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07.07.18

IAM Keeps Promoting Brian Yates and His New Patent Troll, iPEL, Which is About to Become Very Aggressive

Posted in Deception, Patents at 3:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They keep saying “ethical” (they’ve even just trademarked the word) as that’s the very opposite of what they are and it’s part of a PR strategy/charm offensive

iPEL

Summary: For the second time in about a week IAM is posting advertising puff pieces for a new patent troll which “promises a big litigation play within a fortnight” (that’s basically a threat, penned by IAM)

WHEN IAM isn’t just the megaphone of corrupt managers at the EPO (e.g. Battistelli, who writes for IAM, pays IAM and keynotes their events) it is acting as a press partner or megaphone of trolls, even lowering the paywall for them. iPEL is an extortion racket disguised as "for small businesses", but IAM keeps advertising these people, even by speaking directly to them. This patent trolls’ lobby, which is connected to corrupt people like Battistelli, promotes this troll once again in a matter of one week, letting the mask basically slip and showing the true nature of IAM. From their latest ‘ad’ for iPEL:

The boss of an NPE that launched in late June with $100 million of funding has said that within the next two weeks it will be filing “extremely large patent infringement lawsuits in China, against a major consumer products manufacturer”.

Brian Yates, the CEO of iPEL, told IAM that the firm will be “asserting a minimum of 50 distinct patents against accused products inclusive of each of their major product lines”, and predicted that the case will result in “China’s first damages award above $100 million”.

[...]

iPEL was co-founded by Yates, a long-time monetisation figure who formerly led Prognosis IP, and Rasheed McWilliams, who most recently led the litigation group at Cotman IP Law Group. It is promoting itself as an ‘Ethical NPE’, a term it has trademarked. In addition to offering free licences to small businesses and start-ups with annual revenues of less than $5 million, it has laid out a set of principles it will follow. Among these is a commitment not to litigate without first making an operating company aware of its existence and inviting an amicable dialogue under an NDA.

This blog already reported on patent transactions made by entities affiliated with the firm back in March, before its formal launch. In a series of assignments recorded at the USPTO, iPEL picked up patents from ZTE, Panasonic and a number of entities controlled by Transpacific IP head Guy Proulx.

[...]

Despite its recent launch, iPEL is already doing deals, Yates confirmed: “That revenue has been generated outside of litigation, with companies that recognise the value of iPEL’s patents. That is our preferred method of doing business – but, the reality is that litigation is often necessary.”

That’s just the ‘protection’ money rhetoric. Notice, as per the above, that they even trademarked “Ethical NPE”. That’s like Donald Trump trademarking “Honest businessman”. How much of that “$100 million of funding” will be channeled/funneled into IAM, e.g. in the form of event “sponsorship”?

Either way, they’re about to inflict a lot of damage. 4 days ago Buffalo Business First published a column titled “Fighting back against patent trolls” and here we are seeing IAM gleefully advertising patent trolls (in collaboation with them), having also promoted the UPC on the payroll of the EPO’s PR firm (Team UPC is a proponent of trolls, too).

This is rather grotesque and anyone on the payroll of IAM should be utterly ashamed of himself (or herself; they recently hired one female too, the sole female in their team). It’s worth noting that many IAM writers left recently, including one female.

“This is rather grotesque and anyone on the payroll of IAM should be utterly ashamed of himself…”It’s not really a matter of gender (or nationality); it’s about the agenda. The above lady has just published this piece, which IAM summarised as follows: “Oppo acquisition deal with Dolby – involving 240+ patents in 20 families – is the Chinese company’s biggest one to date.”

Here is the summary:

Oppo has made its largest patent acquisition so far, taking in over 20 patent families – totaling around 240 individual assets covering audio and visual technologies – from Dolby. The transfer of the US rights involved was recorded at the USPTO on 23rd May.

It’s not even big news; much bigger patent acquisitions happen all the time. Her colleague Timothy Au wrote about Samsung the other day, adding a slant based on another one of those boring “exclusive analyses” (like the lies he recently spread for Battistelli about patent ‘quality’). The “US leads by number of applications for three-dimensional integrated circuit (3D IC) patents,” he said, “but it is set to be overtaken by Asia if current growth trends continue, an exclusive analysis for IAM has revealed. Meanwhile, Samsung dominates in this crucial subsector of the semiconductor market by number of applications, and Japan’s Semiconductor Energy Laboratory takes the crown for the highest-quality portfolio.”

