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09.22.19

Patent Extremism is Not Normal and Not an Innocent Mindset

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s EPO is run by fanatics

Theories of extremism
Reference: Theories of extremism

Summary: Reflection upon the sad state of the European patent system and how media turns a blind eye to it; worldwide, in general, the discussion about patents is being warped by the litigation giants, whose sole goal is to maximise the number of lawsuits/shakedowns (personal gain)

SITES like Watchtroll are no longer cited here; not even in Daily Links. We refuse to link or send traffic to lies; it’s counterproductive. We found some new examples of such lies just before the weekend. They’s still smearing judges and courts, notably the Federal Circuit. They tried to diminish the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), but the Supreme Courts (SCOTUS) defended it, whereupon some in Watchtroll began attacking SCOTUS as well (or pertinent Justices). I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’ve written lots of things about GNU/Linux since I was about 20 and there’s no ‘Microsoft equivalent’ of Watchtroll. It’s a really, really malicious site. The way they speak of judges is, to our understanding or by our fair interpretation, a form of extremism akin to “religion” (patentism). Any time a judge rules in a way they do not favour — as happens more often these days — that makes the judge an “infidel,” unlike they, the “true believers…”

“The same is true for the autocrats from Munich, who half a decade ago decided to block Techrights not because it told lies but because it told the truth, backed by hard and indisputable evidence (often leaked documents).”Generally speaking, the litigation industry can be exceptionally malicious; it’s defending malicious patent trolls and demonising actual scientists who create something, dubbing them “efficient infringers” etc. (even the CCIA complained about this misguided term a few days ago).

To the trolls’ lobby, no doubt, sites like Techrights are “malicious”; they call us all sorts of names, but that lacks substance to rest on. Their argument boils down to, “they criticise what we do, hence bad!”

The same is true for the autocrats from Munich, who half a decade ago decided to block Techrights not because it told lies but because it told the truth, backed by hard and indisputable evidence (often leaked documents).

“Those are illegal patents. And they muzzle, sometimes by sending out lawyers in order to threaten, those who expose the illegal acts.”Don’t forget former EU official António Campinos, who Battistelli put in charge of the European Patent Office (EPO) to continue lots of abuses, censorship (including of Techrights) and promotion of software patents in Europe, not to mention patents on life and nature. Those are illegal patents. And they muzzle, sometimes by sending out lawyers in order to threaten, those who expose the illegal acts.

The EPO’s repeated efforts to intimidate Techrights were certainly counterproductive as they motivated us to dig even deeper. Some sites, such as IP Kat, ran away with their tail between their legs when similar tactics were attempted on them. This makes not only the EPO look awful; it makes the EU look bad (there’s a growing connection). I’m pro-EU, so it saddens me even more.

“This makes not only the EPO look awful; it makes the EU look bad (there’s a growing connection). I’m pro-EU, so it saddens me even more.”Readers should be very concerned that European media isn’t covering EPO scandals; it doesn’t do that anymore. The EPO threatened and bribed major publishers and we know at whose expense (the bribes and the legal bills). Is this something we the European people should tolerate? I think not. The EPO scandals helped highlight abuses at various other bodies and even the media.

“Cristiano Ronaldo sick of fame” (an actual news headline right now) is somehow a hot story. But not the Portuguese autocrat of EPO — the one who keeps breaking the rules and sheltering corruption. Apparently the media isn’t interested in covering corruption, so instead it writes some nonsense about a footballer (they know what people click more on). It’s rather frustrating. I’ve nothing against football (I went to a match with my mother yesterday, seeing Manchester City’s historic 8-0 victory), but what happens at the EPO is a lot more important. Billions of euros are at stake as well as the future of Europe.

One EPO insider has just retweeted: “Justice in #Portugal! A number of high profile individuals investigated for #corruption, #taxevasion & #moneylaundering, including ex PM Sócrates, ex #BES CEO Salgado, acting judge Rangel, remain free. While @RuiPinto_FL, the #whistleblower of #footballleaks, remains in jail.”

Maybe the international media should focus on that instead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Or perhaps it should write about illegal patents on plants and seeds. It’s happening right now in Europe and almost nobody talks about it. Mainstream media isn’t highlighting the absurdity of it!

“Billions of euros are at stake as well as the future of Europe.”We saw a bunch of articles about it, but they always come from small sites like [1, 2]. Shouldn’t the fact that it’s a major European debate rationalise greater and broader media coverage? Does only FIFA (football) get the limelight when there’s a scandal? What this episode helps show is a debased and corrupt EPO that disregards our elected officials. This is also an EU issue because of the prospects — however low — of an EU-wide enforcement framework.

Two days ago Brian Cordery of Bristows (source of endless UPC nonsense) relayed — through Sarah Blair — the lie that “UKIPO’s position [is] that the UPC would be benefit from the UK’s participation.”

No. It cannot even start without the UK.

Here’s the full paragraph: “The UK ratified the Unified Patents Court (“UPC”) and continues to give its full support to it. It is the UKIPO’s position that the UPC would be benefit from the UK’s participation. The UPC is dependent on Germany’s ratification which it is currently pending.” (pending rejection)

Well, “UK ratified” as in some minister ratified. One of many who had this role in recent years, including “former UK IP minister Jo Johnson” as Team UPC has just put it (AIPPI’s event is already stacked with our unelected Pry Minister’s family).

