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12.19.16

Software Patents in the US: The Patent Office Gives Blank Checks (Let the Courts Worry About Examination!) and the Patent Microcosm Tries to Undermine Alice, Still

Posted in America, Patents at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos
Source: 2013 interview

Summary: In spite of repeated rejections of software patents by high courts in the United States, those who profit from such patents carry on as if nothing happened and even pay the former Director of the USPTO (David Kappos, pictured above) for lobbying

NOW THAT it’s publicly being stated that the EPO is more software patents-friendly than the USPTO (in spite of the ban; not that Battistelli minds any laws whatsoever) we thought it would be a good time to bring up this new press release that says “Samesurf [...] announces the issuance by the USPTO of five patents relating to co-browsing and synchronized browsing of online content: (1) US Patent No. 8,527,591; (2) US Patent No. 9,171,087; (3) US Patent No. 9,185,145; (4) US Patent No. 9,483,448; and (5) US Patent No. 9,489,353.”

These are of course software patents, so one has to wonder if the USPTO dealt with old applications as though the new rules (Section 101 and whatnot) don’t apply. Of course not, but something is rotten here and it’s very improbable that a high court would accept these patents upon closer examination. After Alice it barely matters if the USPTO puts some stamp on this stuff; courts and appeal boards would likely undo the stamp (it asked/petitioned to do so). So what is Samesurf bragging about really?

Suffice to say, the USPTO still wants to just grant a whole lot of nonsense. It makes the USPTO look “productive” and they probably just label it all “innovation”. Recall the latest echo chamber of the USPTO (not the first of its kind) that promotes software patents and excludes actual software developers. The patent microcosm, which opposes Alice (obviously!), publishes this new article, soon thereafter to be predictably promoted by proponents of software patents including IBM’s patent chief. To quote the key parts:

Section 101 patentability challenges of the 1970’s, in Benson and Flook, culminated in the Diamond v. Diehr decision of 1981, and the roughly contemporaneous Chakrabarty decision of 1980, set out an admirably broad ambit for patentability on the advent of the digital and biotechnological revolutions that have transformed our world these last 35 years. Coming as they did at the foundation of the Federal Circuit, these decisions reinforced a view that the US patent system was capable of broadly encompassing “anything under the sun that is made by man,” the Chakrabarty Court quoting the Senate Committee report on the 1952 Patent Act.

[...]

To address this situation through legislation, I suggest something along the lines of adding a straightforward sentence at the end of Section 101:

101. Inventions patentable. Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title. For purposes of this section, it is irrelevant whether the invention or any of its claimed elements, is otherwise unpatentable under sections 102, 103 or 112.

I believe something this simple, or its equivalent, accompanied by clear legislative history, could help undo so much of the new troubling jurisprudence that imports these other conditions of patentability at the outset, and restore 101 to the minimal, simple threshold for inventions of the useful arts to which it was always intended.

The patent microcosm is trying to change the law and even the former Director of the USPTO was recruited for this task. They just want more and more patents on everything and lower quality control, obviously.

Don’t lose sight of these people. Their malicious agenda is a detriment to software development. They don’t even develop any software.

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