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

09.10.17

Alice Remains Strong and Potent in Opposing Software Patents, But the Patent ‘Industry’ Never Rests

Posted in America, Patents at 12:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent microcosm is trying to set fire to the software industry in order to make money from the equivalent of reconstruction

Arson

Summary: The people who have been sabotaging the software industry for years/decades (taxing it by litigation and other patent-related expenses) are losing momentum and resorting to attacks on Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International (Supreme Court’s decision)

THE long tradition of Alice bashing is older than 3 years. A cult of patent maximalism, i.e. those people who believe that anything on Earth (even thoughts!) should be patented, would even make card decks to that effect (Patently-O actually promoted these last week). For those to whom patents rather than actual work/code/devices are “property” it may make perfect sense (they keep telling each other that patents are the equivalent of innovation), but for those of us who code it’s a major headache and a never-ending struggle (to keep these zealots at bay). They keep bullying any public official who tries to explain that patent trolls have no value to the economy and patents on software aren’t desirable or wanted by actual software professionals.

“They keep bullying any public official who tries to explain that patent trolls have no value to the economy and patents on software aren’t desirable or wanted by actual software professionals.”Will this dispute ever end? It can, but only if those patent maximalists go out of business. It’s unlikely that coders will completely go out of business, even though Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold once said: “Intellectual property is the next software.”

As if patents can magically replace actual code and coders.

The eternal push by patent maximalists comes from various Web sites, none of which are composed by software developers. For them to tell software developers what software developers want or need is as ludicrous as it gets. They probably don’t realise how ludicrous it looks to outsiders, either.

“For them to tell software developers what software developers want or need is as ludicrous as it gets.”Here is a new example from Patently-O. Why was such a patent granted by the USPTO in the first place? Why aren’t examiners (or their bosses) realising the dire effect of granting bogus patents? Innocent people are harmed and only the lawyers benefit.

Here is another news item from several days ago — one which mentioned software patents. How did a graduate in the area of physics come to this? To quote: “IP boutique Meunier Carlin & Curfman has added two patent lawyers from a pair of big firms in town. Chris Glass, who was at Troutman Sanders, joins as of counsel, and Jason Huff joins as an associate from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. [...] Glass, who has an undergraduate degree in physics, handles patent prosecution and litigation, mostly for electronics, optics (which includes fiberoptics communications), medical device and software patents.”

“Don’t they realise that software patents are passé?”For a physical device, where the invention is demonstrable not on a general-purpose device (e.g. programmable), patents can be fine. But why software? Moreover, what about Alice? Don’t they realise that software patents are passé?

Even the “national law review” (a widely read journal, especially among legal professionals) is coming to grips with death of software patents. Days ago it published this article titled “Patentability Post-Alice: Cracking The Code” and it’s about the 2014 ruling (along with its implications). To quote: “Another digital data conversion patent bites the Alice dust. Frankly, this is no longer a shock. Since the controversial and confusing Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International opinion was issued in 2014, courts have been striking software patents left and right. The latest Alice victim, an image-processing patent holder battling Nintendo, has commentators calling rulings like this a threat to software patents worldwide. When it comes to getting through the patent-worthy Alice gate, have you cracked the code?”

Software patents are not worth much in the US. They might even be completely worthless. Software patents are gradually ending in the US and it’s a good thing, albeit a shame it didn’t happen earlier. The latest pro-Alice article of the EFF (part of a series) was published very recently to say “Alice Arrives Too Late to Save A Startup” (Ordrx).

Here is the gist of it:

David Bloom’s startup got off to a good start. He left a “regular job” to found Ordrx, a software company that created ecommerce solutions for local businesses. He secured venture funding and the company was featured in featured in TechCrunch and Inc. Magazine. But then he ran into a patent troll.

Our Saved By Alice posts have told the stories of companies who were helped or saved by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank that an abstract idea does not become eligible for a patent simply by being implemented on generic computers. Unfortunately, David’s story does not really belong in this series. This is because Ordrx was completely wiped out by the massive expense of defending itself in patent litigation. Later, the Federal Circuit would find the troll’s patents invalid under Alice. But that ruling came too late to save Ordrx.

When the EFF posted this in Twitter PTAB and Alice bashers started attacking the EFF over it.

“It would be nice to see the patent micorocosm leaving Alice in tact and in peace, but there are several simultaneous efforts to water down Section 101, in effect derailing Alice (i.e. disrepsecting a Supreme Court’s decision).”Benjamin Henrion responded with: “Why does the state needs to intervene in software development? Sounds like an elephant in porcelain shop.”

Copyrights do not require enforcement unless an infringement is said to have occurred (usually plagiarism or licence violations). Rarely does that require lawyers and attorneys.

It would be nice to see the patent micorocosm leaving Alice in tact and in peace, but there are several simultaneous efforts to water down Section 101, in effect derailing Alice (i.e. disrepsecting a Supreme Court’s decision). We are watching these things closely. Attacks on PTAB will be covered in the next post.

