Summary: The start of a campaign to end the UPC fantasy once and for all, if not only in the United Kingdom then in the whole of Europe (which depends on London)
We are hereby launching a campaign and petition to accompany this motion in the British Parliament. It is important that many people in the UK sign the petition to express their views. It’s a petition designed to stop the Unitary Patent in Europe (not just the UK), using political means for the most part. We suppose that our regular readers already know what the UPC is for/about. We got some British politicians to help us with this and FFII deserves much of the credit for setting up the petition itself.
What follows below is a summary of the latest developments. It’s an assorted collection of news to help our readers familiarise themselves with the status quo and who’s doing what exactly.
UPC Means Software Patents and Patent Trolls
“We got some British politicians to help us with this and FFII deserves much of the credit for setting up the petition itself.”Earlier this month in FOSDEM (Belgium) a talk was given about the UPC. This “omits invalidity of software patents in Europe,” told us a reader, having looked into it in greater depth. As we have repeatedly pointed out over the years, occasionally quoting luminaries in their area, UPC has a lot to do with software patents. It also helps patent trolls from other countries/continents. It’s just one among many reasons to stop the UPC.
UPC Gravy Train
“Movement in Portugal to reverse the accession to the Unitary Patent,” according to Benjamin Henrion, is being reported in Portuguese media (report published over the weekend), adding to UPC barriers in Poland, Germany, Spain, the UK, and more. Don’t believe the hype and don’t be misled by Team UPC, which keeps focusing only on the positives to give the impression that the UPC is inevitable, unstoppable, and even desirable. Here is Team UPC latching onto Italy again, then saying: “France ratified the UPC Agreement in 2014. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Finland have ratified as well. The UK is expected to ratify in March, although after the Brexit vote this remains a sensitive issue, because of the role of the CJEU in the Unitary Patent system. Yesterday a popular newspaper in the UK wrote a ‘secret plan to tie Britain to EU after Brexit is being kept ‘under the radar’’.”
A week earlier this Team UPC blog said: “Even if a way is found to keep the United Kingdom in the Unitary Patent system after the Brexit, it is hard to believe London can keep its seat of the central division of the Unified Patent Court. This is argued in an interview with Kluwer IP Law by Cesare Galli, president of the Italian law firm IP Law Galli and IP Law professor at the University of Parma. He thinks Milan as central court seat could be a fallback solution.”
“It also helps patent trolls from other countries/continents.”They’re already assuming the the UK might altogether reject the UPC and prepare for this rejection.
Yes, the wheels are in motion here. Henrion wants to “call for one day of strike of all IT workers in the UK.”
The patent microcosm in London might not be happy to see that IT workers are on the very opposite end. The patent microcosm in London has repeatedly lied to British businesses, including SMEs, about the UPC. Here is MIP, a mouthpiece for this microcosm, interjecting the obligatory UPC lobbying into a women’s event (it has tweeted some UPC promotion from there as well). If facts are on their side, what are they so afraid of?
Francisco Moreno, an opponent of the UPC, wrote that “the ECJ should not influence UK law” (No se puede fumar mientras se reza) “the UPC will not apply UK law” (Se puede rezar mientras se fuma)” after (on February 9th) Team UPC showed its cards. It wants to ratify in March, even if it’s against everything that our government stands for. This has been cooked quite covertly for a while, aided by front groups like CIPA. Now it’s the final countdown.
The Express reported on this UPC motion a few days ago.
“It wants to ratify in March, even if it’s against everything that our government stands for.”Suffice to say, the mouthpieces of Team UPC were upset by all this publicity. IAM for example moaned that “Daily Express describes UPC as secret plan to keep UK tied to the EU. Be warned anti-EU right in UK now on this.”
“Motion to do not ratify UPC in the UK is tabled,” Henrion later noted. Then MIP heckled a little with “EDM in UK Parliament “that [UPC] Protocol … should not be ratified”, tabled yesterday, currently has 1 signature…”
If they think there’s only one signature, they’re in for a surprise.
“British MP thinks #UPC has “potential to drive a huge stake into the heart of Brexit”,” another person wrote. “I said it could viewed this way in #FAZ last summer.”
