04.13.19

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

Posted in America, Patents, Site News at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As many as a million US patents probably cannot survive an American court’s scrutiny anymore

Some priority stamps

Summary: 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

YESTERDAY we finalised the decision to take our eyes off the ball for the first time in over a dozen years. We used to watch very closely news regarding software patents, but it doesn’t seem like good use of time anymore. I’ve deleted the relevant RSS feeds.

What’s behind this decision? Well, surely the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will still grant some software patents. But after consulting some friends I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s safe to say very few of these patents have a chance in court. The Federal Circuit has, for a number of years, rejected almost every such patent. So did the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), especially in inter partes reviews (IPRs) dealing with older patents that had been granted in error prior to the IPRs.

“But these people don’t care about the law. What they really care for are serial extortion schemes, such as patent trolls’.”“Tillis/Coons Letter Underscores That More Can Be Done to Save the U.S. Patent System,” said Watchtroll on Friday, underlying the site’s frustration. When they’re angry and desperate it is a sign that we’ve “won” this battle. The SCOTUS-inspired 35 U.S.C. § 101 and even PTAB have been fought by Coons for several years [1, 2, 3], as we’ve noted the other day. A few more politicians had a go at it, but all of them failed and practically vanished. They had virtually no impact on policy. Nothing. Gene Quinn has meanwhile stepped down as editor and got some other job. He gave up. Their site is rapidly deteriorating (as judged by various criteria). Quinn has said that “Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) have written U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu,” but that’s like a prisoner writing to the ward rather than a judge. It would have no impact on actual rulings. Courts matter. These people are “raising a concern about what can really only fairly be characterized as the weaponization of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB),” according to Quinn, inverting the narrative completely. PTAB is what helps defuse patent trolls and companies that leverage bogus patents. So who’s weaponising what here?

Watchtroll then proceeded to using their new propaganda term, “serial challenges.” It’s supposed to sound like “serial infringer” or their other propaganda term “efficient infringer.” In reality — and surely they know this — these challenges are the very basis of the rule of law. If a patent was granted in error, one should be able to file an appeal. But these people don’t care about the law. What they really care for are serial extortion schemes, such as patent trolls’.

We aren’t entirely stopping our monitoring of these matters, but we shall greatly decrease this effort and mostly relegate relevant stories to our daily links. It’s a matter of priorities and time management. A decade ago the roles were opposite; Watchtroll commended the system and it was us protesting all the time. Well, tables have turned completely.

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