07.22.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

Posted in Deception, Patents at 11:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers

TECHRIGHTS often links to articles about patents, including some awkward ones from patent lawyers, but rarely does it nitpick or criticise the warped terminology, which with the art of semantics helps rig the discussion. Just like in politics, language defines the debate, and choice of words can either glorify or demonise an idea. Today we will give some examples that we set aside over the past fortnight.

“Trade Secrets” and Patents (Opposites)

A lot of articles such as this one began to appear some days ago, mixing or mistaking patents for “trade secrets”, which are inherently very different (patents were originally introduced in order to discourage trade secrets and encourage publication). It was very hard to get the story straight based on the large majority of articles (we checked about a dozen). Ford is being sued over some rare combination of reverse engineering/’trade secrets’ but also claims pertaining to patents, according to few of the reports, including this reposted article from Bloomberg, which said: “Ford allegedly began developing its own version of Versata’s software by reverse engineering, according to court papers. The Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker is also accused of disseminating Versata’s proprietary information to unauthorized users to create “a copycat configuration technology.””

So this is basically a combination of reverse engineering and patents. It’s an attack on Ford over patents and claims of reverse engineering. A lot of the media does an extremely poor job explaining this. the word “theft” or “steal” is used sparingly, subjecting readers to a trial by media (theft is a crime, but patent violation is not the same as theft and reverse engineering should arguably be legal everywhere).

“Stealing”, “Intellectual Property”, and “Innovation”

One of the grossest blogs out there (IP Watchdog, which we sometimes call “Watchtroll”) really beat its record. It not only used a propagandistic photo of a violent/militant bandit but also used three propaganda terms in one single headline: “Does Stealing Intellectual Property Boost Innovation?”

What a loaded, ugly headline (and a question). Patent lawyers who promote software patents really don’t try to come across as professional, do they? See the photo too. It’s worse than the Daily Fail, a notorious UK-based tabloid.

Patent Stacking/Royalty Stacking

There is a practice by which one company or several companies are stacking up patents and working to increase legal costs so as to discourage challenging of the patents, or simply drive a product out of the market. Watch the lawyers’ media framing this ugly strategy as “consolidation”. To quote:

No consolidation was granted where the petitions involved some non-overlapping grounds and arguments. However, the Board used its discretion to coordinate the date of the oral arguments to lessen the burden on the patent owner.

Software Patents by Another Name

Software patents are quite controversial, especially after Alice, which makes them weak. We have seen software patents alluded to in all sorts of ways that dodge the bad connotation, but how about “Behavioral Analytics”?

Patents as Objects

Patents are now sold like fruit and vegetables. Watch this piece titled “Improved Auction and Online Marketplace Patents Available from ICAP Patent Brokerage” or another one titled “Sleep, Temperature Analysis Wearables Patents Available”. They treat these like food. To quote one of these ridiculous pieces: “ICAP Patent Brokerage announces for sale patents disclosing methods for monitoring wakefulness and body temperature, available from inventor Gaby Badre (Bader). This portfolio is offered as part of the Internet of Things IP Auction, with a bidding deadline of July 30, 2015.”

They are truly selling them like some kind of objects, even though the patentor is supposed to be the holder. What has the patent system turned into? They are clearly perverting the logic behind patents when they were first introduced. Are these justified anymore? The meaning of patents has changed profoundly.

Buying Patents Like Products

“We’ve filed over 2,000 patents,” says this piece, “which is actually a lot, and we’re acquiring patents.” The saddest thing? It’s about Hugo Barra, known for his work on Android.

Protectionism

Patents can be a waste of time, money, and effort. “Westerners zealously guard their IPRs with patents and copyrights and so on,” said this piece the other day. What is “IPRs” anyway? Intellectual Property Rights? It’s a meaningless collective term that alludes to many separable things. It’s a bit like “cloud”.

Any protectionism by law (for the rich) can rely on metaphors like “intellect”, “right” and “property”, but just as in the case of that “cloud” buzzword, the reality is very different. It can simply means lock-in, surveillance, entrapment, and financial extortion. Nebulous terms make people oblivious and hence more gullible.

On “Discovering Patents”

IDG thinks that patents are being “discovered” because it says “newly discovered patents”. As if there’s some finite number of patents just waiting to be discovered, like gold buried beneath the ground. How foolish can the author be? Chemical elements can be discovered. Islands can be discovered (or colonised, or attacked). Patents are just an abstract concept, they’re man-made and they’re more like a musical composition. We never say that musicians “discover” a song when they come up with a new song.

Monopoly as “Market Exclusivity”

Monopoly is an ugly thing and a lot of literature exists to explain why monopolies are collectively harmful. So, ProactiveInvestors.com uses the propaganda terms of monopolisers and calls these “market exclusivity”. To quote: “Market exclusivity is a critical component of valuation. Patenting strategies, regulatory data exclusivity and product life-cycle management will give about 10 to 15 years of market exclusivity to most novel drugs.”

In reality this often means that poor people are left to die from curable diseases, just so that few companies that are often subsidised by governments (i.e. taxpayers) get to increase their private profits (going into few private pockets). Watch this new lobbying from the New Jersey press, titled “N.J. biotech companies need patent protection from Congress”. What they probably mean is that they want monopoly and protectionism. Competition is something they cannot tolerate.

Patent ‘Owners’

The patent maximalists, as usual, refer to patent applicants as owners, in the same way that once upon a time men from Africa were considered “property” to be “owned” by white men in the northern hemisphere. This whole notion of “ownership” of ideas is perverse, but given enough repetition in the corporate media people might come to take that all for granted and accept it, just like many people used to happily accept slavery and deem it “just” or “necessary”.

“Intellectual Ventures Combats Malaria” Nonsense

Reddit, which is a horrible Web site (reportedly in steep decline this month), is now grooming the world’s biggest patent troll (and strongly Microsoft-connected, too). Watch this kind of advertisement disguised as discussion. A reader of ours told us that he got banned by the moderator/s for merely questioning such dodgy ‘advertisements’ for an evil, reprehensible firm. It attacks practicing companies while hoarding patent monopolies by acquisition. This non-practicing (and thus by definition not good-doers or even doer) is owned by Nathan Myhrvold from Microsoft.

“The last thing this company needs is another fucking [computer] language.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft (now Intellectual Ventures)

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  2. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  3. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  5. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  6. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  7. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  8. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  9. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  10. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  12. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  14. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  15. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  17. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  18. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  19. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  20. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  21. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  22. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  25. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  26. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  27. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  29. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)


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