“If they think there’s only one signature, they’re in for a surprise.”Now is the time to inform more people about it. And that shall happen for sure. IAM, like MIP, also arrogantly mocked Carswell. “So far,” it wrote, “Carswell is the only signatory. But the motion shows that the UPC is clearly on the Parliamentary anti-European right’s radar.”
It also wrote that “UKIP MP Douglas Carswell has proposed an early day motion in House of Commons that the UK should not ratify the UPC.”
Also from IAM: “UK government has pandered strongly to anti-EU right-wing MPs since Brexit vote. If they make enough of a UPC fuss ministers may do so again…”
Remember that IAM was supported by the EPO and funded by the EPO's PR firm to promote the UPC, even in the United States. I asked IAM, “how much did FTI Consulting pay you guys? Was it only for that pro-UPC event in Trumpland?”
“They’re not really publishers as they’re willing to take a shilling (money) from rich people and organisations in order to do their bidding. They’re now part of or an extension of Team UPC, which wants secrecy or selective coverage of what it does.”They never even responded. They knew what they had done and they would rather not talk about it. As for MIP, we already explained all those UPC lobbying events it helped organise. These are the enemies of Britain’s interests and the friends of Battistelli, a few law firms in London, and patent bullies like Microsoft. They’re not really publishers as they’re willing to take a shilling (money) from rich people and organisations in order to do their bidding. They’re now part of or an extension of Team UPC, which wants secrecy or selective coverage of what it does. It wants people to not be aware that this whole “unitary patent” nonsense is based on Big Lies and is not Constitutional either.
How do we know that they attempt to be clandestine about it? Even IAM admits it with: “Whoops – Simmons & Simmons partner Kevin Mooney quoted in Express anti-UPC piece as saying he hopes Express does not find out about the UPC!”
So there we go. They know that an informed public would never accept the UPC. Never! One person (possibly an EPO worker) asked the UPC boosters: “Do you think the problems are as serious as http://www.stjerna.de/gp-gutachten/ does?”
An EPO insiders told IAM: “Ignorance at it’s best! […] How about replacing the word uncertainty with unlawfully?”
“They know that an informed public would never accept the UPC.”We still haven’t heard back from IAM. They’re growingly aware that people, including some subscribers, know what they’re up to and who they really serve.
“After some “difficulties” with the terms,” said the aforementioned possible EPO worker, “Carl Josefsson has now signed his contract and will start work as pres boa on 1/3.”
Josefsson, as we noted here before, is deeply embedded in UPC stuff. Does that mean anything for the above? Which strings does the EPO pull and where from?
“Do Not Ratify UPC”
The “Do not ratify UPC” motion was tabled in the British Parliament; now we just need strength in numbers. Team UPC just has hundreds or maybe a few thousands of supporters, whereas we have millions in the UK alone (although many of them need to be properly informed to be made aware of this). With articles such as this in the British media we now see Team UPC rearing its ugly head. It even mocks the article itself. “Apparently the #UPC is a secret plan to tie Britain to EU after Brexit, kept ‘under the radar’,” one member of the patent microcosm wrote dismissively. Actually, putting the headline aside (sensationalism), the content of the article is true.
“Team UPC just has hundreds or maybe a few thousands of supporters, whereas we have millions in the UK alone (although many of them need to be properly informed to be made aware of this).”The ratification of the UPC is not compatible with Brexit. Days ago in London, Dr. Luke McDonagh — like other doctors who know the UPC (Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna for instance) — spoke about the subject. He isn’t lobbying for profit, unlike Team UPC. Someone who attended his talk wrote [1, 2, 3]: “Yesterday’s panel discussion at City, Univ of London on Brexit and the #UnitaryPatent with @DrLukeMcDonagh underlines two insights [...] decision to ratify UPC agreement as its an ‘int’l court not EU institution’ suggests ignorance of full complex implications under EU law [...] #UnitaryPatent court for the UK has more to do with protecting legal services than nurturing innovative economy”
The UPC is simply untenable in the UK (and in other countries too, but for other reasons), especially after Brexit (even before). It’s simply a sort of coup by the patent ‘industry’ (lawyers who want more patent feuds/war) and those who promote it are never technical professionals. Wonder why? Here is a person who attempts to build a career around the UPC ‘explaining’ the UPC and “chair[ing] a conference ‘Finalizing the Unitary Patent Package: Challenges and Ways Forward’ in Brussels @CiTiP_KULeuven” (it’s not hard to imagine who attended this lobbying event).
