08.08.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patent Maximalists — Not Reformers — Are the Biggest Threat to the Viability of the Patent System and Innovation

Posted in America, Patents at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rants about PTAB, Alice and so on merely make things worse. Limits exist for a reason and these limits need to be honoured.

Low maximum speed

Summary: Those who strive to infinitely expand patent scope are rendering the patent system obsolete and completely losing sight of the very purpose of the patent system, whose sanity US courts and lawmakers gradually restore (one ruling and one bill at a time)

THE USPTO will have granted fewer patents than before by year’s end. Recent numbers (a subset of the total) reaffirm rumours we’ve heard about that. That’s not bad news. To patent law firms that may be bad, but for society at large this may simply mean that patent quality is improving, unlike at the EPO, as we've just noted.

“Not every patent represents an invention; some are more like a rendition.”Not everything needs to be patented. Not every patent represents an invention; some are more like a rendition. Like music. It is not hard to understand that design patents are rubbish and the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ought to reassess their necessity, or the lack thereof. We continue to be amazed at the sorts of design patents that we find out there; here’s a new example from Apple. Why are these not being covered solely by trademarks and copyrights, which already cover software as well (the latter does)? I suppose hardware patents (like these new ones) are OK and I’ve no real issue with those assuming prior art search was properly done and the innovative steps are sufficiently large.

“Watchtroll has created a caricature of the patent system. Judges are being mocked, courts that simply apply the law are being dubbed “anti-patent” and technologists themselves (or those who support them) are constantly derided.”Patent maximalism is a threat to the patent system because it merely serves to harm the legitimacy of this system. This means that whenever courts push back against patent maximalists they actually guard the patent system. PTAB, for instance, is still being supported by the Federal Circuit (as usual). Earlier today Patent Docs wrote about Otonomy, Inc. v Auris Medical, AG. To quote the gist of it all: “The Federal Circuit also affirmed the Board’s determination that certain claims of Otonomy Inc.’s application are not anticipated by the publication of Auris Medical’s International application. [...] The Federal Circuit therefore affirmed the Board’s determination that the WO ’949 does not anticipate Otonomy claim 38.”

Watchtroll has created a caricature of the patent system. Judges are being mocked, courts that simply apply the law are being dubbed “anti-patent” and technologists themselves (or those who support them) are constantly derided. Here comes Watchtroll ‘chum’ Steve Brachmann (simply a writer) mocking PTAB again. Watchtroll did it again today and yesterday it was Burman York (Bud) Mathis III with a rant about PTAB, Alice and so on. To quote a portion:

For those patent professionals and inventors who are not yet convinced that the exceptions to § 101 under Alice/Mayo are not presently swallowing the rule, I invite you to read the district court decision of American Axle v. Neapco. As a spoiler, I’ll tell you that the district court judge addressed the inevitable pesky preemption issue by citing Ariosa. While the Federal Circuit has yet to decide the case, which involves an apparently novel and non-obvious way to dampen engine vibrations, I am not hopeful given the Federal Circuit’s love for Ariosa, and the fact that internal combustion engines are ubiquitous and really, really old things.

Well, § 101 is something to be celebrated, not opposed. They protest what simply doesn’t serve their financial agenda; never mind if their business is nontechnical. So does this blog called “patents4software”, which has just published “Is Machine Learning Technology Going to be Collateral Damage under the Abstract Idea Exception?” [via Janal Kalis, a.k.a. Patent Buddy]

Of course. These are just software patents (glorified with buzz/hype) and they are thus invalid; they’re false ‘trophies’. They don’t represent inventions. I say this as someone who spent years working in the area of Machine Learning (I wrote detailed reports on it even a decade and a half ago). The blog says: “My colleague Janal Kalis identified 21 PTAB decisions directed to machine learning patent applications published since 4/1/2018. According to Janal, seventeen of the patent applications considered had been rejected by examiners with 101. The PTAB affirmed examiners’ 101 rejections in 16 cases and reversed in only 1 Case.”

“…§ 101 is something to be celebrated, not opposed.”We mentioned this a few days ago.

Either way, the improvement in patent quality is something that society at large should praise, not condemn. We recently wrote about how patent maximalism reduced choice in the market (Arista’s loss). That’s still in the news today and yesterday [1, 2, 3]. Cliff Saran wrote:

Arista Networks has settled its ongoing patent dispute with Cisco, making a payment of $400m to its rival.

Arista got into a legal spate over 14 Cisco patent infringements in December 2014. While Cisco claimed patent infringement, Arista argued that Cisco went after it because it was gaining share in the lucrative datacentre market.

Cisco — like IBM — makes technical people better aware of its real intentions, which are to guard a monopoly and profit from patents rather than sales. This is what patent maximalism generally leads to. It’s bad for society; it’s a fat ‘thicket’ (about 100,000 patents for some companies) which increases barrier to entry.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  2. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  3. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  4. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  5. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  6. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  7. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  9. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  10. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  12. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  13. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  14. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  16. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  18. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  19. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  20. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  21. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  23. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  25. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  26. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  27. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  28. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  30. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


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

Recent Posts