“This is also an EU issue because of the prospects — however low — of an EU-wide enforcement framework.”It’s a real shame that Techrights is one of the last remaining sites to cover EPO abuses. We’re still watching these things closely (as close as possible) and everything we see suggests no improvement at all. Global Legal Chronicle has just mentioned this opposition to potentially bogus European Patents. “Jones Day,” it said, “is representing The Samvardhana Motherson Group and its subsidiaries in bringing opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (“EPO”) and German Patent and Trademark Office (“GPTO”) relating to camera image processing technologies for drive assistance systems, including augmented reality features and gesture based human machine interfaces.”

This is a very lengthy and potentially expensive process. It’s happening or becoming necessary because the EPO nowadays grants patents far too quickly, in big numbers. In Twitter the EPO lies about such patents, equating them with “property” (which they're not) as if to deny these grants would be “theft”. Here’s the latest example of IP (“Aye Pee”) propaganda, conflating patents with something that does not even exist! The EPO nowadays enjoys the company of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu, who uses the same propaganda terms and buzzwords. He has just spoken to Team UPC for an interview in which he sides with bribed politicians looking to help the litigation ‘industry’ (bribery source) he came from; he also uses the AI (“HEY HI”) buzzword as a synonym for many software patents. No doubt Iancu is the very “swamp” material corrupt Trump said he would “drain”; did anyone seriously believe Trump?

“It’s worth noting that Coons also attempted to do this in 2017 and 2018, i.e. under Trump (who constantly distracts the media from such major scandals by manufacturing his own).”“I applaud members of Congress, particularly Senators Tillis and Coons, for taking on this issue,” Andrei Iancu is quoted as saying, “referring to the work on possible legislation to amend Section 101 of the US Patent Act,” according to the author.

Does this sound familiar? It’s worth noting that Coons also attempted to do this in 2017 and 2018, i.e. under Trump (who constantly distracts the media from such major scandals by manufacturing his own).

09.21.19

When Patent ‘Professionals’ Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 12:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pencil/crayons

Summary: With buzzwords like “AI” and misleading terms like “IP” the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a “property” which needs “protecting” from “theft”; it doesn’t seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software

HOW can a patent office seriously assert that it is serious about innovation when everyone who meets the officials comes from law firms and rarely has any scientific background? If this system’s inception truly dates back to need to advance science, shouldn’t these officials focus on actual scientists?

This may sound like a shallow observation, but it perfectly describes the pattern we’ve been seeing at the European Patent Office (EPO) under António Campinos and his predecessor Battistelli (neither of whom has any background in the sciences). Seeing how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wants to work around 35 U.S.C. § 101, we’re nowadays witnessing a similar trend in America too. A resurgence of software patents in Europe poses risk to US (case)law as well. We hope that American readers understand that. The EPO openly brags about objectives like spreading software patents to the whole world. We’ve covered this before.

Entryism and Cronyism

The litigation ‘industry’ appears to have convinced the world’s patent offices (or infiltrated these offices) to deviate and depart from the law in order to simply increase the pace of granting (patent-granting), disguising old things with a fresher coat of buzzwords and hype; this has been the case in Europe for a number of years and it’s now being imitated by the United States, whose administration comes from the litigation firms themselves. The issue occurs at two levels typically; one is the patent office, the other being the lawmakers (law firms pay them money to alter patent law to the detriment of science).

We’re troubled to see who’s shaping today’s laws in Europe, judging by who submits recommendations to the EPO and whose submissions the EPO amplifies the most. Mitscherlich PartmbB’s Sebastian Roth has just written about “European Opposition Proceedings” (Board of Appeal (EPO) decision T 1087/15) and his colleague Martin Koerberc wrote about “EPO Opposition & Appeal” — something that significantly increased in number in recent years (soared even) due to significant declines in patent quality. The EPO does not seem to mind all this; it profits from it. The adherence to law does not matter much, either. The EPO ignores courts anyway. It’s really, really bad.

Generally speaking, corruption at the EPO is the world’s eighth wonder. Wonderful to see nobody held accountable. Ever. One would assume that accountability exists in Europe (a relatively developed continent, constitutionally speaking), but the EPO is an island and nobody is able to justify its immunity, which is regularly abused. All the EPO wants is lots and lots of patents and no rights for staff. None at all.

There are many facets or aspects to the EPO’s abuses, but here we focus on patent scope rather than labour rights, immunity and so on.

‘Kids’ Learn About the Mighty “HEY HI”

Let’s start with WIPR’s article about AIPPI with its Echo Chamber Congress, where liars and lawyers prop up “HEY HI” (AI) hype in order to promote illegal patents that aren’t valid. “While the number of patent applications relating to artificial intelligence has soared in recent years,” it says, “there is still some confusion around the patentability of the technology, as lawyers discussed at the AIPPI World Congress.”

What they mean by “AI” is just some old algorithms spun as “AI” for the sake of bypassing rigid restrictions. The EPO welcomes such bypassing tactics; it compels examiners to fall for these.

“AI is not patentable,” Benjamin Henrion wrote in response to this, “as software is not patentable, under the EPC and under Alice. Till the patent offices ignore the courts and the law… [] When the French courts will say that AI is nothing more th[a]n an unpatentable computer program.”

