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04.23.16

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Continues Its Battles for Patent Sanity in the United States

Posted in America, EFF, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By taking on the Lexmark case the EFF works towards printing/ink/toner rights in general

Epson

Summary: A look at some of the latest activity of the EFF in the area of patents, where there probably ought to be increased emphasis on the harms of software patents and need for elimination thereof

THE Electronic Frontier Foundation is a potential ally in the fight against software patents. We have written about its role in the battle for nearly a decade now (Novell paid the EFF almost one decade ago) and we continue to monitor its progress. Funded by Mark Cuban to do this kind of activism (Cuban, who reads Techrights, is notably against software patents), we believe that a lot of good can come out of what the EFF does.

The EFF’s Julie Samuels wrote 4 days ago that she’s still fighting “Against Stupid Patents” (not too useful to choose the word “stupid” for one who fights against software patents). “Despite the program’s modest but important success at weeding out some of the worst patents,” she wrote, “it’s under attack from those who oppose patent reform and apparently believe a 20-year government monopoly should not have to withstand any scrutiny. Specifically, representatives from certain industries (e.g., the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries) claim that IPRs are “patent death squads” and have been hard at work on Capitol Hill trying to roll back the program’s effectiveness by dulling its procedures.”

“The EFF basically gets involved in the Lexmark patent case (trying to drag in the Supreme Court) and is attracting/receiving supportive press coverage.”We wrote about the use of the term “patent death squads” in the past, e.g. in [1, 2, 3, 4]. They use other malicious-sounding terms to describe invalidation of bogus patents and they use euphemisms for their own abuses.

The EFF’s latest battle seems to be tackling a subject which we wrote about some weeks ago [EN | ES]. The EFF basically gets involved in the Lexmark patent case (trying to drag in the Supreme Court) and is attracting/receiving supportive press coverage. Public Knowledge wrote earlier this week: “Yesterday, Public Knowledge filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in the case Impression Products v. Lexmark International. The brief was joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the R Street Institute.

“The case relates to printer toner cartridges that are refilled and resold. Lexmark argues that the resale of printer cartridges violates its patent rights. Impression Products, who remanufactures cartridges, contends that its activities are legally permitted because Lexmark’s patent rights were exhausted at the time of sale of the cartridges to consumers. The amicus brief filed supports Impression’s view that consumer ownership rights should override Lexmark’s patent interests.”

“Cory Doctorow’s headline said “Printer ink wars may make private property the exclusive domain of corporations” and here is the EFF’s own humble statement (“EFF Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Dangerous Ruling Allowing Patent Owners to Undermine Ownership”).”This was also covered by WIPR, which wrote: “The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has urged the US Supreme Court to hear and overturn a “troubling decision” handed down by an appeals court that centres on patent exhaustion.”

Cory Doctorow’s headline said “Printer ink wars may make private property the exclusive domain of corporations” and here is the EFF’s own humble statement (“EFF Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Dangerous Ruling Allowing Patent Owners to Undermine Ownership”).

To quote the EFF: “The case is called Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. and it concerns the arcane but important question of patent exhaustion. This is patent law’s version of “first sale,” the doctrine in copyright law that says that once a consumer buys a copy of a work, she owns it and can do what she wants with that copy. Patent law is similar. Once a patent owner sells a product, it cannot later claim that that product’s use or sale is infringing.”

“We have been critical (at times) of the EFF’s approach, but all in all, what the EFF is doing is better than nothing at all.”At the same time the EFF fights for another cause (“Court Confirms EFF Can Stand Up for Public Access to Court Records”).

“Last month,” it explained, “EFF moved to intervene in a patent case in order to unseal records we believe have been improperly kept from the public. Yesterday, the court granted EFF’s motion to intervene, and in doing so, rejected a troubling argument being put forth by the patent owner.

“The case is Blue Spike v. Audible Magic. As we noted in our blog post last month, numerous documents, including at least three court opinions, have been completely withheld from the public. The sealed documents are highly substantive, and from what we can gather, would help the public better understand what, exactly, Blue Spike claims to have invented.”

