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

10.04.16

Radio Silence in the Quarters of Patent Lawyers as Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Likely Ends Software Patents

Posted in Site News at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The CAFC‘s Haldane Robert Mayer has issued a detailed and abundantly clear ruling, but patent law firms are still ignoring it

Haldane Robert Mayer

Summary: The historic decision from Haldane Robert Mayer (above) is slowly starting to gain some traction in the media, but proponents of software patents pretend not to see it and hope that prospective clients (software patent applicants) won’t notice what’s happening

SOMETHING very big happened at the end of last week, but it is not being properly covered (if at all) by the patent microcosm. Today, IAM ‘magazine’ is pushing for software patents (cherry-picking cases to focus on the ones that are pro-software patents) behind a paywall [1, 2] — all this in spite of the fact that most of them are dead (more of them, more than ever before).

We didn’t expect IAM to stand out though. It was probably the first to cover the McRO outcome (pro-software patents), but regarding the above there’s radio silence. WIPR, by contrast, finally wrote about it under the headline “Software patents are deadweight loss to economy, says Federal Circuit” and it didn’t mince words:

Software patents impose a “deadweight loss on the nation’s economy”, according to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

This was the concurring opinion of Circuit Judge Haldane Mayer in the case of Intellectual Ventures v Symantec and Trend Micro, decided on September 30. He concurred with Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk.

Mayer added that software patents erect “often insurmountable barriers to innovation” and force “companies to expend exorbitant sums defending against meritless infringement suits”.

The ruling found that three patents asserted by licensing company Intellectual Ventures (IV) against anti-virus software business Symantec and IT security company Trend Micro were invalid.

US patent numbers 6,460,050; 6,073,142 and 5,987,610, which all cover anti-virus software, were held not to cover patent-eligible subject matter.

It is good that someone in MIP (Managing IP) covered it as well, albeit MIP called it “controversial” as if to antagonise software patents is something questionable. To quote:

In a controversial concurring opinion in a Federal Circuit decision finding claims of three Intellectual Ventures patents invalid, Judge Haldane Mayer argues: “It is well past time to return software to its historical dwelling place in the domain of copyright.”

This is what software developers have been arguing all along. There is nothing “controversial” about it. What likely “controversial” is a site like IAM openly promoting software patents and its editor in chief arguing with me online, insisting that being against software patents is the same as (or moral equivalent of) wanting layoffs. Whose layoffs? Definitely not software developers’. This is just a politician’s trick, trying to equate some policy with “creating” or “destroying” jobs (appeal to “families”).

How long before Watchtroll personally attacks this CAFC Judge (as usual)? And maybe Patent Docs also? Both have a tendency to go ad hominem when they dislike the outcome. Here is the patent microcosm shooting the messenger. It didn’t take long. This one dismisses the judge as “one senior judge with no business experience nor extensive technology background-baying at the moon” (there’s more here).

Some of the worst ad hominem attacks we have come across discredit the US Supreme Court, which, according to this new article from Patently-O, virtually if not practically refuses to refute (technically overturn) Alice:

Not Eligible: Supreme Court Denies All Pending Subject Matter Eligibility Petitions

The Supreme Court has greatly simplified the patent docket by denying certiorari in 10+ cases. Gone are GEA Process (IPR termination decision), Amphastar (scope of 271.e safe harbor) , Commil (appellate disregard of factual evidence), MacDermid (obvious combination), Jericho (Abstract Idea) , Trading Technologies (mandamus challenging CBM initiation), Tobinick (interference), Neev (arbitrator autonomy), Genetic Tech (eligibility), Essociate (eligibility), Dreissen, and Pactiv (ex parte reexamination procedure). Notably, all of the eligibility petitions have been denied.

“Meanwhile,” the above adds, “on October 11, the court will hear oral arguments in Samsung v. Apple.”

Yes, that’s about design patents, which are related to software patents but not quite the same. Here is patent the maximalism site MIP catching up with the latest of Apple litigation, saying that a “jury in the Eastern District of Texas has awarded VirnetX $302.4 million in a verdict against Apple for infringing four patents. This is the third time a federal jury has found Apple liable for infringing VirnetX’s patented technology.”

The VirnetX case was covered here thrice in the past week alone and it is still being covered quite a lot by media large and small all around the world (because it’s about “Apple”, which typically attracts/baits readers). Here is AOL’s coverage of it. This involves a court in Texas, i.e. the cesspool of all patent courts. They actually boast/gloat about their bias. It’s their marketing strategy.