This alludes to what happened in the past. The EPO just ignores all caselaw that does not suit patent maximalists. In other word, the EPO arrogantly breaks the law, ignoring even those who highlight the issue. Why is this being tolerated and how long for? Until the Office collapses? Until patent certainty is so low that there’s decrease in ‘demand’? The number of applications for European Patents is already decreasing. The EPO’s management very well knows that, so its response is to power the patent bar further and further. It does so even when it’s blatantly and obviously illegal. It’s like banks that ‘grant’ more and more ‘toxic loans’ just to fake growth. They don’t let themselves be too worried about the imminent or the inevitable collapse. That will be “someone else’s problem,” they must be telling themselves. In the case of banks the public typically foots the bill for all this corruption and greed, whereas in the case of patents the wrongly-accused parties (businesses and individuals) bear the cost.

“Our member states need an Office that can be the advocate of patents in Europe and promote the development of an effective patent system,” the EPO wrote last week. But the EPO is intentionally granting illegal patents that are proven, based on studies, to harm innovation. There is a body of scholarly work that they ignore and at the same time they offer bribes to academics willing to manufacture ‘studies’ which support EPO agenda. This is as unscientific as it gets. It’s something to be expected from oil companies, not a monopoly on Europe-wide patent grants. What makes this ever more obscene is that the EPO ceased to even hide this; it is openly advertising its sponsorship of self-serving ‘studies’. Not even oil companies are foolish enough to do this (one has to dig and inquire a little). Not too long ago the EPO manufactured some ‘greenwashing’ propaganda. which it spread as recently as a couple of days ago*.

Pretending Patents Are ‘Property’

Other than “HEY HI” there’s also the “AYE PEE” (IP) hype. There is no such thing as “AYE PEE”. Lumping together trade secrets, copyright, trademark and patent law assures a misleading and pointless discussion. Society should abandon lawyers’ propaganda terms and use more meaningful vocabulary instead.

The other day the EPO wrote: “Together with national patent offices and the @IPRHelpdesk, we’ll be sharing our expertise on how sound IP management can boost your business at these seminars…”

So-called ‘IP’ management…

The EPO retweeted another thing to that affect and wrote separately about “an opportunity to improve technology commercialisation with open-innovation strategies facilitated by IP.”

Here they go with ‘IP’ again; the EPO does only patents. Strictly so. Unlike UK-IPO, USPTO and so on.

Tosshan Ramgolam published on the same day something entitled “Introduction to the IP Education Series”.

When you say “IP” that already means that you are intentionally dishonest and not interested in education, only propaganda terms like “piracy”.

In the past couple of days the EPO also mentioned “SMEs” quite a lot (even by its own bad standards). Trying hard to distract from the harm caused to them by the EPO? Without a so-called ‘professional representative’ (i.e. very expensive law firm) the SME is lost in the haze**, as we’ve shown before, outspending many of its practical operations. Something like the UPC would make things orders of magnitude worse for SMEs.

Lies Told by Team UPC ‘Kids’

Then, retweeted by EPO was its Vice-President (from UK-IPO) saying: “Great opportunity to meet UK users of the @EPOorg at the @TheCIPA Congress.”

The EPO is in bed with Team UPC, looking to harm SMEs all around the world. CIPA is a predatory body of patent maximalists. Also retweeted by EPO was CIPA’s own tweet: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve Rowan, Vice-President of @EPOorg, to give the morning keynote at #CIPACongress2019″

Totally inappropriate for the EPO to be with Team UPC and CIPA as it’s showing what the EPO basically became — a tool of the litigation zealots.

No wonder the EPO continues to stubbornly advocate patents on just about everything. The relationship between CIPA and UK-IPO is also troubling and at times disturbing. It’s like letting makers of bombs have a say on foreign policy.

Speaking of Team UPC, here’s some new propaganda from the site that does, in fact, act like its think tank (for a number of years). To quote: “Speaking to Managing IP, Tim Moss, CEO of the UKIPO, discusses Brexit planning, the Unified Patent Court and expanding the office’s international reach…”

To better understand where they’re going with this read this other new article full of intentional lies. Those lies were told in this new event as if UPC is “just a matter of time” (i.e. the same old lies) when in fact it is dead and cannot go on without the UK. To quote the relevant part:

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) was discussed as a potential Brexit-related concern. With the UPC’s fate lingering in Germany’s Constitutional Court, audience members speculated on how the timing of the court’s decision might be affected by Brexit.

Responding to an audience member’s concern, Williams said any conversation about whether or not the UK – which has ratified the UPC Agreement – would be part of an operational UPC would depend on when Germany issues a decision.

“In a perfect world you will like us to have the discussion while we are in the EU; logically that is a more pleasant environment. If we exit in October … the conversation is in a more different atmosphere. We are sure of the benefits of the UK to be part of the UPC. My experience says if there is a political will you will find a legal solution.”

Nettleton added that from an industry perspective the UPC would be much stronger with UK involvement.

“It was a surprise to me that I heard the UK would still want to participate in the UPC after Brexit. But then again, after Brexit, nothing can surprise you,” he said.

This is sheer lunacy; notice how they spread the infamous lies. They’re like kids telling a lie, telling others what they want to believe. How can they get away with this?
_______
* As a new example of this, consider a new tweet that said: “Patent applications in the EPO’s databases contain significant amounts of information relating to sustainable technologies. Scientists can make use of this wealth of knowledge in their work on developing new technologies against #climatechange.” In reality, when the EPO grants monopolies on these things fewer people will be legally permitted to tackle climate change. But the EPO won’t let these inconvenient facts get in the way.

