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08.27.17

How Much Longer Can Guy Ryder and Claude Rouiller Ignore Abuses and Cement Injustice at the EPO?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Looking the other way to secure their own job

Guy Ryder
Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO

Summary: ILO does not deal with cases of injustice at the EPO and barely even looks into appeals, instead issuing very short dismissals and moving on as though it’s a rubber-stamping operation

EARLIER this summer we wrote about ILO’s passive approach towards (if not utter disregard for) justice at the EPO. We complained about apathy/indifference and then mentioned the upcoming decisions from the ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) — decisions which were likely going to be more of the same [1, 2]. We haven’t until now had a chance to revisit this subject.

“The above serves to reaffirm the view that ILO does not provide recourse/access to justice and Dutch authorities should therefore deal with the matter accordingly, removing the immunity of the Office.”The latest set of ILOAT judgments came out on the 28th of June. As can be seen here, many of the judgments (at least 7 we can see) were, as usual, about EPO. Mr. Rouiller himself was involved in his capacity as a judge (not just Tribunal chief) in some of the judgments, for example this latest one (complaint summarily dismissed). Only one out of 7 he was not involved in, namely this one (dismissed also). The remaining 5 are:

Some of these decisions are so similar and so short that one has to wonder if ILO even put much effort into deciding al all! Look how short all of these decisions are (compared to others). It’s like they use templates and just modify the text slightly with Rouiller taking the lead not only as judge but also as President.

“Remember that when ILO asserted over 100 cases needed to be reassessed due to inappropriate composition (internal appeals) Battistelli did not actually comply with the ruling and ILO acted as though it’s absolutely fine for him to do this.”The above serves to reaffirm the view that ILO does not provide recourse/access to justice and Dutch authorities should therefore deal with the matter accordingly, removing the immunity of the Office. Remember that when ILO asserted over 100 cases needed to be reassessed due to inappropriate composition (internal appeals) Battistelli did not actually comply with the ruling and ILO acted as though it’s absolutely fine for him to do this. What good is a Tribunal that a thug like Battistelli can simply disregard (as he did in Holland two years ago)?

ILO is a joke. Perhaps we need to spend some more time writing about ILO itself. Based on the latest judgments, ILO employees too are complaining (see judgments 3886, 3885, 3884, and 3883). Can ILO legitimately judge ILO? In 3 out of these 4 cases the complainants were awarded compensation (in Swiss francs), one case was dismissed.

EPO Silencers of the Media – Part I: Introduction

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trying to paint as “criminals” those who expose criminality is not a novel trick

Joe Arpaio Loses: New Times Co-Founders Win $3.75 Million Settlement for 2007 False Arrests
Source: Joe Arpaio Loses: New Times Co-Founders Win $3.75 Million Settlement for 2007 False Arrests

Summary: Željko Topić (EPO Vice-President) and his campaign against the media shows how EPO money/resources (and immunity) are misused against reporters, in an effort to suppress the truth and protect wrongdoing

OUR LONG SERIES OF LUFTHANSA articles (and EPO role in the scandals) has led us down a rabbit hole. Having gone through all the notes and the leads, we now have a lot more to say (not necessarily about the Lufthansa case). Asking for more documents, in order to support the allegations we were making, means access to additional information, including from court hearings.

Before we proceed, here is the full series about Lufthansa, which we recommend reading for background information:

As a recap, Lufthansa documents showed that in Croatia what matters more than law and justice is who you know and what you’re connected to (see the letters from W&W, a legal firm). Queries about Lufthansa documents yielded a lot of evidence to that effect. It’s also alleged (in Croatian media) that Croatia Airlines is covertly owned by Lufthansa. Consider some of the interventions from Andrej Matijević and the newspaper articles about Matijević and his conflict of interest. He has since then been promoted.

“They have plenty to hide there.”We are less interested right now in the Lufthansa affair not because Lufthansa is off the hook but because it helped expose a court case between an EPO Vice-President and tjedno.hr, a popular news portal in Croatia. We have attempted to obtain copies of the court’s decision/s and transcripts relating to this case because it wouldn’t be the first time that the EPO chiefs gag media in Croatia (or even judges in Munich). They have plenty to hide there. We discussed the matter with people who could help reaffirm some facts and eventually got copies of documents. Translations did not take long to arrive, either. Most articles about this are in Croatian, but English is spoken by more people (at least outside Croatia).

As quite a few people have a stake in the outcome, a sort of collaboration came into being. “We are just curious to learn more about the case and whether it is still ongoing or whether it has been concluded,” said one party.

“When the EPO does not corrupt the media by paying it a lot of money the EPO’s budget is being used to drag media to court, or even threaten bloggers like myself.”It would not be the first time we point out that skeletons are to be found inside some closets in Zagreb and the Croatian EPO Vice-President has many enemies in his home country. By “enemies” we mean victims; we also mean concerned Croatian citizens, who are sick and tired of corruption being a recurring theme in their country.

