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07.11.19

The EFF Responds to IBM’s Liars and Lobbyists for Software Patents Just a Day After Red Hat is Officially Absorbed

Posted in EFF, Europe, IBM, Patents, Red Hat at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos
Source: David Kappos 2013 interview

Kappos PAI

Summary: IBM’s unacceptable stance and abominable actions on the patent front continue to haunt it; IBM must quickly dissociate and reconsider its patent strategy so as to not alienate thousands of workers (the real asset of Red Hat) it has just spent a fortune on

IT hadn’t even been more than a day since IBM took over Red Hat, rendering its patent policy all moot. Already, as of last night, the EFF’s Alex Moss and Joe Mullin responded to lobbyist David Kappos using the European system as a talking point (EPO grants software patents in Europe). Remember that IBM is lobbying for software patents everywhere, even in India and Europe. We wrote about a dozen articles about this behaviour of IBM. It’s probably even worse than Microsoft in that regard.

“If IBM doesn’t get its patent extortion tendencies under control (and its lies for software patents don’t reach an end, i.e. both actions and words), maybe it’s time for a mass Red Hat walkout/resignation.”Kappos was there at the stacked 'debate' about 35 U.S.C. § 101; Kappos is a deplorable lobbyist for patent trolls and patent bullies. He profits from his connections. IBM is still paying him to lobby for software patents (he came from IBM). The new owner of Red Hat is in that regard highly incompatible with Red Hat, as we’ve been arguing for months. If IBM doesn’t get its patent extortion tendencies under control (and its lies for software patents reach an end, i.e. both actions and words), maybe it’s time for a mass Red Hat walkout/resignation. IBM continues to fund a malicious, FOSS-hostile lobby.

From the EFF’s blog post, which names software patents in the headline (in relation to Europe and China, but it’s all connected across IP5):

A Senate subcommittee recently concluded three days of testimony about a proposed patent bill that, we have explained, would be a terrible idea. Proponents of the bill keep saying that Section 101 of U.S. patent law, which bars patents on things like abstract ideas and laws of nature, needs to be changed. One recurring argument is that Section 101 is killing patents that are being granted in Europe and China and that somehow this hurts innovation in the U.S.

The argument is flawed for many reasons. Proponents of this bill have vastly overstated the number of Section 101 rejections. Patent applications are rejected for many different reasons. For instance, an examiner could find that an invention would have been obvious—that might lead to a Section 103 rejection. Or an examiner could find that the application simply isn’t clear at all, leading to a Section 112 rejection.

But proponents of the bill, such as former US Patent Office Director David Kappos, simply claim there’s an epidemic of Section 101 rejections by lumping all these different types of rejections together. When Joshua Landau, a patent attorney who works for a computer industry group, examined a selection of the data set that Kappos was using, he found that only 13 percent of the applications in the group were clearly Section 101 rejections.

[...]

In Europe, there is an explicit rule against patenting “mathematical methods” and “programs for computers.” That prohibition isn’t as broad as it sounds—it’s limited by guidelines allowing patents on computer programs that have a “technical character” and on artificial intelligence software that has a “technical purpose.” As a result, Europe has similar rules around patenting software—for better and for worse. The point here is, proponents are wrong that Europe grants lots of software patents that the U.S. rejects.

Second, bill proponents have said that China is granting lots of patents. That is true, but the vast majority of them are extremely low-value. Recent news reports suggest that only 23 percent of Chinese patents even cover “inventions”—the majority are for “utility models” which are often allowed to lapse after a few years. And virtually none of the applications originating in China are “triadic patents” (patents filed jointly in the patent offices of Japan, the United States, and European Union), which are widely considered “the gold standard” for patent protection.

We’ll deal with the EPO in our next post, but the above lies and distortions from Kappos are particularly noteworthy. He and IBM’s patent chief habitually write pieces for Watchtroll, thereby associating themselves with the worst of the worst. Gene Quinn, the Watchtroll in chief, is attacking the courts again this week/yesterday. He’s doing it again in “It May Be Time to Abolish the Federal Circuit” (see our Wiki).

“We should note, at the very least as a side note, the deterioration of patent blogs. Their collapse carries on; they hardly write anything anymore, not even microblogging.”How is this loony blog managing to get the EPO to work with it? Simple. Both hate judges and loathe justice. How does it get IBM to participate? Simple. IBM is a terrible company and a patent bully.

We should note, at the very least as a side note, the deterioration of patent blogs. Their collapse carries on; they hardly write anything anymore, not even microblogging. Watchtroll’s Quinn hardly even writes there anymore and he stepped down as editor after 2 decades. Will IBM continue to support and maybe fund Watchtroll?

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