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

08.11.19

Europe is Gradually Becoming a Hotspot for Patent Litigation and Trolls as Patent Quality Decreases

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Euro

Summary: European jurisdictions have become more attractive for players seeking to litigate rather than innovate; this is exactly what litigation firms have been drooling over all along, basically an opportunity to tax Europe with no benefits to the European economy

THE quality of European Patents has collapsed to the point where law firms sometimes say that it’s lower than that of US patents, granted by the USPTO after Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101. While the US took some important steps to elevate the quality of patents, at least in the courtrooms, Europe was pushed the other way — towards UPC (which thankfully failed) and disregard for quality at the EPO — to the point of routinely violating the EPC (this is one of the reasons the UPC is failing). The expectation was, all along, that such deterioration in patent quality would attract/invite patent trolls to European courts. Law firms that enlist trolls as their clients had been having wet dreams about it for decades.

“The expectation was, all along, that such deterioration in patent quality would attract/invite patent trolls to European courts. Law firms that enlist trolls as their clients had been having wet dreams about it for decades.”In recent years we saw some comprehensive surveys suggesting a sharp increase in troll litigation mostly around Germany. It is definitely measurable. This morning we saw much-needed patent reporting — again — from what little remains of active patent blogs, naming Avanci, Nokia, Sharp and Daimler. The gist of it:

Through a filing with Judge Lucy H. Koh’s court in the Northern District of California, I’ve become aware of the following patent infringement complaints (presumably but not necessarily involving one or more requests for injunctive relief) filed by Foxconn subsidiary Sharp Corporation against Daimler in Germany…

[...]

Like Nokia’s German patent infringement suits against Daimler, those Sharp cases involve, at least in part, cars that come with a telematics control unit (TCU) supplied by Continental, which alleges that “Sharp’s lawsuits are evidence of the immediate, substantial threat that Avanci will encourage or direct its members to engage in a concerted litigation campaign in an effort to force Continental’s OEM customers to take a non-FRAND license through Avanci.”

Filing “over five patents in two German courts” (to quote the headline) is no longer so uncommon because the European Patent Office (EPO) is granting dubious patents, including software patents in Europe. They’re added up, i.e. a bunch of law-quality patents, to sue or to threaten in bulk. It makes a defense more expensive, compelling the victim to simply settle (or ‘license’) instead. Nowadays Campinos and his colleagues — much like Battistelli — are meeting with patent trolls and their front groups. They even co-host events. Who does the EPO strive to serve and what goals? Whose goals?

“Sometimes one has to wonder if Team UPC and their friends in patent trolls’ circles joke about how they hijacked the EPO (with ‘moles’ who do whatever the trolls want) and nearly hijacked the court system too (with the UPC).”We have meanwhile noticed that the patent trolls’ lobby and the EPO’s favourite propaganda outlet (IAM) sort of promotes the lowering of the British Pound as “good for litigation”. Their sick logic goes like this:

For example, although patents are not directly affected by Brexit, it is pretty clear that whatever lingering chances there were the unitary patent system might include the UK will die with No Deal. However, against that, think of the falling value of the pound.

Currently hovering at the $1.20/€1.07 mark, the UK is becoming a much cheaper jurisdiction in which to litigate. If the Supreme Court upholds the Unwired Planet decision, that might make London’s courts even more compelling venues in which to enforce SEPs as a means to secure global settlements. With a G8 economy, expert judges, highly-skilled practitioners and lower costs than ever before, what could there be for rights owners to dislike about litigating in the UK?

They cite a patent trolls’ case as though it’s a desirable thing for the UK. Maybe some law firms based in London like it, but the British public stands to lose the most from such lawsuits. What’s at stake here is market embargo, i.e. reduction in choices offered on the British market and with it the potential of price hikes.

