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

10.20.15

Patents Roundup: Software Patents Continue to Die in the US, TPP Threatens Developers With Their Expansion, Europe Still in a Limbo

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 6:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Urbis

Summary: News from around the world about patents, and software patents in particular, in light of recent and very important developments

TODAY we look at some good news and bad news regarding software patents. In order to make it easier to digest, we have decided to break it down by country/continent.

Software Patents in the US

Banner & Witcoff Ltd released an article titled “Certain Uncertainty: The Future Of Computer Software Patents” (in numerous legal sites [1, 2). It serves to reinforce our observations, as recent as last week's, that in the US software patents are arguably dying (or at least suffer a rapid decline). “Since the Alice decision came down last June,” explain the lawyers, “the world of computer software patents has been upended, both in litigation and in prosecution. In the realm of prosecution, patent applications dealing with e-commerce and business methods have been hit particularly hard at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with Alice rejections, but even those applications dealing with relatively more “technical” concepts have also been facing a harsh new reality in which eligibility rejections are lurking behind every corner and claim amendment.”

“The software patenting business seem to have collapsed due to lack of demand.”“705 Companies Have Abandoned All Their Pending Patent Applications Due to Alice Rejections,” Patent Buddy wrote earlier today, linking to the rather good Bilski Blog (still doing plenty of detailed research into such matters). To quote Robert R. Sachs, his “analysis was based on approximately 300,000 office action and notices of allowance received from Patent Advisor.”

It is nice to see some supportive statistics as in this case. This makes it easier to refute proponents of software patents (patent lawyers specialising in this area) who do what they can to distract from these Earth-shaking changes.

“Quality of patents is at gutter level.”According to recent reports such as [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15], the US protectionism office, USPTO, moves close to its big software patents clients in Silicon Valley . Worry not, however, as according to this, it only “Plans to hire 80 examiners, 21 judges”. That’s not much. It’s probably a lot smaller (order of magnitude even) than people once foresaw. The software patenting business seem to have collapsed due to lack of demand. There are still areas, such as this one (plane designs), that require patents, but they are not anywhere near Silicon Valley. In the United States, based on some USPTO statistics, 92% of all patent applications are eventually “successful”, so the distinction between patents and patent applications is remarkably weak. Quality of patents is at gutter level and when patents are brought before a court they are likely not to survive, especially if they are software patents on abstract ideas.

Software Patents in New Zealand

Software patents in New Zealand have been a big topic this past summer because the TPP was alleged to be covertly changing New Zealand’s laws so as to create new loopholes, or simply declare software patents formally valid.

We are gratified to see that politicians like Clare Curran are now getting involved to stop this, and the media (IDG in this case) helps raise awareness. To quote an article from this week: “New Zealand’s tech sector faces an uncertain future if a hard-fought for exclusion for software patents is missing from the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“That’s the view of Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran, who believes clarity is required sooner rather than later from the Government on the issue.”

Software Patents in Australia/Canada

Selling of software patents in Australia/Canada, where the status of software patents is worse (more favourable to them) than in New Zealand, caught our eyes yesterday. To quote the Canadian press, “Techlink Entertainment’s software and its patents are a key draw for bidders looking to purchase the now-defunct Sydney firm’s personal property.”

This reminds us of a Canadian company, BlackBerry/RIM, which can still become somewhat of a patent troll or just a big pile of patents.

Why are software patents are being sold and who are they going to be sold to? Maybe some patent troll will end up grabbing them for extortion purposes.

Software Patents in Europe

Software patents in Europe have been a subject that we cover here quite a lot, sometimes in conjunction with EPO scandals. Speaking of the situation in Norway, which is not in the European union, this somewhat new article alludes to what we deem collusion between patent hoarders, or a conspiracy to pacify the public. To quote the opening paragraph: “On February 8 2012 the Department of Justice proposed new legislation regarding the establishment of pledges on IP rights. The bill was introduced by the government in the form of a proposition one year later (Prop 101 L (2013–2014)) and was approved on January 1 2015, in a process which took a lot longer than what most practitioners had expected. The new legislation came into force on July 1 2015; it is thus now possible to establish pledges on patents, patent applications and patent licences in Norway, in accordance with Sections 4 to 11 of the Mortgage Act. The new rules also require that anyone with rights under a patent must record these in order to ensure protection. The priority of the pledge is the time of registration in the official Patent Register.”

