, 2021

  25. Links 13/1/2021: $150 RISC-V Computer With GNU/Linux, Intel Replaces CEO Again, and New Fedora 34 Plans

    Links for the day

  26. Unitary Patent is Dead and Lies About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Aren't Ending

    Not "Russian agents" but concerned European citizens are beginning to see the truth behind the Unified Patent Court, which the 'media' has wrongly called "Unitary Patent Court" three times in 2 days

  27. InteLeaks – Part XIII: GNU/Linux Documentation From People Who Never Even Use GNU/Linux

    Inside Intel there's a whole bunch of embarrassing secrets about the Developer/Development eXperience ("DX") team; no wonder documentation efforts have been lacking and far too much time wasted putting such documentation together

  28. Links 13/1/2021: Mozilla VPN, NeoChat 1.0.1 and Sci-Hub Under Attack

    Links for the day

  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 12, 2021

  30. GNOME Foundation is Still Participating in the Attack on Richard Stallman

    GNOME's supposed 'representatives' (close-knit friends with Microsoft connections) continue to attack RMS (Richard Stallman), the founder of GNU (the G in GNOME) and the Free Software Movement

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