Sometimes one has to wonder if Team UPC and their friends in patent trolls’ circles joke about how they hijacked the EPO (with ‘moles’ who do whatever the trolls want) and nearly hijacked the court/legal system too (with the UPC).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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. [Humour/Meme] Half a Decade Has Passed and EPO Management Was Never Held Accountable for Illegal Surveillance

    A lot of people may no longer remember it, but the EPO can break privacy laws — as it still routinely does — with no consequences whatsoever



  2. Cleaning the Code

    War must go on; but it'll be more diverse and inclusive



  3. Why We Care About (Mis)Use of Language in Technology

    Software development communities are being divided over issues that would likely not tackle actual racism in any meaningful and profound way (just a symbolic way)



  4. Links 12/7/2020: KF6 Progress Report, GNUnet 0.13.1, Nano Becomes Default Terminal Text Editor in Fedora

    Links for the day



  5. They Always Worked for Microsoft (Directly and Indirectly) and Were Financially Rewarded for That

    Nat and Miguel, now put in charge of new weapons against software freedom (e.g. GitHub and NPM), have long worked for Microsoft (Nat was also an intern there); Techrights was right all along about this pair



  6. Red Hat Betrayed the Free Software Community With Its Software Patents' Stockpiling Drive and Then a Sale to the Biggest Software Patents Lobbyist

    In 2020 Red Hat is little but a shadow of IBM, whose patent policy continues to threaten software freedom and whose lobbying for software patents (under the guise of "HEY HI") persists uninterrupted; this growing problem oughtn't be unspeakable



  7. Politically Correct Tech

    This new video entitled “Politically Correct Tech” covers a topic we’ve spoken a great deal about



  8. [Humour/Meme] High on Production, Stoned on Pseudoscience

    All-time high ‘production’ levels at the European Patent Office (EPO) do not mean what they want people to think and what they try hard to hide



  9. Missing From EPO Management: Actual Scientists

    Political figures and opportunists with connections occupy top positions at top European agencies; this assures self-destructive policies that diminish progress and cushion corruption



  10. All Software Should Come With a Cheat Mode

    Cheat modes are useful for developers because they enable debugging, and are sometimes called "Debug mode"



  11. Linus Torvalds Checks If It's Still Inclusive Enough to 'Bash' Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

    In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)



  12. Even Before Microsoft Paid ('Joined') the Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin Had a Preference for Microsofters

    Even years before the Linux Foundation was receiving money from Microsoft it had a tendency to hire Microsoft’s people for key positions (a lot of people no longer remember that, but it’s still in the public record; it was Jim Zemlin who approached if not chased Mr. Ramji to offer him the job and the colleagues saw no problem with that)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 11, 2020



  14. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  15. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  16. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  17. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)



  18. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  19. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  20. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  21. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO



  22. The Media Continues to Ignore Corruption of António Campinos

    António Campinos has Croatian scandals on his lap; the obedient media, however, refuses to even talk about it (or uses COVID as an excuse to write nothing on the subject, as some journalists have told us)



  23. A Call for Patent Sanity

    The public's call for reform is motivated by improved understanding of today's debased patent system and how out-of-order (detached from its original mission statement) it has gotten; patent maximalism, if it does not completely unravel this whole system, severely discredits it



  24. Declassified US Army Field Manuals Explain Microsoft's Public Relations Strategy (Similar to Selling Imperialism to the Occupied)

    The misuse of public broadcast to brainwash the public is well understood and thoroughly exploited by both Microsoft and the Gates Foundation (which sells this ridiculous lie that the world’s richest people speak for and fight for the poorest, i.e. those impoverished by endless greed)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 10, 2020



  26. Links 11/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Openbox, Kiwi TCMS 8.5, Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    Links for the day



  27. Education Without Free Software is Training or Indoctrination

    Kids need to decide for themselves what they want to do and what they wish to use when they grow up; schools need to provide general tools and the mental capacity to make good decisions (rather than make these decisions for the kids, sometimes at the behest of foreign monopolists)



  28. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  29. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  30. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News (Updated)

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find


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