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08.05.18

The Anti-PTAB Lobby Still Predicting Doom and Gloom, as Usual, Despite PTAB’s Year-Over-Year Growth

Posted in America, Patents at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fee increases merely caused a spike

Patent Trial and Appeal Board Statistics
Source: Patent Trial and Appeal Board Statistics [PDF]

Summary: A gradual increase in the number of inter partes reviews (IPRs) in spite of fee hikes; the anti-PTAB lobby is still latching onto anything it can in search of scandals, trying to discourage filers

HAVING failed as a company, RPX was recently put on sale and taken over for a symbolic sum of money. Seeing the effect of Section 101 on patent trolls (whose patents were no longer of much use), RPX began exploring the legal terrain in China. The USPTO isn’t the world’s most lenient patent office anymore; SIPO took this ‘crown’ of shame.

RPX occasionally uses inter partes reviews (IPRs) to tackle US patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB); this means that anti-PTAB ‘reporters’ and IAM lobbyists like Richard Lloyd feel compelled to intervene. When do reporters become just paid propagandists and what can be done about it?

This is what it’s about; it’s related to the Federal Circuit (CAFC) case we’ve mentioned here several times lately:

The recent Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s ruling in Applications in Internet Time v RPX has presented a headache for third party IPR filers everywhere, but arguably none quite as serious as for Unified Patents. Since it was founded in 2012 Unified Patents has made its name as one of the most frequent filers of inter partes reviews, challenging patents of what it claims are of questionable quality that pose a threat to their members in specific zones such as auto, cloud computing and retail.

Unified Patents helps stop some patent trolls (a success story was last heralded 3 days ago), so no wonder IAM does whatever it can to oppose it. The latest from Unified Patents is this:

On August 3, 2018, the Board issued an order terminating IPR2017-02195 pursuant to a joint request filed by Kaldren LLC (an IP Edge entity) and Unified Patents. U.S. Patent 6,820,807, the subject of the IPR petition, relates to formatting digital data into an encoded pattern (such as a QR code).

Alluding to that same RPX case, Michael Loney makes it sound as though PTAB is on the demise by only comparing this past month to other months in the same year (it’s summer!) rather than past years. Misleading or what? This is what he said:

July included 127 petitions filed, the Federal Circuit making it harder for RPX and Unified Patents to file IPRs, and two noteworthy decisions on public accessibility

July had the second fewest petitions filed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) this calendar year.

The 127 petitions consisted of 118 inter partes review (IPR), three covered business method (CBM) and five post-grant review (PGR) petitions.

The improper comparison above does make us wonder what he had in mind; patent lawyers and spinners don’t like to be fact-checked; they make their living out of spinning things to make it seem as though they’re honest while in fact they’re mostly lying.

From what we can gather, PRAB filings do not fall but have actually increased each year. They’re increasingly being leveraged to tackle bad patents. Here’s what David Hricik (former CAFC) had to say about Fujinomaki v Google, LLC the other day: “In a recent case where Google sought to shift fees onto a patentee who lost his patent in an IPR, Google relied on the fact that a former employee of the patentee told Google’s counsel that the pre-suit investigation had been inadequate.”

That would further discourage pursuit of bad patents — something which certainly terrifies the likes of Watchtroll. 3 days ago Chris Bruno and Arun Mohan published Watchtroll’s latest PTAB rant:

In 2012, Congress enacted the America Invents Act (AIA), which included, among many reforms, the creation of the now-familiar inter partes review (IPR) process. An IPR petitioner may challenge a patent’s claims as wrongly issued based on the availability of certain prior art. If the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decides to institute on a petition, it allows for additional briefing, presentation of limited evidence, and a hearing. Ultimately, the Board issues a final written decision that determines whether the challenged claims are patentable or cancelled. As part of that process, the AIA provides patent owners the right to “file 1 motion to amend the patent” to propose a “reasonable number of substitute claims.” 35 U.S.C. § 316(d). The statute also provides that “the petitioner shall have the burden of proving a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence.” § 316(e). The en banc question was how those two subsections interact, and more specifically, whether the patent owner or petitioner bears the underlying substantive burden on a motion to amend.

Another en banc was covered by Robert Schaffer and Joseph Robinson two days later.

Frank DeLucia also used Watchtroll to boost NYIPLA's anti-PTAB rhetoric, which we last mentioned a fortnight ago. As we’ll show later, the anti-PTAB lobby keeps lobbying Iancu; they hope to convince him to scuttle or slow down PTAB. That’s pretty revealing. But it’s up to the courts, not to Iancu.

