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11.13.18

The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A working coup: The EPO’s Working Party on Quality is Battistelli’s Own Ministry of Truth

Short: EPO’s “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

Ministries of Nineteen Eighty-Four
Reference: Ministries of Nineteen Eighty-Four

Summary: The whole “patent quality” propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator

AS we noted in our previous post, the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps promoting software patents in Europe (even in those words, not “CII”); the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is meanwhile moving in the exact opposite direction (in practice at least). It has gotten a lot harder to receive US software patents and then successfully enforce these.

“It has gotten a lot harder to receive US software patents and then successfully enforce these.”Janal Kalis wrote: “The USPTO Reported 28 New PTAB Decisions Regarding 101 Eligibility. All of the Decisions Affirmed the Examiners’ Rejections.”

Kalis alludes to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and to 35 U.S.C. § 101, which helps eliminate most if not all software patents in the US. Programmers in the US are happy and programmers in Europe should be paying closer attention to what the EPO is up to; “Ideas are cheap,” as one European opponent of software patents put it yesterday, “execution difficult” (patents don’t cover execution/implementation but mere concepts, unlike copyrights).

“Kalis alludes to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and to 35 U.S.C. § 101, which helps eliminate most if not all software patents in the US.”Kevin Noonan (Patent Docs) has just taken note of the Arista Networks, Inc. v Cisco Systems, Inc. inter partes review (IPR), which was escalated upon appeal to the Federal Circuit while the ITC totally ignored — quite infamously in fact — PTAB’s ruling. The case has since then been settled at huge expense to Arista Networks and here’s what the highest court bar SCOTUS (this might reach SCOTUS next) had to say last week:

On Friday, the Federal Circuit handed down its decision in Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., deciding that the Board had erred in certain of its determinations regarding Arista’s inter partes review challenge to certain claims of Cisco’s U.S. Patent No. 7,340,597 (for reasons discussed briefly below). More importantly, the Court affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision that the doctrine of assignor estoppel does not preclude institution of any of the various post-grant challenges to granted patents contained in the patent law revisions enacted under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (35 U.S.C. §§ 311-319, §§ 321-329, and 125 Stat. 329-31 (2011)).

[...]

While this interpretation of the statute is consistent with (and supported by ample citation to) Supreme Court precedent and proclivities, the Court’s penchant for weighing in on statutory interpretation questions involving the AIA make it certainly possible that this decision might also come under Supreme Court review. It is less likely that the Court would disagree with the Federal Circuit’s decision here but may be tempted to put its imprimatur on this aspect of the proper statutory interpretation of the AIA.

This isn’t quite over yet; what’s at stake here are IPRs. Some time tomorrow, according to Patent Docs, there will be a so-called AIA Trials Seminar (stacked by the patent maximalists, as usual). To quote: “The Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) AIA Trials Committee and John Marshall Law School will be offering an “AIA Trials Seminar” on November 14, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm (CT) at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL.”

Another event for lawyers, by lawyers?

Patent Docs keeps advertising all these conferences/webinars/seminars of the patent microcosm, including this one which takes place later today. To quote: “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will be offering the next webinar in its Patent Quality Chat webinar series from 12:00 to 1:00 pm (ET) on November 13, 2018″ (that’s a few hours from now).

“Thankfully, EPO insiders openly talk about the quality issues, which António Campinos persistently denies along with his ‘boss’ (Ernst) who will soon become his ‘assistant’.”They call it “USPTO Patent Quality Chat Webinar Series” because the USPTO — like the corrupt EPO — only needs to pretend to care about patent quality by spamming/googlebombing these words (“Patent Quality”). It’s not difficult to see that all they really care about is money, i.e. patent maximalism. Quality is an obstacle to them.

Thankfully, EPO insiders openly talk about the quality issues, which António Campinos persistently denies along with his ‘boss’ (Ernst) who will soon become his 'assistant'. If Campinos so stubbornly denies that there’s no issue, then why does he, according to this morning’s article, meet those who express such concerns? It’s an anonymous article, whose latter part (towards the end of the article) deals with attacks on judges and staff representatives, i.e. those who are concerned (internally) about patent quality among other things. Sooner or later, perhaps inevitably, both insiders and outsiders, or workers and stakeholders, will learn that Campinos is just a pretender, a banker. He promises the moon, but he gives Hell. He sends misleading messages to staff whom he gags (as usual) and here’s the latest ‘smooth’ move from Campinos the pretender:

The European Patent Office and representatives of 14 German law firms who had expressed concerns about EPO patent quality earlier this year in a letter, have started a “constructive dialogue”.

