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

07.30.16

The Illusion of Patents as Necessary for Maintaining Western Dominance Increasingly Debunked

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 11:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Asia’s growing economy has turned the patent system against its creators

China dragon

Summary: The giveaway of patents to the East, combined with the opportunistic (for patent lawyers) opening to patent litigation from the East, contradicts the very notion of patents as guardians of science and technology in the Western world

LIKE the EPO, here in the UK we have UK-IPO (or just IPO for short), whose record on software patenting we wrote a lot about 8 years ago, particularly in relation to a case of Nokia (or Symbian at the time). It often feels like the policy at the IPO is steered not by British interests but by a bunch of greedy patent lawyers, who are conveniently besieging the British industry for money derived from legal fees, not innovation, development and so on.

“It often feels like the policy at the IPO is steered not by British interests but by a bunch of greedy patent lawyers, who are conveniently besieging the British industry for money derived from legal fees, not innovation, development and so on.”Based on a sponsored ‘report’ from IAM the IPO gave a Patent Prosecution Highway to China, where patent quality is notoriously poor (probably worse than even at the USPTO). But don’t worry; when Chinese companies start going after British companies (as they increasingly do in the US and especially in Texas) the patent lawyers will be the ones pocketing lots of money.

Much of what we saw Battistelli doing with SIPO (China’s, not Croatia’s) is going to cost Europe a lot in the long run. As is apparent from Battistelli’s policies in a variety of areas, short-term thinking and temporary gains are a priority right now (must be ENA ‘logic’) as he won’t be around to pick up the pieces as everything start to rattle and break.

Looking at IAM this past week, patent armament is becoming somewhat of a thing and Asian countries (other than China) are now buying the West’s patents as a matter of strategy/policy. As IAM put it: “It is hard to think of a better example of the ‘transition state’ described by Komiya than Softbank’s recently announced $23 billion takeover bid for UK-based chip designer ARM. Here is a massive investment by a company which started as a traditional telecom into a foreign business that is built entirely on developing and licensing intellectual property. It has also been framed by Softbank chief Masayoshi Son as a major push into the Internet of Things, an area highlighted by Komiya in his address as an “urgent challenge” for Japanese companies to adapt to if they want to remain competitive in the high-tech space. [...] Whether in the form of IP-focused acquisitions like the ARM deal or licensing campaigns like that pursued by IP Bridge, the gradual shift in the Japanese IP environment looks set to continue.”

“Huawei (China) is already using its patents to go after companies in the US, not just in Korea.”ARM makes a lot of its money from licensing, not production. So we can expect money to flow to Asia, not only for production but also for patents. Where does this leave the bubble or the illusion that using patents we can still maintain economic might (while outsourcing all production to the East)? According to Neil Wilkof, patent litigation is becoming somewhat a branding tool. Citing the Huawei v Samsung case (Wilkof’s colleague, Darren Smyth, wrote about Hospira v Genentech, which is less relevant to us), he writes: “Provided that the U.S. law suit does not go the way of the Apple-Samsung dispute, and Huawei is viewed as overplaying its IP hand, or otherwise is seen in a negative light, there is the potential for substantial upside in brand recognition of its smartphones in the vast U.S. market. Indeed, such a benefit may ultimately be much more significant for the company than matters of injunctions and monetary damages. Indeed, patent litigators might consider taking a program or two at their local school of management to learn more about the dynamics of brand-building, and how patent litigation can contribute to this process.”

Huawei (China) is already using its patents to go after companies in the US, not just in Korea. Apple’s patent feuds with Samsung have just made headlines in Western media, saying that “Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clear the way for the iPhone maker to secure hundreds of millions in damages from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) in a case over smartphone design patents.

“The world’s top smartphone rivals have been feuding over patents since 2011, when Apple sued Samsung in a northern California court alleging infringement of the iPhone’s patents, designs and trademarked appearance.”

“We need to reassess the motivation/s of patent maximalism and rethink the laws; the same goes for copyright in the Internet era, but for different reasons.”Apple’s market share in phones has just fallen more than 20% (see our daily links). Apple distracts from that by stating it sold a billion ‘i’ phones, but numbers suggest that Android OEMs like Huawei and Samsung is where most of the action (even growth) is. Whether Western companies can at all remain competitive — even with lots patents at hand — remains questionable. Asia is now turning the West-leaning patent system against the West, so patent maximalism in its own right won’t be sufficient for maintaining Western dominance. Only patent law firms would gain. I am not personally prejudiced against east Asia (my wife in fact is east Asian), but repeating the old talking points about the essence of patents for “countering Asia” is doing a disservice to truth itself. We need to reassess the motivation/s of patent maximalism and rethink the laws; the same goes for copyright in the Internet era, but for different reasons.

As is noted in more and more sites, China is now exploiting the same loopholes previously enjoyed mostly by patent trolls. This will only get worse in years to come.

