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08.06.17

TC Heartland Puts Patent Trolls and the Eastern District of Texas in a Straitjacket, But EFF Wants Transparency Too

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wenger

Summary: Even though the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has dealt a massive blow to patent trolls, some trolls continue to infest Texas and the EFF is pursuing “Public Access To Patent Litigation” (public hearing in 9 days in the Eastern District of Texas)

THE Eastern District of Texas was severely hurt by a decision from SCOTUS earlier this summer (TC Heartland). This decision may mean that fewer trolls will be capable of operating, at least in Texas. Without these Texan judges (some of whom became notorious and slammed by US politicians), the trolls will certainly struggle.

Uniloc, however, has just filed another lawsuit in Texas. Will Apple manage to move this lawsuit out of Texas? As Apple Insider put it 4 days ago:

Lodged with the patent holder friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Uniloc’s favorite venue for attacks against Apple, the suit alleges Apple’s software is in infringement of a single patent reassigned by 3Com.

Yes, “patent reassigned by 3Com.” Uniloc makes virtually nothing. We wrote dozens of articles about this troll over the years. The USPTO allows patents to be reassigned to trolls and some people out there rightly assert that no such (re)assignments should be allowed at all. In other words, only an inventor who has something to offer in the market should be allowed to litigate. Wouldn’t that be beneficial to the economy?

Looking at IAM’s latest nonsense, last week they wrote about “patent monetisation”, SEPs/FRAND and so-called “patent investment”. This is not “patent investment”, it’s patent extortion or a trolling operation that is connected to Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll.

Watch how IAM put it:

Dominion was behind one of the patent deals of the year when it picked up around 4000 former Kodak assets from Intellectual Ventures and so it has a pretty good take on both what assets are out there but also what sort of licensing appetite there is for large scale portfolios. Earlier this week I caught up with Dominion Harbor CEO David Pridham to hear a little more about how the deal came about and their plans for monetising any assets they acquire.

As we said before, the trolling ‘industry’ may have been slowed down by TC Heartland, but it’s also evolving. It’s trying to find new ways to exploit the system. We last touched the subject a few days ago.

Thankfully, the EFF has been committed to the fight against trolls (more so than the fight against software patents, which trolls so heavily rely on). It’s finally tackling the subject of patent litigation transparency, which helps the public understand who is going what (trolls prefer to operate clandestinely). Here is what the EFF published last week:

Did one Stupid Patent of the Month winner enforce its patent in an exceptional manner, so much so that it has to pay defendants’ attorneys’ fees? That is a question a court in the Eastern District of Texas is being asked to decide, with a public hearing on the matter scheduled for August 15, 2017.

We’d like to tell you why the defendants think they should win, but unfortunately we can’t. We’d also like to tell you why the patent owner, My Health Inc., thinks the defendants should lose, but again we can’t. The facts, law, and the parties’ arguments were filed completely under seal.

Well, what good is justice if the public cannot see to assure it’s real justice (and study the culprits)? The above too mentioned the Eastern District of Texas (where a lot of the trolling is concentrated).

Software Patents Are Worthless, But the Patent ‘Industry’ Continues Coming Up With Its ‘Alternative Facts’ to Sell ‘Services’

Posted in Deception, Patents at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More like a disservice and patently poor advice

Ripoffs

Summary: Software patents and patent lawsuits (which may be going nowhere) are being ‘sold’ by an industry that cares only about its own bottom line

THE DOMAIN of patents is dynamic, not static. The quality of US patents is improving and lawsuits become fewer. That’s a good thing for everyone except the patent ‘industry’.

Earlier this weekend veteran journalist Chris Preimesberger wrote this article about patents on facial recognition. I reviewed some papers in this area (for the international IEEE journal) and it’s perfectly clear that these patents should be considered patent-ineligible under Alice because it’s all reducible to plain mathematics. Why are examiners still granting such patents?

“Why are examiners still granting such patents?”A couple of days ago, Stephen Middleton from a law firm known as Von Seidels published this article titled “What software is eligible for a patent?”

Well, basically the more important question should be, what software patents would ‘survive’ in court? Very few of them do, even if some continue to be granted. Here is what Middleton said:

As patent-eligibility differs from one country to the next, this article generally covers US and European eligibility requirements.

Taking an existing algorithm or method which is already known and applying it using a computer is not likely to be a patent-eligible invention, even if you are the first person to do so.