** Kluwer Patent Blog, citing a case dated 18 June 2019, says:

A request for re-establishment should be filed within two months of the date of removal of non-compliance. This date may be the date on which the applicant became aware of the missed due date, even if the professional representative did receive the EPO communications mentioning the failure to comply with the deadline.

09.17.19

EPO is Not European

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mostly a European gift to the largest companies in the US

Hilton in Paris
Hilton in Paris

Summary: Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the ‘globalisation’ of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn’t equipped to serve its original goals anymore

THE name, European Patent Office (EPO), can be misleading. It is based in Europe, it employs a lot of German men, but who is actually being served?

Think about it.

It’s not a difficult question.

The push for software patents in Europe — a push intensified greatly in the Battistelli days — serves to show that software developers aren’t being served (not European ones, not even non-European ones). It’s about multinational giants and their law firms. Those are the same giants that ferociously combat 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US and try to craft legal loopholes around it. They hate judges and courts; they prefer ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ (i.e. collusions and secret deals behind the scenes).

“They already have a co-operation on buzzwords. They use the same ones. They even say this openly. They brag about it. We showed evidence from their own documents!”Consider the ways the EPO’s management has been working overtime to not only grant software patents illegally but also take such illegal patents global, e.g. by labeling such patents “HEY HI!” (AI is their favourite buzzword these days or has been this past year). Yesterday the EPO tweeted: “EPO President António Campinos met @The_IPO Chief Executive Tim Moss & @USPTO Director Andrei Iancu in London to discuss the global patent system, the co-operation between the offices & more.”

They already have a co-operation on buzzwords. They use the same ones. They even say this openly. They brag about it. We showed evidence from their own documents! On goes António Campinos, along with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Andrei Iancu, pushing the patent maximalists’ agenda. Iancu is a perfect fit for the EPO because of lawlessness and chronic disdain for judges (this is well documented).

In the EPO’s own words: “EPO President António Campinos welcomed @uspto Director Andrei Iancu for the first time at the EPO headquarters in Munich.”

The EPO then retweeted UKIPO as saying/writing: “Today @IPO_CEO Tim Moss and @EPOorg President António Campinos met to discuss international cooperation and updates in the #technology sector.”

I asked aloud: “Are they pushing illegal software patents agenda under the guise of “technology”?”

The FFII’s President said “obviously.”

Looking at the official page that the EPO wrote about it (warning: epo.org link), this is the first time in a very long while that UPC gets mentioned by the EPO’s management. Notice the part about “Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.”

They’re pushing unconstitutional agenda for their US ‘handlers’ who want to sue companies all over Europe in one fell swoop:

The heads of office spoke about their respective strategic plans and also addressed the rising importance of artificial intelligence, both in the patent granting process and as the subject-matter of patent applications, in addition to developments related to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.

What “developments” are they speaking about? There have been no developments, no progress. Here’s something written more than four years ago. It’s from Stibbe (entitled “Progress on the Unitary Patent”). What has changed since then? It’s that same old tune for many years now, almost half a decade; IP Kat is singing that same tune nowadays because Team UPC has far too many seats in the editorial team. The blog is a litigation lobby now; it’s a sad transition to lying rather than truth-telling — something it did in fact do for a number of years.

Kan He of IP Kat is starting this week by boosting malicious patent agenda of the front group 4iP Council. It’s a group that works for patent trolls and UPC (under the guise of “FRAND” and other lies) — i.e. the same as LESI more or less (the EPO’s cup of tea). To quote:

The 4iP Council just added its 50th case law on FRAND into its database of national FRAND caselaw. This database regularly updated allows easy access to summaries of FRAND caselaw in Europe. You can search for cases by country, party, case number and keywords and there is even an interactive graphic showing how national courts are interpreting keywords.

They’re even linking to their site. They promote this agenda. These liars love to pretend that they value and cherish small businesses or “SMEs”. But they merely harm SMEs. The EPO knows it. They know it. Everyone knows it. That’s why they’re googlebombing “SME” and “SMEs” every other day. Yesterday the EPO wrote: “Customers and resellers can provide important information about infringement which can be used to enforce patent rights. That’s one conclusion of our SME case studies.”

They added the #IPforSMEs hashtag; this is connected to the EU through EUIPO.

Surely they know that this is useful neither for Europe nor the EU (a subset of it). Surely they know that this is all about patent maximalism. Surely they know (they admit it! The staff says so!) that many patents are nowadays granted in violation of the EPC.

Speaking of invalid or fake or bogus patents, this new one seems like a bogus software patent, yet iSignthis has just issued a paid press release to brag about what’s a rather questionable patent. Australian media too (The Sydney Morning Herald) did this puff piece yesterday:

The iSignthis sharemarket rollercoaster continued on Monday with investors embracing the news that the company had been “notified of the European Patent Office’s (EPO) intention to grant a patent” relating to customer authentication.

A check of the EPO’s register confirmed that the agency had communicated its intention to grant the patent to iSignthis in May this year. The patent in question refers to methods and systems for verifying transactions.

[...]