“EPO workers certainly know about the special relationship between crooked Battistelli and IAM.”But that does not speak of the great disparity in terms of patent quality. Not every patent office holds or maintains the same standards, so adding these numbers together would be pseudo-scientific, i.e. business as usual for IAM.

If another word of caution was needed about this site (a front group disguised as a publisher or “news”), the above overly crude promotion of patent trolls ought to be it. EPO workers certainly know about the special relationship between crooked Battistelli and IAM.

Alice and Mayo (Inspiring § 101) Untouched for the Foreseeable Future, Meaning That the Patent Microcosm Now Smears the US Supreme Court

Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 2:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re resorting to attacks on judges and courts now…

Watchtroll

Summary: Frustration among the patent ‘industrialists’ (litigation ‘industry’) as guidelines maintain that abstract patents — such as software patents and business methods — are bunk and nothing is going to change any time soon (if ever)

The US Supreme Court has forced the USPTO to change its ways and in spite of very heavy lobbying like we’ve just mentioned, Section 101 isn’t going away; it’s not even being changed.

“…Section 101 isn’t going away; it’s not even being changed.”Patent maximalists will carry on whining about Section 101 every week if not every day, but Justices at the Supreme Court aren’t dealing with anything similar to Alice and Mayo. Their (almost) latest ruling in the domain of patents was WesternGeco (WesternGeco LLC v ION Geophysical Corp., a case regarding ‘damages’) and upcoming cases, picked only weeks ago, notably deal with prior art (§ 102), not patent scope. Kevin Dietz (Baker Donelson) has just mentioned the outcome in IAM, Joseph Robinson and Robert Schaffer did that over at Watchtroll and Richard Lloyd wrote about this again at IAM.

“….upcoming cases, picked only weeks ago, notably deal with prior art (§ 102), not patent scope.”What we’ve been seeing recently are more attacks from the patent microcosm on the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and its Justices. It’s rather revealing. They attack the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), then the Federal Circuit (CAFC, recent example here), and now SCOTUS. Who next? Bullies is what they are. Here’s a new example of attacks on SCOTUS: “The lack of any engineering or scientific expertise on the S.Ct. has led to some disasterous decisions for the software and medical diagnostics areas; i.e. Alice and Mayo.”

No, they got it right and § 101 finally takes into account the need for something physical. Mr. Gross, a facilitator of patent trolls, wrote more rants about § 101, for example:

What #patent atty in their right mind wrote these claims? “…having an online user label an online product with a color; and outputting the product with the color to a display device, storage medium or network” http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220180181986%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20180181986&RS=DN/20180181986 … PTO: HELLO INVENTOR! PLEASE MEET 35 USC §101

Yes, well… they’re cleaning up by undoing these grants (made in error). Inventors should be pleased about it; patent maximalists like Mr. Gross? Not so much…

In Motorola (MSI) v Hytera a Reminder That the ITC Does Not Honour PTAB

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 2:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These patents are already being questioned

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board Accepts Third Petition of Global PMR Communications Provider Hytera to Initiate Invalidity Proceedings for Key Motorola Solutions Patent

Summary: The ‘embargo agency’ (ITC), prior to a proper assessment of the underlying patents (their validity, irrespective of alleged infringement), lets Motorola push around a rival

THE status quo isn’t changing. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the USPTO is under attack from several politicians, but as long as the public is vigilant they’re unlikely to make any progress. The STRONGER Patents Act died again this summer (like last summer) and so will these newer efforts (e.g. “Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018″ and Orrin Hatch’s 'gift' to his sponsors).