We have been critical (at times) of the EFF’s approach, but all in all, what the EFF is doing is better than nothing at all. We just wish it did more to directly tackle software patents in the US, especially now that a lot of patent giants lobby the government (more on that later today).

[ES] Compañías Coreanas Hacen el Caso Por Patentes por Diseño Mientras la Más Grade Solicita a la Corte Suprema de los EE.UU. Deshacerce de Ellas

Posted in America, Asia, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Article as ODF

Publicado en America, Asia, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 8:05 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Samsung phone

 

Sumario: A pesar de amasar muchas patentes por diseño propias, Samsung quiere voluntáriamente interceptarlas/socavarlas cada una de ellas, en order de acabar con las demandas de Apple contra Android/Linux

LA Oficina de Patentes de los EE.UU. la USPTO, continua otorgando patentes por diseño, las que son a su vez controversiales en Europa.

Una escala/numero de patents por diseño acaban de ser presentadas por Patently-O, las que dice: “Las patentes de diseño siguen siendo un esquema de protección popular para los desarrolladores de productos de consumo y pantallas. Los diez más concesionarios por lo tanto, mucho de 2016 con la mayoría de los ejemplos recientes …”

Samsung no ha (históricamente por lo menos) sido agresivo con patentes.

Con Samsung en la cumbre, luego LGE (a quién Apple frecuéntemente acusó de plagioen diseñoscuando primero introduco su iPhone). Ambas son compañías Coreanas y un comentari corréctamente señala: “Uno no podría ser sorprendidos al notar que Samsung es altamente conscientes de las propiedades potentes de patentes de diseño.” Actualmente Samsung desafía la potencia de este tipo de patentes, tomando todo el camino hasta la Corte Suprema. En todo caso, esto puede indicar que Samsung solamente a regañadientes patenta diseños, tal vez con la esperanza de nivelar estos fines defensivos cuando compañías como Apple los ataca (con connotaciones nucleares). Samsung no ha (históricamente por lo menos) sido agresivo con patentes.

Una decisión del Circuito Federal ha puesto a Coleman Co en una posición más fuerte para enjuiciar a un competidor por infringimiento de sus patentes de diseño relacionado a aparatos personales de flotación.

   –Bloomberg BNA

Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC, una firma de abogados (obviamente), acaba de publicar este artículo acerca de patents por diseño de construcción como números acerca de patentes por diseño sugieren un rápido incremento en medio de un caso que SCOTUS trajo en su contra. Como hemos explicado aquí unas pocas veces antes, muchas patentes por diseño son similares y relacionadas con las patentes de software (interfaces en particular). Su existencia es desafíada en las cortes de nuevo, como este artículo sirve para mostrar. Parece una vez más que la CAFC decide en la materia. Para citar:Recuérden que el propósito original del sistema de patetnes fue proveer un incentivo para su publicación a cambio de un monopolio temporario. A la luz de aquella premisa olvidada por mucho tiempo consideren este nuevo post de Patently-O que dice: Una decisión del Circuito Federal ha puesto a Coleman Co en una posición más fuerte para enjuiciar a un competidor por infringimiento de sus patentes de diseño relacionado a aparatos personales de flotación.

La suerte de las patentes por diseño tiene billónes en riesgo; no sólo billones de dólares/pounds/yens pero también billones de personas.

[ES] Más Patentes No Significa Más Innovación, Simplemente Más Dinero Para los Abogados de Patentes y las Oficinas de Patentes

Posted in America, Patents at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Article as ODF

Publicado en America, Patentes at 8:38 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents Granted

Credito: Patently-O (pero anotado)

Sumario: Una mirada a la expansión de la esfera de patentes (y permisividad) el los Estados Unidos y lo que realmente puede ser deducido de ella

Una firma de explotación de patentes, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky y Popeo PC, acaba de escribir acerca de “Utilidad de lal Aplicación por Patentes” — materia que tocamos no hace mucho por figuras publicadas porPatently-O.

