04.07.16

The United States Still Has Software Patents Because of USPTO Greed, Incapacity for Criticism/Change

Posted in America, Patents at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The USPTO’s previous Director now a kind of lobbyist who works for software patents proponents, including his former employer

Kappos PAI

Summary: Criticism of US patent scope, which still leaves room for software patents because of corporate resistance to change/reform, motivated by USPTO maximalism (trying to grow numbers irrespective of quality)

THE USPTO is the main remaining barrier to abolition of software patents. The US Supreme Court already ruled on the subject, but the USPTO, which is powered by greed (just see what former Director Kappos is doing these days), refuses to obey the courts until it must, as it damages the USPTO’s reputation and valuation of patents.

“Innovation needs no patent protection,” a new article from The Hindu (published moments ago), speaks specifically about software patents in India and says (specifically citing the US as a problem): “The lack of clear boundaries in software means that even law-abiding software developers who intend not to violate another’s patent have no clear means of avoiding it. With 15,000-plus e-commerce patents (2010) in the U.S. alone, it is not possible to eliminate the risk of a patent infringement lawsuit. Frivolous lawsuits by U.S. patent trolls account for nearly 38 per cent of all patent litigation in the U.S. The problem of software patents ends up increasing the cost of software for all of society.”

“Actually, considering the original idea behind patents, secrecy oughtn’t be needed (nor protected).”If patents are about publication, which is what they were about in the first place (at time of their inception), how come so much secrecy and even talks of an appeal to the US Supreme Court, SCOTUS (regarding secrecy)? According to this new article: “Given the dissenting opinion in this case, a further appeal to the Supreme Court is not inconceivable. Unless and until that happens, however, communications between a patent applicant and their patent agent that are directly related to the preparation and prosecution of a patent are entitled to privilege. The difficulty will be in recognising when the line is crossed and, in grey areas, it is very likely that we will continue to see attorneys copied into correspondence.”

Actually, considering the original idea behind patents, secrecy oughtn’t be needed (nor protected). Why should SCOTUS resources be wasted on such matters? Besides, as we have already shown for nearly 2 years, the USPTO hardly cares what SCOTUS says. Courts continue to smash software patents to pieces, whereas the USPTO continues granting software patents. As this new article/blog post points out today, the issue is further complicated by the notion of computer-generated patent applications and minds as computer metaphors. “Courts now routinely,” says the author, use a particular subcategory “to invalidate claims for software inventions that “can be performed in the human mind, or by a human using a pen and paper.””

“Nobody benefits from all this red tape except monopolists and their lawyers (the monopolists already have them among staff, and the legal costs scale fine with their huge business base).”We saw such wordings before (“pen and paper” analogies), even in court rulings. The second aforementioned article (both from Bilski Blog) notes: “As the AlphaGo-like computers continue to help human predict the unpredictable and make fast breakthroughs, it also raises important questions about inventorship and challenges our present patent system. To have a well-functioning patent system in the digital age may require a rethinking of inventorship by our courts and legislature.”

Nobody benefits from all this red tape except monopolists and their lawyers (the monopolists already have them among staff, and the legal costs scale fine with their huge business base).

“Patent systems without restrictions on scope are bound to become just filing systems that are ultimately obsolete.”According to another new article from today, Uber gives yet another reason for a boycott as it pursues software patents to ensure monopoly whose overall (societal) cost would be huge. “It’s unclear how Uber’s new patent could affect Lyft’s application of its own “Prime Time” dynamic pricing feature,” wrote the author, “if at all. In recent years many in Silicon Valley have argued the process for obtaining software patents is flawed.”

Later today we are going to to touch several related matters. Patent systems without restrictions on scope are bound to become just filing systems that are ultimately obsolete.

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

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 Corporate 'Left' and the Open Source Pseudo 'Movement'

    President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things



  2. Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  3. The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

    The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)



  4. InteLeaks – Part XXVII: 'Pulling a Nokia' on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

    The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 21, 2021



  6. InteLeaks – Part XXVI: Harbor Research is Horrible 'Research', Lacking Actual Technical Background

    Having looked at the members of staff of Harbor Research (individually), it seems clearer now why they have an affinity for Microsoft and why they're directing Intel to liaise with Microsoft and become a prisoner of Microsoft (even in areas where Microsoft is increasingly irrelevant)



  7. Links 21/1/2021: Raspberry Pi Pico, Ubuntu 21.04 Picks GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

    Links for the day



  8. How a Newly Inaugurated President Biden Can Advance Software Freedom (If He Actually Wishes to Do So)

    Techrights has 'Four Suggestions' to President Biden, the 46th 'front end' of American plutocracy



