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

09.09.18

Renaming Patents on Algorithms to Make Them Look and Sound Less Abstract Than They Really Are

Posted in Deception, IBM, Patents at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Working around the law

David Kappos as lobbyist

Summary: How companies continue to receive software patents from the US patent office with substitution of words and an embrace of vague/broad buzzwords

THE EPO‘s gross misuse of trendy new buzzwords has been covered here many times before. But what about the US?

We are sadly seeing a lot of corporate front groups leaving the door open to software patenting; they just don’t say so explicitly. An example of this came less than a week ago from a patent maximalism site of ALM Media Properties, LLC. Ken Seddon, whose group is is like a wolf dressed up as a sheep, published an article titled “Why Would Big Tech Companies Give Away Free Patents? It’s a loaded headline/statement. There’s no such notion as “free patents”. Patents represent things which were taken away and unless these patents are invalidated, they’re not free. We generally cannot trust Seddon because when it comes to software patents, he’s not an opponent and might even be a proponent. Never mind if software patents are not compatible with Free software. Like OIN, these people advocate solutions that aren’t (except for proprietary software companies with loads of software patents of their own). “Though we live in a world where we’re trained to suspect anything that’s given away for free, there are valid and self-preserving reasons for tech companies to give away patents for free,” Seddon wrote. If they care about freedom or even zero cost (gratis), why did they apply for these patents in the first place? The truth of the matter is, they keep these patents under their own name. Terms and conditions may apply. Some companies like Red Hat claim to support Seddon’s group, but at the same time Red Hat is pursuing software patents of its own; what will happen if Red Hat gets sold this week? Those ‘free’ patents may suddenly become ammunition of an aggressive company like Oracle or — yet worse — sold to a patent troll.

The real solution and the only solution would be to eliminate these underlying software patents. Unfortunately, it has gotten harder to identify these because language has evolved to help dodge Section 101/Alice tests. Here’s a new article titled “Some Facts of High-Tech Patenting,” which says: “This study details the growth of patenting in software, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and related technologies in the twenty-first century, and the continuing dominance of inventors in large US, Japanese, and Korean companies. Researchers still need to understand the impact of such trends on social welfare more generally.”

Well, These are all software patents (call them “cloud” or “artificial intelligence” or “blockchain” of whatever). They’re hence invalid or bogus (to be invalidated in courts). Sometimes we find admissions of that. Robert Harrison (his description says he’s into “commercialisation focusing on matching intellectual property strategies with business success”) wrote a few days ago: “Interesting twist on #blockchain #patent with Alibaba filing so many. They are difficult to get granted in some countries and so advice is crucial to avoid wasting funds. https://twitter.com/news_mainstream/status/1037490757039480845 …”

“It’s about that fantasy that computers alone can manage patents, defeating the very purpose of a patent systen.”He mentioned “blockchain” in relation to Alibaba because about five days ago the company made the headlines. All of these are totally bogus software patents from Alibaba, IBM and Mastercard [1, 2, 3]. IBM has been hoarding many such patents (“blockchain” as a buzz-generating term for database). Lobbyist and IBM’s ‘mole’ David Kappos is meanwhile promoting software patents using this buzz as well. Here is an article titled “Recordals tipped to be one of blockchain’s main IP uses”. A few days ago it said:

Panellists including David Kappos at IP Week in Singapore agreed the most important IP use for blockchain will be to record registration in order to understand who owns patents and trade marks

This alludes to blockchain in relation to management of patent data rather than patents themselves, but still, we previously highlighted the overlap in this kind of propaganda. Janaína Simões (Brazil) published some piece last month (mentioned here last month) and it was still circulating in more sites last week (“Patent mining indicates promising routes for research”). It’s about that fantasy that computers alone can manage patents, defeating the very purpose of a patent systen.

Just before the weekend RPX Corporation wrote about a new legal action in the Eastern District of Texas. To name the many companies involved/sued:

Vindolor, LLC has expanded its sole litigation campaign with new suits filed against Disney Stores (2:18-cv-00375), NTW, LLC (d/b/a National Tire and Battery) (2:18-cv-00374), and Restoration Hardware (2:18-cv-00373) in the Eastern District of Texas. The asserted patent generally relates to using biometric authentication to create an “access code” based on a resulting identification profile, with defendants throughout the campaign targeted over their use of NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals offering contactless payments. Vindolor alleges infringement through the accused terminals’ compatibility with various payment platforms, including “Microsoft Wallet, Wells Fargo Wallet, Masterpass, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and PayPal mobile” as used with a variety of Android, iOS, and/or Windows smartphones and related mobile apps.

The ‘ex’ Microsoft executive, Bart Eppenauer (Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.), wrote about another such lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas:

Two of the largest U.S. banks – Bank of America (“BofA”) and Wells Fargo – were sued for patent infringement by Wapp Tech Limited Partnership and Wapp Tech Corp. in the Eastern District of Texas in July 2018. The lawsuits allege infringement of three patents relating to mobile device application development and testing systems that simulate network characteristics indicative of mobile app performance. Just two weeks before the lawsuits against BofA and Wells Fargo, Wapp Tech sued both Micro Focus and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (“HPE”) on the same three patents. HPE and Micro Focus completed a spin-off and merger of HPE’s software business on September 1, 2017, valued at $8.8 billion. Wapp Tech now asserts that BofA and Wells Fargo infringe its patents by using testing systems of Micro Focus (formerly offered by HPE), including the Micro Focus LoadRunner load testing software and Micro Focus Performance Center. Wapp Tech accuses both Micro Focus and HPE of infringement for selling those products as well as the StormRunner Load cloud-based load and performance testing solution and Mobile Center mobile testing solution.