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. Patent Extremism: Stacking the Panels, the Surveys, the Hearings, the Debates

    Projection tactics would have the public believe that those who oppose corruption are simply radicals; patent polarity has come to the point where if one isn't a "true believer" in blackmail (patent trolls) or opposes bribery, then one is simply a "fringe" and akin to terrorists



  2. Links 24/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC6, Skrooge 2.20.0, ZFS vs. OpenZFS

    Links for the day



  3. The EPO Needs a President Who Obeys the Law, Not One Who Obeys Battistelli

    Succession based on nepotism at Europe's second-largest institution served to shown how inherently broken things had become and why cover-up of injustices is nowadays paramount (not fixing the flaws/ills but merely perpetuating them)



  4. With Water (Treatment) Already Patented It Won't Take Long for Patents (and Patent Royalties) on Air

    A 'paper economy' is what Europe turns into if the current trajectory is followed (led by lawyers, not producers)



  5. Bill Gates Said He Was on a “Jihad” Against GNU/Linux, But GNU/Linux Users/Developers Engaged in Self-Defense Are Foul-Mouthed 'Microsoft Haters'?

    Microsoft, which routinely commits very serious crimes, tries to come across as some sort of philanthropy whereas those who share their work with the public (for greater good) are described as erratic, rude and unworthy of respect from corporations (outcasts basically, deprived of income source)



  6. What Patents the EPO Has Just Awarded (With a Special Reward), Not Just Granted

    The EPO's practice of elevating some patents over the other patents (European Patents) is perhaps more of a societal liability than the EPO cares to realise



  7. Required Reading: Mental State of Team Battistelli/Campinos

    On the heels of yesterday's article about Team Battistelli/Campinos, here are some recommended/required papers on the problem which likely plagues the Office



  8. Links 23/6/2019: Wine 4.11, FreeBSD 11.3 RC2

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft Apparently Did a Patrick Durusau on Wim Coekaerts to Broaden Its Control Over GNU/Linux

    Microsoft tactics for defection and takeover of the competition (without coming across as hostile) aren't new tactics; internal documents from Microsoft explain how to achieve this



  10. EPO Directors Would be Wise to Rebel Against Team Campinos While They Still Have the Job

    As the EPO continues its bold journey towards dictatorship (where presidencies are passed between friends and ‘circles’ are former colleagues or close confidants) Techrights urges those who have power to speak out — e.g. EPO judges and Directors — to do something before it’s too late



  11. American Front Group Open Invention Network (Riding the Linux Brand) is a Proponent of Software Patents in Europe

    The impact of American multinationals in Europe is difficult to deny; in fact, we're observing the same old lobbying/lobbies still working hard albeit more covertly (typically using front groups)



  12. Say 'Hey Hi' to Software Patents

    Using the “AI” (“HEY HI”) hype the ‘community’ of patent maximalists hopes that every little (and possibly very old) algorithm will suddenly sound amazing and innovative — to the point where it becomes unthinkable to deny a patent monopoly on it



  13. A Personal Note From Ted MacReilly (How Microsoft Works Against GNU/Linux)

    A tongue-in-cheek write-up highlighting the ways Microsoft insiders think and how they strategise against GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  14. The Linux Foundation's New Vice Chair, Wim Coekaerts, Worked for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation is boosting the Microsoft boosters and calls that "community"



  15. Links 21/6/2019: GNOME 3.33.3, 32-Bit Support Further Neglected, DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Leaked: Harassment of EPO Directors by Team Campinos

    “New BIT organisation and staff changes,” a novel kind of newspeak, means that Directors are being severely punished without due process at all (“hidden disciplinary measure without disciplinary proceedings”)



  17. Patent Professionals in Europe Have Devolved Into a Marketing Industry

    Lies, buzzwords and hype waves is all that the patent bubble in Europe boils down to these days; loads of bogus patents get granted only for European judges to smack these down (if one can afford the court battle)



  18. Almost Six Months After Iancu Said He Would Make Software Patents Great Again Nothing Has Actually Changed

    We're just a fortnight away from the ludicrous plan of Iancu celebrating 6 months (without accomplishing anything)



  19. Links 20/6/2019: Kubernetes 1.15, Alpine 3.10.0 and Librem 5 June Software Update

    Links for the day



  20. Ignore the EPO's Dumb Festival and Focus on the Abuses Against the Workforce and Its Quality of Work

    Don’t lose sight of the appalling behaviour of the management of the EPO; the last thing it wants is press coverage about its gross abuses and corruption — an aspect it spent literally millions of euros to bury (gaming the news cycle)



  21. Microsoft Attempting to Destroy the Careers of Its Critics, Including Free Software Proponents

    Microsoft isn't changing and has not changed; the tactics described above are still being used, even by its "Open Source" (or "Open at Microsoft") people, who did this to me



  22. Links 19/6/2019: Linux Mint Vs Vista 10, Qt 5.13 Released

    Links for the day



  23. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  24. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  25. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries



  26. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  27. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  28. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  29. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  30. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years


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