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

11.29.16

Learning From the Mistakes of the US Patent System (and More Latterly China) When Assessing Patent Maximalism

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How many patents are enough? A billion? To Battistelli it’s all about money (and self-glorifying photo ops), not innovation!

Battistelli at wedding
Reference/related: Affaire Bygmalion (Battistelli's political party when he was Mayor)

Summary: The warning signs coming both from the East and from the West, demonstrating the pitfalls of a policy too permissive on patents and thus on litigation

THERE IS A lot to be said today about the EPO and the UPC. The cautionary tale here is what happened in the US and what is still happening/developing in China. Both places fostered patent maximalism, resulting in patent trolling.

The patent microcosm, as expected and as we last noted yesterday, obsesses over whatever can weaken PTAB and strengthen bad patents like software patents (abstract concepts, not devices or chemicals etc.) so it latches onto Unwired Planet v Google right now.

“Who benefits from this? The patent meta-industry, obviously. At whose expense? Everybody else’s expense!”Over at the EPO-friendly MIP, Mr. Loney publishes article that says “The Federal Circuit’s Unwired Planet v Google decision will lead to more rigorous review of covered business method review petitions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and discourage filing” (which is a not good thing). Another new article, this one by Professor Dennis Crouch, demonstrates that the patent troll of Ericsson is doing a lot of damage to patent reform in the US. We already mentioned this the other day, with about two dozen articles from patent law firms that want to eliminate PTAB and return to patent maximalism (and restraint minimalism). These trolls of Ericsson already begin to leave their mark or make an impact in Europe as well, emboldened by the EPO and filing lawsuits in London.

The motivation here is clear to see: less barriers to and more patents in a lot more disciplines. Who benefits from this? The patent meta-industry, obviously. At whose expense? Everybody else’s expense!

Over at the EPO-friendly IAM, some time this morning it was claimed that the hotbed of patent trolls, China, is setting the ground for patent chaos in all of Asia. It was separately noted that a Microsoft patent extortion proxy, Intellectual Ventures, will be embracing yet another proxy (it reportedly has thousands of them!) to operate in China. Here is the key part:

All the available evidence points to Intellectual High-Tech KFT being a vehicle controlled by Intellectual Ventures (IV). It has made numerous acquisitions of patents over the last few years – the vast majority from Japanese corporates – and more than a fair few of these have ended up with III Holdings 3 LLC, an entity associated with the third iteration of IV’s Invention Investment Fund.

It is possible that there is an IV connection to the CPT transaction too. The Taiwanese company’s assignment to HZW is its first transfer of patents to a third party since July 2011 – when it assigned a substantial number of assets to none other than IV. At the time, IV’s man in Taipei was Don Merino, who later joined Transpacific IP and is now running his own IP strategy consultancy on the island. It wouldn’t be a surprise if some of the same people were involved in getting this deal done.

Great! More patent trolls.

Remember that the number of patents is not a measure of innovation, nor is it a reliable measure of wealth of countries (unless patents are expensive to pursue and cheap to come up with). In China and in the US the quality of patents is truly appalling at times. Software patents, for instance, are not innovative at all; they are a dime a dozen and some are so trivial that it’s jaw-dropping.

“Remember that the number of patents is not a measure of innovation, nor is it a reliable measure of wealth of countries (unless patents are expensive to pursue and cheap to come up with).”Earlier this week Benjamin Henrion said that “counting the number of patents is not measuring innovation. And when you start mixing a variable with another one, more meaningless.”

He alluded to something from WEF (Switzerland with its patent hype) that said: “This map tells you everything you need to know about #innovation in Europe” (Switzerland likes such maps because they’re convenient propaganda for Switzerland).

Henrion and I both know it’s nonsense. A lot of patent examiners know that too. As for patent law firms, they probably lie to themselves. As the saying goes, they’re paid not to understand (or it’s hard to understand something which you’re paid to not even wish to understand).

“When you sell patents for a living,” I told him, “then patents are the only thing that counts.

He rightly asked “again measuring innovation with patents?”

“Don’t take Europe down the path of patent maximalism or we shall all suffer for decades to come (until erroneously-granted patents expire).”Maybe the number of patent lawsuits too will become a false measure of innovation. If so, then the US has a serious innovation deficit because, as even Professor Dennis Crouch’s site put it this week, patent lawsuit are shown sharply. To quote the relation to AIA (patent reform in the US half a decade ago): “Prior to the America Invents Act of 2011, the courts allowed plaintiffs to join multiple parties as defendants in a single lawsuit – even when the only relationship between the parties was that they all were alleged to infringe the asserted patent. The AIA blocked those multi-party actions in its non-joinder provision. The result was that the number of lawsuits filed per year rose post-AIA even though the number of accused infringers actually dropped. This also means that anyone looking at trends in infringement actions needs to carefully analyze the data if their time span extends across the AIA enactment date.”