The representatives had a meeting with the new President of the European Patent Office, António Campinos, and other EPO officials, on 16 October 2018 in Munich. According to a press release issued last week by the law firms, “the officials of the European Patent Office listened to the experiences, opinions and fears of patent attorneys and lawyers and expressed their willingness to talk. There is agreement that the EPO has delivered very high quality internationally in the past and that it is up to all stakeholders to preserve it. At the end of the meeting, the European Patent Office promised to continue the constructive dialogue that has now begun. It will be about the definition of quality criteria, as well as the possibilities to investigate criticism and to remove causes of criticism.”

[...]

I [sic] an email last month to EPO staff, Campions wrote he told the ILO that the EPO’s internal procedures for conflict resolution have since been improved: “I have recently signed and implemented a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chair of the Appeals Committee. That is partly a result of your direct input in recent one-to-one meetings with staff. Many of you spoke positively in our meetings about the increased independence and impartiality of the Appeals Committee, and, as a result, greater faith in the system. This MoU has therefore now formally safeguarded that independence and impartiality. Importantly, it also recognises the need to allocate adequate resources to ensure proper functioning of the Appeals Committee and its Secretariat. The second point that I discussed with ILO leaders is the recent increased effort in social dialogue and I hope many of you will agree this is developing positively (…).” In his mail, Campinos encourages EPO staff members with pending cases before the ILOAT “to consider reaching an amicable settlement with the Office”.

In the meantime, there has been some action in the case of Patrick Corcoran, according to various sources. The Irish judge was thrown out of the EPO building in Munich late 2014 on suspicion of having distributed defamatory material about the EPO upper management. After various illegal and fruitless attempts of former president Battistelli to have him fired, he was acquitted last year by the ILOAT and the Landgericht München, but was subsequently told that his future at the EPO would no longer be in Munich as an appeal board member, but in The Hague as an examiner (see also this blogpost). Apparently, the prospect of a forced transfer was the last straw after years of hardship: Corcoran fell gravely ill. The sources told Kluwer IP Law that his transfer has now been reversed or put on hold.

It remains to be seen if an “amicable settlement” is possible for some former SUEPO leaders. The case of Laurent Prunier, for instance, has been brought to Campinos’ attention several times, but is still pending before the ILOAT. Another former SUEPO leader, Elizabeth Hardon, has been waiting for months now for an EPO reaction in her unfinished ILOAT case.

The above speaks of “quality criteria” for patents; it does not, however, specify what will be done about many thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of low-quality patents that should never have become European Patents.

“Now that the EPO is run by a former banker, don’t expect anything to change.”The above also notes a “constructive dialogue” as if dialogue is what’s needed to solve a long-term problem. In the meantime staff continues to grant low-quality patents just to survive at this employer.

Neither office (neither US nor Europe) cares about quality; as a year-old paper explains, it's all about money. Now that the EPO is run by a former banker, don’t expect anything to change. He is just trying to maintain the illusion/impression that he cares about quality, just as he met staff representatives merely to spread lies about truce and reconciliation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The US Chamber of Commerce International IP Index

Summary: The patent trolls’ propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)

TECHRIGHTS has habitually noted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce meddles in the affairs of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as well as other patent offices’ affairs. It is an international harasser like USTR. Among the recent articles we wrote on the subject (in no particular order):

Thanks to Patent Docs, we now see that the villainous Chamber of Commerce (CoC) is working closely with the patent trolls’ lobby, IAM. IAM staff has long cited CoC’s propaganda and and here they are together at last: (maybe in the past too)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), together with IAM….

This is scheduled for later today. CoC typically resorted to scare-mongering over China earlier this year. CoC was rather xenophobic and this racist kind of rhetoric could be seen spreading online, often citing CoC. The US patent office has some China expansion ambitions, as this new ad from Patent Docs (“Webinar on Navigating the Chinese Patent System”) affirms. There’s also a whole long session about it (promoted in length by the EPO yesterday) at EPOPIC, which takes place this week. We’ll write about EPOPIC shortly (the event is still ongoing). It’s all connected.

