12.31.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patent Trolls ‘Business’ After TC Heartland: It’s Very Tough!

Posted in America, EFF, Patents at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TC Heartland v. Kraft
Reference: TC Heartland v Kraft

Summary: The latest activities inside and outside the courts show that TC Heartland became a considerable barrier to trolling and aggressive tactics of trolls have shifted to (or been aimed at) their critics

THE USPTO‘s evolving attitude towards software patents (post-Alice) is noteworthy. Section 101 is making a real difference. After TC Heartland (covered here many times before, e.g. [1, 2]) companies try to find ‘artistic’ ways to push patent litigation to crooked court districts. They often rely on software patents granted before Alice; that’s where PTAB comes handy.

The other day we saw this docket report about an attempt to bypass TC Heartland and shift lawsuit venue based on the location of a rented server (many servers are located in Texas for various business reasons). To quote:

The court granted defendant’s alternative motion to transfer for improper venue because a rented server did not qualify as defendant’s regular and established place of business.

This won’t work. TC Heartland was quite clear about this. When companies (or trolls) rely on outdated and low-quality software patents it’s not surprising that they try moving litigation to Texas. For instance, this new press release says that some company “expanded its core merchant processing services to include enterprise-grade, patent-protected software and intellectual property…”

Well, “patent-protected software” means not much after Alice; copyrights do, but not patents…

It seems as though their only hope now is judges like Gilstrap, who famously disregards the Supreme Court, not just on Alice but also TC Heartland.

People recall (citing this outline) how Michelle Lee got bullied out of her job by the patent microcosm and the patent trolls’ lobby, adding the reference to TC Heartland and alluding to trolls as “NPEs” while mentioning China. To quote: “2017 has been a year of headlines. From Michelle Lee stepping down as the Director of USPTO to the law changing decision in TC Heartland. From NPEs divesting their interests in diverse business models to China’s relatively new IP Priorities, and lot more”

Well, “China’s relatively new IP Priorities” are a recipe for patent trolling. In China, as it turns out, it’s now Shenzhen (as well as Beijing and Shanghai) that facilitates the litigation ‘business’ (patent trolls). As Chinese media put it the other day:

Southern Chinese city of Shenzhen Tuesday set up a financial court and an intellectual property (IP) court.

[...]

In 2016, courts in Shenzhen adjudicated on 14,887 IP cases of first instance, or one 10th of the nation’s total. In the first eleven months, Shenzhen courts handled 23,639 financial dispute cases of first instance, twice the number in the same period last year.

Maybe they just wish to become the next Texas. Good luck with that. It’s self-harming.

In the US, by contrast, trolls are a dying breed. William Bozeman, for example, was mentioned by the Conservative media the other day. It’s in relation to his patent battle against the Federal Reserve System, which paints Bozeman as nothing but a troll. Here are some portions from the Washington Times:

William Bozeman, an independent inventor with a colorful history, says he used to have a good relationship with the Federal Reserve System and even helped improve its fraud detection efforts.

[...]

The Fed described Mr. Bozeman as an opportunist, trying to demand money for technology he didn’t invent.

Mr. Bozeman said he is being bullied by the secretive central bank and that the Fed is trying to run up his legal bills by filing all the complaints in an effort to make him go away.

If he never implemented this thing on his own, then it makes him an opportunist. There are various companies out there, especially in Texas area, which do nothing but litigation. They aren’t doing well. Dominion Harbor is a patent troll which felt so hurt by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that earlier this year it ran an anti-EFF series (not just a single article). Nowadays it promotes other parasites and says: “We’re not running out of good ideas. We just need to get better at implementing them…”

Dominion Harbor never implemented anything whatsoever, so this statement is laughable. Patent trolls feel the pinch and publicly attack the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) as well as yours truly (they did a whole podcast about me, in which they lied endlessly about me). But don’t worry about the EFF; they’re doing just fine. They’ve just done an annual roundup of their activity and wrote:

This year was once again active in terms of patent law and policy. Throughout it all, EFF worked to protect end user and innovator rights. We pushed for a rule that would end the Eastern District of Texas’ unwarranted dominance as a forum for patent litigation. We also defended processes at the Patent Office that give it the opportunity to correct mistakes (many, many mistakes) made in issuing patents. And we fought to prevent new patent owner tactics that would increase consumer costs.

We are very supportive of the work the EFF does on the patent front these days. We habitually see “Electronic Frontier Foundation” in publications like VentureBeat and TechDirt (reposted again some days ago [1, 2]) and the public sentiment too is changing. If it carries on like this, not only will the Supreme Court acknowledge that patent trolls are a problem (some Justices already call them “trolls”) but will also weed them out in future rulings.

As a closing word, I’d like to disclose that I received a nasty letter from a highly notorious patent troll. I might publish it some time in the near future. As Ray Niro has already demonstrated, heavy-duty trolls have no qualm about attacking their critics, even if these critics are bloggers. They drag the critics to court. The EFF has been sued quite a few times by now for merely criticising particular patents.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  2. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  4. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  5. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  8. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  9. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  10. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  11. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  12. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  13. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations



  15. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day



  16. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  19. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  20. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  21. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  23. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  24. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  26. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  27. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  28. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  29. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)


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