“If Hytera files an inter partes review (IPR), will the ITC suspend its judgment? And if the patents in question are invalidated, will the ITC revoke or withdraw from its action?”Certain companies are unable to accept and are incapable of tolerating the destruction of their patents (or their perceived value), so they try to simply crush those that reassess patents, notably PTAB. Some even call for embargo based on patent allegations, skipping a stage and reaching out to the ITC, which months ago became notorious for altogether ignoring PTAB’s judgment (decision to void patents). Our remarks about Motorola, as mentioned the other day, were all about this case that’s still hovering in the news [1, 2, 3] (examples from the past week alone). If Hytera files an inter partes review (IPR), will the ITC suspend its judgment? And if the patents in question are invalidated, will the ITC revoke or withdraw from its action? Unless those questions are clarified (outside the case of Cisco), perceptions will linger/persist about the ITC’s attitude towards the law. The accused is always to be presumed innocent until/unless the patents are upheld as valid, no matter the alleged infringment.

AIPLA, IPO and NYIPLA Lobby Against Section 101 and Thomas Massie Wants to Stop PTAB

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) assures patent quality, as does Section 101, which PTAB is applying

Orrin Hatch's funding
Source: OpenSecrets

Summary: The lobby of the litigation ‘industry’ is desperately trying to derail patent reform — to the point of paying millions of dollars to American politicians who try to pass anti-PTAB legislation (reminder above)

THE US patent system, where courts call the shots and the USPTO just stamps lots of dubious patents, shows quite clearly the result of decades of over-granting. When a patent system loses sight of its original goal/s it may simply become a patent-printing machine and litigation pipeline, detached fully from the image/vision of innovation.

Last weekend we covered in a lengthy post an effort to claim “agreement” that the US needs change because patent reform went “too far”. The patent trolls’ lobby, IAM, is speaking of consensus among the patent aggressors, calling “for legislative reform of Section 101″. To quote:

The growing consensus around changing the laws concerning patent eligible subject matter in the US received another boost late last week when the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) backed a joint proposal for reform from the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) . While changing section 101 of the US patent statute remains a significant challenge given the competing interests of various industries, the fact that several of the main players representing both operating companies and private practice lawyers are coalescing around proposed new language is significant.

Anyone who knows what the above groups stand for would immediately realise that those looking to undermine Section 101 just simply want a lot more litigation. IPO, for instance, is a malicious pressure group of patent aggressors and thugs like patent trolls; it even lobbies for software patents (explicitly); one can think of IPO as the “hired guns” of the patents fanatics and days ago it glorified firms that amass a lot of patents (irrespective of quality).

There’s another effort to change the law these days. Some readers alerted us about it. Michael Loney calls it “Bill to abolish PTAB” and the person behind it receives campaign contributions. $136,602 is the grand total of contributions Thomas Massie has reported in the current election cycle. Here come the patent maximalists promoting the bill. Dennis Crouch echoes the same old propaganda (which he knows to be false). Innovations and patents are not the same thing; the latter can harm the former. “Although libertarians are somewhat divided on the role of intellectual property rights,” he wrote, “Massie is firmly in the camp of treating them as strong property rights.”

Abolishing or weakening PTAB would simply cause further declines in patent quality, not innovation. “How much do patents matter to innovation?”

This was the headline of this new article from Thomas F. Cotter, who is the Briggs and Morgan Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. “I used to ridicule Chief Justice Burger’s assertion in a famous case that whether certain bacteria were patentable,” he said. In context:

Early in my career, I used to ridicule Chief Justice Burger’s assertion in a famous case that whether certain bacteria were patentable or not “may determine whether research efforts are accelerated by the hope of reward or slowed by want of incentives, but that is all.” If patents had only such a marginal impact on innovation, I wondered, why bother having a patent system in the first place? As the years have passed, however, I’ve come to see that maybe the chief was right—that, as Kevin Kelly writes, the technium evolves according to its own unique path and timetable. Perhaps the best the law can do is move it along a little faster or smoother than it otherwise might go. A rather humble mandate, perhaps; but at a time in which humility often seems to be in short supply, a bit refreshing for all that.

No bacteria should be patented. It shows just how out-of-touch the patent system has become.

A few days ago in Finance and Commerce Shobita Parthasarathy (University of Michigan) published an article titled “U.S. patent system out of step with today’s citizens”. He authored a complaint about the patent microcosm, albeit using different terminology:

But the dynamics of the patent system have changed in recent decades. Public health activists have filed lawsuits stating that, rather than increasing access to technology, patents create monopolies that make good health unaffordable and inaccessible for many. In 2013, a coalition of patients, health care professionals and scientists challenged patents covering genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer at the U.S. Supreme Court. They argued the patents had led to expensive and poor-quality genetic tests available only through one company: Myriad Genetics, the patent holder.