“IAM itself is funded by a lot of patent trolls.”Very late yesterday (around midnight) we noted that Team UPC had been lobbying for patent trolls from the US. We took note of two new articles from Bird & Bird, part of Team UPC. Both mentioned the UPC, as does this new piece from Bird & Bird’s David Gent. It’s no coincidence that a lot of UPC propaganda came from IAM, which is closely connected to Battistelli and actually set up pro-UPC events in the US (on the EPO’s payroll and with the EPO’s explicit support). Notice how many of these things are connected and it’s easy to see whose interests are served. IAM itself is funded by a lot of patent trolls.

11.12.18

The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 6:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Number of US Patent Lawsuits Was More Than 50% Higher Half a Decade Ago

Summary: New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there’s still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation ‘industry’ (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can grant all the patents it wants; that still does not mean that such patents are necessarily enforceable.

Meanwhile, the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps promoting software patents in Europe — a matter that escalated under António Campinos and a subject we shall cover tomorrow.

“Things will only exacerbate if Iancu (of the litigation ‘industry’) further reduces the standards of examination and squashes Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) little by little.”The more these patent offices diverge/deviate from courts, the worse the presumption of validity will get. They voluntarily reduce the legal certainty associated with their patents (US patents and European Patents).

Earlier today Patent Docs published this ad for FCBA (intentionally misleading name), which is pushing the Berkheimer lie. This was then boosted by Janal Kalis and said:

The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Patent Litigation Committee will be offering a webcast entitled “Litigating § 101 Issues After Berkheimer” on November 14, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (EST). Irene Yang of Sidley Austin LLP will moderate a panel consisting of Peter Menell, Koret Professor of Law, The University of California, Berkeley School of Law; and Jared Bobrow of Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. The panel will discuss the legal underpinnings of Berkheimer, the implications of Berkheimer for resolving § 101 issues before trial, and practices for litigating and trying § 101 issues in district court.

So a panel moderated by the litigation ‘industry’ will consist of a law professor and the litigation ‘industry’. Where are the people who actually deal with technology? Conveniently omitted/excluded as usual? Of course.

In talking about “§ 101 issues in district court[s]” they will just prop up the lie that Berkheimer was something revolutionary — a claim that we’ve debunked about half a dozen times before, citing relevant data.

Regardless of what they say about district courts or even the Federal Circuit (which they are not associated with, regardless of their dishonest name), the numbers continue to speak for themselves.

Sanjana Kapila, a Managing IP writer from London, is citing Docket Navigator (whose docket reports suddenly stopped at the end of summer). According to this, patent litigation data/figures in the US show a “8% decrease from the third quarter of 2017,” continuing a trend that has lasted about half a decade, not only because of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and Alice/SCOTUS (2014). To quote Kapila:

Data: US patent case filing in the third quarter continued the 2018 trend of lower levels of litigation. Managing IP reveals the rankings for the first nine months of 2018

Data pulled from Docket Navigator on November 7 shows that 1,035 district court patent litigation cases were filed in the third quarter of the year. This is an 8% decrease from the third quarter of 2017 when 1,123 cases were filed.

The certainty associated with bogus software patents is so low that few even bother filing lawsuits. Things will only exacerbate if Iancu (of the litigation ‘industry’) further reduces the standards of examination and squashes Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) little by little.

11.11.18

Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 6:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Michael Frakes and Melissa Wasserman Complain About Low Patent Quality While Watchtroll Lobbies to Lower It Further

Trump and Iancu

Summary: The false belief that better searches and so-called ‘AI’ can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)

THE emergence of SCOTUS‘s decision on Alice and today’s 35 U.S.C. § 101 was quite revolutionary. We have no issue with USPTO-granted patents on physical things (an example from several hours ago can be seen here) but on algorithms — something which the European Patent Office (EPO) too has been guilty of lately.

“Examiners need to better understand and respect patent scope, irrespective of what was done in the past (prior art).”Recently there were those who framed prior art [1, 2] — not patent scope — as a core issue. Not even Watchtroll was happy about it (labeling it “An Overstated Solution to Patent Examination”). Examiners need to better understand and respect patent scope, irrespective of what was done in the past (prior art). Compare this to prior Watchtroll rants/coverage about prior art (like this from 2 days earlier).

