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03.27.18

More Litigation Ventures of Intellectual Ventures (Microsoft’s Patent Troll) Stopped by Unified Patents

Posted in Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recently on Unified Patents:

Summary: The latest news about Microsoft’s biggest and most vicious patent troll; OIN also reappears in the media, albeit it’s no solution to patent trolls

TEN years ago we indexed articles about Intellectual Ventures, having written about it for almost a dozen years. Intellectual Ventures isn’t just another patent troll because 1) it’s the world’s largest; 2) it’s operating through literally thousands of shells; 3) it originates in Microsoft and 4) it is still being funded by Microsoft, even when Microsoft keeps saying that it “loves Linux.”

A few days ago we wrote about Intellectual Ventures suing another Microsoft competitor (using ridiculous software patents that were granted by the USPTO). This is the type of thing which usually goes on behind closed doors and only when there’s no resolution behind closed doors the public finds out about it (lawsuits are public).

Thanks to Unified Patents, this Microsoft patent troll has just lost another patent — a patent it used to extort a lot of companies with, as named by Robert Jain in this post from yesterday:

On March 26, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a final written decision in Unified Patents Inc. v. Intellectual Ventures I, LLC, IPR2016-01643 invalidating all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 6,775,745 owned and asserted by Intellectual Ventures I, LLC, a well-known NPE. The ’745 Patent, directed to a hybrid data caching mechanism, has been asserted in multiple litigations against several companies including EMC (Dell), Lenovo and NetApp. At the time of this decision, the litigation against these companies remains pending.

The lawsuits can soon be dropped hopefully; but there may be room for appeal (to CAFC). How many more victims will there be in the meantime and how can anyone carry on pretending that Microsoft has changed? It funded this troll as recently as about 2 years ago. Microsoft’s main man in this troll seized even more executive power in it.

Where are GNU/Linux vendors amid all this? Paid sufficiently by Microsoft for silence on the matter?

OIN can barely do anything against patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures. It claims to be trying to take over patents before they fall into the hands of trolls, but examples of that are extremely limited. OIN’s CEO, whom I spoke to on the phone a few times (for a long time), is the feature of this new article, published yesterday under the headline “Keep the IoT Free (Patent Battles Not Welcome)” in IoT Journal. To quote:

As the next wave of internet usage, the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform industries and provide new opportunities for technological advances. The IoT can be viewed as a means to connect objects, machines and humans in large-scale communication networks. Gartner estimates that there will be 20.4 billion IoT-connected components worldwide by 2020, and more than half of major new business systems and processes will include a IoT component.

Furthermore, according to a 2017 Boston Consulting Group report, the market for IoT products and services is expected to reach $267 billion by 2020. The report predicts that by 2020, 50 percent of all IoT spending will be driven by discrete manufacturing, transportation, logistics and utilities—critical areas of businesses and community infrastructure.

[...]

While it has experienced nearly exponential growth, the successful adoption and use of open-source by banking networks, mobile phone manufacturers, telecom networks, smart cars, cloud computing and blockchain platforms, among numerous others, was not a foregone conclusion. In 2003, there was an IP-based attack on Linux, the most prevalent open-source software project.

While the claims underlying the litigation ultimately were found to be without merit in the court proceeding, it was a wake-up call to several IP-savvy companies as to the potential negative impact of patent aggression on the growth of Linux and open source software projects. IBM, Red Hat and SUSE (then Novell) coordinated an effort with Sony, Philips and NEC to conceptualize and implement a solution designed to create a patent no-fly zone around the core of Linux.

This isn’t really what they do. They actively defend software patents from scrutiny (from GNU/Linux users) rather than defend GNU/Linux from software patents, to borrow an analogy from Bruce Perens.

Oil States Decision is Approaching and So Does Strategic Smearing of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

Posted in America, Deception, Law, Patents at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Where Opposition to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB, AIA) Has Come From Over the Past Week If Not Year

United for Patent Reform letter

Summary: With the Oil States decision expected some time in the coming weeks (or few months), the anti-PTAB lobby gets a little louder again and there are responses to it, such as the letter above

THE value of software patents is being diminished if not outright decimated by Alice. This is a good thing. The USPTO has become more selective, PTAB ensures that examiners do their job properly, and courts mostly agree with PTAB when they affirm rejections of abstract patents.