Meanwhile, small farmers have organized protests against seed patents, suggesting they accelerate the corporate control of agriculture in ways that are damaging for their livelihoods, for innovation, for consumers and for the ecosystem.

And civil society groups have instigated legislative hearings and media campaigns arguing that patents implicitly provide moral certification for the development and commercialization of ethically controversial areas of research and development. Such campaigns began as early as the 1980s, when environmentalists, animal rights organizations and religious figures challenged the patentability of genetically engineered animals. They worried that by turning these animals into commodities, the patent system would transform people’s understanding of ownership and our relationship with the natural environment.

Patent system officials and lawyers tend to view this activism as seriously misguided. They argue that these citizen challengers lack the expertise to understand how the patent system works: It is a limited domain focused merely on certifying the novelty, inventiveness and utility of inventions. This technical and legal orientation is also embedded in the rules and processes of the system, which make it virtually impossible for average citizens to participate, except by submitting patent applications.

They have long attempted to shut the public out and buy themselves legislation using corruptible (easy-to-bribe) politicians like Orrin Hatch, who also tries to pass new anti-PTAB legislation on behalf of his sponsors.

One Week of António Campinos at the EPO: Early Uncertainty

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Elizabeth Hardon was virtually forced to retire and Patrick Corcoran is reportedly hospitalised (in spite of their innocence)

Glasses on calendar

Summary: António Campinos completes a week’s work at the European Patent Office, but our main concern or reservation is that he is not doing anything to assure staff and stakeholders that the Office takes justice seriously

WE WOULD genuinely anticipate and very honestly like to think that the scandals can be left behind. It would be nice, wouldn’t it? But in order for that to happen we need to observe change and remorse. We haven’t quite seen that yet.

“Unless Patrick Corcoran and Elizabeth Hardon get their jobs back (as difficult as it may be given their frustration), we’re just left assuming that President Campinos has done nothing to restore a sense of justice, let alone justice itself.”Among the many articles posted about Battistelli’s last (and in some sense horrific) week was this Heise report about his attack on justice and attack on the staff union. SUEPO’s translation [PDF] of this article appeared online just before the weekend (in its Web site). Highlighted below are two reminders that the judge is still not back, a SUEPO leader was compelled to end her career (after Battistelli had threatened to take away some of her pension too) and the other two staff representatives have not yet received a sign of reassurance/compliance (with ILO-AT’s rulings) from António Campinos, not to mention other staff representatives who have not yet had their ‘hearings’ (ILO does not offer an opportunity to actually speak). Here is the translation:

Union members of the European Patent Office win claim against dismissal

(Picture: dpa, Frank Leonhardt)

The International Labour Organization has upheld claims by three union members against the European Patent Office. It has suspended demotions and dismissals.

Shortly before the end of his term in office, on 30 June 2018, the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) Benoît Battistelli has had his ears boxed, in public. The Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT) has found in favour of three leading members of the EPO staff union SUEPO in their claims against the disciplinary measures and dismissals which he imposed. The EPO, as a supranational organization, is not subject to any national law. When it comes to labour law disputes, the ILOAT has exclusive jurisdiction.

With his decisions, Battistelli overrode the findings of the disciplinary commission responsible at the EPO in 2016. The commission only wanted to demote the union executive Ion Brumme within the EPO hierarchy, but the President fired him instead. For the Treasurer of the EPO union, Malika Weaver, the commission imposed a block on promotion for three years, which Battistelli turned into a demotion.

Illegal decisions right from the start

The ILOAT ruled in its decisions 4042 and 4043 that the decisions by the disciplinary commission itself were already illegal. They rested essentially on the accusation that the accused has made “confidential” EPO documents accessible to the public. The ILOAT decisions pointed out that the authorities had not been able to provide any clear definition of
confidentiality. It ruled that both claimants should be reinstated in their appropriate positions, as well as awarding them damages and 5 percent interest on lost salary payments.

In the case of SUEPO chief executive Elizabeth Hardon, likewise fired by Battistelli in 2016, the ILOAT likewise found in favour of the claimant, but she had already agreed with the EPO on early retirement as at 1 July 2018.

