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

05.28.18

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Patent Reform (AIA) Generally Too Popular to Stop, But Patent Law Firms Helped by Andrei Iancu Keep Trying

Posted in America, Patents at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent maximalists’ Office takeover isn’t a court/s takeover

Andrei IancuSummary: The patent microcosm together with Andrei Iancu (who himself came from the patent microcosm) is frustrated to have come to grips with quality control; low-quality patents continue to be rejected by courts

WHETHER it likes it or not, the leadership of the USPTO will need to adapt to court rulings, not selectively but properly. Otherwise people will lose confidence in US patents and will no longer pursue these.

There’s this thing we recently dubbed “Cult of Patents”; they’re patent maximalists who insist that innovation cannot happen without patents, that patents are a “property”, and that patents are justified for thoughts, nature etc. In short, they’re pretty badly deluded.

“There’s this thing we recently dubbed “Cult of Patents”; they’re patent maximalists who insist that innovation cannot happen without patents, that patents are a “property”, and that patents are justified for thoughts, nature etc.”Mohamed Salem Abou El Farag from Qatar University’s College of Law said in his paper dated May 5th (2018): “Intellectual property (IP) is the branch of law that protects innovations and creations…”

But no, it is a propaganda term rather than a law and sometimes — if misused/overused — it actually damages innovation and creation. This has been demonstrated empirically in the past. Why are some people still saying things like these? They can just stop saying “IP” altogether. It’s a misleading propaganda term. If they mean patents, then they should say “patents”, not “IP”. How about this one (titled “Intellectual Property”)? “There are four general areas of IP,” it said some days ago, “patents, trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks. It’s important to understand the four types and how they differ.”

“They can just stop saying “IP” altogether. It’s a misleading propaganda term. If they mean patents, then they should say “patents”, not “IP”.”Why say IP or “Intellectual Property” at all? By the article’s own admission, there are “patents, trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks.”

They’re completely different laws; they work differently.

Another new article of note speaks of patents “in connection with 3D printing technology” — the sorts of patents which famously held back 3D printing for a number of decades (the same goes for drones). To quote:

An increase in attempts to obtain patent protection in connection with 3D printing technology means the patent space in this area has become very crowded, likely an indication that additive manufacturing is overtaking traditional manufacturing processes.

Not only 3D printers themselves but also certain mechanical parts for computing and manufacturing might be subject to patent protection. Of course, software used for 3D printing (like all software) enjoys copyright protection in most jurisdictions. But software can also be eligible for patent protection in some countries (such as the US).

Thus, new entrants must be careful not to infringe others’ patent rights. When trying to safeguard their own additive manufacturing’s critical IP, businesses should analyse their options under patent law and consider securing IP through trade secret protection, copyright and design laws.

In the case of 3D printing we have a classic example of patents actually slowing down and preventing innovation. This does not quite apply to trademarks or even to copyrights, as similar ideas can be expressed under different brands and using different words.

Speaking of “different words”, many people nowadays try to patent old things by using buzzwords and new/different words, e.g. “cloud” for server or “AI” for some clever algorithm. Here is an example of ‘cloudwashing’ in a press release from a few days ago:

The patent for invention 9,973,499 is issued for technology that extends greater endpoint trust, through identity verification and policy enforcement, for secure network-to-network and network-to-cloud connections.

This is, by the sound of it, a software patent. But the wording doesn’t say anything remotely like that. Over at Watchtroll, Samuel Hayim and Kate Gaudry admit what many patent lawyers prefer to deny in order to attract/lure gullible businesses into software patent pursuits (in vain). “Eligibility Rejections are Appearing in Greater Frequency Across all Computer Related Technology Centers,” says their headline and here are some bits:

Four years after the Alice decision…

[...]

The frequency of any particular rejection type may be influenced by seminal Federal Circuit and Supreme Court cases. Judicial decisions are interpreted into policy decisions by the United States Patent Office (USPTO) and distributed to patent examiners in the form of examination guidance memoranda and other training materials. At least initially, major changes in jurisprudence are more likely to burden applications in the technological art analyzed by the court than applications in other arts as the USPTO will extend the courts analysis to those applications pending in that technological art. Yet, as the dust settles, the full impact of these decisions may be seen across all technology centers (TCs) of the USPTO.

[...]