“The only “good” patent on software is one that is totally invalidated.”Patent pledges are pretty worthless, for reasons we explained many times before. They are usually used to excuse oneself for hoarding patents, which may, some time down the line, be sold to patent aggressors and then be used offensively. Thankfully, after various cases such as Oracle versus Android (Google), more people are aware of such issues. The only “good” patent on software is one that is totally invalidated.

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 22/2/2018: Qt Roadmap for 2018, Calculate Linux 17.12.2

    Links for the day



  2. As Expected, Bristows and Others Already Lying About UPC Status in Germany, But Doing This Anonymously (to Dodge Accountability for Lies)

    In their characteristic fashion, firms that created the UPC for their self-enrichment purposes, along with publishers/writers who deem it their role to promote the UPC and set up lobbying events for the UPC, look for ways to downplay if not intentionally distort what happened in Germany yesterday



  3. Further Attacks on EPO Staff and the Appeal Boards; Former EPO Boards of Appeal Member Speaks About EPO Scandals

    In the process of devaluing EPO workers and perhaps preparing them for a large round of layoffs information is also revealed about further repressions against the independence of the Boards of Appeal



  4. End of the UPC Lobby and Withdrawal of UPCA May Seem Imminent

    The Unitary Patent fantasy (of mass litigation firms) is coming to an end; in fact, the German government and courts (Bundesverfassungsgericht to be specific) now deem the complaint to be admissible and thus likely legitimate in spite of many attempts to shoot it down



  5. EPO's Board 28 Spikes Article 53 in CA/3/18, Apparently After Battistelli Withdrew It

    The latest plot twist, as odd as that may seem, is that the attack on the rights of thousands of workers (many of whom are rumoured to be on their way out) is curtailed somewhat, at least for the time being



  6. Links 21/2/2018: Apper 1.0, New Fedora ISOs

    Links for the day



  7. Rumour: European Patent Office to Lay Off a Significant Proportion of Its Workforce

    While the Administrative Council of the EPO praises Battistelli for his financial accomplishments (as laughable as it may seem) a lot of families stuck in a foreign country may soon see their breadwinner unemployed, according to rumours



  8. The Patent Trolls' Lobby, Bristows and IAM Among Others, Downplays Darts-IP/IP2Innovate Report About Rising If Not Soaring Troll Activity in Europe

    Exactly like last year, as soon as IP2Innovate opens its mouth Bristows and IAM go into "attack dog" mode and promote the UPC, deny the existence or seriousness of patent trolls, and promote their nefarious, trolls-funded agenda



  9. Links 20/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.5, Qt 5.11 Alpha, Absolute 15.0 Beta 4, Sailfish OS 2.1.4 E.A., SuiteCRM 7.10

    Links for the day



  10. Replacing Patent Sharks/Trolls and the Patent Mafia With 'Icons' Like Thomas Edison

    The popular perceptions of patents and the sobering reality of what patents (more so nowadays) mean to actual inventors who aren't associated with global behemoths such as IBM or Siemens



  11. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Distorting the Record of CAFC on PTAB

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which deals with appeals from PTAB, has been issuing many decisions in favour of § 101, but those aren't being talked about or emphasised by the patent 'industry'



  12. Japan Demonstrates Sanity on SEP Policy While US Patent Policy is Influenced by Lobbyists

    Japan's commendable response to a classic pattern of patent misuse; US patent policy is still being subjected to never-ending intervention and there is now a lobbyist in charge of antitrust matters and a lawyer in charge of the US patent office (both Trump appointees)



  13. The Patent Microcosm's Embrace of Buzzwords and False Marketing Strives to Make Patent Examiners Redundant and Patent Quality Extremely Low

    Patent maximalists, who are profiting from abundance of low-quality patents (and frivolous lawsuits/legal threats these can entail), are riding the hype wave and participating in the rush to put patent systems at the hands of machines



  14. Today, at 12:30 CET, Bavarian State Parliament Will Speak About EPO Abuses (Updated)

    The politicians of Bavaria are prepared to wrestle with some serious questions about the illegality of the EPO's actions and what that may mean to constitutional aspects of German law



  15. Another Loud Warning From EPO Workers About the Decline of Patent Quality

    Yet more patent quality warnings are being issued by EPO insiders (examiners) who are seeing their senior colleagues vanishing and wonder what will be left of their employer



  16. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  17. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  18. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  19. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  20. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  21. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  22. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  23. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  24. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  25. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  26. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  27. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  28. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  29. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  30. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts


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