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. The Latest EPO Victim Card (Played by Željko Topić) Should be Treated as Seriously as Those Bogus Claims of Violence by a Judge (Updated)

    In its desperate pursuit of a narrative wherein the staff of the EPO is violent and aggressive the management of the EPO, renowned for institutional aggression, finds (or claims to have found) a little tampering with a bicycle



  2. Links 25/5/2016: Nginx 1.11, F1 2015 Coming to GNU/Linux Tomorrow

    Links for the day



  3. The Media Starts Informing the European Public About the Downsides of UPC While EPO Accelerates Its Lobbying for Ratification

    The EPO's shameless UPC promotion takes another step forward as the European press outlets (even television channels) begin to explore the secret deal that's negotiated by patent lawyers (with corporate clients) and patent offices, not the public or any public interest groups



  4. Some Details About How the EPO's President is Rumoured to be 'Buying' Votes and Why It's Grounds/Basis for “Immediate Dismissal”

    Some background information and a detailed explanation of the systemic financial dependency, created by Battistelli at the cost of €13 million or more, which prevents effective oversight of Battistelli



  5. How the Patent Lawyers' Microcosm Continues to Boost Software Patents Filth by Misdirecting Readers, Relying on Highly Selective Coverage

    Under the guise of reporting/analysis/advice the community of patent lawyers is effectively lobbying to make software patents popular and widely-accepted again, based on one single case which they wish to make 'the' precedent



  6. Documents Show Zagreb Police Department in Investigation of Vice-President of the European Patent Office

    Željko Topić's troubles in Croatia, where he faces many criminal charges, may soon become an extraordinary burden for the EPO, which distances itself from it all mostly by attacking staff that 'dares' to bring up the subject



  7. [ES] Interrumpiendo la Propagánda Distractante de Battistelli: los Empleados de la EPO Protestará de Nuevo en una Quincena

    La exágerada extravagancia (desperdicio de dinero) en la Ceremonia de Premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO tendrá que competir por atención de los medios con miles de empleados de la EPO (en todaslas sedes de la EPO) marchándo en las calles para protestar por los abusos de la EPO



  8. Windows and Microsoft's Other 'Burning Platforms'

    It's not just Windows for phones that's reaching minuscule market share levels but also Windows, but Microsoft is skilled at hiding this (cannibalising Windows using something people do not even want, then counting that cannibal, Vista 10)



  9. Links 24/5/2016: CRYENGINE Source Code is Out on GitHub, Jono Bacon Leaves GitHub

    Links for the day



  10. Links 23/5/2016: GNOME 3.22, Calculate Linux 15.17

    Links for the day



  11. 'Celebrity' Patent Trolls and the Elusive Battle Against Patent Trolls (or Eastern District of Texas Courts) Rather Than Software Patents

    Some of last week's more important reports, which serve to demonstrate how the system is attempting to tackle a side-effect of software patents rather than the patents themselves (their irrational scope)



  12. The Circus of Patent 'Reporting' (by Omission) on the Subject of Software Patents in the US and USPTO Bias

    look at some of the latest oddities in the US patent system and much of the reporting about software patenting (more or less monopolised by those who profit from it, not harmed by it)



  13. IP3 Demonstrates That Today's Patent Systems Devolve Into a Conglomerates' Game, Won't Protect the Mythical Small Inventor

    Multinational corporations bring together their shared interests and steer the increasingly-inseparable patent systems according to their needs and goals, but has anyone even noticed?



  14. Disrupting Battistelli's Distracting Propaganda: EPO Staff to Protest Again in About a Fortnight

    The overly extravagant (waste of money) EPO European Inventor Award will have to compete for media attention with thousands of EPO staff (in all EPO sites) marching in the streets to protest against the EPO's abuses



  15. Corrupting Democracy? Growing Frequency of Rumours That the EPO's President Battistelli is 'Buying' Votes of Small Member States

    Several sources suggest that rather than appease the Administrative Council by taking corrective action Battistelli and his notorious 'circle' now work hard to remove opposition from the Administrative Council, especially where this is easier a task to accomplish (politically or economically)



