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

03.07.16

Software Patents Are a Dying Breed in the United States and the EPO Should Take Notice

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents are rotting away internationally, but will the EPO adapt accordingly?

Fading away

Summary: A roundup of recent news about software patents in the United States and what this means to Europe, where the patent office is now in a state of transition and must quickly restore quality rather than quantity

TECHRIGHTS spent nearly a decade writing about software patents and my activism against software patents predates this Web site. It’s only now, or any time after the 2014 decision on Alice, that considerable headway can be celebrated. The Bilski case (at SCOTUS) just wasn’t enough.

Patently-O has this up-to-date list of “Pending Supreme Court Patent Cases 2016″ and its author recalls SCOTUS Justice Scalia. “Following Justice Scalia’s death,” he notes, “the Supreme Court simplified its docket by denying certiorari to a set of patent cases, including: Arthrex v. Smith and Nephew; STC v. Global Traffic Technologies; ePlus v. Lawson Software, Inc.; Media Rights Technologies v. Capitol One; Alexsam v. The Gap; ULT v. Lighting Ballast Control; and Achates v. Apple.”

“All in all, software patents everywhere have no room in the docket, as courts (even in Europe) deem them invalid and it is time to recognise this new reality.”Patent Docs, another patents-centric site, says that the “USPTO Issues Performance and Accountability Report for FY 2015″, not quite noting that the USPTO only cares about money, not quality (very much the Battistelli delusion/lunacy).

Patent lawyers, based on this new article from lawyers’ media, still try to figure out how to continue fighting the courts over software patents after Alice. It’s not easy for them to accept deflation in the number of patents. They think of it like a business, which is antithetical to the patent system (as it was originally conceived a long time ago). Does the US still have an open-handed approach when it comes to software patents, or is it becoming just a stretch of imagination prevalent among patent maximalists who give bad advice to potential or existing clients? As one patent attorney put it the other day, “ITC ruled that two Jawbone patents asserted against Fitbit are Ineligible under Alice/ 101: http://assets.law360news.com/0767000/767622/1078594-575628.pdf

So even the overzealous and biased ITC, not just the typical courts, is not antagonising software patents? This may be unprecedented.

Patent maximalists over at IAM said this morning that “Chinese companies see US pendulum swinging back, while validity becomes more of an issue at home”. It’s about PTAB, which is increasingly being used to invalidate software patents even without them being used litigiously. To quote IAM: “Chinese companies may be using PTAB as a handy tool for now, but one defensive risk analyst I spoke to in Shenzhen expressed the views that the prevalence of invalidity challenges in the US is more a temporary opportunity than a ‘new normal’.”

Earlier this year we wrote about how a Chinese company had its products seized at a trade show, only to see the case against it dropped altogether. What is this? It sure made the US patent system blush a bit, as though its victims (not the so-called ‘pirates’ or ‘thieves’) are Chinese. This is not justice. It’s just a bunch of goons storming a trade show because of patents and confiscating actual products.

All in all, software patents everywhere have no room in the docket, as courts (even in Europe) deem them invalid and it is time to recognise this new reality. There should be no software patents in Europe, for instance, regardless of the spin/wording, e.g. if they’re “as such” or not (whatever that even means!). It puts the EPO‘s reputation at risk. In any patent system, rejection/acceptance rate does not in itself say anything, especially if it wrongly accepts and rejects applications (overworking the examiners means poorer identification of prior art, hence uncertainty, usually resulting in an erroneous grant). Based on sources of ours who are applicants at the EPO (several such people who already have patents in national patent offices), the EPO rejects legitimate patent applications whilst overpatenting e.g. granting patents on software. What message does that send out? What does this mean to the so-called ‘results’ that Battistelli brags about in him awkwardly scripted speech)? And if courts keep finding “EP” patents invalid, wouldn’t that devalue “EP” patents and lead to degradation of confidence? A lot of inventors in Europe are rightly upset at the EPO right now. Their already-granted patents lose value (or perceived value).

The EPO is not a cash cow for Europe if the money comes from Europeans. Ask European patent applicants (not massive corporations from abroad) who spent as much as the value of a whole house how they feel after failing to get even one patent because of EPO misconduct whilst others (massive corporations) receive a fast lane and get "EP" patents in bulk. It’s a sordid mess and a sham.

If Christoph Ernst becomes the EPO’s President some time this spring (or maybe later this month), then he can use his background in economics/law to amend policy so as to better comply with the EPC (i.e. no software patents). Moreover, for Ernst (or another potential president) the first step to take should be to restore/recognise the status of SUEPO and bring back dismissed representatives. They too expressed concerns about patent scope, even many years ago. SUEPO was right all along.

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. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  2. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  3. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  4. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  5. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  6. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  7. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  8. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  9. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  10. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  11. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  12. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  13. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  14. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  15. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  16. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  17. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  18. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  19. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  20. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  21. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  22. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  23. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  24. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  25. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  26. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  28. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  29. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)



  30. What IAM Says About AST, RPX, Ericsson, and IBM

    IAM, the trolls' mouthpiece (also the EPO's mouthpiece, but that's another story), provides updates on trolls and troll-like entities, but further commentary is needed to clarify and counterbalance the promotional language


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