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. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  2. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  3. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  4. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it



  5. Unitary Patent (UPC) is All About Imposing Patent Maximalists' Ideology of Greed and Self Interest on Courts in the Name of 'Unification' or 'Consistency' or 'Community'

    Pushers of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are upset that they don’t always get their way when independent judges get to decide; as it turns out, many European Patents are just fake patents, more so under António Campinos



  6. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part V: Mediapart Explains the 'Raid' Attempt, Reporters Without Borders Involved

    Mediapart, an investigative site that unearths a lot of incriminating things about Battistelli's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, was the target of a raid attempt some weeks ago



  7. Links 13/2/2019: Tails 3.12.1, MongoDB Being Dumped

    Links for the day



  8. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part IV: Suspected Offenses of Forgery and Possible Falsification

    In a very underworld fashion, Benalla continues to break the law and create yet more scandals



  9. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part III: Mars, France Close Protection (Benalla's Family), and Russian Oligarchy

    An article which examines the business background of Benalla, the outrageous salaries, the severance indemnity pay, and contract with a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin



  10. Links 13/2/2019: Plasma 5.15.0 and a Look at Linux Mint Debian Edition Cindy

    Links for the day



  11. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part II: Fishing Expedition for Sources in the Alexandre Benalla 'Underworld' Scandal

    An utter lack of respect for the privacy of the media and of its sources, in the name of protecting the privacy of those convicted of crimes, as seen in France just like the European Patent Office



  12. Innovating the Idea That Software Patents (Monopolies on Algorithms) Are Covering 'Artificial' 'Intelligence' (AI and ML as Loopholes)

    Patent law firms around the world love this new trick, which is framing software that makes decisions as "AI" (magically rendering it patent-eligible only in offices but not in courts, which the EPO hopes to replace/override anyway)



  13. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part I: Destruction of Evidence by Alexandre Benalla

    The Alexandre Benalla scandal carries on, deepening even further than before and causing raids of the media; will the EPO be implicated and held accountable too?



  14. Links 12/2/2019: PyPy 7.0.0, HHVM 4.0.0 and CVE-2019-5736

    Links for the day



  15. USPTO Director Iancu Works for Anti-SCOTUS (Against Section 101) Lobbyists

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu is becoming to the patent system what Ajit Pai is to the FCC or to the broadband industry; there appears to be intentional vandalism and total disregard for the rule of law



  16. Gross Violations of the EPC at the European Patent Office as Principal Priority Turns Against Science and Technology

    What good is the law if violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC) is so routine at today’s European Patent Office (EPO), which exploits its immunity to operate outside the rule of law and pursue nothing but cash (selling patents/monopolies that are invalid in courts)?



  17. European Patent Office's Exploitation of the 'AI' Catchphrase/Buzzword to Grant Patents on Algorithms in Defiance of the Rules, the Law, and Common Sense

    In clear violation of the EPC (i.e. more of the same from the EPO) software patents are being actively promoted and law being bypassed or worked around



  18. Microsoft's Patent Trolls Are Still Suing Microsoft's Rivals to Help Sell Microsoft

    The ‘new’ Microsoft boils down to the patent equivalent of the copyright case of SCO (funded by Microsoft)



  19. The American Software Patents Lobby Has Died

    Voices of US law firms (i.e. patent maximalists) have become quieter and rarer; applications for US patents have decreased in number, patent litigation numbers have collapsed entirely, and patent maximalists have moved on



  20. Links 10/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC6, Project Trident 18.12 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  21. Corrupt Battistelli Paid a Fortune (EPO Budget) for Outlaw/Rogue 'Bodyguards' From Firm Linked to Russian Oligarch Iskander Makhmudov

    Mediapart continues to shed more light on the shady firm behind Alexandre Benalla, whom Battistelli hired to break the law and secretly bring firearms to the EPO



  22. Which Microsoft?

    The inconsistencies between public statements of Microsoft and private discussions/actions



  23. António Campinos Will Never Hold Battistelli Accountable for His Crimes Because He Too Profits From These

    The EPO isn't just Europe's second-largest institution but also quite possibly Europe's largest criminal enterprise, whose ringleaders have enjoyed and exploited diplomatic immunity to escape prosecution



  24. 25,000 Blog Posts and Record Traffic

    At a pace of nearly 2,000 posts per year (since 2006) we continue to grow and can use readers' help



  25. Jim Zemlin's PAC Keeps Raising Money From Microsoft

    The Open Source Definition's author as well as various Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries warn of an attack on FOSS ("efforts to undermine the integrity of open source”); it's not too hard to see who participates in it or enables such attacks



  26. Links 9/2/2019: Linux 4.4.174 and GTK+ No More (Now Just GTK)

    Links for the day



  27. Number of Patent Applications, Not Just Number of Patent Grants, Continues to Slide in the United States

    The attractiveness of US patents appears to have eroded, seeing that many US patents are simply not enforceable in courts



  28. EPO President Campinos Works With Patent Trolls and With Team UPC to Promote Software Patents

    The EPO has taken another tumble by collaborating with '4iP Council', a patent extremists' lobby; it is moreover becoming apparent that a lot of European Patents are bogus (not valid) and the management of the EPO is eager to grant yet more of these



  29. Links 8/2/2019: Things to Look For on Linux in 2019, Fedora Logo Redesign

    Links for the day



  30. Teff is Not an Invention. Teff is Nature.

    The absurdity of 'owning' nature or things that are found in nature (and can reproduce) demonstrated again in Europe


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