These are software patents, which is why the docket in the Eastern District of Texas was chosen. Why were such patents granted at all?

We’re meanwhile seeing new evidence that Google proudly hoards software patents which it calls “AI”. Google is just AI-washing software patents and so does Jim Hinton, who wrote: “The race to own #MachineLearning and #AI is on! US and CN way out in front.”

These are software patents i.e. invalid patents in the US (unlike in China). It is a race to the bottom, not to the front. And this cites IAM!

IAM has meanwhile published some new nonsense completely behind a paywall. It’s titled “How to build an effective IP strategy for AI.” (i.e. software patents that have no validity anymore).

We cannot quite rebut IAM because it’s hiding from scrutiny. Many patent propaganda sites (funded quite literally by patent trolls and law firms) are going ‘dark’ these days (inactive or barely active), more so after the summer. Sites gone ‘dark’ (completely paywalled except headlines) are closed to the outside world and limit their exposure. It’s quite self-defeating.

Anyway, here comes law firm Haseltine Lake, writing about software patents (bogus patents) disguised using buzzwords like “autonomous vehicles” (software). Based on their PDF newsletter, as covered by Managing IP with a partial paywall:

A newsletter published by Haseltine Lake reveals autonomous vehicle patent applications have soared since 2011, with Ford leading the way. It analyses applications and grants since 1999, filing jurisdictions, and the most active companies

A newsletter published recently by Haseltine Lake looks at patent filing data to extract information about trends in the area of autonomous vehicles.

Having worked in the field of autonomous vehicles, it’s pretty clear to me that they’re dealing with algorithms there. They call it “autonomous” or “smart” or “intelligence” or whatever, but it’s still just a bunch of algorithms, which are of course patent-ineligible. How about “business intelligence” patents? Days ago there was this press release about US Patent 10,025,837 B2 – “Systems and Methods for Intelligent Data Preparation and Visualization” and US Patent 9,727,836 B2 – “Systems and Methods for Generating Data Visualization Dashboards” (both sound like software). On optics/computer vision there was another new press release, this one celebrating US Patent 10,042,994 – “Validation of the Right to Access an Object,” US Patent 10,025,982 – “Collecting and Targeting Marketing Data and Information Based upon Iris Identification,” and US Patent 10,038,691 – “Authorization of a Financial Transaction” (software).

“Financial Transaction” means it’s related to business methods or the whole “blockchain” hype. We’ve grown used to but also tired of that. Why can’t examiners understand that algorithms are being painted as “objects” or “apparatus” just for the sake of bypassing Section 101? Judging by the numbers above, these are very newly-granted patents that were quite recently submitted (the numbers exceed 10 million). There’s no excuse for that after Alice.

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. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  2. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  3. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  4. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  5. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  6. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  7. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  8. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  9. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  10. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  11. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  13. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  14. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  15. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  16. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  17. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  18. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  20. GNU/Linux is Being Eaten Alive by Large Corporations With Their Agenda

    A sort of corporate takeover, or moneyed interests at the expense of our freedom, can be seen as a 'soft coup' whose eventual outcome would involve all or most servers in 'the cloud' (surveillance with patent tax as part of the rental fees) and almost no laptops/desktops which aren't remotely controlled (and limit what's run on them, using something like UEFI 'secure boot')



  21. Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF

    Restrictions on speech are said to have been spread and reached some of the most liberal circles, according to a credible veteran who opposes illiberal censorship



  22. Corporate Media Will Never Cover the EPO's Violations of the Law With Respect to Patent Scope

    The greed-driven gold rush for patents has resulted in a large pool of European Patents that have no legitimacy and are nowadays associated with low legal certainty; the media isn't interested in covering such a monumental disaster that poses a threat to the whole of Europe



  23. A Linux Foundation Run by People Who Reject Linux is Like a Children's Charity Whose Management Dislikes Children

    We remain concerned about the lack of commitment that the Linux Foundation has for Linux; much of the Linux Foundation's Board, for example, comes from hostile companies



  24. Links 15/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC5 and SolydXK Reviewed

    Links for the day



  25. Links 14/4/2019: Blender 2.80 Release Plan and Ducktype 1.0

    Links for the day



  26. 'Poor' (Multi-Millionaire) Novell CEO, Who Colluded With Steve Ballmer Against GNU/Linux, is Trying to Censor Techrights

    Novell’s last CEO, a former IBMer who just like IBM decided to leverage software patents against the competition (threatening loads of companies using "platoons of patent lawyers"), has decided that siccing lawyers at us would be a good idea



  27. Guest Post: The Linux Foundation (LF) is “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 2)

    Calls for papers (CfP) and who gets to assess what's presented or what's not presented is a lesser-explored aspect, especially in this age when large corporate sponsors get to indirectly run entire 'community' events



  28. Patent Maximalists Are Enabling Injustices and Frauds

    It's time to come to grips with the simple fact that extreme patent lenience causes society to suffer and is mostly beneficial to bad actors; for the patent profession to maintain a level of credibility and legitimacy it must reject the deplorable, condemnable zealots



  29. Further Decreasing Focus on Software Patents in the United States as They Barely Exist in Valid Form Anymore

    No headway made after almost 4 months of Iancu-led stunts; software patents remain largely dead and buried, so we’re moving on to other topics



  30. Links 13/4/2019: Wine 4.6 and Emacs 26.2 Released

    Links for the day


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