“Work is usually needed by the patent attorneys to clear it into a form that can be accepted by the company,” said chief executive John Karantzis. The company received correspondence on September 6 with the requirements to finalise the EPO’s notice of intention to grant the patent.

iSignthis seems unaware that many patents granted by the EPO turn out to be fake when courts assess them. Some entities, however (notably trolls), rely on settling outside the courts for some unspecified monetary sum. It’s extortion. The EPO’s abandonment of patent quality best serves those sorts of entities — not a fact that ever bothers today’s management. Iancu denies such a problem even exists.

09.04.19

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes Software Patents (in the US), So Why Does It Keep 100% Silent About Europe and the EPO?

Posted in America, EFF, Europe, Law, Patents at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imagine what would happen if the Electronic Frontier Foundation cared about European Patents as much as it cares about EU copyright law

Electronic Frontier Foundation EPO

Summary: The Electronic Frontier Foundation does good work in the area of patent law, but it has a massive, glaring blind spot for the EPO, where massive abuses are happening and corruption is rampant for more than half a decade

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can issue software patents. Sometimes it does. But citing 35 U.S.C. § 101, as courts often do, judges will throw out such patents. The patent maximalists are furious about it. How dare judges apply the law? They’ve already called for abolishment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), nowadays they ask for the Federal Circuit to be disbanded and maybe SCOTUS is next. Who needs justice anyway? Mob rule, right?

“Who needs justice anyway? Mob rule, right?”At the EPO (Organisation) things are already profoundly upsetting. The rule of law is almost literally dead now (suicidal judges, due to threats and unjust punishment from Team Campinos/Battistelli). Nobody in the media wants to cover this anymore. Almost nobody! That in and of itself is a scandal — a complicity in silence that we’ve often alluded to.

Science Business, which oftentimes is the European Patent Office’s (EPO) mouthpiece [1, 2, 3], has just done some more EPO propaganda (“Source: The European Patent Office (EPO)”). No journalism involved and it’s not even news: “Switzerland has most European patents per capita”

That just means Switzerland is a rich country, that’s all. EPO numbers are used to convey old lies and myths. Do people know how much a single European Patent can cost? Can one expect an Estonian or an Ethiopian to apply for dozens of European Patents? They’d have to work for several years for just one patent (associated fees).

“When will the EFF make a comment about Europe and the EPO as well? Like it did the EU Copyright Directive…”Anyway, yesterday the EPO brought up (warning: epo.org link) the subject of software patents in Europe, calling them — in the title — “computer-implemented,” as usual (the body says “computer-implemented inventions”). There’s an upcoming case, but the judges lack independence. The President of the EPO (Campinos) knows it; he knows that he frightens them. So this is just the EPO pushing in the usual direction, i.e. to endorse illegal software patents (outcome may be ‘fixed’ like earlier this summer). In their own words: “The President of the EPO has filed his comments in the matter of the referral G 1/19 (“Patentability of computer-implemented simulations”) to the Enlarged Board of Appeal arguing for maintenance of the current practice for assessing the inventive step of computer-implemented inventions and welcomes the opportunity for the Enlarged Board of Appeal to further clarify the practice.”

We don't expect software patents to make a comeback in the US. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has just issued a statement [1] to drill another screw into the coffin of STRONGER Patents Act. Well done, EFF. When will the EFF make a comment about Europe and the EPO as well? Like it did the EU Copyright Directive

The EFF cannot deny the fact that European and American patent laws — or practices — are connected (even their buzzwords). No excuse for the oversight. Do something, EFF. You are not understaffed, so don’t make excuses.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The STRONGER Patents Act Would Make Bad Patents Stronger Than Ever

    Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) has introduced yet another version of the STRONGER Patents Act. In 2017, we explained how earlier versions of the bill would gut inter partes review, a much more affordable way to challenge bad patents. The bill also tears down the Supreme Court’s eBay v. Mercexchange decision, which stops patent trolls from automatically getting injunctions, which gave them the power to potentially shut down productive companies. Unfortunately, these terrible ideas seem to keep coming back.

    The STRONGER Act of 2019 contains numerous provisions aimed at killing inter partes review proceedings altogether. As we’ve explained before, inter partes review, or IPR, is a type of proceeding that lets people facing infringement allegations challenge bad patents in front of administrative judges with technical expertise—the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. These proceedings are much cheaper and faster than trials in federal court for both sides. They improve the patent system’s ability to promote innovation by providing an efficient way to cancel patents that should never have been granted in the first places.

08.29.19

USPTO and EPO: Call Software Patents ‘Hey Hi’ (‘AI’) and Use Microsoft Software (or Else!)

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A dip in patent quality and integrity

A dip

Summary: The mischief of the world’s biggest patent offices (or biggest bar China’s) is costly and very much corrosive to the image of patent systems; if they don’t obey the law, how is the public expected to respect them?

THE LATEST 35 U.S.C. § 101 cases (in our daily links) show that software patents continue to be rejected by courts, never mind what the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says. As we shall show in other future posts (we’ve just received lots of new documents), the European Patent Office (EPO) is the same; European courts reject such patents and the UPC will never materialise, i.e. those courts will continue to decide on patent scope. While software patents are being granted in Europe there’s no legal certainty; they’re pointless if not worthless. António Campinos and his friend Battistelli were granting loads of fake patents or Invalid Patents (IPs).