No hay mucha innovación en esta materia, pero un montón más de patentes cada año (ver el gráfico de arriba), así que uno correctamente puede sospechar que existe una burbuja en fabricación.

“En casi todas las demandas de patentes en los EE.UU.”, dijo la firma de abogados, “el abogado del titular de la patente considera la forma en que el caso podría haber sido facilitada mejor si la patente en cuestión hubiera sido redactada y tramitada de manera diferente. Estas consideraciones demuestran que las patentes deben ser elaboradass y procesadas con vista hacia la posibilidad de un litigio. Ha habido varias decisiones importantes en los casos de patentes que impactan directamente la tramitación de patentes. Este artículo analiza algunas de esas decisiones en orden cronológico para proporcionar sugerencias para un fiscal en la redacción de la patente o el procesamiento de una solicitud de patente”.

Patently-O, mientras tanto, continua escribiéndo acerca de esas patentes y dice: “El siguiente gráfico muestra el número de solicitudes de patentes UPR presentadas en los últimos años fiscales (que se ejecutan 1 de octubre al 30 de septiembre), junto con una simple proyección de las aplicaciones para el año fiscal 2016. La gran mayoría de estos son solicitudes de patentes de utilidad”.

No hay mucha innovación en esta materia, pero un montón más de patentes cada año (ver el gráfico de arriba), así que uno correctamente puede sospechar que existe una burbuja en fabricación. ¿Cuán bueno es un sistema de patentes como la USPTO si hay un inexistente o poquísimo control de calidad? Esta falta de calidad es por eso que muchas empresas terminaron viendo sus patentes de software devaluados después de la decisión Alice, la que afirmó correctamente que muchas patentes de software son abstractas y por lo tanto deben ser considerados válidas. Lo mismo podría decirse de la crisis financiera causada por la falta de control de calidad o indulgentes criterios de holgura (sin rigidez) cuando se trata de hipotecas.

Recuérden que el propósito original del sistema de patetnes fue proveer un incentivo para su publicación a cambio de un monopolio temporario.

Considereneste nuevo comentario de Nicola Searle quien dijo “Mi cerebro empezó a gritar cuando vi” las patentes como un vehículo para la innovación “¿WTF?”

Seguro que molestó a la horda de abogados de patentes, quienes desearían creer que a más aplicaciones por patentes (o más juicios), mejor para ellos y más innovadora la sociedad se volverá.
Recuérden que el propósito original del sistema de patetnes fue proveer un incentivo para su publicación a cambio de un monopolio temporario. A la luz de aquella premisa olvidada por mucho tiempo consideren este nuevo post de Patently-O que dice:

“Hasta ahora, en 2016, la USPTO ha emitido tres patentes que reivindican prioridad pre-GATT. Estos tres son derechos adquiridos en virtud de la duración de la patente de edad de 17 años de de-emisión, ya que se presentaron antes del 8 de junio de 1995.”

Seguro que molestó a la horda de abogados de patentes, quienes desearían creer que a más aplicaciones por patentes (o más juicios), mejor para ellosy más innovadora la sociedad se volverá.

Para dar un ejemplo, vean una patente que fue “presentada en 1973, pero que en virtud de una orden se mantuvo en secreto hasta el año 2010.”
Pues bien, las patentes eran sobre PUBLICACIÓN original. Si ni siquiera están siendo publicados por tantos años, ¿cómo se supone que pensar en la USPTO como un intento de maximizar la innovación (en oposición a maximizar el número de patentes concedidas)?
China, como los EE.UU. (SIPO como la nefasta USPTO), ha bajado la calida de patentes y ahora eso otra Texas con su caos de litigios, basado en aquellos que aman los juicios de patentes (IAM ‘magazine’). Uno sólo puede esperar que Battistelli no se salga con la suya en la EPO y cause daño similar o PEOR en Europa, e.g. con la UPC. Más de ello en nuestro próximo post…

04.22.16

More Patents Don’t Mean More Innovation, Just More Money for Patent Lawyers and Patent Offices

Posted in America, Patents at 8:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTO patent quality has become farcical since David Kappos (IBM) became its Director

Patents Granted
Credit: Patently-O (but annotated)

Summary: A look at the expansion of patent scope (and permissiveness) in the United States and what can really be deduced from that

A patents exploitation firm, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, has just written about “Utility Patent Applications” — a subject we touched here some days ago because of figures released by Patently-O.