We don’t mean to say that prior art never matters; alluding to this failing company (GoPro), for instance, Patently-O recently highlighted this case where prior art eliminated wrongly- and already-granted US patents, thanks to PTAB’s availability/existence. To quote:

On appeal, the Federal Circuit disagreed with the PTAB’s conclusions — holding that the Board too narrowly “focused on only one of several factors that are relevant to determining public accessibility in the context of materials distributed at conferences or meetings. . . . [O]ur case law directs us to also consider the nature of the conference or meeting; whether there are restrictions on public disclosure of the information; expectations of confidentiality; and expectations of sharing the information.”

After reviewing the matter Federal Circuit rejected the PTAB analysis and found that the catalog’s use at the show counted as prior art.

“My win in the GoPro v. Contour IP case is the subject of Dennis Crouch’s Patently-O post,” Professor Lemley wrote in Twitter (about the above). It is worth noting that Watchtroll is proudly promoting Iancu’s war on PTAB. Like Battistelli, Iancu hopes that the patent legitimacy problem will go away by marginalising the auditor.

“Search has always involved a degree of so-called ‘AI’ without it being exploited as a buzzword; this is becoming ridiculous.”Speaking of prior art, there’s no way to automate search for it as well as assessment. Domain experts are needed, hence the role of examiners. Days ago we saw the report “North Side company secures $250K to help develop AI-powered patent search tool”; They said “AI”, so someone gave them money for something that would work poorly (if at all). IPPro Patents coverage of Dennemeyer buying Octimine also used the term “AI” in the headline. Search has always involved a degree of so-called ‘AI’ without it being exploited as a buzzword; this is becoming ridiculous. To quote:

The Dennemeyer Group has acquired patent search service provider Octimine Technologies, a start-up based in Munich, Germany.

Octimine, which was founded in 2015 founded by former LMU Munich and Max Planck Institute scientists Michael Natterer, Matthias Pötzl and Dietmar Harhoff, provides patent-searching and analysis tools utilising artificial intelligence (AI).

Judging by the everyday nonsense we see as early as this morning, there’s “AI” nonsense everywhere. The latest fashion/trend? Marketing? António Campinos uses it all the time to promote software patents in Europe.

Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation ‘industry’ because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)

THE DEPARTURE of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from science and technology was noted here earlier today; it not only abandons actual innovation but also justice itself. It’s rather troubling. It all happened quite fast under Donald Trump and corrupt Wilbur Ross (new Director and deputy appointed); at the same time two right-wing ‘activists’ were also appointed as Justices.

Looking back at the past fortnight’s news we take note of Watchtroll’s article from two weeks ago about Bayh-Dole, wherein Joseph Allen defends public work (government/universities) being handed over for trolls to attack the public with. Remember that USPTO chiefs are rather sympathetic towards trolls. This cannot be ignored.

One other topic covered here two weekends ago was that chasm separating individuals and non-human entities, i.e. “person” versus “government”/”corporation” (similar to “corporations” as “people” or corporate bribery as “free speech”). Watchtroll explained it as follows on the last day of last month: “Return Mail also cites to the Supreme Court’s 1991 decision in International Primate Protection League v. Administrators, Tulane Educational Fund to note that the Court has previously said that courts should be reluctant to read “person” as meaning the sovereign where such a reading is “decidedly awkward.””

IPPro Patents’ coverage said this:

The US Supreme Court has granted Return Mail v US Postal Service and will consider whether the government is a “person” who may petition to institute review proceedings under the America Invents Act (AIA).

Return Mail had petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari following a US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision last year.

Return Mail had originally tried to licence its patent for the processing of mails items that are undeliverable to the US Postal Service but was unsuccessful.

Return Mail then filed a lawsuit in the US Claims Court, alleging patent infringement.

The US Postal Service countered this by filing a petition with the USPTO for a covered business method review.

Dissatisfied with the Federal Circuit‘s decision and what it means for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions, namely inter partes reviews (IPRs) — filed by or against the government — they take it up to SCOTUS. As Patent Docs explained:

On Friday, October 26, 2018, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Return Mail, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, in order to answer the question whether the government can bring post-grant review proceedings under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or AIA. Specifically, the Supreme Court agreed to review whether the government is a “person” under the AIA, as is required to file a petition seeking the institution of AIA review proceedings.