The US is cleaning up its act by axing a lot of software patents and it shows. What we learn from this is that the worse the quality of patents becomes, the more litigation takes places (and thus more money goes into the pockets of patent law firms).

Don’t take Europe down the path of patent maximalism or we shall all suffer for decades to come (until erroneously-granted patents expire).

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 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  2. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  3. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  4. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  5. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  6. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  7. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  8. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  9. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  10. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  11. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  12. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism



  13. Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft's 'Embrace'

    Links for the day



  14. The European Patent Office (EPO) Grants Patents in Error, Insiders Are Complaining That It's the Management's Fault

    The EPO has languished to the point where patents are granted in error, examiners aren't happy, and the resultant chaos benefits no-one but lawyers and patent trolls



  15. The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable

    With only one in seven EPO stakeholders believing that Battistelli's pick (António Campinos) will turn things around for the better, it certainly does not seem like people are happy and there's no real hope that Battistelli will ever be held accountable for his abuses after his immunity expires



  16. With Liars Like These...

    The European Patent Office continues to lie about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) amongst other things, still revealing its reluctance to say anything which is truthful or work to repair the damage caused by Benoît Battistelli



  17. Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

    Links for the day



  18. IAM, Patently-O and Watchtroll (the Patent Trolls' Lobby) Try to Stop Patent Oppositions/Petitions (PTAB)

    In spite of fee hikes, introduced by Iancu's interim predecessor, petitions (IPRs) at the PTAB continue to grow in number and the patent maximalists are losing their minds over it



  19. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Ending Software Patents One Patent at a Time

    At an accelerating pace and with growing determination, PTAB (part of AIA) crushes patent trolls and software patents; the statistics and latest stories speak for themselves



  20. Academics and Think Tanks for Patent Maximalism

    Right-wing think tanks and impressionable academics continue to lobby for patent maximalism, rarely revealing the funding sources and motivations; in reality, however, such maximalism mainly helps large (already-wealthy) corporations, monopolists, and law firms



  21. Killing Patent Quality and Encouraging 'Covert' Software Patents Using the Buzzwords Du Jour

    The epidemic of buzzwords and/or hype waves that are being exploited to dodge or bypass patent scope/limitations, as seen in Europe and the US these days



  22. Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

    A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades



  23. The 'Blockchaining' of Software Patents (to Dodge the Rules/Guidelines) Now Coming to Europe

    A lot of software patents are being declared invalid (or not granted in the first place); having said that, using all sorts of hype waves (like calling databases “blockchains”) firms and individuals manage to still be granted software patents and sometimes patent trolls hoard these



  24. Links 14/4/2018: Wine 3.6, KDE Elisa 0.1

    Links for the day



  25. East Asia Should Have Adopted the Patent Strategy of South Asia, Notably India

    China seems to be so interested in patent maximalism that it has lost sight of the effect on foreign investment, e.g. US/European/Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean firms operating/manufacturing in mainland China



  26. Samsung is the 'New IBM', Sans the Trolling With Patents

    The 'relic' company, IBM, loses its patent leadership (as measured using some yardstick) to Samsung, a company which is relatively calm when it comes to patent activity (unless/only when sued, as happens a lot nowadays)



  27. David Barcelou May or May Not be a Patent Troll, But He is Certainly a SLAPPing Bully and Watchtroll is Fine With It

    Like a thin-skinned person/entity (which many in the patent microcosm are), David Barcelou and Automated Transactions (“ATL”) SLAPP their critics and surprisingly enough it's Watchtroll, who has been threatened by WIPO, coming to the bully's rescue (double standards)



  28. Links 12/4/2018: Stable New Kernels, Neptune 5.1

    Links for the day



  29. The USPTO Has a Nepotism and Lobbying Problem That Jeopardises the Rationality of US Patent Law

    The influence games of Washington are spilling over to the US patent office and poisoning/harming its ability to conduct professional operations without corporate influence (from either side, both corporations and law firms)



  30. Patent Trolls in the United States Show the Importance of Stopping Software Patents (Trolls' Favourite) Worldwide

    The abundance of entities that exist for no purpose other than to initiate lawsuits is a contagious threat to real innovation (or science and technology being practiced); a new jury verdict (record-breaking $500,000,000) is a reminder of this


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