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

10.21.17

In the United States, the Patent ‘Industry’ is a Dying Breed and China Adopts This Destructive Force

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This IMF chart shows that the US is still doing fine compared to China

IMF chart

Summary: The decaying patent microcosm, or the pipeline of low-quality patents and frivolous lawsuits these entail, loses its grip on the US; China, much to the astonishment of people who actually create things, is attempting to attract that ruinous microcosm (which preys on real, producing companies)

THE world changed a lot in recent years. Probably for the worse.

On the patent front, however, the world is improving, especially in the US. The only exception to this seems to be the emergence of ‘zombie’ patent portfolios, offloaded by the truckloads onto trolls. The concern about the fate of software patents in the US is very real. The patent microcosm is furious and there are staff cuts, too. They’re becoming increasingly redundant.

The EPO and the USPTO may still be granting software patents, but fewer of these will be deemed eligible in the courtroom; fewer people will even bother filing. The numbers already speak for themselves. Litigation is down sharply.

“We are growingly worried about and frequently confronted with buzzwords as means of patenting software, in essence misleading patent examiners into granting software patents (in defiance of Section 101).”From the patent maximalists who try to convince us that more patents mean more innovation (even computer-generated patents and other awful ideas) comes this latest suggestion of “Automated Analysis of 101 Eligibility” (Alice et cetera). This is pseudoscience and a waste of time, but for lawyers with no background in the sciences this may still seem worthwhile. We previously remarked on all sorts of proprietary software packages whose marketers vainly claim to be able to asses the value/worth of patent portfolios based on text alone. Facts don’t seem to matter to these people. They even compare patents to “assets”. That’s beyond laughable and it totally misinterprets the very essence of patents.

We are growingly worried about and frequently confronted with buzzwords as means of patenting software, in essence misleading patent examiners into granting software patents (in defiance of Section 101). These patents are disguised as “cloud”, “AI”, “IoT” and all sorts of other gobbledygook. Apparently, based on this new article from Nick Beckett and Matt Pollins in CMS (China), “cloud” gets used as a loophole even in China. “New patent examination guidelines are friendlier to software patent owners,” they explain and then there’s this (the opening paragraph alone uses the word “cloud” five times):

China is in the middle of a rapid shift towards cloud technologies. Execution of the 13th Five Year Plan will deliver substantial investment into cloud computing and the sector is undergoing unprecedented growth. Meanwhile, organisations operating in this digital economy face an increasingly complex intellectual property (IP) environment, as China becomes a global IP centre and scales up IP protection, enforcement and penalties for infringement. Indeed, the number of cloud-related IP lawsuits in China grew 158% between 2011 and 2016. Against this backdrop, organisations face an important question: how can they take advantage of the enormous opportunities presented by the cloud in a way that manages this complex IP landscape? In this post, Matt Pollins and Nick Beckett from CMS look at the practical steps organisations can take to protect themselves and succeed in the cloud.

It’s no secret that China is now very much open to software patents. It’s also open to patent trolls (which typically rely on software patents). It’s a terrible strategy and a doomsday scenario, yet one that SIPO gleefully sleepwalks into. Yesterday, for example, IAM said that the person in the business of patent Armageddon (SIPO official) urges universities give patents to patent trolls in order to ‘assert’ (i.e. sue). It’s unreal, but here it goes:

This week the Intellectual Property Department here in Hong Kong played host to the annual meeting focused on IP developments on the mainland and its two Special Administrative regions (Macao being the other). One of the main topics was university tech transfer issues, and it was in this area that SIPO officials most frankly acknowledged the need for significant reform. Based on their comments, there could be big changes ahead in the field.

Patent filings by Chinese universities took a major leap in 2016, reaching over 300,000 in total. Applications for invention patents, which are typically the highest quality and most valuable rights, grew by about 28% year-on-year. These impressive numbers reflect huge investment in research on a national scale, as well as recent reforms that give universities more autonomy to set their own patent strategies.

But Deng Yiyou, a deputy division director in SIPO’s Intellectual Property Development & Research Centre, says that the vast majority of these rights are not being utilised. As many as 96% of them are never commercialised, he said, meaning no product has been produced encompassing the protected technology.

[...]

Even as patent litigation has skyrocketed in China, we have not seen university assertions on a scale that has registered among industry players. The same is largely true for government-run research labs. A case filed earlier this year by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the biggest such entity, against US LED maker Cree could prompt more IP managers in government and academia to consider a more aggressive approach. If that happens, the risk environment for all tech companies in China will shift significantly.

