12.03.17

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IAM in Think Tank Mode Promotes Patent Maximalism, Characteristically Sponsored by the Patent Microcosm

Posted in Asia, Australia, Patents at 1:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IPBC Australasia

Summary: Another week of IAM lobbying for patent maximalism in the United States, Australia and Asia, as well as the obligatory promotion and whitewashing of large patent trolls

IAM never gets tired because it’s being paid to press on with its agenda in its capacity as lobbyist/think tank. More sites out there ought to rebut the weak arguments made by IAM, but as we’ve stated for years, coverage regarding patents is largely controlled by the patent microcosm. They even infiltrate the mainstream media, which either quotes uncritically or hands over the platform (for lack of proficient journalists who grasp patent law). This is a very serious problem.

Last week IAM organised another lobbying event, obviously funded exclusively by the patent microcosm (see list of sponsors) and stacked in the panel sense with the patent microcosm. Those attending (again, the patent microcosm) will only hear what they want to hear (and tell officials), so in effect it’s another echo chamber where the patent microcosm preaches to the choir and maybe some public officials in Australia and Asia. Among those speaking? Shelston IP, which we covered last month and also last year (on several occasions). It’s lobbying both Australia and New Zealand for software patents, thankfully to no avail.

“Corporates from Australia and New Zealand ignore IP issues in Asia’s developing countries at their peril,” IAM wrote, “delegates to IPBC Australasia heard today.”

‘Delegates’…

The whole thing was a charade and a lobbying opportunity, facilitated as usual by IAM and sponsored by those who have plenty to gain. IAM has basically just given a lobbying platform to malicious and parasitic firms like Shelston IP which push an extremist agenda.

To quote a portion:

Of course there was also no shortage of discussion of the local IP dynamics facing Australian and New Zealand companies. The recent IP policy recommendations made by the Australian government elicited strong debate on both sides, particularly over the usefulness of the second-tier innovation patent, which the government plans to abolish. For moderator Grant Shoebridge of Shelston IP, it was a reminder that what he called an “anti-innovation mindset” can create its own species of IP risk, much closer to home.

Shelston IP as a moderator? Seriously?!

Shortly beforehand IAM resumed its lobbying against the USPTO, where software patents had been severely weakened. With Andrei Iancu sounding almost like a ‘mole’ of the patent microcosm inside the USPTO, IAM must feel emboldened. Here is what it said: (it mentions David Kappos, a lobbyist, as well as Coons, a politician for patent trolls)

In response to a question from Senator Coons, Iancu admitted that he was well aware of some of the strident criticisms levelled against the post-issuance review process – a particular sore point for some patent owners – and admitted that, in some cases, those criticisms were justified. “It’s true that the system is heavily criticised and that’s important to note because if the inventor community does not have confidence in the IP system then investments do not get made and inventions slow down and the economy doesn’t benefit,” he commented. He took a similar line when asked about patent eligibility in the wake of the recent string of Supreme Court cases which have thrown the issue into some level of confusion – particularly with regard to medical diagnostic and computer implemented inventions.

[...]

Just two senators, committee chairman Senator Grassley and Senator Coons, the author of the STRONGER Patents Act and one of the few legislators with a keen interest in the functioning of the patent system, remained to ask questions. That apparent lack of interest from many committee members and the relatively benign questions that Iancu faced suggest that his confirmation should be straightforward. The job awaiting him is anything but.

The STRONGER Patents Act (last mentioned by us last month as it’s pretty much dead and barely even mentioned by anyone any longer) will hopefully receive a cold shoulder from Iancu and the likes of him (although it’s not for him to decide on). Those who still mention the STRONGER [sic] Patents Act are those who try to promote it. Expect no mention of it next year. It’s a lame duck, more so than the UPC.

Last but not least, watch how IAM interacts directly with and props up a patent troll, Provenance Asset Group [1, 2]. This is why we started referring* to IAM as the “patent trolls’ lobby”. Inadvertently, IAM has become a valuable source to those who try to keep abreast of patent trolls and their activity. Provenance Asset Group CEO Dan McCurdy is referred to as some kind of expert rather than a troll. IAM amplifies apologists of patents trolls, so why not quote him and others as follows?

As well as McCurdy’s comments about why the Yahoo! assets had so far failed to find a buyer, the panel discussion also looked at a range of other reasons for why patent deals fall apart. Friedman pointed out that deals often face competition from other assets such as real estate, which might be more appealing and perhaps better understood than an IP transaction. Plus dealmakers in the IP space still run up against a familiar narrative which can turn investors off. “The zeitgeist on Wall Street is that anyone who asserts a patent is a troll,” Friedman commented. “We’ve had deals fall apart because an investor has this irrational fear of assertion.” Creating a competitive dynamic for patent assets with that kind of concern is still a huge challenge for dealmakers. Just ask Yahoo!.

The above contains a falsehood. People allude to entities which create nothing (like Provenance Asset Group) and “assert a patent” (euphemism for lawsuits/extortion) as trolls. Is Friedman one of those people who fail to grasp the simple fact that entities which sue and make absolutely nothing are by definition trolls? Nobody wants to be called a “troll”, so they just lie to themselves about what they do and what they really are. Even IAM, which hides behind euphemisms such as “asset management”, is little more than a facilitator or enabler of patent trolls.
_____
* We also call Watchtroll that. Watchtroll is such an utterly dumb site that it not only lobbies for patent trolls but also said “Pirated Free Software” yesterday. Fredrik Ohrstrom actually alluded to Minix. It’s not an issue if BSD-licensed (like Minix), yet he used that to fling a lot of FUD at “Free Software”. Watchtroll is a premiere source of misinformation, albeit misinformation which comforts the patent microcosm.

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