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. Bristows is Being Hammered With Negative Comments For Its Unitary Patent (UPC) Lies

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is practically dead in the UK and Ireland; Bristows, nevertheless, continues with its desperate spin



  2. Links 11/12/2017: Linux 4.15 RC3, Debian 8.10 and Debian 9.3

    Links for the day



  3. Judge Corcoran Turns to His Government for Help and EPO 'House Ban' is Finally Lifted

    Sources that are very reliable say that Patrick Corcoran is coming back to work, however it's now clear when and how long for



  4. Raw: Battistelli's Control/Domination Over the Boards of Appeal

    An old EPO document internally voicing concerns about the lack of independence at the Boards of Appeal



  5. Raw: Conflicts of Interest of EPO Vice-President

    An old EPO concern regarding structural collisions and mixed loyalties



  6. Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Are Increasingly Active and Microsoft is Selling 'Protection' (Azure Subscriptions)

    There are several indications that Microsoft-connected shells, which produce no products and are threatening a large number of companies, are inadvertently if not intentionally helping Microsoft sell "indemnification" ("Azure IP Advantage," which echoes the Microsoft/Novell strategy for collecting what they called "patent royalties" one decade ago)



  7. Yes, RPost is Definitely a Patent Troll and Its Software Patents Are at Risk Thanks to Alice

    The latest whitewashing (or reputation-laundering) pieces from Watchtroll, which tries to justify patent-trolling activities with software patents, typically in the Eastern District of Texas



  8. The Latest Scams in the Patent World

    Examples of 'dirty laundry' of the patent microcosm, which it understandably does not like covering (as it harms confidence in their services/advice)



  9. Patents Are Becoming a Welfare System for the Rich and Powerful

    A culture of litigation and more recently the patenting of broad industry standards may mean that multi-billion dollar corporations are cashing in without lifting a finger



  10. Unlike the Mobile Domain, When it Comes to Cars Patent Lawsuits Remain Rare

    An optimistic note regarding the relatively low-temperature legal landscape surrounding advanced automobiles, even though patents are being amassed on software in that domain



  11. The Federal Circuit Rules (Again) in Favour of Section 101/Alice, Koch-Funded CPIP Tries to Overturn Alice at the Supreme Court

    The US Supreme Court's decision on Alice continues to have a profoundly positive impact (except for trolls) and Koch-funded academics try hard to compel the US Supreme Court to reverse/override Alice (so far to no avail)



  12. Next Director of the USPTO Parrots Talking Points of Patent Extremists and Their Lobbyists

    The next USPTO boss (still subject to official confirmation) may be little more than a power grab by the litigation and patenting 'industry', which prioritises not science and technology but its own bottom line



  13. Raw: Three Years for 'Justice' (to be Disregarded by Benoît Battistelli) at ILO and Over a Decade at the EPO

    The delays associated with ‘justice’ at the EPO (usually neither justice nor compliance with rulings) have become so extraordinary that immunity should long ago have been stripped off and Battistelli et al been held accountable



  14. Raw: Scuttling of the General Advisory Committee and Battistelli Stacking the Deck to Have 'Yes Men' as Representatives

    How the EPO broke down resistance to Battistelli’s oppressive policies not only at the Council, disciplinary committees and auditory divisions but also staff representation (symptomatic of Battistelli’s notion of justice)



  15. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Will Endure Supreme Court Test and Overcome the Tribal Immunity “Scam”

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), based on the latest news, is still winning the argument and justifying its existence/importance



  16. Phones/Mobility (Trillion-Dollar Market) May Have Become Infested and Encumbered by Aggressive, Dying Companies

    The tough reality that new entrants/entrepreneurs are facing now that a few dying giants look to "monetise" their patents rather than create anything



  17. Links 9/12/2017: Mesa 17.3, Wine 3.0 RC1, New Debian Builds

    Links for the day



  18. Like the EPO, Taiwan/China (SIPO) Harm SMEs With a Policy of Patent Maximalism Which Fosters Litigation, Not Innovation

    A culture of patent maximalism breeds plenty of lawsuits in China (good for the legal ‘industry’), but small companies that are innovative lose focus and resources, just like in Europe where SMEs are discriminated against



  19. Bristows Continues to Lie About Unitary Patent (UPC) in Britain Only to Get Rebutted in Comments, As Usual (Criticism Not Deleted Yet)

    The latest wave of posts (typically from Bristows) which herald an arrival of UPC in Britain are not just delusional but also constitute terrible legal advice



  20. The European Union Now Repeats Paid Propaganda From the EPO (Regarding the Unitary Patent)

    The EPO's push for UPC, which has already involved payments to media and academia, is spreading to the EU, which unfortunately fails to uphold the Rule of Law and the spirit of the EPC



  21. European Media Covers the Latest EPO Scandal and the EPO's Refusal to Obey Orders of a Court

    European media is starting to catch up with the latest from ILO and the great importance not only of the rulings but also the EPO's response to these



  22. Antonius Tangena From the European Patent Institute (EPI) 'Aids' Željko Topić's Appointment at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An E-mail from Antonius (Tony) Tangena reveals a degree of coordination between the EPI and the EPO -- a potentially inappropriate action that can be seen as a cover-up attempt



  23. SUEPO Announces Protest, EPO Distracts From the Scandal, and Readers Spill the Beans

    Readers have sent some additional details regarding the EPO "backstory" that we wrote about this morning



  24. EPO Scandal Spills Over to Irish Media, So It's Time for the Backstory

    A lot more is being revealed by the media this week (regarding the EPO's "war on judges") and now that it's a more 'mainstream' subject we can shed light on the background to it



  25. Battistelli's EPO is Once Again Caught in Very Gross Violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

    The tyranny of the EPO is made abundantly clear for all to see -- ILO included -- but will there be consequences for repeated violations by Team Battistelli?



  26. Links 7/12/2017: Qt 5.10, ReactOS 0.4.7, Guix and GuixSD 0.14.0

    Links for the day



  27. Less Than 24 Hours Later the EPO Already Refuses to Obey Court Orders From ILO (Updated)

    As expected by realists (or pessimists), the EPO continues to act as though it's above the law and even judges suffer miscarriage of justice against them



  28. ILO Said Give the Judge His Job Back, But Christoph Ernst's Administrative Council Will Likely Let Him Go (Unemployed)

    Another potential EPO scandal in the making, as after waiting for 3 years the illegally-suspended judge might get his job back for only 3 weeks



  29. Watchtroll, AIPPI, Bristows and Others Keep Pushing Software Patents Agenda (in Spite of the Ban)

    Pressure groups and front groups of the patent microcosm (e.g. AIPPI) -- sometimes even the patent microcosm acting directly -- are still trying to make software patents legitimate, usually behind closed doors, e.g. in private events where only the patent microcosm can debate the subject (no software developers allowed)



  30. Meanwhile in Eponia, Tyrant Battistelli Must be Seeking Advice on How to Refuse to Obey Court's Orders (Again)

    People already speculate about how Battistelli will attempt to come up with excuses for noncompliance (and ongoing violation of the EPC as well as ILO code)


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