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

02.15.16

With Software Patents, “the [Low] Level of the USPTO Has Now Be[en] Reached by the EPO”

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents on maths, such as computer vision (my research discipline), are increasingly becoming possible under the Battistelli regime

Blatterstelli and EPO, USPTO
When one’s goal is just maximising the number of patents the role model would be SIPO (China) or USPTO, where the yardstick/accomplishment is granting a patent on any bundle of paper that comes in, securing a monopoly on virtually everything under the Sun (as long as it says “technical”, “inventive”, “on a computer”, and/or “over the Internet”)

Summary: Software patents and other patents of little or no technical merit that can be physically demonstrated are now being granted by the European Patent Office, despite the demise of software patents in the United States

HERE IN Techrights we mostly focus on software patents (primary focus of the site), but there are many other problems associated with the EPO, including the use of patents against so-called ‘generic’ medicine and cancer treatments (there are various issues associated with that). IP Kat covers a story that was mentioned here the other day, stating that “European Patent No 1 313 508 protects the use of pemetrexed disodium in combination with vitamin B12 or a pharmaceutical derivative thereof and optionally a folic protein binding agent. The patent expires on 15 June 2021.”

“Putting aside the abuses against human rights, there are technical issues as well.”Whether one talks about the European Patent Office or epogen/Epoetin alfa, EPO is now synonymous with cheating, breaking of rules. Putting aside the abuses against human rights, there are technical issues as well. For instance, somebody posted an amusing ode titled “BB’s Declaration on Truth and Self-Imposed Stupidity…”

This is about the reality distortion field, which we recently covered here, both before and after the event in Rijswijk. Another person correctly insinuated that “the level of the USPTO has now been [corrected] reached by the EPO” with patents on a digital purring cat — a software patent idiotic/trivial enough that the USPTO would most likely approve given its low standards and greed which motivates such low standards, sending out the message that nearly all applications will be successful, leading to a filings deluge, also at courts’ dockets. “Sure that the problem-solution-approach exists when assessing inventive step,” wrote the person. “I however still fail to see what can be inventive in claiming the purring of a virtual cat when a cursor is moved back and forth on the virtual cat. The claim does certainly not read on an actual cat. If this would be the case, novelty would not even be given. [...] it means sadly that the level of the USPTO has now be reached by the EPO….. Where has common sense disappeared to?” This is the patent in question, from Immersion Corporation, which has an extensive cluster of other cross-referencing software patents at the EPO, mostly relating to user interfaces and vibration for feedback. Just because the software triggers a “vibrate” action doesn’t mean the software is somehow physical. It’s still a software patent. Based on the company’s own site, it’s about software and it’s about licensing, not necessarily making things. There’s an “IP Licensing” section under “Products”. To quote their plenary description from the front page: “Immersion licenses touch feedback technology.”

“We worry that Europe is following the footsteps of the US when it comes to patents when it fact it should have been the US emulating Europe, for its patent system has historically received more respect and trust.”This kind of patent maximalism, meaning the expansion of patents or the objective of maximising the number of patents by lowering quality (of examination or patents approved), is something that we’ve warned about many times here before. It’s why we wrote about the EPO almost a decade ago, primarily in relation to software patents. It was Brimelow who permitted the “as such” loophole to sneak in, but it was Battistelli who took this further with accelerated examination (meaning lax or lenient) for Microsoft, which mostly patents software and exploits Brimelow’s loophole to make it seem like something which it’s not.

We worry that Europe is following the footsteps of the US when it comes to patents when it fact it should have been the US emulating Europe, for its patent system has historically received more respect and trust. The boosters of software patents — people who themselves never wrote computer programs or understand how a computer works — try to pressure policymakers, judges, examiners etc. to abolish the Alice case as a factor, despite the SCOTUS overwhelmingly (unanimously) ruling against abstract software patents. Here is the latest example of that, published just yesterday. By his own admission, the author “is a patent attorney licensed to practice law in California and Arizona.” Looking only at the side of patent aggressors and their lawyers (not their victims, who are far greater in number), he writes that “examining corps’ over-use of Section 101 rejections can be reined in via a more disciplined and structured set of instructions.”

“How is reduction in rejections a good thing? What is the point of patent examination is there’s no difficulty and frequent rejections?”Why is it overuse? Because he doesn’t like it when Alice is brought up? It’s a Supreme Court’s strong, high-level decision. Why bypass it?

“Examiners would like it,” he said, insinuating that somehow granting a lot more patents on software is something that examiners would prefer (in the past at least they received financial incentive to actually grant if in doubt rather than decline). He also said that “applicants would find examination outcome more predictable and know how to respond to rejections better; and reduced rejections represents good patent policy and will benefit the U.S. economy.”

This is complete nonsense. How is reduction in rejections a good thing? What is the point of patent examination is there’s no difficulty and frequent rejections? It’s like those scandals in the UK where examination authorities in the scholarly world are found have have made exams easier so that young people get higher grades and they can deduce from it that children are somehow (magically) getting a lot smarter.

“Don’t take advice from patent lawyers on issues such as these.”Patent lawyers are understandably concerned because many of their old clients probably feel reluctant to patent software any longer. That’s a good thing for society as a whole. Don’t take advice from patent lawyers on issues such as these. They’re biased, and not for idealogical reasons but for their own pockets.

“The status of the lobby against software patents is so bad that I have to say #ilovefs,” Benjamin Henrion wrote on Sunday night. He is right as the camp that fought against software patents used to be a lot more active a decade ago or even a few years ago. The public debate has been mostly warped (with help from the corporate media, which is owned by large corporations that love software patents but hate trolls that sue them), to the point where a lot of the public now thinks in terms like “patent trolls”, not patent scope or a patent’s domain.

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

2 Comments

  1. katkatkat said,

    February 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Gravatar

    See this interesting contribution:
    http://www.agoravox.fr/tribune-libre/article/de-quoi-le-conflit-social-a-l-175546

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, I had exchanged many E-mails about it for months and a partial translation is already available. It’s not yet ready for publication.

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  2. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  3. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  4. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  5. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  6. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  7. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  9. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  10. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  11. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  12. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  13. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  14. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  15. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  16. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  17. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  18. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  19. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  20. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  21. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  22. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  23. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  24. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  26. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  27. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  28. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  29. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day


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