Understanding of Microsoft’s Patent Strategy Requires Scrutiny of the Patent Trolls It’s Connected to

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 10:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft nowadays sells its hosting as a ‘protection’ racket and it has euphemistically called it “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]

Fox

Summary: As Microsoft’s strategy appears to be arming patent trolls and then selling ‘protection’ from them we must still keep abreast of the actions of Microsoft-connected trolls and especially their lawsuits (because these are visible)

THOSE who believe that Microsoft has left patent aggression behind simply don’t pay close enough attention. Look at some recent USPTO grants; days ago there were many reports about patents that Microsoft would likely leverage against Android, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Microsoft barely sells anything in this domain; Android dominates. There was also this patent application which reveals Microsoft’s surveillance ambitions (getting people’s blood pressure).

To better understand Microsoft’s patent strategy, however, one must look at the trolls it associates with (founding, arming, funding). There are quite a few such trolls and we have spent over a decade tracking those. It doesn’t take much research. A lot of the information is publicly available.

About two years ago GoPro was mentioned here in Microsoft’s Copyrights- and Patents-Based Attacks on GNU/Linux Carry on; we wrote that after Microsoft had targeted GoPro, whose products often incorporate Linux.

GoPro was mentioned again yesterday by Joseph Robinson, Robert Schaffer, and Steve Brachmann (Watchtroll). It’s about something which was covered days earlier in relation to the Federal Circuit, dealing with a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review (IPR):

GoPro petitioned for inter partes review of the ’954 and ’694 patents and challenged the patentability of the claims on obviousness grounds, relying on a 2009 GoPro sales catalog as prior art in each petition. The GoPro Catalog discloses a digital camera linked to a wireless viewfinder/controller that allows for a user to preview before recording.

The Board instituted both IPRs, and in its decisions to institute, the Board found that GoPro made a threshold showing that the GoPro Catalog is prior art. After the hearing, however, the Board found that the GoPro Catalog did not qualify as a prior art printed publication under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b), and because all the instituted grounds were based on the GoPro Catalog, the Board found that GoPro had not demonstrated that the challenged claims of the ’954 and ’694 patents were unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 103. GoPro appealed from these final written decisions to the Federal Circuit.

The name of the troll that goes after GoPro is Contour IP Holding, whose sole online presence is this case against GoPro. So the main question is, who’s behind it? We’ve never heard of it before. It’s worth checking whether Contour IP Holding just totally vanishes after a year or so. It would not be uncommon.

Speaking of shells, how about Interval Research Corporation, which is the creation of Microsoft’s co-founder? It’s a troll that recently re-emerged and Watchtroll has these details on how 35 U.S.C. § 101 dismantled nuisance litigation against AOL:

Recently, the Federal Circuit affirmed a judgment finding patent claims asserted by the patent owner, Interval Licensing, failed to recite patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. See Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 20, 2018) (Before Taranto, Plager, and Chen, J.) (Opinion for the court, Chen, J.) (Concurrence-in part, Dissent-in part, Plager, J.).

The patent related to an “attention manager” for a “display device,” which could make use of “unused capacity” by showing content in unused portions of the display. The “attention manager” could display secondary content in an area not covered with primary content, or when the “display device” was turned on, but not actively engaged by a user (e.g. a computer wallpaper).

Moving on to another Microsoft-connected lawsuit, there is this report about IPVALUE and Longitude Licensing. Remember that Seiko Epson’s patents are connected to Intellectual Ventures (IV), as we noted late last year. Lloyd’s and Wild’s colleague, Jacob Schindler, said this:

Recent USPTO records have revealed what looks like Seiko Epson’s largest ever patent divestment. The Japanese electronics firm transferred nearly 2,000 patents in total to entities linked with Longitude Licensing in a series of assignments stretching back to last December. The Dublin-based NPE was acquired by private equity two weeks ago and has since announced a partnership with IPVALUE. In all, there are three assignments from Seiko Epson listing Longitude Licensing as the correspondent. In December 2017 and last month, the Japanese firm transferred 68 and 87 US assets respectively to Advanced Interconnect Systems Limited (AISL).

As we’ve never heard of Advanced Interconnect Systems Limited before and it is only being mentioned on the Web by RPX we assume that it’s some kind of troll. “Advanced Interconnect Systems Limited was set up on Monday the 23rd of October 2017,” according to this, so it appears to be a shell based (or registered) in Ireland.