“It’s a growing problem because it has become a common dodge (from the law) both the USPTO and EPO now leverage.”We recently wrote a bunch of articles about the “Hey Hi” (AI) hype — more articles than we care to recall or even count. It’s a growing problem because it has become a common dodge (from the law) both the USPTO and EPO now leverage. This dodge lets them fake ‘productivity’ — in effect granting patents which they very well know courts would throw out (if given the chance/challenge).

Law firms don’t really mind all these fake patents; they still get to collect payments from applications, renewals, searches and lawsuits. They’re in it for the money, not for science or innovation (with few rare exceptions, who might end up seeking a career change sooner or later). Consider this latest promotion of software patents in Europe from a firm that brags about a “European Software Patents Knowledge Base” (while in this case acknowledging that the said patents aren’t even valid!); also spot Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) still attacking judges (“Note to the Federal Circuit: Spewing Illogical Nonsense Does Not Make It True” is his latest insult/headline). He’s just angry that the Federal Circuit rejects software patents and affirms inter partes reviews (IPRs). What a villainous site; it’s hardly surprising that EPO management associates with it! The EPO too attacks judges. Today’s EPO is a rogue institution placed above the law so that it can break the law every single day. It’s granting patents on maths, on nature and on life. The USPTO too grants patent monopolies on life itself. Totally insane? Sure. But here, it has just done so again.

“Nowadays the EPO doesn’t even use the same old buzzwords for software patents. It came up with new ones, including “AI”.”The “EPO [is] promoting swpats [software patents] again,” Benjamin Henrion warned earlier this week. “Using patents to protect digital business models,” he quoted from a new event page of theirs.

Nowadays the EPO doesn’t even use the same old buzzwords for software patents. It came up with new ones, including “AI”. The USPTO copies some of these buzzwords.

“USPTO patenting statistics,” Henrion wrote, citing the latest nonsense from the USPTO. They call it “AI” and it’s about software; no matter if actual courts throw our or push all these fake patents away…

Disguising fake patents on software (or algorithms) using buzzwords like “hey hi” might help trick examiners, but not courts.

“USPTO seeks public comment on patent policy and artificial intelligence,” said Susan Decker from Bloomberg, where she often spouts out the lies of the patent microcosm.

Bear in mind all these proponents of “AI” patents never even wrote any computer code. “AI” is, to them, some sort of “geek magic”.

“Bear in mind all these proponents of “AI” patents never even wrote any computer code.”Here’s Dennis Crouch’s take on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patents,” where he states that: “The USPTO is seeking information on artificial intelligence (AI) inventions.”

Here’s the “CII” nonsense (the term which the EPO used to name-drop a lot): “written description support for computer-implemented inventions [CII] generally require sufficient disclosure of an algorithm to perform a claimed function, such that a person of ordinary skill in the art can reasonably conclude that the inventor had possession of the claimed invention.”

Crouch wrote another post about price hikes and Microsoft promotion; it’s a subject we wrote about last year. To quote: “New Fee: Non-DOCX Application Filing Surcharge Fee of $400″ (OOXML promotion, discrimination against open standards like ODF). This might merit a separate post/rant because it’s a major scandal and right now it’s just in “proposal” status. There’s an actual, confirmed scandal below [1]. Covered 2 days ago.

If patent offices want patents to be taken seriously, then they should themselves set an example. Obey the law, for starters.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Patent And Trademark Office Is Apparently Branching Out Into The Immigration Enforcement Business

    Here’s another one of those weird signs of the time. Under any normal presidential administration, this move by the US Patent and Trademark Office might look a bit strange. But only a bit. There are some legitimate reasons for doing this, but filtered through the administration’s xenophobia, it seems to be just another way to hassle non-citizens. (h/t Jef Pearlman)

08.17.19

Software Patents Won’t Come Back Just Because They’re (Re)Framed/Branded as “HEY HI” (AI)

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 12:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Building another house of cards or patent bubble

AI hype at EPO

Summary: The pattern we’ve been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake ‘growth’

THIS site has changed a bit this year. Since springtime we’ve increased focus on GNU/Linux and since last winter we’ve been gradually reducing coverage of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) affairs, focusing instead on the European Patent Office (EPO) under António Campinos, Battistelli‘s friend. There’s still plenty of coverage about 35 U.S.C. § 101 cases in our daily links (which recently became bi-daily) and we habitually write about software patents. It’s just that in the world as a whole, notably in the US, such patents are waning. How does one ‘work around’ Mayo/Alice (SCOTUS)? It’s not simple, but at the examination phase it’s easier to manipulate the examiners into granting patents on algorithms. Days ago Watchtroll once again blasted the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), equating its work with “harassment” of “patent owners” [sic], then urging Andrei Iancu to stop or at least curtail inter partes reviews (IPRs). This sort of blowhard nonsense from Watchtroll’s founder simply reveals just how desperate and foolish patent zealots have become.

“The writers at IAM constantly promote these buzzwords, as does the EPO.”Watchtroll, however, does not have a monopoly on such nonsense. And to think that the EPO’s management liaises with Watchtroll is a rather disturbing thought.

The desire to ‘dance’ around the law and grant bogus, abstract patents isn’t new. Methods appear to have increased in number and these typically boil down to semantics and buzzwords.