“There is not much more innovation in this domain, but a lot more patents each year (see the chart above), so one might rightly suspect there’s a bubble in the making.”“In almost every U.S. patent suit,” said the law firm, “the patentee’s counsel considers how the case could have been facilitated had the patent at issue been drafted and prosecuted differently. These considerations demonstrate that patents should be drafted and prosecuted with an eye toward the possibility of litigation. There have been several landmark decisions in patent cases that directly impact patent prosecution. This article analyzes some of those decisions in chronological order to provide suggestions for a patent prosecutor in drafting or prosecuting a patent application.”

Patently-O, in the mean time, continues to write about such patents and says: “The below graph shows the number of UPR patent applications filed over the past several fiscal years (which run from October 1 to September 30), along with a simple projection of the applications for FY 2016. The vast majority of these are utility patent applications.”

There is not much more innovation in this domain, but a lot more patents each year (see the chart above), so one might rightly suspect there’s a bubble in the making. What good is a patent system like the USPTO if there's little or virtually no quality control? This lack of quality is why many firms ended up seeing their software patents devalued after the decision on Alice, which correctly asserted that many software patents are abstract and should thus be deemed invalid. The same could be said about the financial crisis caused by lack of quality control or slack/lenient criteria (no rigidness) when it comes to mortgages.

“Remember that the original purpose of the patent system was to provide an incentive for publication in exchange for a temporary monopoly.”Consider this new comment from Nicola Searle who said “my brain started screaming when I saw “patents as a proxy for innovation.””

It sure angered the crowd of patent lawyers, who wish to believe that the more patents get filed (or more lawsuits), the better off and more innovative society will become.

Remember that the original purpose of the patent system was to provide an incentive for publication in exchange for a temporary monopoly. In light of that long-forgotten premise consider this new post from Patently-O that says: “So far in 2016, the USPTO has issued three patents that claim priority pre-GATT. These three are grandfathered in under the old 17-year-from-issuance patent term because they were filed before June 8, 1995.”

“It sure angered the crowd of patent lawyers, who wish to believe that the more patents get filed (or more lawsuits), the better off and more innovative society will become.”To give one example, see one patent which was “filed in 1973 but was held under a secrecy order until 2010.”

Well, patents were about PUBLICATION originally. If they’re not even being published for so many years, how is one supposed to think of the USPTO as seeking to maximise innovation (as opposed to maximising the number of granted patents)?

China, like the US (SIPO like USPTO), has lowered patent quality and now it’s another Texas with a litigation mess, based on those who love patent lawsuits (IAM ‘magazine’). One can only hope that Battistelli won’t get his way at the EPO and cause similar damage inside Europe, e.g. with the UPC. More on that in our next post…

Korean Companies Make the Case for Design Patents While the Bigger One Asks the US Supreme Court to Shoot Some of Them Down

Posted in America, Asia, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reaching the conclusion that these patents (related to software patents) are excessive and counterproductive?

Samsung phone

Summary: In spite of amassing many design patents of its own, Samsung is willing to intercept/undermine all of them, in order to shoot down Apple’s demands against Android/Linux

THE United States’ patent office, the USPTO, continues to grant design patents, which are rather controversial in Europe.

Design patentees by scale/number have just been presented by Patently-O, which said: “Design patents continue to be a popular protection scheme for developers of consumer products and screen displays. Top ten assignees thus-far in 2016 with most recent examples…”

“Samsung has not (historically at least) been aggressive with patents.”It’s Samsung at the top, then LGE (which Apple was often accused of copying — design-wise — when it first introduced the iPhone). Both are Korean companies and one comment rightly points out: “One might not be surprised to notice Samsung highly aware of the potent properties of design patents.” Samsung currently challenges the potency of such patents, taking it all the way up to the Supreme Court. If anything, this may indicate that Samsung only begrudgingly patents designs, maybe in the hope of leveling these for defensive purposes when companies like Apple strike (with nuclear connotations). Samsung has not (historically at least) been aggressive with patents.