CIPA, according to this, is still lobbying for the UPC even though its government cannot ratify. “IPcopy recently attended two events,” it said, “that discussed updates to the Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court: CIPA’s “The UPC: Where we are and Why” and the Westminster Legal Policy Forum’s “The future for the UK’s patent framework”.”
“The UPC is simply untenable in the UK (and in other countries too, but for other reasons), especially after Brexit (even before).”UPC events/conferences are ALWAYS, in our experience, just lobbying designed to breed fake news, mischief, and manipulation. Theatre of “alternative facts” is what it is. Legal ‘theatre’ one might call it. Henrion went to the Unitary Patent conference in Brussels (where he lives) to see what goes on there. He then reported some of his findings in Twitter.
Here is “CEIPI Xavier Seuba telling us,” Henrion wrote, “that technical judges don’t know civil law, don’t have a law degree, recycled patent attorneys #upc #bias”
Here is “Pierre Veron saying UPC rules of procedure are written by unelected parliaments #upc #undemocratic #illegal #germany #constitution”
“They’re just trying to work around the law.”Just look at who’s promoting the UPC. Here is Bristows working on the German front and writing: “Germany’s draft legislation authorising ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is listed on the agenda (here) for next week’s sitting (15-17 February) of the Bundestag (German parliament). As reported here, this draft legislation, submitted to the Bundesrat (Federal Council) on 9 December 2016, is identical to a previous draft.”
Aided by Battistelli’s protectors and his thugs (details in this old article about Maas), Team UPC hopes to accomplish the impossible. They’re just trying to work around the law. The whole UPC sphere was quiet last month, but only publicly. They have been greasing up Jo Johnson. Team UPC folks have not given up. They just went undercover like TPP hopefuls (trying to repackage and reframe things, e.g. with TISA).
Jo Johnson Being Lobbied
Here is IP Magazine (an extension of the patent microcosm) writing that “Jo Johnson is ‘committed to ratifying’ the #UPC says @The_IPO representative speaking @WLPFEvents…”
It didn’t quote a source, but some link to a PDF. As far as we are aware, Johnson didn’t say it like that. Lobbying with alternative facts again? Here is what we do know about the paper:
The UK Conservative government appears to be avoiding any mention of the Court of Justice of the EU’s (CJEU) role in the upcoming Unified Patent Court (UPC).
An explanatory memorandum to the protocol on privileges and immunities of the UPC was submitted by UK IP minister Jo Johnson to accompany a 20 January command paper to British Parliament ahead of ratification.
Here is a law firm writing about it: “An explanatory Memorandum on the #UPC ratification process is now available, written by new IP Minister @JoJohnsonMP”
“Lobbying with alternative facts again?”Going back to the event, the EPO was there too. A chronic liar, e.g. on UPC , was there to speak for her master, Battistelli (her master’s voice). Quoting the tweet: “Call for “transitional arrangements” for #UP and #UPC when UK leave EU by Margot Frohlinger @epo speaking @WLPFEvents”
We wrote a great deal about her and she has no credibility on this subject. Just about as delusional of Battistelli, who keeps promising the UPC, always in vain.
Admission That UPC is for “IP Legal Firms” and “Business Case for Unitary Patent and UPC Was Always Weak”
Lies are already being relayed. SMEs would suffer a lot from a UPC-like regime, probably the most. They said so, but Team UPC likes to speak ‘on their behalf’ (and against their interests)
“Main beneficiaries will be big pharma and litigation firms, not most patentees.”