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

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/9/2017: Pipewire, Mir Support for Wayland, DRM in W3C

    Links for the day



  2. Links 18/9/2017: Linux 4.14 RC1, Mesa 17.2.1, and GNOME 3.26 on Ubuntu Artful

    Links for the day



  3. Patent Trolls Update: Eolas, Conversant (MOSAID), Leigh Rothschild, and Electronic Communication Technologies

    Patent trolls are still being watched -- as they ought to be -- even though some of them shy away, hide from the media, engage in dirty tricks, and file more lawsuits



  4. Microsoft is Promoting Software Patents in India in Another Effort to Undermine Free/Open Source Software, Microsoft-Connected Trolls Are Still Suing

    The ongoing patent threat to Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) and the role played by Microsoft in at least much of this threat



  5. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Under Attack by IBM and Other Patent Parasites Who Undermine Patent Quality

    The PTAB, which has thus far invalidated thousands of abstract/software patents, is under a coordinated attack not by those who produce things but those who produce a lot of lawsuit



  6. Why the Mohawk Tribe Should Fire Its Lawyers and Dump the Patents Which Now Tarnish Its Name

    In order to dodge the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with its Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs), the Mohawk tribe is being exploited -- very much in direct detriment to its reputation and status



  7. Amazon and Google Have Both Become Part of the Software Patents Problem

    The transition from so-called 'defensive' patents to offensive patents (ones that are used to suppress competition) as seen in Amazon and in Google, which is already suing rivals and is pursuing additional patents by acquisition



  8. Unless Physical, Inventions Are No Longer Patent-Eligible in US Courts, But USPTO Ignores Precedence

    Even though the ability to enforce software patents against a rival (or many targets, especially in the case of patent trolls) is vastly diminished, the US patent office continues to grant these



  9. Citing the European Patent Convention, Spanish Court Tosses Lawsuit With EPO-Granted European Patent

    The quality of European Patents (EPs) -- a subject of growing levels of scrutiny -- as demonstrated in Barcelona this summer



  10. Links 16/9/2017: More of “Public Money, Public Code”, Equifax Failed to Patch for Months

    Links for the day



  11. BlackBerry Has Turned Into a Patents and Licensing Company

    The Canadian company that made fairly reputable phones early in this century is left with nothing but the power to sue other companies -- a power to which it increasingly gravitates



  12. European Patent Office Continues to Paint a Rosy UPC Picture Even Though the UPC May Already be Dead

    The European Patent Office (EPO) doesn't let facts get in the way as another week passes with UPC promotion and further staff repressions



  13. Tax Evasion by Patent Boxes and Lies About Small Businesses (SMEs) in the Corporate Media

    The lobbying effort of the patent 'industry' -- and its largest beneficiaries -- paints its own perks as something that's intended for their small/minuscule competitors (whom they actually attempt to misrepresent and crush)



  14. Links 15/9/2017: Mesa 17.2.1 RC, Wine 2.17, WordPress to Ditch React Over Patents

    Links for the day



  15. The UPC Fantasy is Going Nowhere as Complaints and Paperwork Pile Up

    Many submissions and complaints about the Unitary Patent have time to arrive before the end of October as a decision on the matter seems as distant as 2018



  16. At Event of EPO SLAPP Firm, a Suggestion That the UPC Should be Scrapped Because It's Stuck

    Just like the TPP, the UPC is now in a potentially fatal deadlock, so people with a stake in the outcome consider starting again (almost from scratch)



  17. Watchtroll Helps the EPO Peddle Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't happening; the EPO, however, keeps on pretending that it can already operate as though the UPC got the green light



  18. Links 14/9/2017: Plasma 5.11 Beta, Q4OS 1.8.8, Orion

    Links for the day



  19. Links 13/9/2017: Blender 2.79, Qt 5.10 Alpha, GNOME 3.26 “Manchester”, Parrot 3.8

    Links for the day



  20. Amazon's Infamous Patent is Dead and the World's Richest Man Failed to Fulfill His Promise on Software Patents

    Amazon continues piling up a lot of software patents even though its founder once pretended (only after enormous public backlash) that he would pursue far shorter terms for software patents



  21. EPO Gets Together With Patent Radicals to Promote Software Patents

    Watchtroll, a widely-known site of patent extremists with the agenda of promoting software patents, gets together with the EPO for a puff piece in the form of an "exclusive" interview



  22. Patent Boxes Are for Tax Avoidance, But in the Land of Tax Avoidance (Switzerland) No Avoidance for Software Patents

    The world leader in European Patents (EPs) refuses to acknowledge software patents or barely respects these



  23. Latest Attempts to Blow Air Into the Sails of the Sinking Unitary Patent (UPC)

    A survey of the latest media mentions and interpretations of the UPC, which don't quite stack up when compared to reality



  24. Links 12/9/2017: Linux 4.13.1, digiKam 5.7.0

    Links for the day



  25. Patent Maximalism Duo: Watchtroll and Patently-O Now Conjoined and Mutually Referencing One Another

    Radical sites like Watchtroll are spreading their ideology and harassment tactics to sites such as Patently-O, run by Dennis Crouch from the University of Missouri School of Law



  26. Complaints About Google Patents, R3 Patents, and the EFF's Campaign of Exposing/Disarming Patent Trolls

    A mix of interesting developments surrounding patents, including a nasty campaign by Dominion Harbor Group to smear patent reformers



  27. Latest Assaults on PTAB and More PTAB Bashing, This Time by Anticipat

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which helps eliminate patents granted in error (a lot of software patents), is still besieged by the patent 'industry'



  28. “Reprehensible” Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores the Supreme Court of the United States

    In spite of the TC Heartland case, Rodney Gilstrap continues to facilitate and embolden patent trolls, whose experience suggests that Gilstrap is their ally, not quite an objective judge



  29. Ingve Stjerna's Complaint Casts a Shadow Over the Unconstitutional Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unitary Patent is un-Constitutional, according to a lawyer who used to work for UPC-friendly firms but can now say the truth about this abomination



  30. Upcoming EPO Series: Benoît Battistelli's 'Club Med'

    Ahead of the expected coronation of António Campinos Techrights will publish a long series regarding Battistelli and his network of connections (politics the École nationale d'administration way)


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