In the next part we are going to give an outline of the case against tjedno.hr. As one party put it, “more information about the tjedno.hr defamation lawsuit might be interesting as it could help to shed a light on Topić’s SLAPP activities.” We used to think he did this only once or twice, but we were wrong. The money the EPO keeps giving him (plus controversial bonuses) gets used to attack the media. When the EPO does not corrupt the media by paying it a lot of money the EPO’s budget is being used to drag media to court, or even threaten bloggers like myself.

Large Patent Trolls Called Prism, Conversant and IPVALUE Continue to Tax the Market Without Creating Anything, Only Lawsuits

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Prism patent troll

Summary: Some of the latest moves and actions from large patent trolls, which damage the productive market in the name of patents (not theirs)

IN A LAWSUIT which was mentioned here several times last week, Prism won a lot of money despite making no products at all. As Joe Mullin put it the other day:

A patent-licensing entity that sued the five largest cell phone carriers has seen its biggest victory slip away.

Prism won a $30 million verdict against Sprint in 2015, when a jury found that Sprint violated US Patents No. 8,127,345 and 8,387,155, both of which describe methods of “managing access to protected computer resources.” According to the complaint (PDF), filed in 2012, Sprint’s Simply Everything Plan and Everything Data Plan were both methods of “controlling access to Sprint’s protected network resources” and thus infringed the patents.

This, unfortunately, is a reminder that patent parasites still exist out there. Even very large ones. Some of them paint themselves not as trolls but as fronts of other companies. Microsoft has quite a few fronts, including MOSAID/Conversant, which Microsoft gave many of Nokia‘s patents to.

“What they basically do is harvest/buy lots of patents, then use them to blackmail as many companies as possible for as much money as possible.”As it turns out, MOSAID/Conversant’s chief has just moved to the parasite known as “IPVALUE”. When Richard Lloyd says that its “business” is patent “monetisation” he means patent trolling and adds this background: “Vector Capital acquired IPVALUE in 2014 as its investment vehicle in the IP space. Last year it acquired Longitude Licensing, the monetisation platform formed in 2013 with a portfolio of semiconductor patents previously owned by Elpida, and entered into a partnership with Cypress Semiconductor. The company looks to both acquire its own assets to monetise as well as advising other, large patent owners on their monetisation strategies.”

What they basically do is harvest/buy lots of patents, then use them to blackmail as many companies as possible for as much money as possible. It’s sometimes known as PAEs, a breed of patent trolls which the FTC has grown weary of.

Patent Aggression is Bad for Business

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FTC Charges Qualcomm

Summary: Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Virtual StrongBox are missing the point and relying too much on patents, failing to see the backlash that patent aggression typically entails

MANY people dislike all sorts of companies, but rarely do they campaign against them. The reason this site exists in the first place is Microsoft’s patent attacks on Free software. Microsoft, based on new headlines like these [1, 2, 3, 4], continues to stockpile patents. What will these be used for? We don’t know yet. Had Microsoft not been so aggressive with patents (and trolls), we would not protest. We published about 5,000 articles about Microsoft — all of them negative. Patents make enemies.

“Microsoft too learned it the hard way; nowadays it carefully attempts to hide legal action against GNU/Linux (Microsoft satellites are suing and Microsoft keeps the extortion behind closed doors).”For quite a while now Qualcomm has been receiving negative press because it uses software and hardware patents to bully a lot of companies and shake them down for ‘protection’ money. There’s growing resistance to it. Well, according to this (citing several other press reports), Qualcomm’s investors belatedly realise that being a patent bully is bad for business. The stock already collapsed several times. Florian Müller said:

About a month ago I shared the observation that Qualcomm’s approach to its FTC and Apple litigations was in part driven by investor relations (IR) considerations. That same day, Qualcomm delivered another piece of that particular puzzle by filing two German patent infringement lawsuits against Apple just before a quarterly earnings report–they can file lawsuits whenever they want, but that was hardly a coincidence.

Patent aggression comes at a high cost. Just look at Qualcomm’s performance. Microsoft too learned it the hard way; nowadays it carefully attempts to hide legal action against GNU/Linux (Microsoft satellites are suing and Microsoft keeps the extortion behind closed doors). As for Apple? When did it last file a patent lawsuit against an Android OEM?

“Patent aggression comes at a high cost.”What’s baffling, especially for it is tactless, is the number of companies that waste money promoting ‘news’ about patent grants rather than actual releases, products, etc. In this new press release from Virtual StrongBox, for example, they brag about a new patent. That’s just a software patent i.e. a totally worthless patent, a waste of time and money (as courts would not take it seriously). “For the fifth time in just over two years,” they say, “Virtual StrongBox, Inc. has received a patent, which covers its best-in-class, data-protection software.”