So basically, China seems eager to replicate the very horrible system which the US tries hard to get away from (with growing levels of success).

Watchtroll, which watches out for the trolls’ interests and promotes these interests, is obviously unhappy about where the US is going. It is still attacking TC Heartland (Supreme Court decision which hampers patent trolls) and it latched onto "China!" for the delusion of lost leadership (in trolling). Fake panic and fear-mongering again. The site is full of such garbage and almost every day one can find these rants.

“Watchtroll, which watches out for the trolls’ interests and promotes these interests, is obviously unhappy about where the US is going.”Watchtroll must be supremely envious, seeing how patent trolls are migrating to China and doing all their blackmail/mess over there. Good for litigation ‘industry’? Sure. But at whose expense? Watchtroll is basically celebrating rubbish patents where these directly harm the respective disciplines, e.g. programming/development of software.

“In direct contrast to the United States,” says Watchtroll, “innovators [sic] are finding that China is increasingly welcoming to business method and software innovations after it relaxed patent examination guidelines in those sectors earlier this year.”

They mean programmers, not innovators. They tend to frame programs as “inventions” in order to warp this debate. And yet, in spite of China’s lenient policy on software patents, there still aren’t many internationally-recognised software companies in China, are there? They’re mostly based in the US, in spite of (or because of) Section 101.

What’s probably even worse to come out of Watchtroll in recent days is this attack on the Supreme Court. So having already attacked judges and insulted PTAB staff, Watchtroll is now attacking the US Supreme Court, calling it “activist court when reviewing patent law…”

“Watchtroll must be supremely envious, seeing how patent trolls are migrating to China and doing all their blackmail/mess over there.”Disgusting!

This was published by Robert Stoll two days ago. Like David Kappos, he’s an official-turned-lobbyist and he is still lobbying for software patents, just like the former employer of Kappos (IBM). Watch what IBM’s patent chief is pushing at the moment. These are attacks on Section 101. Remember that IBM is close to Watchtroll and IBM also uses the IPO to water down Section 101 (they call it a “taskforce”).

Quite frankly, all we have here is a bunch of panicking patent bullies and their lobbyists. They make a living out of telling people that they need more and more patents while suing these people over patents.

“As one can easily see, this underestimates the importance of patent quality and focuses instead on quantity (the mistake increasingly made by the EPO under Battistelli).”What worries us a great deal is that former USPTO officials such as Stoll and Kappos resort to this kind of cronyism. It’s like there’s no separation between industry and government; policies are just being ‘tailored’ for very rich people — a direct departure from proper functioning and decency.

“Putting Yourself in the Shoes of a Patent Examiner” is a new paper recommended by the patent microcosm yesterday. The abstract (with our emphasis) says: “The mission of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is to ensure that the Intellectual Property system contributes to a strong global economy, encourages investment in innovation, and fosters entrepreneurial spirit. In order to ensure that the large volume of newly filed patent applications are examined in a reasonable timeframe, the USPTO has a system for determining the average amount of time an examiner should spend examining a patent application. Under the current production system, productivity is assessed based on Production Units (“PUs”) achieved relative to the Examiner’s production goal. The production goal is calculated for each examiner based on the number of “Examining Hours” worked in the evaluation period and quantitative values assigned to examiner seniority and complexity of the technology examined. To quantify “Production Units”, a Patent Examiner receives different “counts” for different tasks performed at different stages in prosecution. Understanding this examiner production system – also known as “count” system – is important at least because it educates a patent applicant on the system in which Patent Examiners operate. For instance, the Examiner production system underscores the importance of the events conducted in the early stages of patent prosecution. The goal of this note is to provide an overview of the system in which Patent Examiners operate by summarizing important aspects of the system currently used to evaluate the performance of a Patent Examiner.”

“Wait and watch how China collapses under its own weight of patents.”As one can easily see, this underestimates the importance of patent quality and focuses instead on quantity (the mistake increasingly made by the EPO under Battistelli). Moreover, it fails to take into account the likely virtue of a patent or its expected effect on economics. If a patent is granted to just give some company a multi-billion dollar monopoly on a life-saving drug, then maybe it’s better off not granted at all.

Debates about patent scope will likely carry on like this. Sites like Watchtroll will approach anyone willing enough to bash the US patent system and insist that it needs to grant an infinite number of patents. If left unchallenged, these ludicrous theories of theirs might even be regarded as truthful.