Ericsson’s Wi-Fi Patent Thicket and Patent Trolls Like Sisvel Harm the Smallest Players in the Market

Posted in Patents at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Barrier to entry, with help from their trolls (enforcement by proxy)

Ericsson troll

Summary: Formation of monopolies around what ought to have been commodity/public utility, courtesy of companies that have nothing left but a pile of old patents

“Patent troll APA Electronics is trying to enforce yet another stupid patent on addressable LED,” Benjamin Henrion wrote last week, linking to this new article with many comments about APA Electronics. To quote the introduction:

There are some components which are used within our sphere so often as to become ubiquitous, referred to by their part number without the need for a hasty dig through a data sheet to remind oneself just what we are talking about. You can rattle a few of them off, the 555, the 741, the ESP8266, and so on.

In the world of LEDs, the part that most immediately springs to mind is the Worldsemi WS2812 addressable LED. This part consists of three LEDs in red, green, and blue, all in the same package with a serial interface allowing a chain of individually addressable multicolour lights to be created. We’ve seen them in all sorts of places, and if you don’t recognise the part number then perhaps you will by one of the names they’re sold under: Neopixel.

It is widely known by now that when creating devices one must grapple with patent thickets, which artificially inflate/significantly elevate the costs associated with engineering. It gets a lot worse if these devices are connected, whereupon there are also wireless patent thickets, which are today’s focus.

As is widely understood, Ericsson is not much of a practicing company anymore. Its patent thickets, with almost-expired patents, are what keeps Ericsson floating/afloat (not for long). Richard Vary recently wrote: “Ericsson has a world-class portfolio of cellular SEPs which it is keen to license on FRAND terms, but the long-awaited decision of a California court in a case involving the Swedish company and TCL may not have correctly valued the portfolio…”

The TCL case was covered here before; patent maximalists still obsess over it and a few days ago Watchtroll mentioned these SEPs in relation to a new LG deal. In its own words: “Swedish multinational telecommunications company Ericsson and South Korean consumer electronics firm LG Electronics announced that they had entered into a global licensing agreement to cross-license patent portfolios held by both companies. The patents in these portfolios include standard-essential patents (SEPs) related to various cellular technologies, including those related to second generation (2G), third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) cellular standards.”

Ericsson’s trolls/proxies contribute some more to these patent thickets. There are several such trolls and we’ve named them before. Here is how the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) described the LG deal:

Yesterday brought news that Ericsson and LG Electronics have reached terms on a new global SEP cross-licence. The agreement will end a four-month-old litigation in the United States which might otherwise have set up an important post-TCL test for the Swedish company. Meanwhile, LG Electronics (LGE) is trying to get more licence revenue out of smaller players, as evidenced by a suit of its own filed this month in Germany. According to the press release, the new deal between Ericsson and LG covers 2G, 3G and 4G patents.

Corinne Reichert covered that at CBS as follows:

Networking giant Ericsson has announced signing a global patent licence agreement with LG Electronics for the latter to utilise its cellular standard-essential patents across 2G, 3G, and 4G.

According to Ericsson, this will enable the company to obtain “a fair return” on its research and development (R&D) investments across mobility technologies.

“Ericsson and LG Electronics are two of the leading contributors to the GSM (2G), UMTS (3G), and LTE (4G) cellular communication standards, and both companies are making significant investments in the development of the NR (5G) standard,” the Swedish networking company said.

5G patent tax makes one wonder if it’s worth adopting and to what extent; the subject was brought up in the 91st issue of IAM in relation to China and indirectly again yesterday. Joff Wild did a puff piece for the patent troll Sisvel, alluding to Wi-Fi among other things:

Last week IAM’s North America editor Richard Lloyd wrote a piece about what he and many others believe is a bounce-back in the US licensing market – albeit one that is less than dynamic because of, among other things, uncertainty around eligibility.

To back up his case, Richard cited two recent big wins for patent owners, IBM and WiLAN, in the US courts, as well as comments from Ilka Rahnasto of Nokia and the recent change of guard at the USPTO, with Andrei Iancu showing a very different approach to his predecessor Michelle Lee.

[...]

Recently, I spoke to Mattia Fogliacco, Sisvel’s CEO, and Nick Webb, who manages the firm’s wi-fi programme, and they agreed that things are picking up generally. They also told me a bit more about their relationship with Samsung. This does not involve just a licensing deal, but also a separate agreement which has seen the Korean company transfer patents to Enact IP, a special purpose vehicle set up by Sisvel which will license them out as part of its broader Wi-Fi programme.