  9. InteLeaks – Part XXV: Intel's Brain Drain Leads to Unusual Measures

    As the company once known as 'chipzilla' loses its relevance and dominance in the market it's reaching out to retired people, trying to get them back onboard



  10. Hey Hi (AI) is Just a Trojan Horse for Illegal Software Patents, According to EPO Management and Litigation Firms It's in Bed With

    The longtime pushers or the lobby of patent profiteers just carry on pushing for software patents, nowadays latching onto the inane and unwarranted media hype around Hey Hi (AI) — a hype wave that was co-opted by EPO management to grant unlawful patents



  11. The Central Staff Representatives (CSC) of the EPO Are Petitioning to End the Assault on EPO Staff

    The EPO, just one month after the staff went on strike, is about to receive a compelling petition to stop the assault on EPO staff



  12. InteLeaks – Part XXIV: Love for Microsoft, Not for Free Software or Whatever Replaces Microsoft

    Intel is basing its big decisions on buzzwords and firms that master buzzwords; it's sad that instead of listening to Intel's own (in-house) engineers it's relying on a bunch of clowns who push 'Clown Computing' and 'apps' and 'UX'...



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 20, 2021



  14. Links 21/1/2021: Google Tightens the Screws on Chromium, VideoLAN VLC 3.0.12

    Links for the day



  15. IBM Panics and Resorts to 'Customer Retention' Tactics With Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

    IBM 'frees' RHEL but with limitations that can restrict growth of small companies (or subject them to financial barriers, originally unforeseen)



  16. Recent Techrights Articles About President Joe Biden

    Instead of writing yet more stuff about the latest US president, let's look back at what we wrote in recent weeks/months



  17. Links 20/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 RC2 and the RHEL Contingency

    Links for the day



  18. InteLeaks – Part XXIII: Intel Paying for Bogus 'Research' 'Insights' Which Merely Seek to Justify Outsourcing to Microsoft and Imposing Microsoft's Proprietary Software on Free Software Developers

    Intel's preference for Microsoft monopoly (an imposed/top-down decision) was seemingly certified by so-called 'consultants' and 'analysts' from the outside rather than the inside, basically manufacturing a false perception of consent after managers had already made up their minds



  19. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part V: How FSF Secrecy Ended Up Insulting People, Alienating Trans Developers

    Having just uploaded this introductory video, we delve into the backstory or the real reason the FSF sank into somewhat of a crisis with the trans community almost half a decade ago



  20. InteLeaks – Part XXII: Bubbles and Buzzwords, No Substance at Intel's Internet of Things (IoT) Group (IOTG)

    The video above is continuation of the previous part about a document full of superficial buzzwords (not technical jargon anywhere), in effect recommending to managers that they blindly follow trends and cargo cults (such as Clown Computing) and not what’s most suitable for technical excellence



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 19, 2021



  22. Links 20/1/2021: WireGuard for pfSense and New US President

    Links for the day



  23. Links 19/1/2021: Krita 4.4.2 Released and JingOS Hype

    Links for the day



  24. Team UPC Keeps Pretending That UPCA Can Still be Resurrected (Even Without the UK, Which is Strictly a Requirement)

    The latest distortion of facts regarding the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (UPCA) as seen from the lens of people who seek to profit from such distortion



  25. 'Ethical Source' is Not Ethical and Not a Movement But a Misguided Self-Serving PR Stunt

    Something which is neither enforceable nor ethical is being promoted by profoundly unethical media in the pockets of large corporations



  26. InteLeaks – Part XXI: Intel Seeking Advice From a Bunch of Clowns (Harbor 'Research')

    A firm called Harbor 'Research' is making dubious recommendations to Intel; as shown in the above video, there's also an obsession with buzzwords (typically suggestive of a lack of technical grasp/understanding)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 18, 2021



  28. The US Election Was Not Rigged, But the Nomination Process Was (Undermined to Maintain Control by Oligarchy)

    Cheating/driving the left out of the Democratic Party seems like a longstanding tradition and we know who stands to gain from it; moreover, problems remain in the voting process because it's controlled by secret code of companies like Microsoft (in spite of the openwashing)



  29. InteLeaks – Part XX: Redacted (for Names Only) Release of Intel File About Developer eXperience (DX) Meddling in GNU/Linux

    Today (or tonight) we release the first 'phase' of InteLeaks in a sensibly redacted form; coming up next is a surprise from Team Microsoft



  30. Sites in Bed With the EPO and UPC 'Covering' the 'News' Without Mentioning Any of the Overt Abuses

    It is rather sad that blogs like IP Kat have turned into proponents of abusive EPO management and Team UPC increasingly resorts to lying using pseudonyms (to avert criticism and accountability); much of the rebuttal or response that’s hinged on reality/facts can only be found in comments, which are still subjected to a face-saving moderation process (conducted by Team UPC)


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