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

01.13.18

Patent Troll Finjan Manages to Defend a Patent (on Appeal) and the Trolls’ Lobby is Loving It

Posted in America, Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Todd M. HughesSummary: Blue Coat (now owned by Symantec) has attempted — and failed — to invalidate all of Finjan’s patents using Section 101/Alice; those who are in the business of trolling view that as particularly good news because the judgment came from Timothy Dyk and Todd Hughes (much younger and appointed a few years ago)

THE USPTO had granted software patents far too easily before Alice, so in recent years we saw a lot of patent trolling from the likes of Finjan (such trolling is drying up over time, owing to courts’ decisions which repel further action).

The high-profile patent trolls and their supporters were glad to see that, for a change, after a case reached the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) the troll got its way. To give one example: “Finjan v Blue Coat Federal Circuit 1/10/18 reverses-in-part because as to 1 of 4 patents, patentee “failed to apportion damages to the infringing functionality”; court also agrees with def that “$8-per-user royalty rate was unsupported by substantial evidence.”

“Just because Alice isn’t applicable in certain cases doesn’t mean much; sometimes that is just the case.”Another one wrote: “The patentable subject matter ruling is interesting, and also because the opinion was authored by Judge Dyk, and joined by Judge Hughes, both of whom have a pronounced history of finding claims ineligible.”

Another proponent of trolls called them “anti-patent jurists” (as if being selective or expecting high quality makes one “anti-patent”). “But didn’t Dyk and Hughes,” he said, “two of the most anti-patent jurists on the Federal Circuit decide that at least some claims were patent eligible under 101?”

“Turns out that this decision is likely to be cited a lot in the future.”They try to personify it… at least they don’t resort to sexual orientation slant like corporate media does [1, 2].

Just because Alice isn’t applicable in certain cases doesn’t mean much; sometimes that is just the case. “Section 101″ isn’t always a winning argument, obviously…

Media of the patent microcosm covered this 3 days ago. It said:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Wednesday upset a $39.5 million award in long-running patent litigation between Finjan Inc. and Blue Coat Systems Inc., causing a San Jose federal judge to throw the brakes on another ongoing trial between the cybersecurity rivals.

Turns out that this decision is likely to be cited a lot in the future. “Finjan v Blue Coat Syst (Fed. Cir. 2018) PRECEDENTIAL,” said the above person. “Claims Directed to Computer Virus Detection Held Patent Eligible under 101; Other Issues in Decision: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-2520.Opinion.1-8-2018.1.PDF …”

“Finjan sued the enabler of the EPO’s police state (surveillance and censorship), but we ought to leave that aspect aside in the context of patents.”We don’t have much sympathy for Blue Coat in particular; what we see here one evil firm against another evil company (the latter at least makes and sells something). Finjan sued the enabler of the EPO's police state (surveillance and censorship), but we ought to leave that aspect aside in the context of patents.

Nicole R. Townes and Daniel Kiang from Knobbe Martens took the time to write about it. “After a bench trial,” they said, “the district court concluded that one of the asserted patents is directed to patent-eligible subject matter under Section 101.”

CAFC did not agree about all 4 patents. This is the key part: “With respect to patent-eligibility, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that the claims were not directed toward an abstract idea for two reasons. First, the claims were drawn to behavior-based virus scanning which analyzes a downloadable’s code and determines whether it performs potentially dangerous or unwanted operations. This was different than the traditional method of code-matching virus scanning. The Federal Circuit determined that this was an improvement in computer functionality. Second, the results of the behavior-based virus scan are attached to a new type of file which enables a computer security system to perform tasks that it could not do before. Also, the claims recited more than a mere result and provided specific steps of generating a security profile that identifies suspicious code and links it to a downloadable.”

That’s just software patents.

There might even be another trial. To quote: “The Federal Circuit found that Finjan failed to present a damages case for one of the asserted patents that could support the jury’s verdict and remanded for a determination of whether Finjan waived its right to establish reasonable royalty damages under a new theory and whether to order a new trial on damages.”