Examiners have not been the only obstacle to securing patents for business-method technologies. For example, we recently analyzed Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ex parte appeal decisions having had Appeal Briefs filed after the Alice decision. We reviewed PTAB decisions from computer related technology centers, including TCs 2100, 2400, 2600 and the business method portion of TC 3600. Nearly all eligibility rejections at issue stemmed from the business-method art units[5], and a mere 7% of those appeals were successful (i.e. reversed).[6] Thus, the Alice decision had a significant impact on the applications from business method art units.

Patent maximalists have meanwhile gone so insane or incredibly selfish that they nowadays bash their own country, notably the US, using sheer lies while glamouring China not because it’s good but because patents are out of control there, software patents included. We wrote about that twice over the weekend.

Adding insult to injury (to the system), some patent lawyers have gone as far as plotting patent “scams” wherein patents are being passed to tribes to avoid justice. That just wouldn’t fly however (at many levels, including Congress/Senate, courts, PTAB and public forums). Here’s the latest of that:

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court released their decision in Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lundgren. The opinion effectively held that the simple fact of in rem jurisdiction does not always bar claims of tribal sovereign immunity.

In rem jurisdiction is one argument that might bar the new practice of renting tribal sovereign immunity to a patent owner in order to shield the patent from inter partes review (IPR). That argument, among others, is now being reviewed by the Federal Circuit in the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Allergan case. (CCIA joined an amicus brief in front of the Federal Circuit.)

[...]

At first glance, it’s not obvious why the immovable property exception is relevant to patents. Patents are public franchises, not land. And patents are intangible property, not land tightly bound to a particular physical location.

But patents are a form of property, as Oil States made sure to emphasize. And patents have territorial limits, the scope of which are being decided in the WesternGeco case right now.

That second statement is important. Patents share an important characteristic with land—they are both geographically limited forms of property, and those geographical limits are fixed and immovable. Land has boundaries; United States patents apply only within the United States. While you can transfer ownership of a patent to a foreign entity, just like you can sell land, the patent itself will still only apply within the United States and the rights associated with the land will only apply within the deeded boundaries.

That means that, like land, patents are (at least in a sense) immovable property permanently situated within the United States. And any decision which allows the application of sovereign immunity to patents thus creates an offense to the sovereignty of the United States in the same way that applying sovereign immunity to prevent a state from determining the status of its own land offends the sovereignty of that state.

Unified Patents has declared (6 days ago) that a patent “asserted in more than 50 district court cases” will no longer bother the world, owing to a PTAB IPR:

On May 18, 2018, Anuwave LLC (an IP Edge entity) and Unified Patents Inc. filed a joint request to terminate IPR2018-00223 prior to institution pursuant to settlement. U.S. Patent 8,295,862, the subject of the IPR petition, relates to banking through SMS and has been asserted in more than 50 district court cases.

Therein lies the power of PTAB. But an ideal situation would have been invalidation.

The bottom line is, the USPTO granted far too many dubious patents whose potential is to harm rather than to foster innovation. That ought to change. Patents are supposed to advance the public interest.

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. The EPO (European Patent Office) Under António Campinos is Just Another Battistelli EPO; Still UPC and Software Patents Lobbying

    Campinos has done pretty much nothing but a single blog post since taking Office; it makes one wonder what he's doing all day and whether he ever intends to tackle all the abuses that compelled the Council to replace Battistelli



  2. Cisco v Arista Networks is a Stain on the Reputation of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and It's Beginning to Recognise This

    Cisco is leveraging software patents which PTAB deemed to be invalid against a much smaller firm (revenue ~30 times smaller), demanding an embargo and bypassing the ordinary routes of justice by turning to the ITC



  3. Openet Has Been Intimidated by Amdocs Using Another Patent Infringement Lawsuit

    Amdocs is still engaging in legal intimidation and litigious bullying against its much smaller rivals/competitors; Openet is the latest reminder of it, having paid an undisclosed amount of money to end the dispute



  4. Federal Circuit Judges Moore, Dyk and Reyna Tell Allergan That It is Not Above the Law

    Allergan and a Native American tribe have lost their ridiculous case; after swapping tens of millions of dollars in pursuit of immunity for patents they've lost again (in what's likely their last resort/appeal); expect the patent microcosm to attempt to distract from it (like they did Oil States)



  5. Links 20/7/2018: MusicBrainz is Back, Microsoft Pushing .NET Through Canonical

    Links for the day



  6. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  7. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  8. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  9. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  10. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  11. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  12. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  13. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  14. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  15. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  16. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  17. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  18. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  19. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  20. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  21. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  22. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  23. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  24. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  25. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  26. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  27. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  28. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  29. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  30. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions


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