The above-mentioned “Wi-Fi programme” is nothing but an extortion racket by a patent troll that thrives in Europe.

As we noted yesterday, trolls nowadays perish in the US and even China starts getting tougher on them. Yesterday Patently-O highlighted this report about Massachusetts and its fight against patent trolls. To quote:

The Massachusetts tech industry may finally have a weapon against patent trolls.

State lawmakers are moving to increase penalties against the so-called trolls: individuals or firms who try to hijack other companies’ intellectual property for a payoff. A measure that would ban “bad faith” assertions of patent infringement, and allow for triple damages in successful defenses, was included in an economic development bill passed by the state Senate on Wednesday. The House version of that bill doesn’t include the patent troll measures.

Formal sessions end for the year on July 31, so lawmakers have only a few days left to resolve their differences.

Wi-Fi patents are not necessarily software patent (only some of them are); but the main point which is worth making about them is that they make up thickets that are being ‘enforced’ (lawsuits) by trolls like MPEG-LA (for multimedia formats).

The Post-TC Heartland East Texas Conundrum and the Oddity of Trials by People Who Don’t Understand the Pertinent Patents

Posted in America, Patents at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jurists are watching this, no doubt…

Rodney Gilstrap

Summary: Juries and trials in Texas are still being pursued by those whose cases (and underlying patents) aren’t so impressive; there’s more evidence of the dangers of operating in any form as a company (or with a company) in East Texas

THE US patent system has improved; the patents granted by the USPTO have also apparently improve (the number of granted patents is declining). Patent litigation numbers are down very sharply and some prominent patent trolls have gone out of ‘business’ (they never had a legitimate business).

“Patent litigation numbers are down very sharply and some prominent patent trolls have gone out of ‘business’ (they never had a legitimate business).”In the midst of it all we have sites like IAM constantly marketing patent trolls, as we’ve just demonstrated (about an hour ago). The goals of IAM aren’t hard to decipher and it’s ever more obvious when one looks at IAM’s funding sources (sponsors).

In its latest printed issue IAM published Gautham Bodepudi’s article about patent trolls. To quote the outline:

Patent trolls are generally regarded with disdain and lawsuits designed to extract low-value settlements are treated as nuisance litigations that take advantage of the costs of defence – but in reality, things are not so simple

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 2016 Patent Assertion Entity Activity Study, which tracks early-stage costs for defending a patent case, defines ‘nuisance settlements’ as those that settle below $300,000. The study concludes that “[n]uisance infringement litigation… can tax judicial resources and divert attention away from productive business behavior”.

Then, behind a paywall, starts the spin. Most scholars if not virtually all of them speak out against patent trolls. A literature survey of their studies on this topic is pretty revealing. Some of them appear to be reading Techrights regularly.

Trolls in the United States have long relied on Texas. That’s because Texas (the Eastern District in particular) actively advertised biases; much of that changed a year ago due to TC Heartland. Texas was no longer able to attract as much patent lawsuit activity as it used to. The most ruthless patent trolls try to work around TC Heartland, but that usually fails (they misinterpret a company’s place of business, e.g. by associating it with where a warehouse exists or where some data is warehoused). One such entity, SEVEN Networks, is trying to drag Google down there. Never mind if Google has nothing to do with Texas. Updates on Eastern District of Texas litigation by SEVEN Networks LLC against Google has been published here. Texas isn’t where Google came from or is operating, so this is what happens: “The court denied Google’s renewed motion to dismiss for improper venue because it had a regular and established place of business in the district through its Google Global Cache servers housed by third-party ISPs.”

So basically the district court pretends that Google is a Texan firm because some data of Google is stored in Texas; another reason for companies to start avoiding if not boycotting companies from East Texas?

What about foreign companies? TC Heartland does not say much on the subject, but there have been key cases since (several months ago), so now we see foreign companies going after other foreign companies using patent courts in Texas. This has become fashionable after TC Heartland because that might be the only ‘business’ left in Eastern Texas.

