01.22.20

Poor Excuses for Granting Poor (and Often Illegal/Invalid) Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) don’t make the system stronger but weaker

Let them eat patents. All the world's problems will be solved by more patents.

Summary: A quick look at some of the latest examples of software patents advocacy (not by actual software professionals, obviously) and why it’s deeply misguided (or guided solely by greedy law firms)

THE PUSHESR of what’s called “stronger” (or STRONGER) “patent act” in the US don’t care about the strength of patents. They care about the contrary and push for the very opposite. They just want the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to grant loads of software patents that courts reject anyway.

“In practice, however, they merely grant monopolies in technology that can reduce pollution.”The same is true for the European Patent Office (EPO), where António Campinos — like Battistelli before him — measures ‘strength’ in terms of so-called ‘productivity’. Not quality, not examiners’ skills, not validity rates (or rates of European Patents being upheld by courts). It’s hardly surprising that Campinos shamelessly lobbies for software patents in Europe. That helps him fake ‘production’…

In order to pretend that the EPC does not exist (like 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US) they resort to misleading, novelty-sounding buzzwords such as “hey hi” (AI). To deny patents on this “hey hi” would surely be a denial of progress and amazing novelty, right? The media speaks about “hey hi” day and night, especially more so since 2017 or thereabouts (it boils down to superficial, faked hype).

Another pattern of EPO propaganda has recently been greenwashing. They pretend that their patents somehow “save the planet…” (no, they seriously try to imply that!)

In practice, however, they merely grant monopolies in technology that can reduce pollution. As we mentioned in an earlier post of ours, there’s a new example of this which is promoted in a misleading fashion. For instance, the article “SeaTwirl Granted European Patent” (from North American Windpower) says: “SeaTwirl, a producer of floating wind turbines, will be granted a patent for a divisible wind turbine by the European Patent Office (EPO). SeaTwirl has already been granted the same patent in Sweden, the U.S. and China. [...] SeaTwirl is working strategically to build a broad patent portfolio. By protecting technical solutions that make the wind turbines cheaper to build and maintain, the company strengthens its market position, notes SeaTwirl.”

How does a monopoly make things cheaper? The opposite is true. But never let “green” stunts slip away, right?

The National Law Review has just published this new piece from a giant law firm (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C). The piece mentions the EPO’s position on so-called ‘AI’ patents and notes that “IEEE-USA urged the USPTO to focus on correcting the problems facing all computer implemented technologies as a primary approach to providing strong patent protections to AI based inventions.”

Well, IEEE is at least consistent in his anti-software developers stance. We’ve long warned about IEEE pushing illegal software patents and it seems rather clear that IEEE does not represent engineers. Here are some portions: (it’s about input sent to the US patent office)

The European Patent Office (EPO) has refused two European patent applications that designated an artificial intelligence called DABUS as the inventor, following a non-public hearing on November 25, 2019. The EPO has not yet published its reasons for refusing the applications but merely stated that “they do not meet the requirement of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that an inventor designated in the application has to be a human being, not a machine.” The refusal refers to Article 81 and Rule 19 of the EPC. The EPO further noted “A reasoned decision may be expected in January 2020.”

[...]

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA): IEEE-USA urged the USPTO to focus on correcting the problems facing all computer implemented technologies as a primary approach to providing strong patent protections to AI based inventions. IEEE suggested looking to other areas of IP law for models as it relates to inventorship. For example, the IEEE cited Naruto v. Slater (“monkey selfie case”) which denied a monkey copyright authorship of a selfie taken by the monkey. The rulings were based in part on the constitutional authorization to reward human authors and inventors. Accordingly, the IEEE also believes that AI cannot be inventors.

A reader has meanwhile alerted us about this upcoming ‘course’ from the patent zealots of ResearchAndMarkets (who also push UPC lies). Surely they know that software patents are disliked by programmers and are also illegal in Europe but that does not discourage them. Their target audience is law firms and they say: “This intensive one-day event will help you to understand the development strategies impacting software patents and update you on the major developments in European patent law, in particular, GUI inventions and ‘mixed’ inventions with both patentable and non-patentable subject matter.”

Those old loopholes of combining algorithms with something like a “device”; it’s a popular kind of loophole and we’ve seen that in New Zealand and in India. Just to be clear, patents on algorithms are still forbidden in India, but Spicy IP (a site whose founder died last year) is still peddling old myths, promoting such patents even though software developers — many of whom live in India — do not want software patents (and that’s all that matters). Their introduction says: “Who would have thought a Tunisian citizen would end up having a couple of major impacts on the Indian IP landscape?” (Correction below)

So what’s their excuse for advocacy of software patents? To quote: “In today‟s digital world, when most inventions are based on computer programs, it would be retrograde to argue that all such inventions would not be patentable. Innovation in the field of artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies and other digital products would be based on computer programs, however the same would not become non-patentable inventions – simply for that reason. It is rare to see a product which is not based on a computer program. Whether they are cars and other automobiles, microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, they all have some sort of computer programs in-built in them. Thus, the effect that such programs produce including in digital and electronic products is crucial in determining the test of patentability.”

They’re basically squeezing a bunch of buzzwords in there, arguing that because those buzzwords are used in relation to lots of things it is therefore “innovative” and deserves a patent.

So, in summary, anything that is “green” and “widespread” — tell us the patent maximalists — needs to be patented, irrespective of underlying law, economic rationale, and so on.

Correction: There was a misunderstanding. The author at Spicy IP has stated or clarified that “the point I’ve made through that post, is that the court order is flawed and is unnecessarily favouring “software patenting”…”

The pro-software patenting position is contained in that post not as a form of endorsement; it is the writer showing what others have said.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2020/01/22/software-patents-advocacy/

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. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  2. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  3. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  4. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  5. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  6. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  7. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  8. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  9. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  10. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  11. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  13. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  14. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  15. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  16. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  17. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  18. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  19. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  20. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  21. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  22. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  23. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  25. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."



  26. Richard Stallman's Honors and Awards (and Why He Resigned in 2019)

    Reproduced with permission



  27. Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  28. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  29. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  30. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic


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