The case began with Return Mail seeking to license its patent to the Postal Service as early as 2006. Return Mail is the assignee of U.S. Patent No. 6,826,548, which claims methods, computer programs, and systems for processing undeliverable or returned mail. Claim 1 covers using encoded data (essentially, a bar code) that is added to the item before mailing to identify the intended recipient and notify the sender with new recipient information to allow the sender to update its records. Instead of licensing the ’548 patent, the Postal Service filed a petition for ex parte reexamination with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO instituted the reexamination proceeding, but eventually confirmed the validity of the patent. Return Mail then filed a complaint against the Postal Service in the Court of Federal Claims.

SCOTUS has generally declined to revisit patent scope case (those that truly matter to us) and repeatedly defended PTAB IPRs. The above case, to us at least, does not matter all that much, but surely it will be looked at quite closely for months to come. Patent maximalists hope to exploit it to limit AIA review proceedings.

Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO

Posted in America, Patents at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And the EPO isn’t much better at the top (banker as President)

IP Watch and António Campinos

Summary: Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and that’s a very major problem

THE previous post noted that patent lawsuits had significantly decreased in number because the confidence associated with USPTO-granted patents (certainty of validity) just isn’t there anymore. Many lawsuits go astray.

The litigation ‘industry’ fights back with misinformation and ‘moles’ (entryism). Sure it can’t change the courts/judges, but it certainly can lie to the public and to firms, encouraging them to file more patent lawsuits (even frivolous ones are profitable to lawyers). The other day we saw the headline “Experts Assess Coming Changes In US Courts And Patentability” (it’s mostly behind a paywall) — a rather mystifying claim that appeared on Friday. “Experts” in this context means patent/litigation ‘industry’ insiders; they express what they want to happen, not what is actually happening. We’re very disappointed to see IP Watch going along with this although not so surprised anymore; they stopped covering European Patent Office (EPO) scandals and their chief takes selfies with António Campinos (see above), who persists with union-busting and software patents in Europe. Hours ago Michael Loney from Managing IP (patent maximalists) referred to aggressors, trolls and thugs as “patent monetisation market”, citing the notorious IP Dealmakers Forum, an event of predators and trolls (even led by them). This is what Loney wrote about the think tank that’s just next door to him:

The average price of a US patent is down 30% to $176,000 this year. The reason this may not be bad and what is driving “realistic optimism” among patent monetisers were some of the takeaways from the IP Dealmakers Forum

The mood among attendees and speakers at the IP Dealmakers Forum in New York on November 7 and 8 was a marked contrast to the downbeat tone in recent years.

Maybe they’ve noticed who’s being put in charge of the USPTO; but that doesn’t change what courts/judges are saying. For those who missed it, the USPTO has just chosen a Deputy Director who used to work for (arguably) a patent troll. As Benjamin Henrion put it: “USTPO is now filled with patent trolls in the top level position, Laura Peter, here an article from 2007 http://actonline.org/2007/02/22/immersion-corp-gives-small-biz-innovators-a-bad-name/ …”

He cites a Microsoft AstroTurfing group, which does not like this troll, having already (almost 12 years ago!) specifically named Laura Peter:

On February 20, the Wall Street Journal decided to publish an Op-Ed by the Patent Counsel for Immersion Corporation – a tech and patent shop which most famously owns the patent on the “force feedback” technology we all turn off on our gaming consoles. And while I am sure Ms. Peter and I would agree on the importance of IP, our mutual affection for patents, and the passion that only a good licensing deal can bring, she does an enormous disservice by equating patent trolls to technology creators. In a ham-handed attempt to attack the patent system reforms currently under consideration in Congress she suggests that “small business” will be harmed by the myriad of suggested reforms, and we should look more kindly upon the creatures dwelling under the bridge.

Laura Peter will of course be praised by the patent trolls’ lobby, which views her as a potential ally if not ‘mole’. Here we have Watchtroll reposting press releases from the USPTO again. This promotional piece makes it clear that corrupt Wilbur Ross is once again responsible for the pick:

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced the appointment of Laura Peter as deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), effective November 13, 2018. Ms. Peter most recently held the position of deputy general counsel of A10 Networks in Silicon Valley and provided counsel on worldwide legal matters, including commercial transactions, intellectual property (IP), licenses, litigation, and regulatory compliance.