Dealing with KAIST and Hanyang, IAM says that they’re chasing the notorious Rodney Gilstrap because he has a reputation for helping patent trolls. To quote:

One month after the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) won a $400 million jury verdict against Samsung there, another top Korean research university is asserting its patents in the Eastern District of Texas. Hanyang University, a private institution in Seoul known for its engineering school, is accusing Huawei of infringing two patents related to mobile interfaces. Hanyang’s suit (like KAIST’s before it) has been assigned to Judge Rodney Gilstrap. The patents-in-suit cover a feature of smartphones known as ‘one hand mode’ which adjusts a phone’s user interface to make it easier to use with a single hand.

Another new story from the Eastern District of Texas involves Huawei, which was mentioned in this new post the other day along with Qualcomm. Watch what courts in Texas will deal with: a former Huawei patent.

Microsoft and Samsung were both sued earlier this week in the Eastern District of Texas over the alleged infringement of a patent owned by the NPE Altair Logix. The patent in question relates to semiconductor technology and was also asserted last month against Texas Instruments. According to RPX Insight, Altair Logix is an apparent affiliate of IP Edge, one of the most prolific filers of patent disputes in the last few years. What adds an extra level of intrigue to this latest assertion is where the patent in question comes from.

Michael Loney has these new statistics from the Eastern District of Texas:

RPX has revealed data on the fairness of US jury verdicts, with defendants winning in the Eastern District of Texas 50% of the time – a more balanced figure than nationwide

The problem is that jury verdicts on patents are potentially silly because juries rarely understand the inventions at hand. It’s not their professional domain. Not a suitable trial form. We said this many times before. Some juries don’t understand patents as a concept, let alone the the patents at hand. Juries are fine for some kinds of trials, e.g. robbery; Such trials are unsuitable for patent matters, however, as patents tend to be specialised. Many judges who rule on such matters also decide on software patents without actually understanding software (having never written any).

Here is another new example of it: Schwendimann v Arkwright Advanced Coating, Inc.

“Following a jury trial,” the Docket Navigator summarised, “the court denied defendant’s motion for new trial and rejected defendant’s argument that the jury’s damages award was excessive.”

Recently we saw how juries can have a say on huge sums of money, over a tenth of a billion dollars, as noted in this post about IBM. It’s a subject that Watchtroll belatedly covered and IAM’s Richard Lloyd continues to celebrate*. He acts like nothing but an IBM propaganda front for patent troll agenda and still gives only IBM’s side of the story (separately, Lloyd spoke of “IP value creation market”). To quote:

In the aftermath of IBM’s recent $83.5 million patent infringement victory over Groupon, Big Blue’s counsel in the case John Desmarais told IAM that the award was another sign that the market was improving for licensors. He described the tech giant’s win as a “shot in the arm for all licensors” with the jury’s finding of willfulness opening up the possibility of even greater damages and attorneys’ fees. Desmarais is one of the best-known patent litigators in the US and was the driving force behind the creation of Round Rock Research, the licensing business formed in 2009 to monetise a large portfolio…

How about giving Groupon’s side of the story? Well, do not expect that from the patent trolls’ lobby.
________
* His colleague Timothy Au is cheerleading for patent aggression again, “[b]ased on a survey with 165 responses across a range of sectors and a number of separate sectoral analyses…”

Another colleague of his, Jacob Schindler, covers that same old scam again. Something along the lines of, “buy my patents for a high price and then I’ll leave you alone…”

To quote:

According to USPTO assignments recorded yesterday, Xiaomi bought a US patent portfolio from Philips in the run-up to its June initial public offering. It looks as though the assignments, which were executed in March, included around 350 global assets in total. The documentation lists over 130 US patent numbers. There are also rights registered in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and a range of European jurisdictions which include Russia and Turkey. Interestingly, there don’t seem to be any Chinese patents included in the deal.

The Patent Trolls’ Lobby, IAM, Continues to Promote Patent Troll iPEL, Which is Unethical

Posted in America, Marketing, Patents at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IAM has become this troll’s de facto PR agency, calling patent extortion “ethical”

Pinocchio store

Summary: Well-funded patent troll iPEL, looking to cause chaos and inflict pain upon the market (a lot of litigation), is being constantly promoted in IAM with plenty of puff pieces or even veiled threats (to those who don’t pay ‘protection’ money)

THE think tank called “IAM”, which does EPO PR functions, is at it again. It keeps promoting malicious entities, typically those which pay IAM sponsorship money. iPEL is one of them and IAM keeps promoting it every week or so for a couple of months now. iPEL has yet another article dedicated to it by IAM (in their magazine, under the title “As the US trade war intensifies, pro-plaintiff China may not be what it seems”). From the introduction:

Brian Yates, CEO of iPEL, came out all guns blazing when he spoke with IAM about the NPE, which launched at the end of June with $100 million of money raised from what he described as “a hedge fund comprised of sophisticated investors”.