–Tufty the CatHere is Tufty the Cat saying that “IP Legal Firms to benefit by £200M p.a. from #UPC but UK firms *may* save £2M p.a. through reduced duplication. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/584443/EM_EU_1.2017.pdf …”
That’s what it’s all about. It’s about law firms, not firms that actually produce anything.
“Business case for unitary patent and #UPC was always weak,” Tufty admits. “Main beneficiaries will be big pharma and litigation firms, not most patentees.”
That’s an admission from an insider! Heist by the patent microcosm is what it all boils down to and at whose expense? Scientists and engineers. Britain’s backbone. █
Send this to a friend
A production line mentality at the EPO, which is now simply “drunk” on so-called ‘production’
Summary: Roberto Vacca, an EPO officer, points out what everyone at the EPO already knew; “Quality First,” as one reader put it to us, “Welcome in the era of Post-Patents!”
THE EPO under Battistelli is so obsessed with so-called ‘production’ that it might as well turn into a registration office like in France. Why does Battistelli keep pretending that he cares about patent quality? All he cares about is so-called ‘production’ that is measured using the wrong yardstick. He’s thinking like a Chinese factory manager whose employees just jump out the window (which is why so-called 'suicide nets' get installed).
“Are people paying thousands of Euros for a person to just have a quick glance for an hour or two before issuing a report/determination (obviously limited and flawed)”Inside sources have leaked to us some valuable information. “We are talking about 85 hair-dresser containers here,” one of them wrote. “Production/Productivity” is not what it used to mean; now it’s the assembly line mentality.
“In the Directorate of Mr Vacca,” we got told, “someone produced 62 searches and 23 final examination actions in January 2017 alone.”
That means almost 5 per day, assuming a 5-day week (working days). That is absolutely ridiculous! Are people paying thousands of Euros for a person to just have a quick glance for an hour or two before issuing a report/determination (obviously limited and flawed)? Maybe the unrealistic demands imposed on staff have made them so stressed that they cannot afford to care anymore and as a matter of survival at the job (not being “disciplined”) they turn into robotic beings. Disaster!
“Maybe the unrealistic demands imposed on staff have made them so stressed that they cannot afford to care anymore and as a matter of survival at the job (not being “disciplined”) they turn into robotic beings.”“The productivity is 3.05 (9 (!) times the reference),” we got told. “It is a team manager (he has managerial tasks next to his production ones). This followed a Cluster management meeting (team managers incl.) in which the high prio 1 backlog of ex-Hedemann teams was an issue.”
We have already explained some of the above terminology. Terms like “prio 1″ just mean very high priority. “Obviously,” we got told, “this created waves, within and outside of the directorate. The Director Mr Vacca sent two e-mails to his directorate.”
Some of you have been surprised by the PAX figures for our directorate released yesterday. One of the bubbles in the diagram is quite out of scale, and I must say that, without knowing very well the colleague, the quality of his work, and also some special circumstances, I would have also been more than surprised.
However, I know the colleague in question very well and I know that he has a record of excellent performance, and consistently excellent quality, since many years. His files go through the divisions and chairmen check as all the others and are CASEd as those of everybody else in our directorate. His searches have a % of A-docs only, much lower than the average and the number of intermediate communications is well in line with the average of the directorate.
The numbers, which are really excellent since many years, have been further boosted this time due to a number of files which had been completed just before Christmas but for organisational reasons have been coded only in January, and also by a large number of doublures which have been treated all together. The special circumstance have led to an out-of-scale that (unfortunately for the Directorate…) will be only a one-off.
I would like to stress that this is not to justify our colleague: excellent performance deserves praise rather than justification! It is to address your concerns and reassure you that this is in no way a sign of deterioration of the attention to quality we all share!
Then this (bold in the original E-mail, not our emphasis):
With my email yesterday I have explained to all of you the background of such an extraordinary performance, for which I am really grateful to our colleague.
However, it seems that information was not enough for some of you. It has been reported to me that colleagues have been repeatedly disturbed in their daily work with questions and remarks they were not interested into. Comments and discussions are going on, also in public areas such as the canteen, with tone which are not far from configuring harassment against our colleague, and have spread also to other directorates.
I want this to stop now.