“Laura Peter brings a breadth of experience and a deep understanding of intellectual property issues to her new role as deputy director of the USPTO,” said Secretary Ross. “She will be an asset to our administration as we look to increase reliability and balance in the intellectual property system, as well as provide more predictability so that businesses can grow and invest with confidence.”

Ms. Peter has practiced IP law for over 20 years. Among other positions, she was previously vice president and general counsel of Immersion Corporation, where she led all aspects of the company’s legal issues, including its IP portfolio. She was also assistant general counsel and director of intellectual property at Foundry Networks, where she built their patent portfolio and led successful patent actions against large competitors. She began her career as a commercial and intellectual property litigator at Townsend, Townsend and Crew (now Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP).

“I am thrilled that Laura Peter will join the USPTO as deputy director,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. “Her thoughtfulness, business sense, and keen understanding of the important role intellectual property plays in today’s economy will be extremely valuable to the USPTO and the IP community.”

“I am honored to be chosen as USPTO deputy director at a time when intellectual property matters are at the forefront of national and international affairs,” said Peter. “I look forward to working with Director Iancu and the nearly 13,000 employees of the USPTO to protect and improve our IP system, which is a crown jewel in the American economy.”

Ms. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University and a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law and received a Master of Laws from King’s College London.

So there is now a Director and a deputy who are both proponents of patent trolls. Great.

Iancu denies that patent trolls exist or that they’re a problem.

“Sorry, Director Iancu,” says this new article from yesterday “trolls are real.” Iancu is being somewhat of a troll by belittling the problem of trolls. The following article was composed by “Kenneth R. Carter [who] is the general counsel to Bitmovin, Inc., a multimedia technology company that provides services that transcode digital video and audio to streaming formats using cloud computing and streaming media players.”

That’s software — a domain in which trolls prey on just about everyone, especially small companies that cannot afford a long legal battle (or are reluctant to contest the claims because settlement is cheaper).

To quote:

I live in an enchanted and magical land of rainbows and unicorns called “Silicon Valley.” In addition to unicorns, Silicon Valley is also inhabited by trolls, who emerge from under their bridges to threaten the denizens of the valley with lawsuits based on dubious patents.

I was shocked to read that Andrei Iancu, director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gave a recent speech where he complained that people who call non-practicing entities (NPE) patent trolls are “storytellers” who are “scaring our inventors and our entrepreneurs …”. Given how far this is from reality, I could not imagine what kind of fantasyland Director Iancu lives in.

Patent trolls exist in Silicon Valley and are a very real threat to innovators. I should know. I have fought off two patent trolls, most recently this past summer as the general counsel of Bitmovin.

[...]

These three protections have helped companies like mine and Congress, and the USPTO shouldn’t allow them to be weakened. Sorry, Director Iancu, trolls are real. They don’t just exist in fairy tales, and the real ones are a threat to innovators. And that’s not crying “wolf.”

So, in summary, the litigation ‘industry’ may be happy that a couple of unqualified nobodies whose sole accomplishment is suing companies now run the Office. Courts and judges, however, equipped with 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or Alice/SCOTUS in case Iancu waters down § 101), will just further lower the certainty associated with US patents. We are pretty certain that the Federal Circuit will persist, even if Iancu keeps vandalising the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), e.g. by discouraging or pricing out of reach inter partes reviews (IPRs).

What we see in the US right now is a bunch of villainous lawyers, who used to work for Donald Trump, declaring a war on law, on justice, on courts and on judges. This won’t end well. There’s an “innovation wave” coming.

11.09.18

Unified Patents Takes Aim at Velos Media SEPs, Passed From Patent Aggressor Qualcomm

Posted in America, Patents at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest endeavour from Unified Patents takes aim at notorious standard-essential patents (SEPs), which are not compatible with Free/Open Source software and are typically invalid as per 35 U.S.C. § 101 as well

IN THE previous post we noted that PTAB, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, could invalidate a lot of patents only to be reaffirmed (the invalidation) by the Federal Circuit because these patents had been granted in error (citing Alice/SCOTUS). We also noted that there had been attempts to disenfranchise Unified Patents (and RPX), denying them access to IPRs. We’ll say more about that in the weekend (other patterns try to deal with whether a government is a person and whether patents can enjoy sovereign immunity). Put simply, when Unified Patents serves some common or communal interest (collective action) there are those trying to assert that it isn’t legally entitled or eligible to do so. They’re afraid of Unified Patents.

