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03.11.20

The Battle Against Software Patents Rages on

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Working around mathematics?

If you could work around that patent, that'd be great - I could just delete the whole thing - But then it won't work - you suits have no clue about code, do you?

Summary: Spring is coming, the economy is collapsing, and it’s important to maintain our focus on liberating all software developers around the world from the yoke of man-made monopolies on algorithms (or laws of nature)

THE ERA of 35 U.S.C. § 101 started about half a decade ago, a year after Alice (SCOTUS). It represented a shift in the sense that presumption of the validity of software patents was no longer there. For the next 3 or so years (2015-2018), based on Federal Circuit caselaw, it emerged that it would be close to impossible to “enforce” patents on algorithms. Sometimes they’d perish without even a lawsuit being filed, owing to Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs). Therefore, at the end of 2018 we stopped covering U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) affairs as closely as we had done beforehand. Two years later nothing has changed, not even Congressional intervention. With the economy on the ropes we don’t expect further/similar attempts by Coons et al later this year (they usually start this every summertime… since 2017).

“So much work remains to be done.”Over here in Europe the battle is still heated and the anvil/iron is hot. The UPC has been almost certainly defeated, but software patents are still being granted. So much work remains to be done. The media is not on our side because it’s in the pockets of law firms, the patent microcosm so to speak.

Law firms continue promoting software patents in Europe which would not be upheld by European courts if challenged there. It’s the law, surely, but today’s European Patent Office (EPO) — led by António Campinos and his handlers — rarely adheres to the EPC (law). They tried to usher in the UPC and failed.

As FFII’s President put it the other day: “There Are 10 Kind Of People: Those Who Have A Legally Binding Translation And Those Who Don’t #upc #unitary #patent #discrimination”

Imagine the UK leaving the EU (maybe EPC as well… and then the EPO) — not to mention UP and UPC — with the above hopefuls still working towards the official language being English… (who for? The Irish? Maltese? Countries outside Europe?)

The EPO still likes to show us patents on physical things, as it last did this week, not the loads of illegal patents it grants, e.g. one-click shopping and progress bars (software patents in their purest form). These patents include and constitude attacks on Free software developers, as noted here the other day. “The SIFT patent expired yesterday,” it said, linking to this discussion. “Back in the day, Hugin (free/libre panorama stitching software) developers had to make workarounds because of this limitation…”

Later this year the Boards of Appeal (BoA) will decide on patents covering computer simulations, i.e. software patents. Campinos has already pressured judges to rule in favour, quite a tactless move from him in light of numerous major complaints about lack of BoA independence — something that BoA and AMBA repeatedly complained about.

The other day we saw at Financialbuzz this new press release from ResearchAndMarkets, claiming to be organising an “intensive one-day course will give you a comprehensive introduction to the role of the patent administrator. It is a highly complex area due to many different procedures across different patent offices. The programme will demystify these procedures and filing requirements in key jurisdictions and will improve your knowledge and skills so you can work more efficiently and excel in your role.”

Maybe it will be canceled for “health and safety” reasons, but that’s not the main point. At the moment we have a series going about EPO corruption — a series that will expose abuse even in the EQE procedures. Candidates who hoped to attend/take these exams later this month might want to pay close attention in the coming days.

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