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


Many Software Firms No Longer Bother With Software Patents, Especially After Alice

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopoly on abstract ideas or algorithms is clearly a bad idea

Games of monopoly

Summary: News about patents on software, covering the US, India, and Europe, where trends are going in the opposite direction (patent scope broadened rather than restricted, e.g. barring abstract software patents)

THE historic decision from SCOTUS regarding Alice revolutionised the USPTO in the sense that software patents are no longer so easy to grant. Previously, based on some statistics, as much as 92% of patent applications in the US were eventually met with a grant (in other words, almost every application was “successful”, so it was a de facto rubber-stamping operation, left for the courts to actually deal with). Call it rubber-stamping or rubbish-stamping (putting a stamp on every bit or rubbish); the outcome was that legal fees would be passed to accused defendants. Patent lawyers were happy and large companies with a dedicated team of full-time lawyers didn’t mind much; the main sufferers were small companies with limited financial means and a prohibitive budget. This could bankrupt them. The patent maximalists now show in pictures two of the world’s worst patent systems (China and US) with a small number of grantees and the number of patents granted to each, showing who really benefits from such a sordid system.

“Software patents have no place in India.”The lobbyists from the US, people who are fronts for the likes of IBM and Microsoft, have been trying hard to expand this madness to software powerhouses such as India (where software patents are not allowed). This new article from the Indian media says that “Qualcomm Inc, US-based semiconductor company that designs and markets wireless telecommunication products globally, has been denied an Indian patent for an ‘invention’ regarding a technology for distributing personlised electronic coupons (e-coupons) to a slew of mobile devices through servers.”

Software patents have no place in India. This has been very clear, more so than in Europe. Neel Chatterjee and Sid Venkatesan in the mean time, writing at AOL, said yesterday that:

The second trend has been the fallout following the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, which caused reverberations throughout the patent landscape by leading to the invalidation of many software patents. The Alice decision makes clear that patents cannot claim abstract concepts without adding anything inventive.

The decision has since been applied to invalidate many other software patents, ranging from patents covering financial techniques implemented using the Internet, ad-supported Internet content and many other computer-implemented concepts. These validity challenges are currently winning way more often than losing.

Alice’s broad impact has left software companies scratching their heads about how much to invest in software patenting, with at least some startups questioning whether to build a software patent portfolio at all. The IPR and CBM patent kill rates have only underscored these concerns.

Despite pressure from abusive EPO management, software patents are still not officially allowed in Europe. The EPO-funded 'journalists' know this and one of them continues (as before) to whitewash patent raiders, mafias, and thugs such as Sisvel. With phrases like “IP owners have also enjoyed injunctive and seizure success against alleged infringers at trade shows in other parts of Europe” one wonders how a raid can be characterised as “joy” or “success”. Previously, in Europe, Sisvel was confiscating (stealing) devices because of software patents, despite them not being eligible in Europe. This is just lawlessness — apparently lawlessness that EPO-funded writers can happily stand behind.

“Previously, in Europe, Sisvel was confiscating (stealing) devices because of software patents, despite them not being eligible in Europe.”Earlier today a software patents promoter from IP Kat (Annsley Merelle Ward) wrote about Merck and patents. “Accordingly,” she said, “Merck Global was entitled to an injunction against all defendants (joint tortfeasorship being found due to the inter-relating corporate structure of the defendants) to restrain infringement of Merck Global’s UK marks.”

Isn’t this wonderful? Patents on people’s lives. Merck is protecting its monopoly, price hikes/fixing (artificially-elevated costs), etc. It does this by means of patent aggression.

We often worry that the EU patent systems (notably the EPO if UPC ever becomes a reality) won’t retain any level of sanity and will instead deviate to fit the US system, inviting a lot of patent trolls. MIP is comparing EPO and USPTO post-grant practices, concluding that “the US process of post grant review shares many similarities with European opposition. However, the processes are not identical, with one of the most significant differences being the estoppel created by post grant review. Consideration of this difference between the processes must form a key pillar of any advice presented to clients on this issue, especially where there is the potential for future infringement proceedings.”

Well, if the EPO was ever to mimic or imitate the USPTO, then it needs to take note of the demise of software patents in the US. As this new article titled “Invalidating software claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101″ put it:

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held, in Recognicorp, LLC v. Nintendo Co. Ltd., et al, that claims to certain methods and systems for encoding/decoding image data are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Recognicorp is an illustrative example of the use of preliminary motion practice to dispose of patent cases on the pleadings and of how software-based inventions that are premised on seemingly simple algorithms are particularly susceptible to early dismissal.

The key part there says that “software-based inventions that are premised on seemingly simple algorithms are particularly susceptible to early dismissal.”

The future looks fine for opponents of software patents, but nothing should be taken for granted because patent lawyers and their big clients are already scheming, as we habitually show, to reverse the precedence set at the Supreme Court. They’re revolting against what they perceive as illegitimate challenge to their power and infinite wealth (which they hide in remote islands so as to evade tax).

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. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  2. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  3. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  4. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  5. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  6. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  7. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  8. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  9. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  10. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  11. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  12. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  13. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  14. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  15. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  16. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  17. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  18. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  19. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  20. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  21. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  22. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  23. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  24. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  25. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  26. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  27. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  28. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  29. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  30. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)


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