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

12.06.17

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is Calling for Greater Transparency at USPTO and US Patent Courts

Posted in America, Courtroom, EFF, Patents at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As independence is not enough when there’s no visibility

Judicial independence
Reference: Judicial accountability and independence (UK)

Summary: Digital rights groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation still insist that it is difficult to tackle patents, challenges (e.g. at PTAB) and legal actions given the current tools and publicly available data

THE prevalence of information (Open Access and open data) in conjunction with transparency is essential for justice. It needs to be seen to be assured or verified by independent outsiders. The USPTO wouldn’t rank too badly for open data, but there’s plenty of room for improvement still.

“A lot of people now rely on Google for access to such information (problematic as it demonstrates an element akin to privatisation).”Apple fan sites which keep abreast of Apple’s latest granted patents certainly manage to find out what was approved (this one is from yesterday), but when one only sees the finished ‘product’ it leaves limited room for challenge/opposition. The USPTO has an extensive database and easy-to-search data about granted patents, but little else. A lot of people now rely on Google for access to such information (problematic as it demonstrates an element akin to privatisation).

“As we’ve said since last year, the Board enjoys a 80% approval/reaffirmation rate from the Federal Circuit, so there’s no rift.”What about data other than granted patents? Well, some sites have come into existence to help track dockets and thus patent cases, soon to be used by the EFF, CCIA and so on. The Federal Circuit (CAFC) is hard to observe except when decisions are published (worse than the Supreme Court, SCOTUS, in that regard) and with PTAB dodged using tribal immunity (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe/Allergan) things get extremely dodgy. There are satellite/proxy entities all around the world, designed purely to complicate and therefore whitewash what many have dubbed a “scam” (hard to trace reassignments back to the source, much like money laundering).

Yesterday, this long article by Vera Ranieri (EFF) spoke about how secrecy (or lack of access to information) impacts cases in the Eastern District of Texas and beyond. To quote:

In a promising step toward transparency, the Eastern District of Texas (the court that sees many of the nation’s patent cases) recently announced an amendment to its Local Rules that would require parties to file redacted versions of documents that contain confidential information. Previously, parties would file whole briefs under seal, without any public version being provided, even if only one word or line in the brief was claimed to be confidential. One of the few ways the public could protest against this improper sealing was to attempt to intervene in cases so as to require the parties and the courts to justify the sealing. But members of the public can’t possibly intervene to unseal in every case. This rule change is a step toward greater transparency.

EFF has, in recent years, worked to push back against oversealing, especially in patent cases where improper sealing is practically routine. We successfully intervened in several cases in order to provide greater transparency to the public.

[...]

EFF has also been pushing for greater transparency in the high profile patent litigation between Allergan (a branded pharmaceutical company) and generic companies who wish to make a lower cost version of the drug Restasis. The litigation took on new interest when Allergan announced it had “sold” its patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in an attempt to shield the patents from scrutiny at the Patent Office.

[...]

In both the district court case and at the Patent Office, it is clear that parties are often sealing much more information than the law allows. It is only when challenged do they agree to reveal what should have been public in the first place. While we’re glad there has been greater transparency in the cases mentioned above, it should not take EFF (or anyone else’s) intervention before the courts and parties make public what should have been public all along.

Contrariwise, looking at the patent maximalists at Patently-O, they are taking advantage of access to PTAB/Federal Circuit proceedings to cherry-pick cases and often present the PTAB as rife with disputes, controversy, even scandals. Yesterday the blog wrote about three “PTAB decisions [which] seem inconsistent, but the differences can be explained by the fact that each IPR focused on different prior art references (or combinations thereof). Note here that the patentee loses (claims are cancelled) if a claim is found invalid in any one of multiple IPR proceedings. On appeal, the Federal Circuit consolidated the cases and has ruled against the patentee — affirming the Iron Dome and Dish cancellations, but reversing the Board’s nonobviousness decision from Hulu.”

As we’ve said since last year, the Board enjoys a 80% approval/reaffirmation rate from the Federal Circuit, so there’s no rift. Compare that to the sheer disagreement between the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court, which as far as patents go is extraordinary. The Supreme Court overturned pretty much every single decision from the Federal Circuit.

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 16/11/2018: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, Mesa 18.2.5, VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  2. Berkheimer or No Berkheimer, Software Patents Remain Mostly Unenforceable in the United States and the Supreme Court is Fine With That

    35 U.S.C. § 101, which is based on cases like Alice and Mayo, offers the 'perfect storm' against software patents; it doesn't look like any of that will change any time soon (if ever)



  3. Ignoring and Bashing Courts: Is This the Future of Patent Offices in the West?

    Andrei Iancu, who is trying to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 while Trump ‘waters down’ SCOTUS (which delivered Alice), isn’t alone; António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is constantly promoting software patents (which European courts reject, citing the EPC) and even Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ is dissenting against Australian courts that stubbornly reject software patents



  4. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Figure Out How to Stop PTAB or Prevent US Patent Quality From Ever Improving

