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

09.05.16

Patent System in the US Must Revert Back to Original Goals or Lose Credibility

Posted in America, Patents at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), run mostly by scientists, is a step towards the right balance

PTAB

Summary: A look at recent patent news, including the expected attacks on PTAB (from the patent maximalists/microcosm) and billing fraud at the USPTO (as well as attendance abuse)

“Another big plus is letting interns apply for patents under their own name,” a puff piece about Adobe says, as if it’s a dream come true to be granted a patent.

This, to us, demonstrates a profound issue. Patents as trophies.

Take another example, this one a new article from IP Watch. To quote: “A recent patent granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to a Colombian company stated where the genetic resource of the invention was taken from and described the access and benefit-sharing agreement made with indigenous communities. This might be the first time that such a statement appears in a US patent, according to a source.”

“Thankfully, a solution is coming slowly, albeit not without resistance from the meta-industry which is patent law firms…”“Access And Benefit Sharing” are right there in the headline. Remember the days when the patent system (well, so we’re told!) was there to help inventors preserve/disseminate knowledge rather than sue or shake down others? Those days are long gone as a predatory meta-industry now steers public policies and wants everything patented. They’re producing virtually nothing (patent law firms), just like patent trolls. Legal papers, litigation, billing etc. are not production but burdensome bureaucracy and lawyer elitism.

How did we get here and how do we get out of this trap? How do we return to a world where it’s possible to code in peace, without fearing litigation over lines of code which were never copied/plagiarised but merely accomplish something similar to some words on hundreds of thousands of US patents on software?

Thankfully, a solution is coming slowly, albeit not without resistance from the meta-industry which is patent law firms and their large clients (companies like IBM and Microsoft; to a much lesser degree Google which actually suffers from the status quo, as we last noted last week). The patent microcosm keeps attacking PTAB and one element of this patent microcosm, IAM ‘magazine’, has just published a law firm’s sponsored “REPORT” [sic] ranting that the “Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) introduced rule changes that went into effect in May this year.” MIP, in the mean time, looks at PTAB upon its fourth anniversary. To quote its latest writing: “These included allowing patent owners to include relevant testimonial evidence with preliminary responses, clarifying that the district court claim construction standard will be used for patents that expire during a proceeding, adding a Rule-11-type certification for papers filed, and replacing page limits with word counts for briefings.”

“According to this new article from Patently-O, the USPTO has plenty to hide, including “Billing Fraud at the USPTO” (the EPO too, allegedly, has similar fraud]) and “Examiner Time and Attendance Abuses”.”MIP is now producing loaded questions that get positioned as headlines, for example “Is the Board too hard on motions to amend?”

As a reminder to readers, PTAB is the board which is responsible for getting rid of software patents faster than even courts do (as for the USPTO, it’s busy trying to maximise income by granting almost everything).

“A USPTO report,” says the above, “released in May revealed only 5% of motions to amend reviewed by the Board had been granted or granted in part – six of 118. A total of 192 motions to amend had been filed up to that point. A seventh motion to amend has since been granted, to ContentGuard in July.

“The USPTO said it released its report to “provide greater transparencies into our practices” and “aid the ongoing dialogue”.”

Well, the USPTO sure seems to be more transparent than the EPO under Battistelli, but there’s still a long way to go (see the USPTO documents we showed here last night).

According to this new article from Patently-O, the USPTO has plenty to hide, including “Billing Fraud at the USPTO” (the EPO too, allegedly, has similar fraud) and “Examiner Time and Attendance Abuses”. To quote Patently-O, a “substantial number of patent examiners are involved in “time and attendance abuse” — working unsubstantiated hours” (so much for integrity of staff).

We sure hope that more people recognise the importance of PTAB’s function. It has made enemies inside the patent microcosm because those suffering from PTAB are some of the biggest parasites out there. Unlike staff at the USPTO, PTAB staff isn’t compelled to grant if in doubt. Staff isn’t assessed by misguided Battistellite criteria.

Speaking of parasites, see this week-old article from Patently-O about the U.S. Government’s “immunity against allegations of patent infringement.” The patent system apparently isn’t applicable to everyone. Some actors are less ‘equal’ than others. In the words of Patently-O:

The U.S. Government has waived its sovereign immunity against allegations of patent infringement. However, the infringement charges are not brought via Civil Action under the infringement definition of 35 U.S.C. 271. Rather, 28 U.S.C. § 1498 spells out that the infringement claim against the U.S. must be brought in the Court of Federal Claims (CFC) and that the remedy is limited to the “reasonable and entire compensation for [the Govt’s] use and manufacture.” The CFC does not allow for a jury nor will it award injunctive relief against the U.S.

Liberty sued the U.S. alleging that the ammunition rounds manufactured for and used by the Army are covered by Liberty’s U.S. Patent No. 7,748,325. In the 1990s and 2000s, the U.S. military became concerned that lead-based ammunition might be a form of harmful pollution – the patented ammunition here follows that lead by eliminating lead from the round while remaining lethal to soft-tissue targets (such as humans). According to the patent, the projectile (shown in the image above) separates into three portions upon striking a target. The projectile also includes a reduced-size jacket that limits barrel heat build-up.

If patents are a government-enforced monopoly which the government itself is exempted from (no liability), then no wonder the perception of justice is so elusive. Unless the patent system can revert back to sanity, where promotion of science and technology (or “innovation” as today’s buzzword of choice) is paramount, people won’t be happy and they will perpetually demand change.

In a sense, by ceasing to issue software patents the USPTO would appease some of its most vocal/loudest opponents (the proponents of software patents were parasitic all along) and also paralyse most patent trolls, enabling the USPTO to repair its reputation and welcome better applications.

