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

05.31.16

Patents Roundup: When the Patent Systems Turn Against People and Adjust According to Patent Lawyers and Their Largest Clients

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 5:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reform jokeSummary: A look at the Singaporean, US, and Chinese patent systems, which are all becoming more aggressive and more disconnected from public interests, in favour of large multinational corporations

THE following article is an outline of various bits of patent news that are too short to merit an article of their own.

Singapore as Hub for Patent Trolls

We recently wrote about Creative (what’s left of it) staging a patent war against Android and by extension against Linux [1, 2]. What was interesting about it might be the role of Singapore, not Texas. Singapore is increasingly becoming a venue of patent trolls, not just notorious tyrants, tax evaders, and exploited labour from south Asia (I know about this having studied the country for about 4 years and visited the country as well). Based on IAM, a proponent of patent trolls, Singapore’s role as a litigation and/or trolling hub is on the rise. Here is the part about Creative:

There are, though, exceptions to this broad trend. Creative Technology is one clear example. The company was a pathfinder in the field of MP3 and audio products, and as its device business has declined, it has turned to its patent portfolio to shore up its balance sheet. In March it launched US patent litigation against Samsung, LG, Lenovo and others over an MP3 player patent that has previously yielded a $100 million settlement with Apple. Nevertheless, the amount of legal and transactional IP expertise in Singapore probably exceeds the ability of local companies to put it to use.

Appeals

Putting aside various pieces that are less relevant to us, Lexology published “Pending Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) Final Written Decision Does Not Require Stay and Does Not Justify Rule 60 Relief: WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp.”

“This is basically about tilting the system against defendants/challengers and in favour of patenters (as usual), by giving them an opportunity to change their patent (or application) after it had been granted.”PTAB increasingly creeps in or enters the debate because it helps demolish software patents, albeit not at a pace high enough to undo the USPTO's terrible work (not doing quality assessment or prior art search, just granting almost everything that arrives as an application, sooner or later).

Writing about Inter Partes Reviews at PTAB, Patently-O recently noted that: “In a short opinion, the Federal Circuit has reaffirmed the USPTO’s tightly restrictive approach to amendment practice in Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings. Under the rules, a patentee has one opportunity to propose amendments or substitute claims. However, the motion to amend will only be granted if the patentee also demonstrates in the motion that the proposed amendments would make the claims patentable over the known prior art. See Idle Free Sys., Inc. v. Bergstrom, Inc., IPR2012–00027, 2013 WL 5947697 (PTAB June 11, 2013).”

This is basically about tilting the system against defendants/challengers and in favour of patenters (as usual), by giving them an opportunity to change their patent (or application) after it had been granted. Are any rules at all capable of passing which seek to restore sanity and fix this system, except when Congress or the Supreme Court get involved (the former gave us PTAB and the latter gave us Alice)? Shearman & Sterling LLP writes in favour of secrecy in “The Patent Agent Privilege” (more on secrecy later) and judging by some of the upcoming major patent cases, claim construction at the PTAB may be under attack already (as part of Cuozzo Speed v Lee, which we wrote about before).

“When will patent applications not be presumed eligible by default, even when challenged by PTAB (whereupon the patenter gets a rather bizarre right to alter the patent)?”Speaking of Congress, remember that PTAB only came after the America Invents Act (AIA) and some patent lawyers treat it as an obstacle which they want to get rid of rather than respect or honour (the same goes for Alice). A guest post in Patently-O, composed by a person who “received a (gratis) copy of this text” to write a review about it, isn’t particularly positive about it. Jason Rantanen says about this book, “Patents After the AIA,” that “the authors were under significant time pressure in getting this project out the door” and he points out many problems with the book. Well, this is what one ought to expect from political and self-serving ‘books’.

How far will this terrible system go? When will patent applications not be presumed eligible by default, even when challenged by PTAB (whereupon the patenter gets a rather bizarre right to alter the patent)?

First They Went After Your Software (Abstract), Now After Your Life

Any patents on life at the USPTO should be seriously considered the pinnacle of institutional failure. Some companies now claim to ‘own’ the food chain (usually through GMO monopolies) and some claim to ‘own’ health treatment, DNA/genome, etc. Such privatisation or looting of the Commons is turning what’s public (and abundant in nature) into private property of few who are extremely affluent.