    Improvements are being made to US patents because of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which amends/culls/pro-actively rejects (at application phases) bad patents; but the likes of Andrei Iancu cannot stand that because they're patent maximalists, who personally gain from an over-saturation of patents



  5. Links 15/11/2018: Zentyal 6.0, Deepin 15.8, Thunderbird Project Hiring

    Links for the day



  6. A Question of Debt: António Campinos, Lexology, Law Gazette, and Sam Gyimah

    Ineptitude in the media which dominates if not monopolises UPC coverage means that laws detrimental to everyone but patent lawyers are nowadays being pushed even by ministers (not just those whose clandestine vote is used/bought to steal democracy overnight)



  7. Science Minister Sam Gyimah and the EPO Are Eager to Attack Science by Bringing Patent Trolls to Europe/European Union and the United Kingdom

    Team UPC has managed to indoctrinate or hijack key positions, causing those whose job is to promote science to actually promote patent trolls and litigation (suppressing science rather than advancing it)



  8. USF Revisits EPO Abuses, Highlighting an Urgent Need for Action

    “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases” — a message circulated at the end of last week — reveals the persistence of union-busting agenda and injustice at the EPO



  9. Links 14/11/2018: KDevelop 5.3, Omarine 5.3, Canonical Not for Sale

    Links for the day



  10. Second Day of EPOPIC: Yet More Promotion of Software Patents in Europe in Defiance of Courts, EPC, Parliament and Common Sense

    Using bogus interpretations of the EPC — ones that courts have repeatedly rejected — the EPO continues to grant bogus/fake/bunk patents on abstract ideas, then justifies that practice (when the audience comes from the litigation ‘industry’)



  11. Allegations That António Campinos 'Bought' His Presidency and is Still Paying for it

    Rumours persist that after Battistelli had rigged the election in favour of his compatriot nefarious things related to that were still visible



  12. WIPO Corruption and Coverup Mirror EPO Tactics

    Suppression of staff representatives and whistleblowers carries on at WIPO and the EPO; people who speak out about abuses are themselves being treated like abusers



  13. Links 13/11/2018: HPC Domination (Top 500 All GNU/Linux) and OpenStack News

    Links for the day



  14. The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

    The whole "patent quality" propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator



  15. Yannis Skulikaris Promotes Software Patents at EPOPIC, Defending the Questionable Practice Under António Campinos

    The reckless advocacy for abstract patents on mere algorithms from a new and less familiar face; the EPO is definitely eager to grant software patents and it explains to stakeholders how to do it



  16. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

    The patent trolls' propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)



  17. Team UPC, Fronting for Patent Trolls From the US, is Calling Facts “Resistance”

    The tactics of Team UPC have gotten so tastelessly bad and its motivation so shallow (extortion in Europe) that one begins to wonder why these people are willing to tarnish everything that's left of their reputation



  18. The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

    New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there's still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation 'industry' (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)



  19. Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again

    Links for the day



  20. Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust

    The false belief that better searches and so-called 'AI' can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)



  21. The Federal Circuit and PTAB Are Not Slowing Down; Patent Maximalists Claim It's 'Harassment' to Question a Patent's Validity

    There’s no sign of stopping when it comes to harassment of judges and courts; those who make a living from patent threats and litigation do anything conceivable to stop the ‘bloodbath’ of US patents which were never supposed to have been granted in the first place



  22. Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents

    An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation 'industry' because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)



  23. Guest Post: EPO Spins Censorship of Staff Representation

    Another concrete example of Campinos' cynical story-telling



  24. Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO

    Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and that’s a very major problem



  25. The Patent 'Industry' Wants Incitations and Feuds, Not Innovation and Collaboration

    The litigation giants and their drones keep insisting that they're interested in helping scientists; but sooner or later the real (productive) industry learns to kick them to the curb and work together instead of suing



  26. EPO 'Outsourcing' Rumours

    The EPO advertises jobs in Prague and Lisbon; this leads to speculations less than a year after António Campinos sent EU-IPO jobs to India (for cost reduction)



  27. Links 11/11/2018: Bison 3.2.1 and FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4

    Links for the day



  28. Pro-Litigation Front Groups Like CIPA and Team UPC Control the EPO, Which Shamelessly Grants Software Patents

    With buzzwords and hype like "insurtech", "fintech", "blockchains" and "AI" the EPO (and to some degree the USPTO as well) looks to allow a very wide range of software patents; the sole goal is to grant millions of low-quality patents, creating unnecessary litigation in Europe



  29. Latest Loophole: To Get Software Patents From the EPO One Can Just Claim That They're 'on a Car'

    The EPO has a new 'study' (accompanied by an extensive media/PR campaign) that paints software as "SDV" if it runs on a car, celebrating growth of such software patents



  30. The Huge Cost of Wrongly-Granted European Patents, Recklessly Granted by the European Patent Office (EPO)

    It took 4 years for many thousands of people to have just one patent of Monsanto/Bayer revoked; what does that say about the impact of erroneous patent awards?


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