  16. [ES] Los Mitos de la EPO ‘Calidad’ de Patentes y de ‘Creación’ de Patentes: Basados en Ventas de Cafe y Trauma

    La carrera hacia el fondo, o la ridícula asumpción de Battistelli de que otorgar más y más patentenes más rápidamente (e.g. usando PACE) sería beneficióso a largo término, puede guíar al final colapse del valor de la EPO y la pérdida de su lárgamente ganada reputación a nivel mundial



  17. Links 22/5/2016: Systemd 230, Debian Installer Alpha 6

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Patent 'Quality' and 'Patent Creation' Myth: Capsule-Based Coffee Sales and Trauma

    The race to the bottom, or Battistelli's ludicrous assumption that granting more and more patents faster (e.g. using PACE) would be beneficial in the long run, may lead to the ultimate collapse of the EPO's value and demise of its long-earned reputation worldwide



  19. Guest Post: How Vista 10 Imposes Itself on Users of Windows

    A reader's experience being nagged by Microsoft, as documented and explained by this reader



  20. [ES] El Notorio Tirano de la EPO, Benoît Battistelli, Se Reune Con Otros Tiranos, Reportes de Que ‘Limpia’ el Consejo Administrativo

    El régimen de Battistelli, talvez la fuente de verguénza más grande, alegadamente está “cortejándo países pequeños/corruptos para asegurárse de que los delegados que votarón contra él serán remplazados”



  21. [ES] Comentadores Anónimos Debaten Si la EPO de Battistelli Puede Revocar las Pensiones de Empleados Que Se Atreveen — GASP — a Buscar Empleo Alternativo

    Una mirada a las causas de desesperación e imensa presión en la EPO, donde las pensiónes pueden ser cortadas como medio de represália y la gente puede ser negada empleo aún después de dejar la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO)



  22. [ES] Otra Casi Vacía Presentación de la EPO en La Hague

    El propagandístico “estudio social” de Battistelli (básicamente un montón de engañosas afirmacionesdisfrazadas como ‘investigación’) ayuda a demostrar que los empleados de la EPO no tiene absolutamente fe en la gerencia



  23. Links 21/5/2016: Manjaro Linux RC, Flock 2016 Schedule

    Links for the day



  24. USPTO Ignores a Lot of Cases Against Software Patents to Justify Resumption of More Software Patenting

    The US patent system (USPTO) is so obsessed with granting as many patents as possible -- even bogus patents in areas that are no longer patent-eligible -- that its guidelines are further perturbed and whose appeals board is massively overwhelmed/overworked/understaffed



  25. Notorious EPO Tyrant, Benoît Battistelli, Meets Other Tyrants, Reportedly 'Cleanses' the Administrative Council

    The Battistelli regime, perhaps the biggest embarrassment of Europe right now, is allegedly "courting smaller countries to make sure the delegates who voted against him will be replaced"



  26. Links 20/5/2016: Purism Tablet, ChromeOS PCs Outsell 'Mac'-Branded PCs

    Links for the day



  27. CAFC Rules Against Software Patents But Witness With Horror the Silence From Patent Lawyers (Bias by Omission)

    In an effort to protect software patents in the United States, where these patents came from in the first place (and continue to spread from), patent lawyers pretend not to see cases where software patents get invalidated and instead focus on the rare exception



  28. It's All Just Artificial Distractions From EPO Management, 'Yellow' Union Comes Under Scrutiny Again

    What's happening inside the EPO these days and what meaningless rubbish the management of the EPO would rather have the media obsessed with



  29. Anonymous Commenters Debate Whether Battistelli's EPO Can Revoke Pensions of Dismissed Employees Who Dare -- GASP -- Find Alternative Employment

    A look at causes for desperation and immense pressure at the EPO, where pensions can be cut as means of reprisal and people can be denied employment even after they leave the European Patent Office (EPO)



  30. Australian Productivity Commission's Research Calls for Ban on Software Patents, Davies Collison Cave Calls for Complaints Against This Finding

    As the push against software patents grows in Australia, much to the chagrin of Australian software developers, Davies Collison Cave (patent law firm) publicly calls for opposition, calling its side "the truth" and pretending it represents "Australian innovators."


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