Our criticism of IAM for promoting Brian Yates and his troll triggered a nerve; they uncharacteristically responded to it in Twitter, despite saying explicitly that they never want to mention it. What exactly is the relationship between iPEL and IAM?

“Rachael IP” wrote (and later deleted) something that they might know from clients of theirs: “What makes an NPE ethical? According to iPEL, suing a company for infringement only after offering an opportunity to license the patent. -iPEL (aka Dan Cotman and Brian Yates)…”

That’s linking to an article of ours, corresponding to this tweet which said: “The notion of “ethical NPE” (the one IAM keeps promoting, “ethical” patent troll) makes as much sense of “peaceful war”. Don’t ever fall for these IAM con artists.”

Days ago IAM mentioned iPEL. Yes. Again. They’re just about the only site that mentions this troll and very regularly at that; this time it’s about supposed focus on China, where they perceive the market — like RPX does — to be more receptive towards trolling. To quote:

Foreign NPEs are setting their sights squarely on the China market – the most notable recent example a new entity called iPEL touting strong investor backing and a plan to assert in China imminently. At the same time, there is a surprising amount of low-level domestic NPE activity – and authorities are taking notice. Prosecutors in Shanghai surprised just about everyone last month when they announced criminal extortion charges for two individuals who made a habit of suing pre-IPO companies.

IAM also wrote in Twitter: “Is an all too familiar patent debate hitting China?” That’s linking more a week later to this article about something we covered here before.

We’d like to know what the relationship between iPEL and IAM really is; what does IAM have to gain here? It’s clear what iPEL has to gain from all these promotional puff pieces for which, atypically, IAM also removed the paywalls.

Law Firms Are Offering Very Misleading and Self-Serving Advice Regarding ‘Unitary’ Effect for European Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Web of deceit

Recent: Beware Team UPC’s Biggest Two Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Pure greed

Summary: Living up to the tune/cliché of “lawyers are liars”, various law firms — especially British firms that profit from patent maximalism/aggression — want us to think that it’s time to ‘stock up’ on ‘unitary’ patents, relying on some prospective existence of a system that’s basically up in flames before its forever-postponed commencement

HAVING already published many rebuttals on this subject, we were reluctant to make yet another, but we’ll keep this one short. The EPO grants many low-quality patents while at the same time pushing for a plaintiff-friendly court system (UPC) that would be ruinous to SMEs and favourable to patent trolls (and law firms that these trolls operate through). The USPTO is a cautionary tale here, conjoined with the Eastern District of Texas. Trolls want to be able to enforce patents in relatively biased courts or simply issue threats in a lot of US states (or EU member states) in order for small and defenseless companies to ‘cough out’ money. Will that succeed? Thankfully no. It doesn’t look like it.

“The two famous lies (we see them repeated every week) are that UPC is about to become a reality and the only remaining question/unknown is Britain’s participation in it.”We already wrote quite a lot of rebuttals to law firms which twist the words of the British government. They perhaps hope to attract/create a ‘demand’ for ‘unitary’ patents. Down To Earth Magazine (classified press release/blog) has just repeated CIPA’s talking points (CIPA is one of the worst culprits when it comes to UPC lobbying). Speaking as though UPC is certain to happen, it also does not properly frame it w.r.t. constitutional complaints. If that’s not bad enough, this was republished (pushed out again) a few days later under a different headline. From the text:

A major concern is regarding Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Laws, for instance, on the fate of the Unitary Patent and the highly “Europeanised” areas of IP law, such as trademarks and design. The immediate impact is going to be on the Unified Patent System and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The European Patent with Unitary Effect (EPUE) was signed on February 19, 2013, by 24 EU member states including the UK and is currently ratified by all current EU members, except Spain and Croatia, making it effective in 26 EU member states.

Nothing is actually effective at all and UPCA is stuck if not dead. We soon found Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Rachel Montagnon and Morrison & Foerster LLP’s Wolfgang Schönig, Sana Ashcroft, and Robert Grohmann writing similarly misleading pieces, easily contradicted by the government's own statements.

So basically, no… the UPC isn’t happening. The two famous lies (we see them repeated every week) are that UPC is about to become a reality and the only remaining question/unknown is Britain’s participation in it.

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