“It certainly seems like the world of patents is increasingly dominated by marketing phonies and imposters, not technical people. That’s a profound problem.”“Through strategic claim drafting, oil and gas companies can overcome Section 101 and obtain patents covering digital technologies and AI, say Charles Collins-Chase, Jennifer Roscetti and Paul Townsend of Finnegan,” wrote the patent maximalists in “Oil and gas digitalisation: overcoming §101 to obtain valuable patents“. They basically celebrate software patents that are fake patents using buzzwords like "HEY HI" and other nonsense put forth by the likes of Finnegan, a litigation giant that sponsors the likes of IAM. The writers at IAM constantly promote these buzzwords, as does the EPO. What would courts say? They’re not in the business of granting as many patents as possible, so a sober analysis would likely squash such patents. But it’s not cheap; court battles are very expensive.

Citing the EPO’s “Problem-Solution Approach”, patent attorney “MaxDrei” (frequent commenter on EPO matters at IP Kat) wrote about some of these ridiculous "HEY HI" patents that reach the EPO and other patent offices. To quote the comment:

Let us take the two examples and address them like the EPO does, using its Problem-Solution Approach. So, two part form of claim, characterized by…..fractal. Thus, the beverage container I take to be old except that its bumps and dimples are, well, fractal ones.

According to the application as filed, what is the technical problem (X) for which “fractal” is the solution? What is it that fractal bumps do that conventional bump patterns fail to do? We need to know that, so we can scour the prior art universe for hints or suggestions that, if X is your problem, it might be worth rendering your bumps as “fractal”.

Could it be that the only problem we can derive from the application as filed is the problem of finding an alternative? Could it be that the algorithm was also searching the prior art to find an alternative and found it in “fractal”?

As to the candle invention, I can see that random or pseudo-random flickering might command attention more strikingly than metronomic flickering. But again, what is the technical problem (Y) for which the solution is “fractal”?

The imaginary person skilled in the art is deemed dispassionately to scour all the prior art, looking for hints or suggestions. Is this not the same as what the machine “inventor” is doing? If it finds any such hint or suggestion, has it executed an act of invention? But then; what if it keeps quiet about where it found its hint or suggestion and instead holds out its feature combination as its own flash of inspiration? Who can deny it?

As we argued earlier this month, this whole “HEY HI” nonsense poses a risk to the very legitimacy of patent systems. There are several reasons for this. But the aspect most troubling to us is the degree to which “HEY HI” gets leveraged as a mere buzzword; just about any algorithm — never mind if machine learning-centric or not — is being cast or framed as “HEY HI” because it does something ‘clever’. It certainly seems like the world of patents is increasingly dominated by marketing phonies and imposters, not technical people. That’s a profound problem. Watchtroll blocked me in Twitter after it had lost an argument over software patents — an argument which incidentally revealed that Watchtroll’s founder doesn’t even know what software is and how it works!

08.10.19

The Tight Embrace of the ‘Hey Hi’ (AI) Hype is Strangling the Patent System

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Do patents exist to ‘reward’ robots? Can logic itself be a monopoly?

Robot

Summary: The love-affair with the buzzword/acronym “AI” is doing enormous damage to the patent maximalists; they use it to confuse and obfuscate (covering up illegal patent grants) and at the same time they show that today’s patent system is grossly outdated and unsuitable (in its current form, steered by patent maximalists)

It’s very clear that software patents aren’t allowed in Europe, but the European Patent Office (EPO) grants them anyway, in direct violation and clear defiance of the EPC. The EPO — like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and WIPO — just uses a bunch of buzzwords. We’ve named some of these many times before. One of the latest in the hype waves helps the EPO pretend that patents on algorithms are OK if one calls them "hey hi!" (AI). In practice that rarely even conforms to strict definitions of the term. It’s a “junk food” of words.

In our previous post we mentioned a new Lexology/Mondaq piece [1, 2] from Matt Hervey (Gowling WLG), who piggybacks corrupt EPO officials to assert algorithms can be patented if you call these “hey hi”. He starts by citing WIPO:

A recent report by the World Intellectual Property Organization describes a current “AI patent boom”, finding that over half of the inventions identified in its research were published since 2013.25 This mirrors the fast-emerging importance of AI across most, if not all, industries. It also belies the complexities in obtaining and exploiting patent protection.

In the UK, patentability is governed by the Patents Act 1977, which was enacted to give effect to the European Patent Convention. In general, the UK Court seeks to follow decisions of the European Patent Office’s Boards of Appeal, and the EPO’s Guidelines for Examination and Case Law of the Boards of Appeal are sources of key principles. The EPO has recently added specific guidance on AI to its Guidelines. As in other key jurisdictions (e.g. China, Japan, Korea and the USA), algorithms per se face considerable challenges to patentability. The EPO takes the approach that AI computational models and algorithms are excluded from patentability, unless they amount to a computer program having a “further technical effect” going beyond the “normal” physical interactions between the program and the computer on which it is run.26 Examples given by the EPO of further technical effect include controlling anti-lock braking and restoring a distorted digital image.27 There is a healthy debate as to what jurisdictions are currently most favourable to AI patents, particularly following considerable challenges in US practice following Alice.28

Other areas of growing debate include best practice for the extent and substance of disclosure relating to the working of the AI, the patentability of inventions created by inventive AI and whether, in time, inventive AI will raise the hurdle for inventive step or even require new approaches to the protection of inventions. For now, both the EPO and the UK Intellectual Property Office, in practice, require human inventors to be named as part of the patent application process, but this requirement is not backed up by penalties for false statements (unlike in the US system), and there is no obligation to disclose the role of any inventive AI involved in the making of an invention.