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. Links 24/5/2017: New RHEL Beta, SteamOS Updated

    Links for the day



  2. Great News: While IBM et al Try to Undermine Patent Reform the Supreme Court Deepens the Reform in TC Heartland Case

    In a unanimous decision, with the court ruling 8-0 against TC Heartland, the monkey business in East Texas (beneficial to patent trolls and large businesses that leverage software patents) may have just come to an end



  3. Speculations About Battistelli's End of Term, Campinos at EUIPO, and Failed UPC Ambitions

    Rumours and speculations surrounding the fate of the EPO's leadership now that the UPC gravy train is stuck again and Battistelli's protector, Jesper Kongstad, is about to leave



  4. Martijn van Dam is Wrong to Believe That Battistelli's Abuses Are Somehow Acceptable or Tolerable Because His Term is Possibly Ending

    Coverage of Martijn van Dam’s stance (he is the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs) reveals that economic gain trumps ethics and justice, irrespective of what the law says



  5. Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised

    A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality



  6. New Documents Help Demonstrate That ILO Delivers Institutional Injustice to EPO Employees and Cushions Team Battistelli

    The International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) delivers not justice but merely the illusion of justice, probably in defiance of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)



  7. Leaked: 2017 European Inventor Award Finalists, or Stooges Whom the Tyrant Battistelli Exploits for PR Purposes and Media Manipulation

    The stupidest ceremony in Europe (turning serious science into something sketchy such as Eurovision) is disliked among EPO staff and is exploited by the person who destroys the EPO (Benoît Battistelli) to pretend all is fine and dandy, at huge expense to the Office (as extraordinary as about 5 million Euros for a ~2-hour show)



  8. EPO: Can the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Still Save It?

    Genuine concerns about the slow process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the lack of progress at ILO, which coincide with weakening of the unions and threat to jobs of patent examiners (leaving ordinary Europeans more vulnerable to meritless patent lawsuits)



  9. Links 21/5/2017: Linux 3.18.53, Tizen 4.0

    Links for the day



  10. Cloudflare's Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

    With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide



  11. Patent Laws -- and Especially Eligibility of Software Patents -- Are Being Hijacked by Large Corporations and Their Front Groups

    Intervention by large multinational corporations and their lawyers, front groups, etc. (like the classic lobbying model) gives room for concern in multiple continents where most software development is done



  12. Links 18/5/2017: Catching Up With the Past Three Days

    Links for the day



  13. The US Supreme Court Consults USPTO Director Michelle Lee Regarding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Which is Invalidating Software Patents With CAFC's Approval

    Software patents continue to get knocked out by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) whose introduction of PTAB gave a helping hand to companies that are susceptible to abusive litigation (with bogus patents)



  14. IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

    IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers "thieves", and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision



  15. 3 Years After the Alice Case at the Supreme Court the Plague of Software Patents is Easier to Cope With

    Litigation figures are down, rejection rates of software patents remain high, and only spin (e.g. cherry-picking) or constant lobbying can save those who used to profit from software patents



  16. The Attacks of Patent Trolls as Outlined in the Media This Past Week

    An outline of some of the latest troll cases to be aware of and their consequences too (e.g. software patents being used to literally shut down entire programs)



  17. Links 14/5/2017: Linux 4.12 RC1 and KDE Frameworks 5.34.0

    Links for the day



  18. Industry Giants Challenge Qualcomm's Patent Practices While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Closely Examines Such Behavior

    Scrutiny of Qualcomm's patent aggression and coercion -- scrutiny that can profoundly change the way software patents, SEPs and FRAND are viewed -- as seen in various amicus briefs (amici) from industry giants that are affected



  19. Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Questions Whether Patents Work When Patent Scope is Too Broad

    Citing MIT economist (and MacArthur “genius”) Heidi Williams, Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette from Stanford challenges old myths and quotes: “we still have essentially no credible empirical evidence on the seemingly simple question of whether stronger patent rights—either longer patent terms or broader patent rights—encourage research investments.”



  20. OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

    Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces



  21. Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

    Links for the day



  22. Countries With a Dozen European Patents Are an Easy Photo-Op 'Sell' for Battistelli While the EPO's Demise is Largely Ignored by the Patent Microcosm

    Behind the façade of legitimacy, the EPO suffers from an incompetent, insecure and delusional boss, whose actions will almost certainly lead to the collapse of both the Office and the entire Organisation (whose founding document he routinely shreds to pieces)



  23. Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli's Regime at the EPO

    A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere (it's all talk and lobbying)



  24. The European Patent Office Has a Long History/Track Record of 'Screwing' Contractors

    The European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have quite an extensive track record/reputation for ‘screwing’ contractors and then misusing immunity to get away with it



  25. Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

    Links for the day



  26. Links 11/5/2017: New OpenShot, GIMP, and GNOME (3.24.2)

    Links for the day



  27. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IX: Using Confidential Medical Records as a Weapon Against Staff

    In defiance/violation of labour laws and medical oaths etc. the EPO is passing around medical information, either for dismissal pretexts or a sort of blackmail -- a serious abuse in its own right



  28. The EPO is in Disarray and Additional Complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) May Be Imminent

    Team Battistelli reaps what it has sown, as complaints are being made to a court with “47 member states [that] are contracting parties to the Convention,” (European Convention on Human Rights) according to Wikipedia



  29. By Promoting the UPC, in Defiance of Public Will, the EPO Has Become Patent Trolls' Best Friend

    The patent–industrial complex, aided by the EPO under Battistelli's iron-fisted reign, is trying to convince us that the UPC is coming soon and that it is desirable (it's neither of those things)



  30. Links 10/5/2017: Mesa 17.1, Git 2.13, Qt Creator 4.3 RC1, MINIX 3.4 RC6

    Links for the day


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