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11.12.15

Trading Technologies is Stockpiling Software Patents, Surprised When These Are Challenged After Alice/§101

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 3:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trading TechnologiesSummary: Trading Technologies, a patents-hoarding firm, is disappointed to see its software patents ebbing away

Trading Technologies is not an ordinary firm. It has a Vice President of “Intellectual Property” [sic] and it is working with Microsoft, a notorious patent aggressor.

Not everyone views Trading Technologies the way we do. For instance, the patent maximalists from IAM try to offer this firm sympathy, with rhetorical softball questions like “you’ve seen a number of CBMs filed against your patents, right?”

Well, we hope they lose all of their software patents. It would be well deserved. “A troll is a troll,” Benjamin Henrion wrote, “whether they are practicing their invention or not.” 500 of those software patents, he argued, should be invalidated (very much possible after Alice). Software patents around the world may suffer a universal/global demise — in Europe included — but only if more corporations come to the realisation that software patents are no longer effective in a court of law (it’s a waste of time and money to apply for such patents, let alone use them litigiously).

“Money, not innovation, gets converted into patents, which are later used as weapons or sold to some entity that weaponises them.”Those 500 patents that Henrion referred to are patents granted by the USPTO with its utterly rubbish patents (almost every application is eventually successful). It’s more like a rubber-stamping operation. Money, not innovation, gets converted into patents, which are later used as weapons or sold to some entity that weaponises them. Every software patent in existence is therefore problematic.

To quote the relevant parts of the IAM interview:

The company has a portfolio of more than 500 US patents and, like many patent owners engaged in protecting their portfolios against alleged infringers…

Nice euphemism for suing competitors based on mere allegations, using patents on abstract concepts, obtained from a rubber-stamping operation…

According to IAM, this firm “has been forced to adapt to major recent changes in US case law and the impact of the new post-issuance proceedings, such as covered business method reviews.”

Well deserved then. Watch them whine:

Last month, I sat down with Steve Borsand the company’s executive vice president of IP, to talk about the patent climate in the US. He had plenty to say about proposed new patent legislation, the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions such as Alice and how the review procedures at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) are changing patent litigation. This is part one of the interview and tomorrow we’ll run part two.

[...]

Almost all — like 99% of them [patents] have come from people here at TT. There have been a couple that we’ve purchased but for the most part our innovations have been developed in-house.

[...]

Yeah — back in 2014 someone tried to file against five, four of them were instituted and then we ultimately settled with that party and those were all dismissed and now recently there’s been another set. At least another five and then two more so it’s been like 12 — I don’t have the exact number.

So basically, Trading Technologies bemoans legitimate challenges to its lousy patents — patents which probably never ought to have been granted in the first place. We sure how that CBM and PTAB will continue to crush companies that are a patents house of cards. If their software products aren’t good enough to compete on their own, then they deserve to fail. This very much echoes/mirrors Microsoft’s efforts to undermine the growing domination of GNU/Linux using software patents.

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