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

11.05.17

Support for PTAB is Growing and US Congress Will Tackle Native American Tribes’ Misuse of Immunity in Two Days

Posted in America, Patents at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The relevant subcommittee is led by Darrell Issa of California

Darrell Issa
Photo in the public domain, via Wikipedia

Summary: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which is responsible for eliminating patents that should not have been granted by the USPTO, will receive additional support from US politicians (the House Judiciary Committee), who 3 days ago said that they would address attempts to dodge scrutiny

THE improvement in the US has seen the climate of patent litigation coming to a standstill. Many companies no longer bother suing (unless they’re certain their patents are strong and defensible).

The other day Joe Mullin wrote about the EFF’s success story after the EFF had written a post about it (on Halloween). It’s a success story for PTAB too, as an inter partes review (IPRs) affirmed the EFF’s assertion that the patent had been wrongly granted. To quote:

Even spookier than a Halloween costume is a patent that just won’t die.

But it looks like a once-scary patent—Personal Audio LLC’s ridiculous claim to own podcasting—is finally gone. Personal Audio has been making headlines for years now, especially after it started threatening podcasters and became the target of an EFF crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to knock it out.

EFF used that money to file an “inter partes review” at the US Patent Office, which knocked out the patent in 2015.

Inter partes reviews don’t always result in invalidation. There’s a panel of experts (technical people) and a judge deciding on such matters.

FatPipe, which was mentioned here a couple of weeks ago in relation to PTAB, is an “inventor and holder of multiple patents for software-defined networks,” by its own description. Over the past week it spent a lot of money to disseminate this press release across many sites (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) only to say that a patent was upheld. The summary says:

Key Claim covers multi-line session and packet load balancing, over disparate networks, one of the main aspects of SD-WAN

What is good about this case is that it helps debunk accusations that patents are just being thrown away without proper assessment. That’s simply not true and various firms spend money dissemination all sorts of press releases bragging about new patents and a total number of patents. Not all press releases are marked as such; IP Pro Patents, for instance, a site we habitually name for dodgy behaviour, has just published this marketing spam for Fish & Richardson (a firm often involved in patent trolls’ cases). It’s a great example of articles that aren’t. Either way, PTAB is becoming a hotly-debated subject (almost more so than court cases) and it's expected that the US Congress will soon take action in support of PTAB. This was futher reaffirmed by Jan Wolfe (Reuters) on November 2nd [1, 2, 3]. He wrote a report to say this:

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Thursday called a Nov. 7 hearing on the legitimacy of an agreement between drugmaker Allergan Plc and a Native American tribe intended to shield patents from administrative review.

The House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on intellectual property, chaired by Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, said in a statement that the hearing would include testimony from four experts on patent law, including a former in-house attorney at drug company Johnson & Johnson and a lawyer with a trade group representing the software industry.

An Allergan spokesman declined to comment on whether the company would send any executives to the hearing.

This was later covered by another high-profile site, bearing the headline “House committee to hold hearing on patent rights for Native American tribes” and stating:

The hearing has become necessary after a drug company named Allergan [corporate website] entered into a contract with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe [official website] in which Allergan transferred a number of patents to the tribe in exchange for an exclusive license for the patents. The tribe then claimed that due to its sovereign immunity, the US Patent & Trademark Office [official website] has no jurisdiction to hold inter partes review (IPR) hearings against the patents. The IPR hearings are used to invalidate patents. Allergan is also filing lawsuits against competitors for violating the same patents that cannot be invalidated by the IPR hearings. SRC Labs LLC has also transferred patents to the same tribe and are suing Amazon and Microsoft for violating those patents.

[...]

Chairman Goodlatte has stated that the hearing is necessary to ensure the patent system protects and promotes American innovation. Subcommittee Chairman Issa stated the hearing is important to ensure that sovereign immunity is not being used to “game” the system to shield patents from checks and balances.

This is very good. Congress, judges and even large companies support PTAB. Soon it will be the Supreme Court (we hope). The EFF’s Vera Ranieri commented on the CCIA’s submission to the Supreme Court (in support of PTAB, obviously). She said: “I’m really interested to read @CCIA’s Oil States amicus, written by John Duffy. Section II is an interesting and intriguing take” (there’s a screenshot there).

From the official statement of CCIA: (via)

The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined a Supreme Court amicus brief filed Monday evening in a patent case that is being closely watched by the thousands of companies sued every year by those abusing the patent system.

The case will determine whether inter partes review (IPR) is constitutional. CCIA and others believe IPR is a crucial tool to fight poor quality patents, which are often used in abusive litigation.

For additional information, please see CCIA Patent Counsel Josh Landau’s blog post today.

We mentioned it before, in conjunction to the one important submission from the EFF. With such widespread and bipartisan support for PTAB we expect Justices to see that opposition to PTAB comes mainly from the litigation ‘industry’ and the patent trolls’ lobby.

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 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  2. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  3. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  4. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  5. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  6. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  7. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  8. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  9. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  11. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  12. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  13. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  15. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  16. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  17. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  18. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  19. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests



  20. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather



  21. Links 13/7/2019: Librem 5 July Update, Project Trident 19.07, KDE Frameworks 5.60.0

    Links for the day



  22. The Problem Isn't Women or Minorities in Free Software But Particular Corporations That Exploit or Steer or Hijack Their Agenda

    If technical issues are being disguised using colours and genders (among other things), then it's important to highlight who's behind it (what company/ies) rather than fling back insults at people because it makes things worse



  23. There's No Such Thing as Cloud Computing, Serverless and All That Other Nonsense

    Buzzwords. Confronted.



  24. Linux is Doing 'Well' Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

    Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that's used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it



  25. Consultation About Direction and Future Focus for Techrights

    We invite ideas and recommendations for the future of the site, notably which topics and aspects are worth covering as a matter of higher priority



  26. European Media Continues to Ignore the EPO Crisis While Law Firms and EPO Management Cover Things Up

    The EPO crisis silently deepens because serious problems are lied about, not acknowledged, and the legitimacy of European Patents is greatly diminished, not to mention the EPO's ability to attract talent



  27. Links 12/7/2019: Alpine 3.10.1 is Out and Red Hat Loses Oliva

    Links for the day



  28. Links 11/7/2019: KDE Plasma 5.16.3 and Verifying Gentoo Election Results

    Links for the day



  29. Campinos is Already Widely Seen as Battistelli the Second, Even Among EPO Stakeholders

    The Frenchmen in charge of the EPO may have a taste (and waste) for wine, but they have no clue how to run a patent office (except into the ground); patent application numbers are meanwhile falling (a reduction in demand)



  30. The EFF Responds to IBM's Liars and Lobbyists for Software Patents Just a Day After Red Hat is Officially Absorbed

    IBM's unacceptable stance and abominable actions on the patent front continue to haunt it; IBM must quickly dissociate and reconsider its patent strategy so as to not alienate thousands of workers (the real asset of Red Hat) it has just spent a fortune on


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

Recent Posts