03.23.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Focus on Patent Trolls Persists, With Increasing Use of Euphemisms Such as NPEs and PAEs

Posted in Patents at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From IAM’s Web site (NPE 2016 could be crudely called Patent Trolls 2016)

NPE 2016

Summary: The debate about patent trolls (not patent scope) carries on in the media and events that improve the image of trolls are being organised by some of the media (paid by these trolls)

PATENT trolls are a big problem, but they are also a symptom of a much broader problem, notably software patents which can target a whole lot of companies that don’t manufacture things, e.g. online retailers.

IAM, which receives money from patent trolls, says that “legislation [...] balanced between patent owners and users of IP” (what about the public? Externality?) when it writes about patent reform. IAM currently organises and runs an annual event for patent trolls, who paid IAM to set this up (they are partying like patent trolls and getting flak from critics). Watch what guests they attract. If one makes a living by just passing around patents and threatening companies, that’s no constructive career. It’s parasitic and it injures the reputation of legitimate companies and legitimate patents. IAM itself doesn’t seem to recognise software patents when it sees them, or hosts those who use an old line (“We don’t rely on any patents that are purely software patents” or “Patents are such emotional things, people have this emotional barrier that they’re paying for nothing”).

“If one makes a living by just passing around patents and threatening companies, that’s no constructive career.”“What licensees are not paying for is solutions,” wrote Florian Müller in response to the above, “normally don’t need to read patent docs to solve software problems.” He later took note of patent trolls as proxies, alluding to the latest from Unwired Planet, which trolls Europe (Microsoft also does it, e.g. Intellectual Ventures). This is not OK. An articles roundup from Jim Lynch put it like this: “Microsoft has long sought to build credibility with the open source community, but it continues to shoot itself in the foot by forcing companies to pay for its Android patents. This has led some in the open source community to remain sour on Microsoft and its business practices.”

Intellectual Ventures is attacking Android too, not just Microsoft (the headline “Microsoft still forces companies to pay for its Android patents” could be expanded to “Microsoft and its patent trolls still force companies to pay for alleged Android patents”).

“It’s parasitic and it injures the reputation of legitimate companies and legitimate patents.”The EFF, in the mean time, speaks about the Venue Act these days (it tackles patent trolls, but not software patents), getting the attention of pro-patents sites like MIP and also patent sceptics like TechDirt. One side says that “US Senators Flake, Gardner and Lee have introduced the Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination (Venue) Act. The bill aims “to ensure that venue in patents cases is fair and proper”. The latter side says:

Patent reform is a constant legislative topic, even though what passes for reform generally tends to be heavily-watered down by the time it moves out of the House or Senate. One of the most abused areas of patent litigation is venue selection. Small towns in East Texas have become hosts to parasitic lifeforms known as “Non-Practicing Entities” — shell companies whose only product/service is litigation.

Jason Rantanen, guest posting at PatentlyO, suggests eliminating venue shopping might be a compromise parties involved in patent reform might be able to unite behind. Presumably, this means legislators, rather than patent trolls, who aren’t going to be willing to give up the “home field” advantage that easily. The problems with the current venue-shopping system are laid out by Rantanen in this sentence.

We don’t think this would ever be sufficient because patent trolls can endure all sorts of courts. With the UPC, for instance, some time soon they might be able to also troll companies all over Europe with just one legal case in a software patents-friendly German court.

“They used to speak about software patents, but corporate pressure seems to have changed that.”Professor Mark Lemley, an academic who often bemoans patent trolls, has just highlighted this new paper from John Allison, adding: “My latest study shows PAEs almost never win patent suits. Neither do software patentees, practicing or not.”

PAEs is a euphemism for particular types of trolls, such as Unwired Planet above (it’s effectively like a legal firm for Ericsson and it has gone on for years). The paper’s abstract says: “Much of the policy debate over the patent system has focused on the perceived problems with non-practicing entities (NPEs), also called patent trolls. Drawing on a comprehensive data set we built of every patent lawsuit filed in 2008 and 2009 that resulted in a ruling on the merits, we find that the situation is rather more complicated than simply operating companies vs. NPEs. While operating companies fare better in litigation than NPEs overall, breaking NPEs into different categories reveals more complexity. Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) in particular win very few cases. Further, once we remove certain pharmaceutical cases from the mix, no patent plaintiff fares very well. That is particularly true of software, computer, and electronics patents.”

It is still rather worrying that not only the media but academia too (not to mention activism of EFF) focuses so much on patent trolls rather than patent scope. They used to speak about software patents, but corporate pressure seems to have changed that.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  2. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  3. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  4. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  5. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  6. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  7. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  9. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  10. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  12. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  13. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  14. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  16. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  18. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  19. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  20. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  21. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  23. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  25. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  26. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  27. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  28. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  30. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


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