“A Federal Circuit ruling has placed Coleman Co. in a stronger position to sue a competitor for infringement of its design patent relating to personal flotation devices.”
      –Bloomberg BNA
Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC, a lawyers’ firm (obviously), has just published this article about design patent constriction as figures about design patents suggest a sharp increase amid a SCOTUS case about/against it. As we explained here a few times before, many design patents are similar and related to software patents (interfaces in particular). Their very existence is challenged in courts again, as this new article serves to show. It seems as though once again it’s CAFC deciding on the matter. To quote: “A Federal Circuit ruling has placed Coleman Co. in a stronger position to sue a competitor for infringement of its design patent relating to personal flotation devices.”

The fate of design patents has billions at stake; not just billions of dollars/pounds/yen but also billions of people.

04.18.16

Say the Truth About the US Patent System, Get Attacked by the Patent Propaganda Machine (Disguised as Press)

Posted in America, Patents at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

His only ‘crime’ (which brought/attracted publicity punishment) is that he sought patent reform

Darrell Issa
Photo in the public domain, via Wikipedia

Summary: Darrell Issa (photographed above) comes under attacks from boosters of software patents, apologists of patent trolls (often funded by them), and patent maximalists because he correctly insinuated that (most) plaintiffs are like patent trolls in the United States

In the US, a lot of plaintiffs are patent trolls. These patent trolls use software patents that would be ruled invalid if brought before the courts. There’s no denying it, just look at the widely available statistics and then consider money extracted outside the courts (like ‘protection money’) and without the media even being informed (secrecy demanded by the racketeer). The USPTO keeps granting twice as many patents as one decade ago. No quality control seems to be in place, at least no effective control of quality (92% of applications wind up being accepted). These new figures from Patently-O, which cover a particular kind of patents, reinforce this. They completely reaffirm or fit the pattern and as IP Kat has just put it, “the patent system is inimical to innovative activity, at a time where innovation is seen as in decline.”

“These patent trolls use software patents that would be ruled invalid if brought before the courts.”The US patent system is now dominated more by parasites than by innovators. It’s a real issue. But those who insinuate this or ‘dare’ to point it out come under severe attacks, especially if they’re influential. Blowhard Gene Quinn (whom we often called WatchTroll for various reasons) leads the pack in these attacks.

“Congressman Issa calls patent trolls and plaintiffs interchangeable during ITC hearing,” he wrote in Twitter, linking to an article with the same headline. This whole article is based on a small spoken portion which said, “for purposes of my opening statement ‘plaintiff’ and ‘troll’ will be interchangeable.”

This seems like convenient framing for abbreviation when time is limited (a hearing), but watch how far Gene Quinn took this, defending the ITC’s embargo policies and defending patent trolls by targeting Darrell Issa, i.e. the messenger. These are the expected personal attacks on him from Quinn (for ‘hypocrisy’), in the same way he attacked Mark Cuban (over Vringo investment), who’s trying to demolish software patents.

“The US patent system is now dominated more by parasites than by innovators.”“Finally we get the truth,” IAM wrote (Gene Quinn being praised by IAM says a lot about IAM). “According to reform proponents a patent troll is any entity that seeks to enforce a patent” (because patent maximalists, propagandists, and proponents of software patents have agenda, which includes top enforcers of software patents, namely patent trolls).

Soon to join the above was a Bristows [1, 2] employee (UPC and software patents booster) who wrote: The Subcommittee is Chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has been an outspoken advocate for the need for more patent reform in order to provide relief from those he believes are abusing the patent litigation system — those sometimes called patent trolls. Indeed, from the start of the Thursday’s hearing, the debate regarding patent infringement at the ITC was couched in the language of the patent troll debate. For example, during his opening statement Congressman Issa rather imperiously stated: “for purposes of my opening statement ‘plaintiff’ and ‘troll’ will be interchangeable.”