Wait and watch how China collapses under its own weight of patents.

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. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  2. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  3. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  4. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  6. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  7. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  8. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  9. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  10. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  11. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  12. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)



  13. Qualcomm's Patent Aggression Threatens Rationality of Patent Scope in Europe and Elsewhere

    Qualcomm's dependence on patent taxes (so-called 'royalties' associated with physical devices which it doesn't even make) highlights the dangers now known; the patent thicket has grown too "thick"



  14. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Are Still Desperate to Crush PTAB in the Courts, Not Just in Congress and the Office

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) improve patent quality and are therefore a threat to those who profit from spurious feuding and litigation; they try anything they can to turn things around



  15. IAM, Watchtroll and the EPO Still Spread the Mentality of Patent Maximalism

    The misguided idea that the objective (overall) should be to grant as many monopolies as possible (to spur a lot of litigation) isn't being challenged in echo chamber 'events', set up and sponsored by think tanks and pressure groups of the litigation 'industry'



  16. Watchtroll and Other Proponents of Patent Trolls Are Trying to Change the Law Outside the Courts in Order to Bypass Patent Justice

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) voids almost every software patent — a reality that even the most zealous patent professionals have come to grips with and their way of tackling this ‘problem’ is legislative, albeit nowhere near successful (so far)



  17. Links 16/9/2018: Windows Plays 'Nice' Again, Elisa Music Player 0.3 Beta and Latte Dock 0.8.1

    Links for the day



  18. Slamming Courts and Judges Won't Help the Patent Maximalists; It Can Only Make Things Worse

    Acorda Therapeutics sees its stock price dropping 25% after finding out that its patent portfolio isn't solid, as affirmed by the Federal Circuitn(CAFC); the only way out of this mess is a pursuit of a vastly improved patent quality, thorough patent examination which then offers legal certainty



  19. Patent Trolls Are Still Active and Microsoft is Closely Connected to Many of Them

    A roundup of patent trolls' actions in the United States; Microsoft is connected to a notably high number of these



  20. Advancements in Automobile Technology Won't be Possible With Patent Maximalism

    Advancements in the development of vehicles are being discouraged by a thicket of patents as dumb (and likely invalid) as claims on algorithms and mere shapes



  21. Battistelli “Has Deeply Hurt the Whole Patent Profession, Examiners as Well as Agents” and Also the Image of France

    A French perspective regarding Battistelli's reign at the EPO, which has not really ended but manifests itself or 'metastasises' through colleagues of Battistelli (whom he chose) and another French President (whom he also chose)



  22. António Campinos Needs to Listen to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) et al to Salvage What's Left of Public Consent for the EPO

    Groups including Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde (MdM) have attempted to explain to the EPO, with notoriously French-dominated leadership, that it’s a mistake to work for Gilead at the expense of the public; but António Campinos is just another patent maximalist



  23. The Max Planck Institute's Determination on UPC's (Unitary Patent) Demise is Only “Controversial” in the Eyes of Rabid Members of Team UPC

    Bristows keeps lying like Battistelli; that it calls a new paper "controversial" without providing any evidence of a controversy says a lot about Bristows LLP, both as a firm and the individuals who make up the firm (they would not be honest with their clients, either)



  24. Links 15/9/2018: Wine 3.16, Overwatch's GNU/Linux (Wine) 'Ban', New Fedora 28 Build, and Fedora 29 Beta Delay

    Links for the day



  25. Max Planck Institute Pours More Water on the Dying Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Max Planck Institute gives another sobering reality check for Team UPC to chew on; there's still no sign of any progress whatsoever for the UPC because even Team UPC appears to have given up and moved on



  26. EPO Seals Many Death Sentences With Acceptance of EP 2604620

    Very disappointing news as EP 2604620 withstands scrutiny, assuring that a lot of poor people will not receive much-needed, life-saving treatments



  27. Links 13/9/2018: Compiz Comeback, 'Life is Strange: Before the Storm'

    Links for the day



  28. Now We Have Patents on Rooms. Yes, Rooms!

    The shallow level of what nowadays constitutes "innovation" and merits getting a patent for a couple of decades



  29. EPO Granted a Controversial European Patent (Under Battistelli) Which May Literally Kill a Lot of People

    The EPO (together with CIPA) keeps promoting software patents; patents that are being granted by the EPO literally put lives at risk and have probably already cost a lot of lives



  30. Links 13/9/2018: Parrot 4.2.2, Sailfish OS Nurmonjoki, Eelo Beta

    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