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07.17.18

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

Posted in America, Patents at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even after Alice and Mayo?

Business hands

Summary: 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)?

THE endless greed of the patent microcosm has left the USPTO granting millions of questionable patents. The EPO is heading in a similar direction (if it survives at all). Thoughts and nature have begun being patented; until no rock is left unturned patent law firms seek patents on everything. Everything!

“Thoughts and nature have begun being patented; until no rock is left unturned patent law firms seek patents on everything.”Earlier this week an article was published under the title “Patents in the US: Definition, Types, Pros and Cons”. By “cons” they don’t mean convictions but downsides. “Plant patent,” it says, “probably the least obvious one, is a patent granted to new distinct species of plants created in a way mother nature never intended.”

“How low will they sink/stoop in pursuit of patent monopolies? How broad a scope?”Well, “mother nature” intended nothing; it’s a case of evolution by natural selection or breeding. Humans intervening in the process does not make it “innovation”.

How low will they sink/stoop in pursuit of patent monopolies? How broad a scope?

Yesterday and this morning we also stumbled upon several examples of US software patents, starting with this Typerium story from The Blockchain:

Decentralized content creation and IP protection platform, Typerium, has filed two patents for its technology in order to keep competition at bay.

There’s nothing some “blockchain” hype won’t accomplish. There are many bogus software patents these days which are 'dressed up' as "blockchain" and here’s another article published about that to say: “US financial services company American Express, also referred to as Amex, was granted a blockchain-related patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on July 12. Called “systems and methods for blockchain based proof of payment,” the patent application was initially filed on January 12, 2017. The invention was created by Amex’s travel unit – American Express Travel Related Services.”

Why did the USPTO grant this after Alice? These are utterly bogus software patents that should never have been granted in the first place and need to be rendered invalid, with or without Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs).

“These are utterly bogus software patents that should never have been granted in the first place and need to be rendered invalid, with or without Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs).”Another new example appeared at the end of last week at The Register, which spoke of a lawsuit “filed in a central California district court in May 2017, claimed the NFL was, without permission, borrowing on each of the patents when it developed a host of streaming services and websites that let football fans watch clips of beefy lycra-clad men inflicting violence on each other: NFL.com, Watch NFL Network/NFL Redzone, NFL Now, NFL Game Pass, NFL Mobile, the NFL App, and NFL Fantasy Football.”

Law 360 wrote about that also:

NFL Enterprises LLC has settled a multivenue infringement fight brought by software and systems developers over their patents for online video services only a few months after a judge invalidated one of the claims, according to filings in California federal court and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

So PTAB did get involved, but not to a sufficient extent; they settled, so there won’t be an appeal to the Federal Circuit (which is better at taking account of SCOTUS decisions such as Alice). Based on the above descriptions, those are software patents, which are a no-go zone after Alice.

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