“So rather than call it “STRONGER Patents Act” why not just call it “ABOLISH PTAB Act”?”The patent trolls’ lobby isn’t happy; it’s still trying to offer tips for dodging PTAB, it selectively covers a reversal of PTAB decisions, which is the exception rather than the norm (“The Court reversed a PTAB decision invalidating Power Integrations’ U.S. Patent No. 6,249,786 (“the patent”) as anticipated because the Board’s decision was based on an unreasonably broad claim construction.”) and Steve Brachmann from Watchtroll is promoting an anti-PTAB bill only hours after the site had cherry-picked a reversal of a PTAB decision. Brachmann says, by his own admission: “Most of the STRONGER Patents Act deals with both inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings used to challenge patent validity at the PTAB.”

“The patent trolls’ lobby does not really think it’ll ever pass (it said this repeatedly), but these people still try.”So rather than call it “STRONGER Patents Act” why not just call it “ABOLISH PTAB Act”? Because PTAB is widely supported by just about everyone except law firms and patent trolls (along with a few pharmaceutical giants)? The words “STRONGER Patents” are just pure marketing and in reality the bill strives to weaken patent, i.e. reduce patent quality. We wrote about that several times last year.

The patent trolls’ lobby does not really think it’ll ever pass (it said this repeatedly), but these people still try. At best, what they might accomplish here is a sort of publicity stunt just in time for Oil States. Richard Lloyd from the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) is the latest to push this anti-PTAB bill (“STRONGER Patents Act”) and he wrote the following yesterday:

Patent legislation was firmly back on the agenda last week with the introduction of a version of the STRONGER Patents Act in the House of Representatives and a bill introduced in the Senate to extend the USPTO’s fee-setting authority. The House version of the STRONGER Act is largely the same as the bill introduced in the Senate last year and which has been championed most actively by Senator Coons and supported by the bio and pharma communities and advocacy groups such as the Qualcomm-backed Innovation Alliance.

We wrote about who was behind this bill exactly one week ago and it’s clear that just about every technology firm is firmly against it. United for Patent Reform, representing so many companies that it took 3 pages just to list them, said: “The STRONGER Patents Act would damage American innovation and undermine vital congressional reforms that American businesses have relied on to fight patent trolls. Read our letter to Rep Steve Stivers and Rep Bill Foster…”

It’s a PDF, so we made a screenshot of it.

“There are actually some people in the patent microcosm who are delusional enough to repeatedly and publicly suggest that patents and patents alone (they mean AIA) is the cause for the decline of the US; they often use “China!” as a dog-whistle.”“The STRONGER Patents Act will only distract Congress from the real problems facing the U.S. patent system and plaguing the American economy,” Benjamin Henrion quoted from it.

There are actually some people in the patent microcosm who are delusional enough to repeatedly and publicly suggest that patents and patents alone (they mean AIA) is the cause for the decline of the US; they often use “China!” as a dog-whistle.

The Administrative Council of the EPO Continues to Reaffirm Complicity in Battistelli’s Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents, Site News at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Do Tim Moss and Sean Dennehey really wish to be publicly seen with these people?

UK-IPO and EPO

Summary: Team Battistelli is greasing up the British delegation, hoping that it would help legitimise the regime which even EPO staff isn’t tolerating, not to mention the effect on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is dead as long as the United Kingdom isn’t ratifying UPCA

STAFF, such as patent examiners, received a slap on the face from the Administrative Council of the EPO last week. Rumours persist that layoffs are coming to the EPO, yet the boss who is responsible for it received a massive new bonus (like two years of full salary!).