So what next? Patent lawsuits? And if not, then what’s the point of these patents? Totally pointless waste of funds. Who are they attempting to impress?

Post-Alice § 101 Eliminates Most Software Patents, But Amid Heavy Lobbying § 101 is Not Secured

Posted in America, Patents at 3:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…nor is the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

EagleSummary: A glance at the latest moves against Alice and in favour of patent maximalism, which means endless litigation, patenting everything under the sun etc.

THE progress made towards abolishing software patents is profound. Even at the USPTO. We hardly believed we would ever get there.

“Litigants continue to use Alice and its progeny as a powerful tool to invalidate business method and software patents,” this article said yesterday. Being a site of the patent microcosm, it’s a complaint rather than a celebration. Here are some of the more relevant parts:

Litigants continue to use Alice and its progeny as a powerful tool to invalidate business method and software patents. That’s what happened recently in Mantissa Corp. v. Ondot Systems, Inc., et al, when Magistrate Judge Palermo of the Southern District of Texas invalidated fifty-two claims asserted by a software company from two of its patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,779,456 and 8,353,027) covering a “method of protecting use of an entity’s identity, the method being executed on electronic computer hardware in combination with software,” i.e., identity protection software for banking cards. In invalidating the claims under § 101, Judge Palermo relied heavily on comparisons to claims invalidated as abstract ideas in previous cases, including Alice, and ultimately found that the patent claims at issue covered merely a computer-implemented method of preventing identity theft—an idea that has “existed since the dawn of civilization.”

[...]

Turning to the second part of the Alice analysis, Judge Palermo found there was no “‘inventive concept’ sufficient to ‘transform’ the abstract idea into a patent-eligible application”—the standard from Alice. She examined the claim limitations individually (an analysis too in-depth for this article) and as an ordered combination, and found them insufficient under both analyses. Mantissa attempted to proffer additional limitations from the patent specifications to strengthen its inventive concept argument, but Judge Palermo was not swayed. Instead, she properly stuck to the claims themselves and noted that many of Mantissa’s proffered limitations weren’t even in the claims, let alone would they render the claims patentable. One factor that played a large role in her decision, and that should be familiar to patent attorneys post-Alice, was that the use of a computer network to implement the identify theft prevention method did not add a sufficiently inventive concept. She found that identity theft and the solution provided by the asserted claims were “decidedly technology-independent” and that the claims “[d]id not require doing something to computer networks, they require[d] doing something with computer networks.” Consequently, Judge Palermo concluded that the asserted claims failed to recite an inventive concept under step two of the Alice analysis, and so were not eligible for patent protection under § 101.

Alice is impossible to undo, only override in the form of another (newer) decision from SCOTUS, potentially overturning decisions from lower courts. So an alternative approach among the patent ‘industry’ has been to attack PTAB. Yesterday, or just before the weekend, PTAB bashers were at it again. See new tweets like this one, which stalks PTAB and says “Medical tech innovator denied patent bc PTAB says determining doseage with computers is apparently not technical…”

“Do they want billions of patent applications composed by computers to then be assessed by other computers?”Yet more PTAB bashing came from Crouch, who still cherry-picks the rare cases where CAFC vacates PTAB’s invalidations. “In a split decision,” he wrote, “the Federal Circuit has vacated the PTAB ruling that Stepan’s claims are not patentable.” But that’s the exception rather than the norm. His colleague, David, has just promoted more patent maximalism if not patent radicalism; now they peddle the idea of semi-computer-generated patent applications — a subject we wrote a lot about earlier this year (as it had surfaced in the press). “In light of all of the above,” David wrote, “if you take into account the increasing need for speedier issuance (and the need to file first under the AIA), the need for speedier drafting is obvious. The capacity of AI to satisfy that need is here, and its role will increase. (I’ve read about memo drafting services that area already in operation, for example. That’s coming on fast, too.)”

What he means to say is, patents will increasingly be generated by machines, or at least partly by machines. Do they want billions of patent applications composed by computers to then be assessed by other computers? Is this the future they have in mind? In the financial market it’s stuff like this which crashes entire economies.

Suffice to say, we need to keep watching the interventions from the patent microcosm, which seeks to undermine all the progress made in recent years. According to this posting from yesterday, Watchtroll is organising a think tank-like session, probably in order to bash Alice, PTAB, and obviously to promote software patents, as usual

Much ink has been spilt over the chaos that is the law of patent eligibility in the United States, and rightfully so. Having said that, the Alice/Mayo problems that many applicants face have been confined primarily to a certain limited number of Art Units in the biotechnology and computer software areas.

What the above dubs “chaos” is actually the very opposite of chaos because the legal chaos that prevailed due to software patents is no more. A lot of firms no longer bother suing. Litigation dropped sharply and many trolls go out of business. Shouldn’t that be celebrated?

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