Those who are acting this way have probably not realized how offensive it is for a colleague who is doing an excellent work for our Directorate and our Office.
If any of you wants to have more information and discuss the issue further, just come to see me, I will be more than happy to do so.
But stop disturbing other colleagues and making unsubstantiated allegations. We have all far too much work to do this year, to spend timé and energy this way.
I do count on the support of each of you.
When will Battistelli get sacked, if not for his very serious abuses then for failure to maintain quality at the Office and for receiving a 0% approval rating from those who apply for patents, request searches, and so on? The situation is untenable and unsustainable. The EPO has become a laughing stock and it will soon run out of "stock", rendering the examiners redundant/obsolete. Does the clueless (no scientific qualification) Battistelli envision humans/field experts being replaced by robot operators? Is he that senile or just maliciously selfish? █
Send this to a friend
Dirty tactics from the meta-industry of litigation and virtual (immaterial) ‘assets’
Summary: “The swamp” which is patent maximalists attempts to portray patent sanity as a “swamp”, then lobby the US government to bring back the Reagan era of endless patents on everything
THE USPTO seems like it’s staying as it is, but “the swamp” of Watchtroll just keeps attacking Michelle Lee [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
Mr. Mullin from Condé Nast has produced an article about this, including the attempts by IAM, Watchtroll and other mouthpieces for patent maximalism to install Rader (basically a crook) as USPTO Director.
This is how Watchtroll is promoting a crooked man:
A patent blog that closely watches USPTO internal politics, IP Watchdog, raised the question earlier this week. Reports last month from Politico and The Hill indicated that Michelle Lee, a former Googler who was appointed in 2014 and is favored by the tech sector, would stay on under the administration of President Donald Trump.
Those reports, published right around Trump’s inauguration, seem much less reliable now. IP Watchdog reports that Lee continues to be seen on the 10th floor of the Madison building, where the USPTO director’s office is. Yet others continue to advocate for themselves, and on February 3, Lee canceled a scheduled speaking appearance in San Francisco. Since at least February 6, the Commerce Department’s website has listed the position of USPTO Director as “vacant” (screenshot by IP Watchdog).
Mullin has been too gentle there with his words. He hardly even mentions Rader’s scandals and maybe he decided to omit what would come across as seemingly impolite. But it’s absolutely essential that people are made aware of Rader’s scandals and don’t let him ruin the USPTO in the same way he ruined CAFC (still recovering).
“…it’s absolutely essential that people are made aware of Rader’s scandals and don’t let him ruin the USPTO in the same way he ruined CAFC…”In a separate article, Mullin shows that patent trolls are down, but not out (or dead), at least not yet. Software patents are now being used by some troll called Blackbird Technologies. We already mentioned this article last week and now it’s TechDirt that writes about it. To quote: “Joe Mullin over at Ars Technica has the story of a patent troll, Blackbird Technologies, which was founded by (of course) two patent attorneys to buy up patents and shakedown companies with legal threats. Blackbird Technologies has now sued Netflix, Soundcloud, Vimeo and a variety of other companies over US Patent 7,174,362, issued in 2007 (filed for in 2000) on a “method and system for supplying products from pre-stored digital data in response to demands transmitted via computer network.””
This is a result of low patent quality. These are software patents. They should never have been granted in the first place. President Reagan lowered patenting standards to the point where the USPTO got filled to the rim with nonsensical patents, then came the patent trolls and exploited this (the first to do so, Ray Niro, is dead now, just like his firm). What Watchtroll et al want Trump to do now is ‘pull a Reagan’ and appoint a crooked patent maximalist, undoing all the progress that has been made under Lee.
“What Watchtroll et al want Trump to do now is ‘pull a Reagan’ and appoint a crooked patent maximalist, undoing all the progress that has been made under Lee.”Edward Lanquist Jr., a “Guest Blogger”, mentioned “National Inventors Day” the other day in the corporate media. This day is not about inventors but about patents, at least to him (the headline says, “National Inventors Day helps stress the importance of patent law”). What we have here is a bunch of patent law firms hijacking the word “inventor” to lobby on patents. To quote: “President Ronald Reagan proclaimed Feb. 11, 1983, as the first National Inventors Day to recognize the achievements of inventors who have contributed so much to our economy. Feb. 11 is the birth date of Thomas Edison, who held more than 1,000 patents. As we recognize the accomplishments of inventors and encourage future inventors, we should also take this moment to look to the current and future state of invention and our patent system.”