“There is an agenda to drive and combing/cherry-picking the words of this agenda’s antagonists is a commonly-used tool.”The strategy of nitpicking a brief statement (where brevity was achieved in the above-stated fashion) is rather common these days. There is an agenda to drive and combing/cherry-picking the words of this agenda’s antagonists is a commonly-used tool. I frequently saw it done online to incite against Techrights (misrepresentation of the site’s positions).

Incidentally, and not too surprisingly (it was inevitable), IAM ‘magazine’ joins the lobbyist David Kappos (funded by IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc.) in attacking challenges to software patents in the US. To quote an article from this weekend (insisting that “something needs to be done about [section] 101″:

Earlier this week former USPTO Director David Kappos doubled down on his long-time criticism of the recent case law and called for the abolition of 101. Speaking at the Federal Circuit Judicial Conference he reportedly compared the situations in the US with Europe and Asia. “It’s time to abolish Section 101 and the reason I say that is that Europe doesn’t have 101 and Asia doesn’t have 101 and they seem to be doing just fine in constraining patent eligible subject matter,” he commented.

Such is the uncertainty around 101 in both the high tech and biotech fields, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decisions in a series of cases including Alice Corp v CLS Bank and Mayo v Prometheus, that Kappos’s concerns are shared by many patent owners. His worries around 101 have evolved over recent years. On a panel at the AIPLA annual conference in 2014 he claimed that the case law had moved far beyond the original meaning of the statute. He strengthened his arguments in a speech he gave at the LeadershIP event in 2015 when he noted that despite the uncertainty, 101 reform did not feature in the debates around patent legislation.

IAM is a mouthpiece for patent lawyers, large corporations that rely on software patents, and basically those who are paying IAM. Megaphone for those interests is what IAM has become. It’s not a news site. It’s agenda dressed up as ‘news’.

Michael Garofalo’s Patent Lawyers Austin Hansley Are Trying to Twist § 101 in Favour of Software Patents Rather Than the Opposite

Posted in America, Patents at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taking pride in the state which openly brags about being trolls-friendly

Austin Hansley

Summary: Michael Garofalo, who is attacking small companies using software patents that are likely worthless once actually subjected to expensive scrutiny (at the courts), is being defended by a firm which doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between the USPTO’s lenience and courts’ adherence to the Supreme Court’s decision on Alice

Austin Hansley, which is based near the capital of patent trolls, isn’t the sharpest pencil in the toolbox. We recently wrote about the Garfum case, where the plaintiff essentially lost after the EFF had stepped in, making ‘protection money’ harder to collect without a legal challenge.

The patent in question is a software patent — one that any court would likely invalidate because the USPTO isn’t doing its job (finding prior art, considering triviality and so on). But as long as the defendant (victim to be sued) is poor enough Michael Garofalo (of Garfum) probably hopes that money will be shelled out to avert legal expenses.

As one new report puts it:

A New Jersey man named Michael Garofalo had a patent he claimed covered online contests, and used it to demand money from other small businesses. But when the Electronic Frontier Foundation came to the defense of a photographer targeted by Garofalo last year, Garofalo quickly dropped his case. Last month, he and his lawyers were ordered to pay $29,000 in legal fees.

Now Garofalo, who owns the website Garfum.com, is asking for the fee smackdown to be reconsidered. His reasoning: since the US Patent and Trademark Office recently agreed to grant him another patent, nearly identical to the first, his case couldn’t possibly be considered “exceptional.”

“This new evidence shows that this case does not lack substantive strength,” writes Garfum.com’s lawyers, from the Texas-based Austin Hansley law firm. “Simply put, how could Plaintiff’s position lack substantive strength when the USPTO performed the same § 101 analysis as this Court and found nearly identical claims to recite patentable subject matter?”

