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

10.05.17

“Cloud”, “AI”, and “IoT” Among the Buzzwords Used to Bypass Limitations/Bans on Software Patents

Posted in America, Patents at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t fall for these tricks, which law firms advertise in the form of ‘drafting tips’

To bamboozle
Don’t be a victim of buzzwords and the art of semantics

Summary: Now that ‘pure’ software patents are pretty much impossible to enforce (except in China) there are efforts by law firms to mislead clients into further pursuits, usually relying on misleading words to avoid an impression of abstractness

THE REALITY in 2017 is that software patents are practically dead in the US courts. Sure, examiners still grant some (even at the EPO), but courts say “No!” almost every time (the higher the court, the more likely the rejection). Law firms that promote software patents consciously waste people’s time and money; after all, what do/why should they care about the outcome? They make money from legal fees either way (no matter the outcome). Yesterday we saw this article titled “Drafting Software Patents Post-Alice: Lessons From Courts” (which ones, district courts?).

Much of the article is behind a paywall, but the introduction says: “Since the decision in Alice[1] three years ago, applicants, patent practitioners and even patent examiners are trying to sort out what is and is not an abstract idea in the software arts for patentability purposes. With no clear objective test, each new decision potentially provides guidance on what may be determined to be abstract, and also may provide clues on how to better structure claims and specifications to avoid or at least overcome Alice-related rejections.”

But given the repeated rejection of such patents, what’s the point? Changing the words might help fool examiners into granting software patents, but courts (with witnesses, expert testimonies etc.) will almost always reach the same conclusion. Don’t bother. Don’t try to pursue software patents anymore. Don’t believe these law firms. They just try to make money for themselves, not for clients.

Unfortunately, we continue to see the dodge or departure from conventional language and into the realm of buzzwords, such as “AI”*. Even this morning we saw this piece published by a firm connected to Microsoft. It’s about Uniloc, a patent troll which has received money from Microsoft. It tries to use buzzwords to leverage software patents against companies: this time the buzzword is “cloud” and the author uses the euphemism “NPE”, which just means patent troll. To quote:

As Cloud IPQ will continue to demonstrate, a growing but often overlooked trend of NPE patent litigations against cloud computing providers and users has emerged in recent years. While many NPEs target big technology companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft, Uniloc has cast a wider net that includes health service providers, gaming companies and software developers. In less than two years, Uniloc has filed 59 district court cases against 39 defendants in the cloud computing space. The patents asserted relate to cloud software and platforms capable of remote network access and management in fields ranging from business management, software and game security, identity management, critical infrastructure security, and IP rights management. The lawsuits target both cloud computing providers (e.g., Nexon, Blackboard, Netsuite, Nutanix, etc.) and users (e.g., Riot Games, AthenaHealth, H&R Block, etc.).

These are just software patents. Courts or even PTAB would reject these post-Alice. Judges who don’t grasp these buzzwords will likely rely on technical people to explain/deconstruct these. It’s all abstract.

Another new example of a buzzword is “IoT” — an example we last wrote about in the weekend. Audrey Lo from Lee and Li Attorneys at Law has just published this article about the ‘dressing up’ of software patents as “IoT”. Just because one refers to software patents by some buzzword (with “things”, like “devices” in them) does not make these any more valid; it’s just a Trojan horse to fool examiners. As even Lo admits, “IoT technology is closely related to software development.” Here are some portions:

It is clear from the above that Taiwanese corporations lag much behind their foreign competitors in developing IoT technology. Moreover, according to the IoT patent report published by the UKIPO in 2014 and that by LexInnova in 2016, Chinese corporations were among the top three IoT patent applicants. However, none of the top ten IoT patent applicants in Taiwan came from China.

IoT technology is closely related to software development. Whether a patent can be granted depends greatly how the claims are drafted. Since the regulations and standards for assessing the patentability of software-related inventions are slightly different in each country, one should consider those differences in order to ensure the patentability of his/her invention. All the possible scenarios that may occur during enforcement must also be considered in claim drafting; otherwise, even if a patent is granted, the patent holder may not be able to enforce his/her patent against others.

It is worth noting that China does allow software patents (it’s one of the few countries that allow that), though we’re not sure about Taiwan, which China tries to assert sovereignty over.

As always, most software patents are laughable. Even patent maximalists like Patently-O are sometimes willing to admit this and days ago it gave an example — only to receive a threatening E-mail from the so-called ‘inventor’ (whereupon the blog published the E-mail). What’s the point trying to defend a terrible software patent which is obviously bogus? It’s 2017. We’re in the post-software patents era now. Just stop calling these patents things they’re not (buzzwords).
______
* There was another example of this last night, in a press release which said “Element Data, Inc., a decision support software platform that harnesses artificial intelligence and machine learning has acquired the assets and patent of BehaviorMatrix, LLC” (this patent is totally worthless as it’s a software patent).

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/7/2018: MusicBrainz is Back, Microsoft Pushing .NET Through Canonical

    Links for the day



  2. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  3. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  4. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  5. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  6. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  7. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  8. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  9. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  10. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  11. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  12. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  13. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  14. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  15. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  16. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  17. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  18. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  19. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  20. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  21. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  22. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  23. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  24. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  25. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  26. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  27. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  28. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  29. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  30. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day


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