Speaking of design patents and Apple, Vera Ranieri from the EFF published “Stupid Design Patent of the Month” (later crossposted in TechDirt) in which she wrote:

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the long-running Apple-Samsung litigation. The issue is whether Apple, by virtue of having its designed patents infringed by Samsung, is entitled to all of Samsung’s profits made from the infringing phones (regardless of how much that design contributed to the value of the phone).

This case—in which EFF submitted an amicus brief arguing the award of Samsung’s total profit is improper—is important for many reasons. But one reason stands out: it is trivially easy to get a design patent on trivial designs and, unless the Supreme Court changes the law, that can lead to anything-but-trivial awards in court.

This month’s stupid patent, a design patent, shows just how broken the current system of design patents is. Design patents, unlike the utility patents we usually feature, consist only of a single claim followed by pictures. It is generally the pictures that inform the public as to what is claimed. Importantly, in a design patent only the features drawn in solid lines are claimed. Anything in dotted lines is generally not part of the claim.

If SCOTUS rules against Apple and in favour of Android/Linux/Samsung, this may spell the end of design patents too. Wait and watch how patent lawyers would squirm and deny everything if this was to occur. Is it not funny (or suspicious) that not a single patent law firm is ‘seeing’ (after several days) the decision where CAFC slams software patents? A lot of patent lawyers are liars, and in light of the latest silence they are more so. They refuse to inform people about decisions where software patents are trashed. It’s just not good for their business.

“Well done, Haldane Robert Mayer, for saying what a lot of us software developers have been arguing for well over a decade. Patents are not needed for software, which is a copyright domain (like prose).”Today we found the new article “Federal Circuit Finds Claims Implemented on General Purpose Cellphone Not Patentable”, but the patent microcosm is still stuck in the past, persistently pushing an old case like McRO [1, 2, 3] as if we’re in the middle of September. This so-called ‘analysis’ too got reposted (mentioned here before), provocatively asking (in the headline), “Is the Pendulum Finally Swinging Back to Center?”

No, it’s swinging in the side that’s software patents being verboten and thus worthless. Just don’t ask IAM or the patent microcosm as they’ll pretend not to know about it. Surely they saw the decision, but they probably just don’t know what to say in order to somehow save face, spin it etc. If all they can do is attack the judge (i.e. shoot the messenger), then they’d be better off keeping quiet.

Well done, Haldane Robert Mayer, for saying what a lot of us software developers have been arguing for well over a decade. Patents are not needed for software, which is a copyright domain (like prose).

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. Another Misleading Article Regarding Patents From Rana Foroohar at the Financial Times

    In an effort to promote the agenda of patent maximalists, many of whom are connected to the Financial Times, another deceiving report comes out



  2. Monika Ermert's Reports About the Crisis at the EPO and IP Kat's Uncharacteristically Shallow Coverage

    News from inside the Council shows conflict regarding the quality of European Patents (granted by the EPO under pressure from top-level management)



  3. Patent Troll VirnetX a Reminder to Apple That Software Patents Are a Threat to Apple Too

    VirnetX, a notorious patent troll, is poised to receive a huge sum of money from Apple and Qualcomm is trying to ban Apple products, serving to remind Apple of the detrimental impact of patents on Apple itself



  4. Links 16/10/2017: Linux 4.14 RC5, Debian 9.2.1, End of LibreOffice Conference 2017

    Links for the day



  5. The Systematic Erosion of Workers' Rights and Holidays at the EPO Goes Years Back

    The legitimacy of the staff's concerns at the EPO, having seen basic labour safeguards being shredded to pieces by Battistelli for a number of years (predating even the escalation of the conflict)



  6. Articles in English and German Speak About the Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    Heise and The Register, two sites that have closely watched EPO affairs for a number of years, speak about the real problem which is declining patent quality (or rushed examination) -- a recipe for frivolous litigation in Europe



  7. Software Patents and Patent Trolls Not a Solved Issue, But the US is Getting There

    A media survey regarding software patents, which are being rejected in the US in spite of all the spin from law firms and bullies such as IBM



  8. US Patent Trolls Are Leaving and the Eastern District of Texas Sees Patent Cases Falling by More Than Half

    The decline of patent aggression in the US and the patent microcosm's response to Justices, having ruled in TC Heartland, curtailing patent trolls



  9. Qualcomm's Nightmares Are Getting Worse as Antitrust Questions Are Raised and Assessed

    Qualcomm is getting itself deeper in trouble as fines pile up and its multi-billion dollar dispute with Apple isn't getting it anywhere



  10. Forget About Apple; Two of the Leading Phone Makers (Samsung and Huawei) Are Bickering Over Patents

    Massive Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung, are in a big patent dispute and this time, for a change, China is a legal battleground