But actually, contrary to what these aggressive lawyers claim, § 101 analysis at the court is a very different matter (unlike the 'analysis' at the USPTO), so both patents are likely to be bogus and invalid, once subjected to proper scrutiny by agents that don’t profit from granting rather than rejecting. One must begin to question whether Austin Hansley even groks § 101 at all.

04.16.16

Criticisms of the Patent System of the United States, Which is Imposed on the Rest of the World Using Corporate Lobbyists and Attracts or Creates Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Patents at 1:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even Creative is now resorting to creative patent trolling against rivals in the Eastern District of Texas

BLASTING RIVALS WITH PATENTS
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Sound Blaster

Summary: An outline of recent news about the US patent system, where the prognosis continues to be somewhat negative and hopeless

Patently-O looks at reissue pendency at the USPTO, plotting some graphs and noting, in words: “Reissue applications have resumed their somewhat steady-state following the pre-AIA rise associated that had been associated with a counter strategy against third-party reexamination filings.

“For those issued thus far in 2016, the average reissue pendency is 28 months (median 22 months).”

“The US patent system, more so than peer offices (the famous top 5), is a coercive system of domination and control, not science.”Compare that to the EPO‘s pendency figures, which were discussed here in relation to the EPO’s bogus 'results' that not even examiners and patent lawyers seem to believe.

The US patent system, more so than peer offices (the famous top 5), is a coercive system of domination and control, not science. It has been trying to expand software patents to other countries, for instance. This new article titled “Who the U.S. industrial lobbies pressure on intellectual property” speaks of something we covered here in the context of Wikileaks’ Cablegate, showing how USTR was bullying all sorts of countries into acceptance of US law and so-called ‘property’ (non-physical). “Each year,” says this article, “the United States Trade Representative issues ​the Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property (IP). This ​report, an essential tool in the US trade policy regarding intellectual property, puts pressure on countries that are deemed “not compliant” with the global regime of patents and copyright.”

“Nearly a decade ago we showed how the BSA was lobbying for software patents in Europe.”This is more or less what we wrote here repeatedly half a decade ago. Noting the role of front groups that Microsoft and IBM are part of (Business Software Alliance was actually dumped by IBM): “It is largely influenced by five industrial lobby groups — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), ​Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Business Software Alliance​ (​BSA), International Intellectual Property Alliance​ (​IIPA), and the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center (USCC)​ —, who submit comments to USTR, listing the countries they want to be scrutinized.”

The BSA represents not only Microsoft (key member) but also some proprietary software firms from the US. Nearly a decade ago we showed how the BSA was lobbying for software patents in Europe.

“Patents for those who hoard all the money and decide how to divide it help remind us that this is not an SMEs’ system, that’s for sure.”Patents are not for small companies but for large companies to perpetually dominate without challenge. That’s not what patents were about when they were first introduced, but things certainly changed. Mass patenting by banks was reported a couple of days ago, nothing: “The articles note that big US banks are applying for more patents than ever before and, in particular, Bloomberg states that banks and payments companies were awarded 36% more granted US patents in the last three-year period than in the prior three-year period. However, statistics quoted by Envision IP indicate that the number of finance and payments patents being granted, both to financial services companies and technology companies, peaked in 2013 and have since declined somewhat.”

Patents for those who hoard all the money and decide how to divide it help remind us that this is not an SMEs’ system, that’s for sure. “US banks are applying for more patents than ever before,” one person quoted the article as saying (he is somewhat of a patents sceptic and definitely an EPO sceptic, his name is Francisco Moreno).

“The US patent system undoubtedly attracts a large parasitic element and unless this is stopped it will severely harm its economy.”According to patent maximalists (IAM), things keep getting worse in the US. Companies that actually produce things face threats from patent trolls (IAM refers to these as NPEs, as usual) and Creative Technology, which was somewhat of a thing back in the 90s, is becoming a patent troll in the Eastern District of Texas, just before its patents expire. The public should ask, who benefits? A company that no longer really produces anything of much value? I loved Sound Blaster audio processing cards, but this latest wave of lawsuits is just parasitic and unnecessary. The US patent system undoubtedly attracts a large parasitic element and unless this is stopped it will severely harm its economy.

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