The subject of standard-essential patents (SEPs) has meanwhile surfaced again; now that the MPEG cartel is trying to assemble a pool of patents on life we’re seeing Unified Patents’ ongoing effort to eliminate underlying patents in the HEVC / H.265 standard. As they put it yesterday:

On November 7, 2018, Unified filed a petition (with Wilmer Hale serving as lead counsel) for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,338,449, owned by Velos Media, LLC (Velos) as part of Unified’s ongoing effort to eliminate unsubstantiated assertions of allegedly standard-essential patents (www.unifiedpatents.com/sep).

The ‘449 patent and its corresponding extended patent family is the third-largest known to be owned by Velos and represents approximately 5.9% of Velos’s total known assets. Velos claims to have and seeks to license patents allegedly essential to the HEVC / H.265 standard. The ’449 patent, originally assigned to Qualcomm, was transferred to Velos Media in 2017. After conducting an independent analysis, Unified has determined that the ‘449 patent is likely unpatentable.

We previously wrote about HEVC patents [1, 2] and Qualcomm in relation to its dispute with Apple. The latter is covered more typically in our daily links (Qualcomm’s affairs were also covered here in past posts). The USPTO-granted patents of MPEG-LA are a ‘case study’ regarding what’s wrong with SEPs. If Unified Patents can shatter these, then we wholeheartedly support Unified Patents.

Stacked Panels of Front Groups Against PTAB and in Favour of Patents on Life/Nature

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: So-called ‘panels’ where the opposition is occluded or excluded try to sell the impression that greatness comes from patent maximalism (overpatenting) rather than restriction based on merit and rational scope

The Intellectual Property Owners Association, IPO (there are many other things in this domain with the same acronym), is truly nasty and harmful. It not only lobbies for software patents; it lobbies for just about everything that harms science and technology for the sake of scientists and technologists being taxed by lawyers and patent trolls. IPO should be approached/treated/viewed with the same disdain the public has for front groups of oil and coal giants; even military contractors…

“IPO should be approached/treated/viewed with the same disdain the public has for front groups of oil and coal giants; even military contractors…”It hardly surprised us to learn that there was yet another stacked panel (of this litigation zealots’ front group, IPO) taking place yesterday; it was promoted by Patent Docs the other day; it’s a site which campaigns for software patents, patents on life, and is expectedly (given those two things) against PTAB, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board whose inter partes reviews (IPRs) invalidate a lot of patents, soon to be reaffirmed by the Federal Circuit. There has been an attempt to disenfranchise Unified Patents (and RPX), denying them access to IPRs. Watch who debated these things yesterday:

The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) will offer a one-hour webinar entitled “Federal Circuit Appeals and Remands to the PTAB: Recent Lessons and a Look Ahead” on November 8, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm (ET). Michael Flibbert of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP; Sheila Kadura of Dell Technologies; and John O’Quinn of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP will review case law and discuss strategies for affirming or reversing a PTAB decision.

It’s a totally stacked panel (maybe except Dell). Where are all the attendants who represent the other side? There are none. Kevin E. Noonan from Patent Docs meanwhile continues to defend and advocate patents on life and nature itself, as he profits from evil litigation in this domain (privatising life using pieces of paper). Does it not matter that patent scope has already gone out of control? There’s this case in the UK Supreme Court which deals with patent scope and the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) wants to get involved. Guess who BIA represents/fronts for (similar to BIO in the US). It’s revealing:

The UK Supreme Court has granted permission to the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) to intervene in an ongoing life sciences dispute.

Actavis v ICOS is a patent dispute that addresses the patentability of a discovery made during the dosage regime testing stage of a clinical trial.

BIA is arguing that medical innovations should be patentable irrespective of how the invention is made.

So they basically say that everything should patented irrespective of prior art (like nature itself), public interest and so on. Will the court realise whose interests are served there? These people already stuff the media, overwhelm the courts, and stage ‘debates’ where only one side is presented. Litigation is, after all, big ‘business’. They want to make it bigger.

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