“Battistelli already flew to Britain just to lobby his two predecessors, Lucy and Jo Johnson.”Adding insult to injury, the delegates of the pertinent nations, who attended last week’s meeting of the Administrative Council, now personally meet with Battistelli for some photo ops. It’s like they don’t really disapprove or reject him. Tim Moss from UK-IPO (Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office) did not look like he was going to challenge the Battistelli regime like his predecessor had done. Now we get assurance (or vindication) of that as not only him but Sean Dennehey (predecessor) and Gilles Requena (Bergot’s husband) are there too, along with the facilitator of the Battistelli regime, Raimund Lutz. We hoped that he would put up some resistance/distance, but he does not; instead he does a photo op with the crook. That 'collusion' with CIPA was sort of expected because CIPA is a core part of Team UPC, but why UK-IPO, which in some sense ‘competes’ with EPO? Battistelli’s or UK-IPO’s lobbying trip is a bad sign; we already know that the Unitary Patent is a major sham (crooked process and compromised/rigged votes); it’s also impossible after that Brexit vote (no matter which side one supported in that referendum). But yesterday’s puff piece (warning: epo.org link, see screenshot at the top) speaks of “preparations for setting up the new unitary patent system.”

“The puff pieces is all about Battistelli, as usual (the EPO’s Web site remains a shrine for that one person, a sort of cult of personalities).”What next? Will corrupt Battistelli keep lobbying ministers too? Is there a trip scheduled in which to lie to Sam Gyimah? Battistelli already flew to Britain just to lobby his two predecessors, Lucy and Jo Johnson.

The puff pieces is all about Battistelli, as usual (the EPO’s Web site remains a shrine for that one person, a sort of cult of personalities). “Mr Battistelli and Mr Moss,” it says, “discussed recent developments in intellectual property, including the recently released annual results of the EPO, progress on strengthening bilateral co-operation activities and preparations for setting up the new unitary patent system.”

So Battistelli also sort of lied about the results, as usual. Yesterday, the EPO was talking about patent statistics from the UK. It said: “Patent applications from the Netherlands up 2.7%, after a drop of -3.6% the previous year…”

“The meeting, based on the above summary, was the usual UPC lobbying.”“Because you gave a major discount to applicants,” I responded to them, “so it’s not really a rise, e.g. in revenue” (details in our rebuttal). On the same day the EPO also wrote: “Meeting with UK Intellectual Property Office @The_IPO highlights role of #patents in supporting innovation” (here’s that buzzword again, “innovation”).

The meeting, based on the above summary, was the usual UPC lobbying. For Dennehey too to attend and agree to a photo op with Requena, Lutz and Battistelli bodes badly for his reputation; some EPO staff actually liked him and trusted him because he was willing to listen to criticisms of Battistelli and sometimes voted against Battistelli’s proposals [1, 2].

Professionals’ Survey: Almost Everybody (90%) Accepts That EPO Patent Quality Has Fallen Under Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stakeholders agree with examiners of the EPO, who warned about the decline in patent quality (in the petition below) while media barely paid any attention (only three blogs/sites in the UK and maybe one in Germany covered it)

EPO quality letter

Summary: WIPR’s poll shows that “just 10% of WIPR readers disagreed with the claims made in the examiners’ petition.” (above)

THE quality of patents at the USPTO is being improved. The EPO, which traditionally boasted about its superior patent quality, went in the opposite direction. It was a conscious choice and one that a crooked President is responsible for. Cui bono? Ask Team UPC and their patent-trolling clients. Low-quality patents are lucrative ‘business’ to them.

“Cui bono? Ask Team UPC and their patent-trolling clients.”According to this poll whose results were published yesterday by a site which specifically targets patent/copyright/trademark law firms:

WIPR readers believe that the quality of the European Patent Office (EPO) patent is endangered by the demands of current management, according to our latest survey.

On March 16, WIPR reported that 924 patent examiners at the EPO sent a petition to the Administrative Council, which supervises the EPO, ahead of its annual meeting this month. The petition said that patent quality is being jeopardised by the demands of the EPO’s leadership.

WIPR also reported on an open letter from the EPO’s Central Staff Committee which claimed that the examination of patent applications hasn’t become any easier, or less time consuming, than some years ago.

“Therefore, the only way to achieve such objectives will be, for most of the examiners affected, to spend much less time for each single patent application,” claimed the letter.

The latest WIPR survey found that just 10% of WIPR readers disagreed with the claims made in the examiners’ petition.

This is not a scientific survey, but it does serve to show that the sentiment among patent professionals is similar to that which prevails at the EPO.

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