Of more immediate practical concern are potential complexities of proving infringement of a patented AI where, for example, the alleged infringing activity may be performed partly in a “black box” and/or in “the cloud”. For this reason, AI patents are often targeted at infringements that can be readily identified from publicly available documents or simple inspection.

There’s no such thing as “AI patents” (the EPO’s new buzzword); these are just software patents. When they say AI patents they don’t mean patents generated by a computer — something that increasingly becomes a source of headaches to the EPO. Watch how, just before the weekend, lawyers (Finnie in this case) and patent maximalists rapidly turn patents and the patent system into a self-satirising farce where applications get automatically generated by computers rather than composed by human beings. To quote:

Judgement day is coming. Not in a Terminator-esque sense – not yet, at least – but at the hands of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent governing bodies have become embroiled in a contentious patent filing that, until now, had only been a source of debate.

A team of legal and academic experts in the field have formed a campaign called The Artificial Inventor Project which aims to seek “intellectual property rights for the autonomous output of artificial intelligence”. Their most recent efforts to press ahead with their revolutionary cause came to the fore in a case that sought to name DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience) as the inventor on two patent filings.

At present, the USPTO and the EPO’s stances on this remain rock solid: that only “natural persons” can be named as inventors on patent filings. An AI entity is not a natural or a legal person and so can’t be named as an inventor in the traditional sense and can’t own intellectual property.

The patent systems worldwide already suffered credibility and reputation issues for a number of year because they had endlessly expanded patent scope and the public saw no societal benefit in millions of monopolies. Now that they grapple with all this “hey hi” hype things are bound to get yet worse because the supposition that patents exist to reward inventors of foster innovation/creativity won’t hold water when we speak of machines rather than people.

08.01.19

Laughable Patents That Are Used for Frivolous Litigation Are Sometimes Sponsored by Taxpayers

Posted in America, Courtroom, Law, Patents at 3:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent bubble harms everyone but litigation firms

Dark bubble

Summary: There are profound issues with the status quo which permits baseless lawsuits to be filed aplenty, sometimes based upon patents that ought not exist in the first place

THE truly ridiculous claims that the CCIA responded to earlier today serve to show that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a source of blackmail and embargo. It’s not hard to see who benefits the most from that. The underlying patents need not even be valid ones (except on the surface).

Here is the latest “Stupid Patent of the Month”. The EFF’s Elliot Harmon comments on laughable US patents (or software patents) granted by the USPTO, only to be reassessed under 35 U.S.C. § 101 if one can afford the challenge. To quote “Someone Is Suing Companies for Using SMS Messages in 2019″: (published earlier this week)

This month’s Stupid Patent of the Month deals with SMS (short messaging service), a technology that goes back to the mid-1980s. Modern-day SMS messages, typically bundled with mobile phone services, have been around since 1992, but one company believes that you should have to pay a licensing fee simply to incorporate them into your app or service.

That company is Anuwave, which recently sued cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (PDF) for infringement of US Patent 8,295,862. That’s only the most recent suit: Anuwave has sued dozens of companies since 2015 for alleged infringement of the patent—Symantec, Avast, and Bitdefender, just to name a few that have faced lawsuits.

Anuwave’s patent is on a software application using SMS to check for information—for example, for use on a device that can send and receive SMS messages, but doesn’t have an Internet connection. Anuwave alleges that Coinbase infringed the patent by letting users perform tasks like checking their balance via SMS.

“Yet another software patent,” Benjamin Henrion added, was on “an on-screen display that showed which cellular network each call in the call log was associated with,” as per this post about prior art invalidation (not the same as 35 U.S.C. § 101, likely a possibility as well):

In 2016, a major Chinese smartphone manufacturer came to us with a problem. The company was being sued by a competitor, also based in China, for patent infringement, and they would soon have to appear in court to defend themselves. The penalties for patent infringement can potentially be very painful—fines reaching into the millions of dollars, followed by costly licensing fees or, even worse, an injunction prohibiting further use of the patented technology.

We keep coming across these truly laughable patents. Why are these even being granted in the first place? And who to? As it turns out, based on this report, “[f]ive major retailers, including Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc, were sued on Tuesday by the University of California over what it called the “existential threat” when foreign manufacturers infringe schools’ patents. [...] It has also asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to open a probe into the retailers’ conduct, saying the retailers have failed to require their suppliers to honor the university’s patents. None of the retailers immediately responded to requests for comment. Filament LED light bulbs are sometimes called “Edison” or “vintage” bulbs because they resemble light bulbs created by Thomas Edison that have glowing filaments visible inside. They became widely available only in the last five years in the United States, where sales in 2019 are expected to top $1 billion, according to court papers.”

“Universities have turned into Patent Trolls,” Benjamin Henrion wrote about patent trolls that leverage these patents on publicly-funded research. First comment, he notes, pointing to this discussion: “But I agree: You get public funding, your research is public domain…”

We said that many times in the past. Taxpayers are funding work which is in turn being turned into patents, passed to patent trolls who then attack those very same taxpayers. It’s like a major scam, a swindle.

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