The same would be true if the algorithm could be performed by a human, for example using a pen and paper. There must be something more. Generally speaking, the algorithm must provide a “technical solution” to a “technical problem”.

Completely vague and meaningless terms (decorative, spurious adjectives that can refer to pretty much anything). We wrote about these before. It’s more common to simply try to associate the software with some “device” (like any general-purpose, programmable computer) for the sake of misleading the examiner/s. It’s not worth granting. It’s a farce.

“It’s more common to simply try to associate the software with some “device” (like any general-purpose, programmable computer) for the sake of misleading the examiner/s.”In Europe, not just in the US, these patents don’t have a good track record in recent years. If granted, these tend to be useful only outside the courts (e.g. if asserted in bulk and/or against a poor person/company).

We have become accustomed to “marketing” (dressed up as news) like the above. The law firms would say anything if there’s potential for profit. Here is another new example (days old) where the patent microcosm basically says, go sue lots of people with patents (because the microcosm profits from the litigation, no matter the outcome).

“The only “product” here is sold by law professionals, to whom so-called ‘services’ like sending threatening letters are a form of ‘production’.”Some companies seriously heed such advice and proudly sue others. Bigbelly (real company name) turns out to be a big bully, which issued a press release to announce litigation, naming “U.S. and European patents.” It was mentioned the other day by some media, but what is there to cover really? It’s litigation over patents, not some new products or anything of interest to the general public. 3 days ago another company paid for a press release regarding patent litigation rather than an actual product. The only “product” here is sold by law professionals, to whom so-called ‘services’ like sending threatening letters are a form of ‘production’.

Patents in the US Are Becoming Stronger (Better Quality), But the Patent ‘Industry’ is Trying to Change That

Posted in America, Patents at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTO Director Lee Discusses Importance Of Patent Quality
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Reference: USPTO Director Lee Discusses Importance Of Patent Quality

Summary: The shift to high-quality patents — an ongoing legacy of AIA and subsequent reforms, patent judgments by the Justices etc. — does the US a lot of good, but those who are in the business of litigation are attempting to derail all that progress

THE RESISTANCE to patent reform in the US comes almost exclusively from the patent microcosm, i.e. from those who long benefited from a defunct system flooded by frivolous litigation, bogus patents (now deemed patent-ineligible by courts), and ‘tourism’ in the Eastern District of Texas.

In many ways, technologists derive great pleasure from these developments. It makes them feel somewhat safer over time. But apathy would be misplaced as the patent microcosm still works hard toward regressions and it uses truly nefarious tactics, including the hiring of former officials (buying influence) and firing (or pressure for resignation) of current officials who are sympathetic to reform. We are watching these things closely and reporting as we go along.

“There was hype and people at the top got carried away when they granted patents on things that deserve no monopoly at all. Examiners were receiving incentives to play along in this agenda, but those days are over.”This weekend, linking to a PDF directly from the USPTO, Dennis Crouch says that the “USPTO is very likely to end up spending well more than it collects in fees.”

This post isn’t about the EPO, but we have mentioned similar projections for the EPO (which is running dry in terms of pending work).

“Thanks to Michelle Lee, the Supreme Court, AIA/PTAB etc. there are now far fewer patent lawsuits in the US.”Let’s face it. There was a big patent bubble. There was hype and people at the top got carried away when they granted patents on things that deserve no monopoly at all. Examiners were receiving incentives to play along in this agenda, but those days are over. PTAB, for example, already looms over them; the quality of their work is being assessed and/or reassessed.

Thanks to Michelle Lee, the Supreme Court, AIA/PTAB etc. there are now far fewer patent lawsuits in the US. Bad news for the litigation ‘industry’, no doubt, but good news for those who are busy prototyping, coding, designing, etc. IAM is of course bemoaning this, having been greased up by the litigation ‘industry’ for many years. The other day it said:

The first six months of the year saw a continuing decline in patent litigation in the United States, although the same cannot be said for political developments in June and July

The pressure group known as the US Chamber of Commerce (not government but an aggressive front of corporations which we wrote about many times before; Wikipedia calls it “a business-oriented American lobbying group”) butts in and IAM leaps on its claims, stating in the headline that “Consensus grows that US patent system needs a lifeline” (whose consensus?!).