Lanquist then attacks the status quo by interjecting his agenda: “Software is patentable. Regularly, someone tells me, “According to the Supreme Court, software is no longer patentable.” This belief is held by many, including CEOs, CTOs and persons involved in technology transfer and development. While some software is not patentable, the broad pronouncement that no software is patentable is just wrong. Software patents continue to be allowed and issued. Additionally, though current software patentability is not as broad as it once was, that will likely change. The patent system swings between broad and narrow protection. Patent protection may now be narrower, but history dictates that it will swing back. Decisions made now to not investigate software patentability will likely be viewed as mistakes later.”
“This is fake news, or lobbying disguised as some sort of news.”Actually, Lanquist seems to be little more than an undisclosed shill. There is no disclosure in the article, but a quick lookup reveals that he “practices patent, trademark and copyright litigation, intellectual property counseling and trademark prosecution.”
Why did the publication not mention this? This is fake news, or lobbying disguised as some sort of news.
Over (or down under) in Australia, patent attorney Mark Summerfield continues to bemoan the death of business method patents. This is his latest:
Is This The Exact Day That IP Australia Turned on ‘Business Method’ Patents?
One thing that is immediately notable is that it appears to have been getting ‘harder’ to obtain a patent in Australia during the period prior to mid-2009, with the proportion of applications lapsing or rejected rising from around 20% to a little over 30%. However, this trend seems to have abruptly reversed with lapsed/rejected rates falling below 2006 levels by the end of 2013. I do not presently have an explanation for this apparent break in the data, and would welcome any suggestions. (Additionally, if you are interested in an analysis of the break establishing its statistical significance, see the Appendix at the end of this article.)
Patent maximalists will attempt to do whatever they can to patent everything under the sun. It means money for them and it’s clear at whose expense. We need to fight back, or else we risk going back into the dark ages of patent trolls, software patents, and ‘legalised’ extortion. █
Send this to a friend
War on generics, or when judges choose between life and death
Summary: The latest developments from the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which has been increasingly hostile towards patent maximalism in recent years, leading to less frequent death knells by court
THE Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the USPTO have changed a great deal since Alice. It’s no longer easy to be granted and then enforce (have upheld) software patents. That’s a positive development of course.
We typically write about how the ITC helps US giants embargo their competition, using as little as a few patents and hardly even a proper trial. Based on the “UPDATE FEBRUARY 8″ in MIP, the “Federal Circuit has stayed the permanent injunction for Praluent pending Sanofi and Regeneron’s appeal. The story published below on February 7 has been updated to reflect this.” Well, the story as it originally appeared said this:
Last month’s granting of an Amgen permanent injunction motion in its cholesterol drug patent dispute with Sanofi and Regeneron would “give another arrow in the quiver” of those seeking permanent injunctions in similar cases, if it is upheld on appeal
Saying she was caught “between a rock and a hard place,” Judge Sue Robinson in the District Court of Delaware last month decided to grant Amgen’s motion for a permanent injunction against Sanofi and Regeneron in an infringement suit over competing cholesterol drugs.
This is about cholesterol drugs, i.e. a classic case where lives are at stake (notably cardiac problems). What is noteworthy here is that the ruling by CAFC can mean the life (or death) of many people who are unable to afford some overpriced drugs from Amgen. Here is another new article (IAM “report”) about CAFC:
Drug manufacturers cannot avoid infringement by dividing method between physicians and patients
Thus, the Federal Circuit removed any doubt as to whether drug manufacturers may avoid infringement by dividing the steps of a patented method for drug administration between physicians and patients. Under such circumstances, infringement cannot be circumvented by instructing physicians to require that patients perform a step of the method before administration of the generic drug. Accordingly, entities seeking FDA approval to market generic versions of patented drugs should take caution and ensure that any instructions for administration of the drug do not merely divide the steps of a patented method between two or more parties. This case should come as welcome news to many existing patent holders, providing another tool for more effective exclusion of market competitors and potentially increasing the value of patented methods for drug administration.