  11. Tim Heberden From the Glasshouse Advisory is Throwing Stones in a Glasshouse to Create Patent Litigation

    IAM's latest lobbying, aided by the patent microcosm, for a climate of feuds and disputes (to line the pockets of the litigation 'industry')



  12. Access to Medicine is More Important Than Patents

    Some of the latest news about patents that impede/deny access to crucial medication; strategic litigation from the generics sector, seeking to invalidate patents and then offer low-cost alternatives



  13. Links 14/10/2017: Windows Breaks Dutch Law, Wine 2.19 Released

    Links for the day



  14. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Supported by Congress, a Federal Judge, Soon to be Supported by the Supreme Court Too?

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board is still widely defended, except by the patent microcosm which likes (and profits from) patent trolls and litigation Armageddon



  15. Patents Are Turning BlackBerry and Nokia, Which Used Android, Into Anti-Android Fronts That Tax Android OEMs

    The Canadian BlackBerry has sued BLU in the US only to compel it to pay 'protection' money; Nokia's patents are being scattered to trolls, which are doing something similar (without risking litigation themselves)



  16. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Rotting Like the European Patent Office

    The Unitary Patent litigation pipe dreams (or prosecution/trolling fast lane), which Battistelli's EPO long relied on, turn out to be the road to nowhere



  17. Lying and Faking Now a Standard Procedure at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Organisation (EPO) under the leadership (or chairmanship) of Christoph Ernst continues to relay lies from Battistelli's Office, SUEPO rejects these, the Office lies about SMEs, prioritises Microsoft (again), and probably buys fake Twitter "followers"



  18. Links 13/10/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.5, pfSense 2.4, Final Stages of Ubuntu 17.10

    Links for the day



  19. Truly Terrible 'Journalism' About António Campinos Boils Down to Lobbying and Agenda-Pushing

    The expectedly shallow coverage of the appointment (succession) of Battistelli's French pick, which will likely change nothing of significance at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  20. Under Christoph Ernst, the Council is Just a Megaphone of Battistelli's EPO, Including on Patent Quality

    The Administrative Council of the EPO does not appear to be interested in a serious, adult, scientific debate about the quality of European Patents (EPs) and is instead relaying lies from Benoît Battistelli



  21. Links 12/10/2017: Cutelyst 1.9.0, Qt Creator 4.5 Beta

    Links for the day



  22. The Hogwash Begins: Patent Microcosm's Media Pretends Campinos is Anything But Battistelli's French Succession Plan

    A survey of media coverage regarding António Campinos, the French person whom Benoît Battistelli selected as his successor at the EPO



  23. Patent Quality at the EPO (European Patents) is Slipping While Battistelli's Office Boasts “Expansion of Early Certainty” (Even Worse)

    The EPO is staring down the abyss as high-level EPO management, quite frankly as usual, looks for new ways to further exacerbate patent quality (for superficial gains in the number of granted patents) rather than improve it



  24. Former Microsoft Employee Explains Why Microsoft 'Embrace' of GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Open Source Software is Like W3C Entryism

    Microsoft's latest moves are "EEE" that "concern" him, according to this new video



  25. Links 11/10/2017: Krita 3.3.1, KDE Plasma 5.12 Plans

    Links for the day



  26. China is Getting Full of -- and Fed Up With -- Patent Trolls

    In China too, as expected, local companies are becoming rather disgusted by a wave of patent trolls, enabled by misguided officials and bad advice from the likes of IAM (which sets up events in China at the behest of the patent microcosm)



  27. The FRAND Lobby is Trying to Sneak Software Patents Into Countries That Banned Them

    The patent lobby is attempting to find new ways to impose patents on software (with euphemisms like "reasonable", "non-discriminatory" or "fair"), even in places that explicitly disallow these



  28. Musical Chairs as Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' García-Escudero Márquez Could Reportedly Take António Campinos' Place

    A culture of nepotism continues to thrive at the EPO, with García-Escudero Márquez rumoured to be after Campinos' position now that he's taking Battistelli's position; García-Escudero Márquez is also Battistelli's 'chinchilla' at the appeal boards, obliterating any illusion of independence



  29. With Surveillance Recruits at the EPO, Are (or Were) DNA Tests Ever on the Agenda?

    Since a lot of what's happening at WIPO has also happened at the EPO, and overlap between the two is growing, we recall tactics which are illegal but are miraculously protected by the veil of immunity



  30. Links 10/10/2017: Plasma 5.11, GCC 5.5 Released

    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