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

01.09.16

China-US Trade Wars With Patent Raids, Confiscations, Embargoes, and Low-quality Patent Stockpiling

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Companies can now literally steal other companies’ products because they claim that patent infringement is “theft”

Executed
Death penalty: killing people to demonstrate that killing is wrong

Summary: Companies from the US are trying to teach companies from China that ‘stealing’ (alleged patent infringement) is wrong by basically stealing (literally!) their products in a trade show in the US, even though both China and the US have a notoriously low bar for patenting (includes abstract concepts, as long as they’re not framed as such)

TWO countries where the quality of patents is notoriously low (hence a high number of patents) are China and the US. We wrote many articles about it before. Quite a few Chinese companies are now building up/amassing stocks of thousands of patents, catching up with their US-based counterparts (which manufacture all their products in China anyway). Who benefits from this? Conglomerates and their lawyers, at everybody else’s expense.

“Quite a few Chinese companies are now building up/amassing stocks of thousands of patents, catching up with their US-based counterparts (which manufacture all their products in China anyway).”Years ago we showed how trade shows had been transformed into raiding opportunities [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13], causing a major scene out in public, degrading confidence, and destroying the reputation of certain events/trade shows. These raids are now a reality in the US because Onewheel from Future Motion decided to go litigious with patents and actually confiscate another company’s products, which it can make itself in China. This has raised quite a few eyebrows. What would attract east Asian companies to America (or the US), where you can officially — but without notice — be raided over patents? All this disruptive U.S. Marshals’ involvement because of patents alone? As a little background to this, see TechDirt‘s coverage: “One of the big stories coming out of CES this week is the bizarre situation in which US Marshals showed up here at the event yesterday and completely shut down the booth of a Chinese company, named Changzhou First International Trade Co. This happened after a judge granted a motion for a temporary restraining order, filed by US company Future Motion, following a seven minute hearing about the matter, in which Changzhou was not present and had no say. [...] In other words, there’s a fair bit of evidence to support that the patent infringement case is fairly strong. That said, it still seems quite troubling for US Marshals to then get involved and completely shut down Changzhou First International Trade Co.’s booth at CES right in the middle of the show, when the company doesn’t get a chance to present to the judge until January 14th, long after CES has packed up and left town.”

This story involves a Chinese company coming to the US. China and the US have some things in common when it comes to patents, as both countries’ patent offices (SIPO and USPTO) have very low-quality patents and approve almost everything (poor quality control). Patents for patents’ sake, regardless of the consequences! In the US, unless you’re a rich and highly determined defendant, you never know if a patent is worth something unless challenged for years in the courts. USPTO examination is being grossly rushed, so prior art search is somewhat of a joke. We wrote about this for years. There is this new article titled “U.S. and Chinese Courts’ Software Patent Requirements” and it says that “In China, software inventions that comprise only rules and methods for intellectual activities are not patentable. Thus, a claim that describes an algorithm, mathematical rules, or computer program “as such” and alone may not be patented. However, software inventions that comprise both rules and methods for intellectual activities and technical features of means in order to solve technical problems and obtain technical effects can be patented. Software that (a) uses a technical solution to (b) solve a technical problem concerning (c) a law of nature, may comprise patent eligible subject matter and are subject to patent law protection. The subject of the patent must pass the three part test and still must satisfy the basic requirements for patentability—novelty, non-obviousness, and usefulness—the same as in the U.S.”

“A lot of startups in the US are rightly worried about software patents.”Notice the use of the term “as such” and recall how Brimelow arguably brought to Europe or made it possible to bring to Europe software patents.

A lot of startups in the US are rightly worried about software patents. A couple of days ago somebody published “Arguments you can make against software patents as a startup CTO” [via Bessen and Henrion].

To quote some bits from it:

Most software engineers believe that software patents are bad for innovation, and shouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good argument against filing for software patents, since it’s essentially a complaint about the rules of the game, but as a startup CTO you still have to play the game, regardless of what you think of the rules.

Many CTOs of seed or A-round companies find themselves under pressure from non-technical co-founders and investors to spend time and money on software patents. While I don’t always win the debate, I can say with confidence that the return on investment on all of this time and effort was precisely $0 in every case.

[...]

When people ask about my “IP defensibility” strategy, I generally argue for trade secrets. They’re free, require no effort, you’re not disclosing potentially important information to competitors, and they basically lack any of the other shortcomings I describe above.

IBM’s Manny Schecter/Schechter has just published this paper. It speaks about the effects of Alice on business method patents, not just software patents, which Schecter and his employer support [1, 2]. “Many sources track aspects of PTAB outcomes,” says the abstract, “but none have specifically analyzed CBM outcomes at both the institution and final decision stages by ground. Practitioners, policymakers, patentees, and petitioners can benefit from an empirical analysis of outcomes. Our study analyzes CBM outcomes according to the basis for the challenge and examines whether the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014) (Alice) makes § 101 grounds more popular in CBM petitions. We also investigate the effect of Alice on CBM petition filing and success. We determined that there were more § 101 challenges in CBM filings post-Alice.”

Patent lawyers are rightly worried (for themselves) that a lot of patents would no longer withstand challenges in/from a court of law. There is more uncertainty for them. Whether or not these patents are worth something, injunctions, embargoes and even raids remain a scary prospect to companies that actually produce things.

“Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.”

Dwight Eisenhower

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. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  2. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  3. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  4. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  5. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  6. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  7. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  8. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  9. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  10. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  11. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  12. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  14. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  15. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  16. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  17. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  18. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  19. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  20. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  22. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  23. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  24. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  26. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  27. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  28. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  29. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  30. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests


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