This simply means that the CAFC chose the side of the maximalists in this case. Who would have trouble sleeping at night? The executives, the judge/s, or those who will die needlessly?
“Who would have trouble sleeping at night? The executives, the judge/s, or those who will die needlessly?”“In a short opinion,” Patently-O wrote about another CAFC case, “the Federal Circuit has reversed a lower court infringement claim — holding instead that Watson’s generic product does not infringe.”
So sometimes they get the balance right. Patently-O‘s Crouch, separately, has an ongoing rant (and paper) about CAFC’s “judgments without opinion” as he calls these [1, 2]. We sure hope that CAFC will be hearing also from affected patients. The EPO certainly does not care about them. █
Send this to a friend
The patent trolls in the US, including some of the biggest ones, are collapsing
Summary: Amid weakening of patent ‘assertion’ firms (trolls) and tightening of patent scope, the biggest and most infamous trolls feel the crunch
HIDDEN behind a paywall is this report about RPX (see our Wiki page about RPX for background). It looks as though RPX is collapsing (or almost going private) and “John Amster [the man behind RPX] has resigned as the chief executive officer of RPX in response to a request from its board of directors. Marty Roberts, the company’s general counsel since 2010, has taken over as interim CEO.”
Firms typically attempt to go private when they are trying to hide something, and usually it’s financial woes.
This latest development was covered here the other day, after IAM had repeatedly mentioned it. It sure looks like USPTO reforms have killed or seriously weakened a lot of patent trolls recently (we named some). WiLAN, which operates much like a patent troll, continues to amass patents, but Jim Skippen and folks are said to be “one of the biggest NPEs in the market — possibly only eclipsed by Intellectual Ventures,” which is actually shrinking (layoffs in recent years and partial departure of founder; see our Wiki page for chronology).
The only growth area for trolls these days is the far East, notably China. IAM continues to track developments there, eager to write more and more about the same abusive entities that are funding it. █
Send this to a friend
Apple has still not managed to convert its patents into a cash cow and a barrier to Android takeover
Summary: Apple and Samsung are still losing money in court (lawyers are paid ad infinitum) and the only firm that gets away with a lot of money is Qualcomm, Microsoft’s patent trolling notwithstanding
PATENTS in the area of mobile technology have become a hefty tax that raises the price of phones to incredible levels. Some of these patents — but not all — are software patents and many are standard-essential (SEPs), so they cannot be worked around. We recently wrote about this in the context of Qualcomm. “Apple may have paid Qualcomm approx. $40 per iPhone,” Florian Müller wrote the other day, and it “accounted for third of Qualcomm’s revenues…”
“If you consider some of it speculative, that’s fine, but someone has to do the job of trying to infer and deduce information even in the early stages of a dispute.”
–Florian MüllerThis became a blog post of his (after he had ranted on the subject)), in which he stated: “At the end of my previous post on Qualcomm’s business model I wrote I would follow up with an analysis of the economic magnitude of the various antitrust investigations and civil complaints concerning Qualcomm’s two mutually-reinforcing business areas, baseband processor chipsets and wireless standard-essential patent licensing. While it will probably take a while before a publicly-accessible court filing by either Qualcomm or Apple makes reference to a particular damages claim or royalty rate, some information is already available and I’ll take the liberty of connecting some dots. If you consider some of it speculative, that’s fine, but someone has to do the job of trying to infer and deduce information even in the early stages of a dispute.”
A separate post of his deals with Apple’s case against Samsung getting “back to where things started” — an issue that Professor Dennis Crouch too has covered as follows:
In a non-precedential decision, the Federal Circuit has remanded this design patent damages dispute back to the district court reconsideration. The basic question is whether the patented “article of manufacture” (which serves as the basis for profit disgorgment) should be the entire article sold to consumers or some component of that whole. A patentee would obviously prefer the whole-article basis because it would result in a greater total-profit award. In Samsung Elecs. Co. v. Apple Inc., 137 S. Ct. 429 (2016), the Supreme Court held that the statute is broad enough to encompass either the entire-article or simply a component. However, the Court refused to provide any guidance as to how to determine the appropriate basis in any particular case (including this case involving Apple’s iPhone design patents).
