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05.31.16

Microsoft’s Former Chief Patent Counsel Praises Elevation of Software Patents in Microsoft Case, Adds to Cherry-Picking and Lobbying by Patent Lawyers

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While Shelston IP continues to lie and grossly misrepresent for software patents

Shook, Hardy and Bacon L.L.P.
Steve Ballmer’s people are still doing Ballmer’s dirty work

Summary: Microsoft, which is renowned (or notorious) for patent extortion against Linux, is still a big contributor to software patenting policy and Shelston IP — much like Microsoft’s front groups — pretends to speak for small businesses in an effort to spread software patents outside the US (in spite of Alice)

EVER since the Enfish v Microsoft decision we have written nearly half a dozen posts to demonstrate how patent lawyers and other self-serving proponents of software patents came out of the woodwork to mislead the public about Alice even though as of days ago [1, 2] “US Pat 8,336,772, Data storage; Smartflash; Claims 1,5,8,10 killed @ PTAB w/101/ Alice [...] Four claims of ’772 Smartflash Patent Asserted Against Apple Killed at the PTAB w/ Alice 101: https://dlbjbjzgnk95t.cloudfront.net/0801000/801293/cbm2015-00031_final_decision_45.pdf …” (in other words, Alice continues to crush patents).

Joff Wild, a proponent of software patents, spoke to Microsoft’s former ‘patent Mafia’ chief (remember that Microsoft still engages in software patents-based extortion against Linux) and much as we hypothesised at first (and wrote about it), it was a happy loss for Microsoft because software patents gained from it. Watch him celebrating a legal loss for Microsoft because it’s a win for software patents that patent lawyers and the USPTO exploited to open the door to new propaganda. To quote Wild (who misspelled Enfish everywhere including the headline): “The US Court of Appeals recently handed down its decision in Entfish [sic] v Microsoft, a case which concerned issues connected to the patentability of software. Unlike many other post-Alice judgments CAFC and lower courts have issued, the Entfish [sic] decision looked to be good news for software patent owners. But the extent of that goods news was less clear. In a recent IAM blog, the opinion was mixed. However, Bart Eppenauer – managing partner of the Seattle office of Shook Hardy & Bacon and the former chief patent counsel at Microsoft – is in no doubt.”

“Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. is not exactly an objective observer and it is worth noting that Bart Eppenauer came from a company that ran front groups which pretended to speak for small businesses (i.e. hijacked their voices) to promote software patents all around the world.”It’s rather interesting how to see just how often Wild speaks to people from Microsoft (past and present). Both are leading proponents of software patents, so this probably makes sense. Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. is not exactly an objective observer and it is worth noting that Bart Eppenauer came from a company that ran front groups which pretended to speak for small businesses (i.e. hijacked their voices) to promote software patents all around the world.

In other news, having mentioned how Shelston IP lobbies for software patents in Australia and asks other firms to do the same thing (while falsely pretending to be spokespeople for innovation), we now find another such call from Shelston IP, this time titled “A call to action: save software patents from regulatory obliteration!”

“Shelston IP pretends that it speaks for startups and SMEs — those who actually get harmed the most from software patents.”To quote the outline: “The Productivity Commission has recently released a draft report recommending software and business methods be specifically excluded from being patented. Shelston IP believes that such action would be harmful to Australia’s technology start-up sector, in particular to SMEs whose competitive advantage resides in innovative software interfaces and processes.”

That’s a lie. Shelston IP are terrible liars. Shelston IP pretends that it speaks for startups and SMEs — those who actually get harmed the most from software patents. In reality, those who pursue software patents in Australia are companies like Microsoft and IBM. But nice lobbying effort, Shelston IP; thanks for reaffirming the view that many lawyers are liars.

For a change (not propaganda), a new article by Ante Wessels (FFII) warns about CETA, one of those atrocious deals that threaten to introduce software patents in more and more places. Wessels explains the similarities w.r.t. ACTA:

But, I do not see what was footnote 2 in ACTA, and is footnote 33 in the EU – Singapore agreement, the right to exclude patents from the scope of the civil enforcement section.

All the strong enforcement measures (damages, injunctions, provisional measures) will be available for software patent trolls.

The strong enforcement measures further create problems for access to knowledge and taking part in culture, for remix artists, and for inventors involved in sequential invention – like software developers.

This is reminiscent of some of the effects the UPC would have. It’s all about empowering large corporations and trolls (not even European ones) at the expense of small European businesses.

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