Double victory for dismissed judge

The ILOAT has already ruled in favour of a former judge of the EPO Board of Appeal in proceedings at the end of 2017. He had been suspended in a doubtful procedure due to “defamation”. The Tribunal demanded in its decision 3958, among other things, that the judge be allowed with immediate effect to enter the EPO building again, and that he be compensated for the suspension. It ruled that in the proceedings Battistelli had taken decisions regardless of a manifest conflict of interests, and that rules of procedure had been broken. At the same time as the decision by the ILOAT, Munich Regional Court ruled that there were no adequate grounds for suspicion with regard to the criminal charges made against the suspended judge.

Constant conflicts with the staff

During Benoît Battistelli’s term of office, the European Patent Office has constantly been rocked by conflicts between the management and staff. Among other issues, SUEPO has criticised the increasing pressure, which has led to less thorough examination of patent applications. The EPO also imposed unannounced visits by doctors to employees who had reported sick, and installed keyloggers on publicly accessible computers in the service building. (Christian Kirsch) / (ck)

Much has been published and much has been said over the past fortnight. An anonymous comment from “EPO staff is waiting for a CLEAR SIGNAL of change” is worth reproducing. It says a bunch of things about Wednesday:

Mr Campinos yesterday invited each of us to a one-to-one meeting with him to give inputs and ideas on “what can still be improved”. While being positively surprised for such a change of attitude, it will take a VERY long time until we begin to trust a President of the EPO again.

Therefore, I dare posting here a couple of remarks [between square brackets below], sure that they will get to him somehow. In particular, I’ll just comment a few passages of the “Letter of Motivation” that he sent to the EPO when he applied for his post and that it was published on our Intranet yesterday.

“Attracting, training, developing and retaining talent must be at the heart of EPO HR policies, as should be nurturing fairness, gender and nationality balances”.
[Please do ask EPO HR the latest statistics on “attracting, training, developing and retaining” talents. Tell them that you’d like to see the ‘real numbers’]

“The EPO should provide its staff with a clear understanding of its strategic goals, making their contributions more meaningful and thus developing a clear sense of professional purpose”.
[Good point. For the time being we have no idea what the “strategic goal” and the “professional purpose” of firing out grants and running out of dossiers in most of the technical fields might have been]

“Merit must be rewarded and celebrated”
[Only the high-producers are rewarded. And nobody knows who they are].

“Team work, and teleworking, where appropriate, should be developed”
[Teamworking is dead. Teleworking is seen as a relief from seeing colleagues against which you have been obliged to compete in the same rat race].

“Managers should be called upon to improve their communication skills, and through communication, ensure a better alignment within the organisation”.
[Examiners have even become afraid of their directors. There are no directorate meetings anymore. All available time is to be devoted uniquely to ‘production’].

“Social dialogue must be renewed and tensions eased, through the development of a culture that favours compromise, not losing sight of the EPO’s long term sustainability”. To this extent, I am sincerely committed to reach and hold common ground with the EPO’s social partners”.
[Yes! This is the way to go. Good luck Mr President]

I’d like to conclude with the last words he pronounced on his presentation video, made available yesterday as well: “If we are work together we can shape an EPO we are all proud of”
[AGAIN].

Unless Patrick Corcoran and Elizabeth Hardon get their jobs back (as difficult as it may be given their frustration), we’re just left assuming that President Campinos has done nothing to restore a sense of justice, let alone justice itself. Moreover, we have not yet seen any evidence of SUEPO regaining confidence to speak out freely, SUEPO’s representatives being compensated/reinstated, and others like Prunier being invited back to their job (even without ILO-AT getting involved, which can take a year if not years).

“It’s just a PR/face change fronting for Team Battistelli.”When Campinos came, a week after the rulings from ILO-AT, we actually thought — not just hoped — that he would openly make peace with SUEPO. Instead, all we have seen from Campinos is UPC lobbying, accompanied by a press release full of lies and a ‘blog’ post (Battistelli’s ‘blog’). So we’re not so hopeful and not even cautiously optimistic ahead of his second week. What a disappointment; a man of words, not of deeds. It’s just a PR/face change fronting for Team Battistelli.

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