“Such privatisation or looting of the Commons is turning what’s public (and abundant in nature) into private property of few who are extremely affluent.”Nevertheless, ethics thrown aside, patent lawyers love these; the more, the merrier (more income). “Elena S. Polovnikova is an attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP,” says her biography, and here she is promoting patents on life at the site which is most notorious for software patents advocacy. Patents on life now exist at EPO (most controversial such patents) and at the USPTO. Companies like Monsanto want to own everything in nature using patents, which they themselves ‘interject’ into fields by what many call GMO ‘contamination’. Watch IAM ([1] below) playing a role in pressuring India, a large victim of Monsanto (where many farmers commit suicide due to it), into this massive scam which is patents on life/biology. Watch IAM running sponsored ‘analyses’ (paid-for ads) [1, 2] to that effect. Shame on IAM. There’s an evil aspect to it and it is now a wholly parasitic business (associated with bureaucracy around this). No wonder groups march to the EPO sites to protest such patents. It’s just about as unethical as it can get, probably even worse than software patents.

Openwashing the USPTO

Speaking of IAM with its endless propaganda, watch it serving as the USPTO’s megaphone (de facto marketing) while the USPTO itself is openwashing (with “Open Data”) the whole operation (“Patent and Trademark Office Uses Open Data to Bring Patent Info to the Masses”).

“When will sanity be restored and when will the USPTO recognise that its role should be to promote innovation, not grant and promote monopolies?”Bringing monopolies to “the masses” is more like inducing willful patent infringement, thereby making “the masses” more legally liable and thus indebted. When will sanity be restored and when will the USPTO recognise that its role should be to promote innovation, not grant and promote monopolies?

China and SEPs

The USPTO, as we explained earlier this month, had amended its guidelines in lieu with a pro-software patents decision (involving Microsoft, which seems rather happy about it). The SIPO in China did something similar before that. The USITO woke up to it a long time later and wrote:

The guidelines for infringement have two major changes:
1) It deleted the clause about standard-essential patents (SEPs)
2) It deleted the clause about joint infringement

These “standard-essential patents” are basically a weapon against FOSS, very much like FRAND. These are patent thickets which deny entrance by FOSS contenders — the same sorts of thickets which IAM keeps promoting (it's all about patent conglomerates that use patents to perpetuate and guard their dominance).

Secrecy in the Eastern District of Texas

In other news of interest, the EFF recently managed, after a huge endevaour and some repeated failures, to unseal details of a patent case. Watch how Blue Spike, a parasite which we covered here before [1, 2] (it had won the EFF's Stupid Patent Of The Month award two years ago), sought to keep itself immune/safe from criticism:

In a victory for the First Amendment and public access to court proceedings, a magistrate judge ruled in favor of EFF’s motion to unseal documents in a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas. This means that the patent owner in that case, Blue Spike, will no longer be able to shield from the public its arguments about how the defendant infringes its patents. Also, the court has indicated that it will publish public versions of important rulings that, until now, had been completely hidden from the public.

[...]

In its response, Blue Spike did not dispute that the First Amendment applied. Instead, it argued that because EFF wanted to write more blog posts about Blue Spike—posts Blue Spike felt were disparaging—the public should not be allowed to examine Blue Spike’s claims of infringement. In other words, because Blue Spike does not agree with EFF’s commentary about its litigation, it contends that we (and the public at large) should not see the relevant court records at all.

We are not hoping to abolish the patent system but to see a system which actually promotes innovation, transparency, sharing of information and so on, not extortion, secrecy, protectionism, and deception.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Political pressure on examiners is no way to reform India’s patent system

    The battle over the Indian patent sought by Gilead Sciences for its Hepatitis C drug Sofosbuvir (branded Sovaldi) seemingly came to a conclusion last week when the country’s patent office reversed course to grant the US drug maker protection for the compound. It’s another reminder that while India is well-known to be a difficult jurisdiction for pharmaceutical innovators, things don’t always play out according to that script. But last week also saw the public airing of troubling accusations of political pressure brought to bear on patent examiners in this high profile case. As the country mulls reforms to its IP system, it’s important that these questions be addressed.

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. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  2. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  3. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  4. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  5. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  6. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



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

    Links for the day



  8. 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



  9. 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)



  10. “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



  11. 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)



  12. 22,000 Blog Posts

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



  13. 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)



  14. 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



  15. 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



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

    Links for the day



  17. 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



  18. 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)



  19. 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)



  20. “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



  21. 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)



  22. 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



  23. 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



  24. 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



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

    Links for the day



  26. 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



  27. 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



  28. 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)



  29. 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



  30. 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


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