There have been some reports about this in the press. It shows that half a decade later Apple is still not making much progress in its patent war against Android (only the lawyers are winning). Apple is now relying on fake news to keep up appearances and give an illusion of growth. █
Send this to a friend
Making Patent Quality Great Again
Summary: Continuing a crackdown on excessive patenting (e.g. software patenting) in the United States, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) shows no signs of stopping
PATENT scope is being narrowed at the USPTO and as we last noted here last night, IBM plays dirty in an effort to change that. IBM wants software patents back, as their potency at the Office and in the courts has been vastly diminished.
In the US patent system (Office and courts), the patent bubble has burst. There are far fewer lawsuits, more invalidations of patents, and we truly hope that Trump won’t end up disrupting this inertia. PTAB filings, i.e. petitions to invalidate patents (a lot of software patents in there), have sky-rocketed, according to this latest PTAB report about January. To quote:
246 Patent Trial and Appeal Board petitions were filed in January, according to data taken from Docket Navigator. No month had broken 200 petitions before. In contrast, district court patent case filing slumped
The 246 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions filed in January was the most ever in one month, according to figures taken from the Docket Navigator database.
This corresponds with a decline in litigation, too, which everyone but prosecutors (law firms) would consider to be a good thing. Looking even further into the crushing of excessive patenting in the United States, MIP has this breakdown based on law firms:
Docket Navigator has released data on the top petitioners, patent owners and law firms at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board last year. The data is for petitions for IPR, CBM and PGR review in 2016.
Managing IP has also analysed data taken from the Docket Navigator database to dig deeper into the figures and reveal which law firms were involved on petitions filed in 2016, broken out by petitioner and respondent, as well as the most-active attorneys at the PTAB on 2016 petitions.
The good news, all in all, is that even about a month after Trump’s inauguration PTAB is still strong and getting even stronger, as judged by the number of petitions it deals with. █
Send this to a friend
Summary: “A not registered medical advisor is illegal and may be prosecuted,” says a new comment. “Here the immunity of the EPO does not help because the medical advisor is wrong.”
TECHRIGHTS will soon cover some interesting EPO cases. In the mean time, however, consider the following three comments, which got posted last night at IP Kat:
Pain at EPO said: (in TH the one acting as external medical advisor is not even registered in the NL to exercise medicine).
This is a crime.A not registered medical advisor is illegal and may be prosecuted.
Here the immunity of the EPO does not help because the medical advisor is wrong.
I read: ¨In TH the one acting as external medical advisor is not even registered in the NL
to exercise medicine.¨ This is a crime. See for example: http://www.nu.nl/binnenland/2941531/man-werkt-jaren-illegaal-als-arts.html
RIJSWIJK – A man who for years has been active as a doctor, was arrested last week by the Health
Inspectorate.After a report on the inspection found that he was not registered in the BIG register,
the compulsory registration system for health professionals with a protected medical title.
Beginning in 2013, he must appear at the criminal court.
I am saddened to read DSM 5 comment, but surprised I am not. We hear such stories and feel this toxic environment everyday we are going at work. Some escape by working more from home (part time home working) others pretend not to care until their friends are affected “and to work as requested to avoid any trouble” as if it would make you immune from investigation unit or the management!
One of the results of the staff survey was that 11% was in psychological distress – that number is growing by the month probably. The EPO is simply blind and deaf to all this. They pretend we are in a comfortable position and better off than elsewhere and the council just does not matter too much. Or they try but the small countries who signed deals with the EPO are happy to vote in favour of new measures.
Over the years we have heard a lot about medical issues at the EPO. It’s possible that the EPO’s defiance of the law — as stated above has already — resulted in quite a few deaths, broken homes, chronic depressions, and nervous breakdowns. █
Send this to a friend