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

03.30.16

VENUE Act and ITC Reform Still Serve to Distract From Required Reform (Abolishing Software Patents)

Posted in America, Patents at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CCIA logoSummary: More non-solutions to an actual severe (and growing) problem which boils down to low patent quality, notably software patents

The VENUE Act was covered here several times earlier this month and it’s now the word (or term) on many people’s lips, even friends of patent trolls, who in unrelated articles state: “The Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act 2016 would restrict patent suits to district courts where the parties are incorporated or where they have physical facilities tied to either the development of the technology at issue or alleged infringement.”

The VENUE Act, in spite of its catchy name, is not a solution. It’s just an effort to slow down the problem as it increasingly exacerbates, usually in Texas. “VENUE Act aims to lessen ease of filing patent lawsuits in Eastern District of Texas” says the headline of this new article. To quote from it:

A recently proposed bill in the U.S. Senate may be the key to curbing the rampant patent lawsuit abuse in the plaintiff-friendly Eastern District of Texas jurisdiction.

Proposed by Republican Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Mike Lee (Utah), the Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act (VENUE Act) targets a very specific part of the problem with patent abuse known as forum shopping.

“The VENUE Act would make it harder for companies to file a suit in districts that don’t have meaningful connection to the suit,” Daniel Nazer, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, told the Southeast Texas Record. “This bill is really about making sure disputes are filed somewhere that makes sense.”

Instead of allowing a patent owner to file wherever they would like, the bill requires an individual to bring a lawsuit in the city where the invention was created or where the company being sued is based or manufactures its product. In other words, small California startups would no longer be sued by a California inventor in the Eastern District of Texas if the VENUE Act was signed into law.

This is not the solution however. Like several ‘reform’ proposals before it, this merely serves to give the illusion that problems are being tackled even when they’re not. Another site, owned by a front group of large corporations to mostly focus on patent trolls, speaks about something called ITC reform, whatever that actually is (a little vague). Matt Levy (CCIA) writes:

The last couple of weeks have seen two good patent bills introduced, first the VENUE Act, and now the Trade Protection Not Troll Protection Act. This bipartisan bill closes loopholes at the International Trade Commission that patent trolls have been exploiting.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) is an agency whose main job is to protect American industries from unfair competition abroad. If a U.S. company thinks another company is importing goods unfairly produced, it can ask the ITC to investigate. If the Commission finds that the importer (called the respondent) has violated the trade laws (which include infringing U.S. patents), it can issue an exclusion order. The order instructs customs to block the products in question at the border.

The ITC handles a fair number of patent cases, because the ability to get an exclusion order is essentially the same as an injunction in district court. And that is where patent trolls come in.

The ITC has many problems, but that doesn’t mean that within the ITC (enforcement by embargo/sanctions) exists a solution to the overall problem, which is low-quality patents (e.g. on software) being granted with virtually no quality assurance. The USPTO increasingly looks like a filing office, not an examination office. We shall deal with that in a later post tonight.

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. Reader's Article: Affaire Benalla Strongly Connected to EPO/OEB/EPA and Former President Benoît Battistelli

    A Macron scandal has led French media to finally (and years too late) exploring some of the much more explosive scandals at the EPO, revealing some interesting new details in the process



  2. Language Patent Lawyers Are Using to Warp the Debate and Decrease Public Understanding of Patents

    The patent microcosm, trying to get the public all baffled/confused about the patent system, continues (mis)using words to convey things in misleading ways



  3. USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality

    The lingering issues with patent assessment at the US patent office, which unlike US courts isn't quite so impartial an actor (it benefits more from granting than from rejecting)



  4. Guest Post on Ronan Le Gleut and Benalla at the French Senate (in Light of Battistelli's Epic Abuses)

    Thoughts on the possibility that Battistelli will belatedly be held accountable for his abuses, knowing that a senator representing French Citizens residing Abroad comes from the EPO



  5. A Lot of US Patents Are Entirely Bogus, But Apple Was Willing to Pay for Them

    Apple's resistance to Qualcomm's patent aggression was preceded by very heavy ("thermonuclear" by Steve Jobs' description/words) patent wars against Android and even legitimisation of clearly bogus software patents from Amazon



  6. 'Owning' Nature, Thanks to Patent Insanity and People Who Profit From That

    Questionable patents on things that always existed and are merely being explained or reassembled; those sorts of patents typically serve to merely discredit the patent system and courts too increasingly reject such patents (e.g. SCOTUS on Mayo Collaborative Services and Myriad Genetics, Inc.)



  7. Patents Stranger Than Fiction and 'Protection' From Fictional Things

    Fictional things are being treated like "inventions" and insurance companies now look to exploit fear of fictional things (man-made concepts), such as ownership of mere ideas or words



  8. Benoît Battistelli Refuses to Talk to the Media About Bringing Firearms to the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli's highly aggressive approach has attracted the attention of French media; Battistelli has reportedly refused to comment on that matter, knowing that he lacks a defense (same thing happened after he had hauled millions of EPO euros to his other employer)



  9. Patent Law Firms Have Become More Like Marketing Departments With an Aptitude for Buzzwords

    What we're observing, without much reluctance anymore, is that a lot of patent lawyers still push abstract software patents, desperately looking for new trendy terms or adjectives by which to make these seem non-abstract



  10. Interlude: The Need to Counter Misinformation From the Patent and Litigation 'Industry'

    24,500 posts reached; so we pause and reflect, seeing that many sites/blogs of patent maximalists gradually ebb away



  11. Advocacy of the Unitary Patent System Has Become Almost Identical to the 'Leave' (Brexit) Campaign

    The charades of Team UPC carry on in Kluwer Patent Blog — a blog which for a very long time served no purpose other than Unified Patent Court (UPC) advocacy



  12. Open Invention Network is Rendered Obsolete in the Wake of Alice and It's Not Even Useful in Combating Microsoft's Patent Trolls

    Changes at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in US courts' outcomes may have already meant that patent trolls rather than software patents in general are a growing threat, including those that Microsoft is backing, funding and arming to put legal pressure on GNU/Linux (and compel people/companies to host GNU/Linux instances on Azure for patent 'protection' from these trolls)



  13. Bogus Patents Which Oughtn't Have Been Granted Make Products Deliberately Worse, Reducing Innovation and Worsening Customers' Experience

    How shallow patents — or patent applications that no patent office should be accepting — turn out to be at the core of multi-billion-dollar cases/lawsuits, with potentially a billion people impacted (their products made worse to work around such questionable patents)



  14. EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

    Examination of patent applications isn't taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'



  15. Philippe Cadre From the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) Wants to Join António Campinos

    Yet another example of INPI's creeping influence if not 'entryism' at the EPO and this time too patent quality isn't a priority



  16. Links 22/9/2018: Mesa 18.2.1, CLIP OS, GPL Settlement in Artifex/First National Title Insurance Company

    Links for the day



  17. Links 21/9/2018: Cockpit 178, Purism 'Dongle'

    Links for the day



  18. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  19. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  20. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  21. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  23. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  24. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  25. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  26. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  27. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  28. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  29. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)



  30. Qualcomm's Patent Aggression Threatens Rationality of Patent Scope in Europe and Elsewhere

    Qualcomm's dependence on patent taxes (so-called 'royalties' associated with physical devices which it doesn't even make) highlights the dangers now known; the patent thicket has grown too "thick"


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