“He makes the misleading claim that the US was a “global leader of IP protection” when in reality it was a global leader of patent trolls.”These dramatic claims and alarmist tone are only to be expected from IAM and should not be taken seriously as though these are the views of the real industry. Meanwhile, a former Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office decides to publish this piece in The Hill. Is he another one of those paid-for former officials (like David Kappos) or something else? He basically bemoans patent sanity because these people just want lots and lots of patents. He makes the misleading claim that the US was a “global leader of IP protection” when in reality it was a global leader of patent trolls. Not the same thing. “Weakened patent system” is what he complains about in the headline. Really? Weakened? Because it no longer grants or shields very weak patents? Such dishonest inversion of terms was seen and mentioned here before; there’s a whole bill named after it, with the word/acronym “STRONGER” used to described a WEAKER system.

Thankfully, the above author does not claim to be a developer, engineer etc. Michelle Lee actually was one. And her policies suggested so, too. It’s a shame that all the abuse she received from the patent microcosm (publicly and behind the scenes) quite likely led to her departure.

Software Patents and the Unified Patent Court (Talk From Friday)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Have we silently lost the battle against software patents in Europe?


Abstract: In July 2005, after several failed attempts to legalise software patents in Europe, the patent establishment changed its strategy. Instead of explicitly seeking to sanction the patentability of software, they are now seeking to create a central European patent court, which would establish and enforce patentability rules in their favor, without any possibility of correction by competing courts or democratically elected legislators.

Credit: SHA2017

EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government – Part V: Lufthansa and Croatia Airlines Overlap

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government

Summary: The rumoured clandestine ownership of Croatia Airlines by Lufthansa (as discussed already in Croatian media)

THIS multi-part series has thus far shown conflicts of interest aplenty (see part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 if new to this series). We covered the role played by Andrej Matijević and Željko Topić (EPO) in Lufthansa favourism and in the previous part we showed the connections of Tena Mišetić and Ivan Mišetić (also Lufthansa).


ENLet us not forget that a conflict of interest is the precursor to corruption. The opaque symbiosis between Croatia Airlines and Lufthansa (annexed article #15), whose links are graphically illustrated by Ivan Mišetić, opens the door to speculation and openly voiced suspicions about Lufthansa’s clandestine ownership of the Croatian airline as reported in the media in Zagreb and beyond.

But let us return to the main protagonists in the corruption affair surrounding the company Lufthansa Airplus Servicenkarten GmbH, headquartered in Neu-Isenburg, Germany. In the annexes of this article, we provide exclusive information on the company’s ownership structure (annexed document #5). As can be seen in this figure, the registered capital of the Lufthansa subsidiary is 10 million Euros. The founders are the companies Bavaria Equity Solutions GmbH from Munich and Lufthansa Commercial Holding GmbH from Cologne. The annexed document is dated 14 July 2008 and was signed by Messrs. Patrick Diemer and Klaus Busch. The latest data from the Deutsche Börse (XETRA) for the company Lufthansa AG is also provided (annexed exhibits #6 & #7).


DEWir möchten daran erinnern, daß der Interessenkonflikt Vestibüll der Korruption ist. Diese nicht transparente Symbiose zwischen Croatia Airlines und Lufthansa (#15), welche bildhaft Ivan Mišetić verbunden hat, öffnet die Möglichkeit für Spekulationen und offene Verdachte über verheimlichtes Eigentum der Lufthansa an kroatischer Luftgesellschaft und worüber Medien in Zagreb und breiter berichtet haben.

Nun denn, kehren wir zurück zu den Hauptakteuren in der Korruptionsaffäre rund um die angezeigte Firma Lufthansa Airplus Servicenkarten GmbH mit Sitz in Neu-Isenburg in Deutschland. Im Anhang dieses Textes bringen wir exklusive Informationen zu der Inhaberstruktur dieser Firma (#5). Wie man darin erkennen kann, beträgt das Grundkapital der Lufthansa’s Firma 10 Millionen Euro. Die Gründer sind die Firmen Bavaria Equity Solutions GmbH aus München und Lufthansa Commercial Holding GmbH aus Köln. Das beigelegte Dokument stammt vom 14. Juli 2008 und wurde von den Herren Patrick Diemer und Klaus Busch unterzeichnet. In festen Händen auch die neuesten Daten zu bringen mit der Deutschen Börse (XETRA) für Unternehmen Lufthansa AG (#6 & #7).


Document #15

Lufthansa document

Exhibit #5

Lufthansa grab

Exhibit #6

Lufthansa grab

Article #15

Lufthansa article

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