“IBM — like Microsoft — is literally in the business of fueling patent trolls these days.”What is also interesting about this case is that there are ramifications for Symantec (Finjan is suing just about the whole security industry, except Microsoft, as it is deeply connected to Finjan).

The Symantec connection is explained here in relation to another Microsoft-connected troll, Intellectual Ventures.

The year’s first substantive patent-eligibility decision from the Federal Circuit is a rare victory for the patentee. It is also further evidence that the outcome of an eligibility analysis may be more dependent upon how the analysis is carried out than the actual language of the claims under review.

[...]

The Court began by distinguishing Finjan’s claim with those of Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., where the Court concluded that “by itself, virus screening is well-known and constitutes an abstract idea.” Particularly, claim 1 (as construed) requires that “the security profile includes details about the suspicious code in the received downloadable, such as . . . all potentially hostile or suspicious code operations that may be attempted by the Downloadable.” Thus, “[t]he security profile must include the information about potentially hostile operations produced by a behavior-based virus scan.” In this light, the claimed invention is distinguishable from traditional virus scans that look for previously identified patterns of suspicious code in executable programs.

Here’s a new report which suggests that the above possibley leads to mistrial:

A California federal judge on Wednesday granted Symantec unit Blue Coat’s request for a mistrial in a cybersecurity patent infringement case brought by Finjan, saying a just-issued Federal Circuit decision striking damages in a related case called for a fresh jury, free from certain impressions about damages and willfulness issues.

The presiding judge said she agreed with concerns expressed by Symantec-acquired Blue Coat Systems that the Federal Circuit’s opinion in the prior case affects many of the issues that have been discussed in the current trial…

As we noted in our previous post, IBM was helping the troll last year. IBM — like Microsoft — is literally in the business of fueling patent trolls these days. When these trolls are indebted to IBM and Microsoft they will sue neither; instead, they’re more likely to sue IBM’s and Microsoft’s competitors. That may be an implicit if not explicit part of their agreement.

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 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  2. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  3. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  4. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  5. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  6. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  7. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  8. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  9. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  10. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  11. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  12. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  14. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  15. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  16. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  18. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  19. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  20. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  21. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  22. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  23. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  24. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day



  25. Patent Quality Continues to Slip in Europe and We Know Who Will Profit From That (and Distract From It)

    The corporate media and large companies don't speak about it (like Red Hat did before entering a relationship with IBM), but Europe is being littered and saturated with a lot of bogus software patents -- abstract patents that European courts would almost certainly throw out; this utter failure of the media to do journalism gets exploited by the "big litigation" lobby and EPO management that's granting loads of invalid European Patents (whose invalidation goes underreported or unreported in the media)



  26. Corporate Front Groups Like OIN and the Linux Foundation Need to Combat Software Patents If They Really Care About Linux

    The absurdity of having groups that claim to defend Linux but in practice defend software patents, if not actively then passively (by refusing to comment on this matter)



  27. Links 9/6/2019: Arrest of Microsoft Peter, Linux 5.2 RC4, Ubuntu Touch Update

    Links for the day



  28. Chapter 8: A Foot in the Door -- How to Train Sympathetic Developers and Infiltrate Other Projects

    How to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects



  29. Chapter 7: Patent War -- Use Low-Quality Patents to Prove That All Software Rips Off Your Company

    Patents in the United States last for 20 years from the time of filing. Prior to 1994, the patent term was 17 years from when the patent was issued.



  30. The Linux Foundation in 2019: Over 100 Million Dollars in Income, But Cannot Maintain Linux.com?

    Today’s Linux Foundation gets about 0.1 billion dollars per year (as explained in our previous post), so why can’t it spend about 0.1% of that money on people who write for and maintain a site that actually promotes GNU/Linux?


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