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07.09.16

When the Patent Litigation Business is Trying to Create Demand for Software Patents and for Disputes/Lawsuits

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The profit motive poisons everything; impedes peace and calm, distorts facts and reality

The profit motive

Summary: A critical breakdown of recent articles regarding software patents, patent courts (primarily in the US), and what patent law firms are trying to tell us in order to improve sales (of their services)

PATENT systems like the USPTO and EPO make a lot of sense when granted patents are assigned/merited based on innovation and incentive to create. Several domains demonstrated need for patents and we are not disputing patents in general. Software patents, on the other hand, are neither desirable nor needed, as software developers worldwide can attest to (their work is copyrighted at zero cost and without hassle, protecting against plagiarism).

James Nurton, writing about CJEU right now, says that patent licensing deals stand even “if the patent is revoked or found not to be infringed,” which is of course outright ridiculous. When and if patents are asserted and become a cashflow regardless of their (in)validity, how are people expected to respect this system? Moreover, what happens when the plaintiff or the licensor is a patent troll that produces nothing at all? What happens to the premise of “promoting innovation”? Patent trolling is, in some sense, protectionism warped into racketeering and this does nothing but create uncertainty, which in turn depresses investment and reduces innovation.

“Patent trolling is, in some sense, protectionism warped into racketeering and this does nothing but create uncertainty, which in turn depresses investment and reduces innovation.”Tackling the issue of software patents, recall the Enfish case and see some of the latest articles about it [1, 2]. The latter asks, “Are ‘Improvements’ Key to Subject Matter Eligibility for Software Patents?” The notion of “improvement” is so vague that this question is rather meaningless. Improvement over what and in what terms? Performance? Accuracy?

Now consider also the Rapid Litigation case, which we wrote about the other day. This new article about it reminds us that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is a big barrier to progress. It’s CAFC that brought software patents to the United States in the first place. Several new articles about the Bascom case at CAFC [1, 2] (by Andrew H. DeVoogd and Matthew A. Karambelas from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.), as well as related CAFC articles about Cuozzo case in lawyers’ sites, show much of the same pattern. Patent lawyers pretty much ignore all the cases where software patents get invalidated and only emphasise the exceptions. One site even produced an article titled “Federal Circuit’s Recent Primer on Patent-Eligibility” in which tips are given for tricking CAFC into acceptance of software patents in spite of Alice, just like in this new case. It was rather clear that SCOTUS does not tolerate software patents, but spin sites like IAM would have us believe that “the pendulum is swinging back”. They rely on CAFC in order to discredit SCOTUS, for instance: “Here’s how’s former CAFC Chief Judge Paul Michel describes the Supreme Court’s recent impact on patent law: “Since eBay [it] has been taking authority away from the Federal Circuit. By rejecting every major decision of the CAFC – except Cuozzo and i4i – the Supreme Court has sharply rebuked the Federal Circuit and upended tests that the CAFC had instituted.” That has led, Michel insists, to a strengthening of SCOTUS’s power at the expense of the CAFC and of Congress.”

“The matter of fact is, calls to abolish CAFC have only grown in recently years.”What’s wrong with the Supreme Court having more power than a corrupt court (with track record of misconduct) and a US Congress that’s inherently corrupted because politicians there are funded by large corporations to do their bidding? “SCOTUS weighs in on Halo/Stryker,” says IAM, and “The CAFC rules in Enfish v Microsoft” (a case whose outcome was virtually overturned in another case only days later), perhaps hoping to distract the readers and give the impression that CAFC will ‘save’ patent lawyers from Alice. The matter of fact is, calls to abolish CAFC have only grown in recently years.

Not only patent law firms but also publishers associated with patent law firms peddle the same nonsense. Now that Huawei is making enemies in the West with its bad policies and its patent aggression IAM uses the “swing” buzzword in the headline again (not the swing that in the US is a patent, a method of swinging a swing) to give false hope of litigation rebound now that it’s down considerably. In the words of IAM:

Huawei has accelerated its patent assertion campaign on two fronts over the past week, launching a new complaint against T-Mobile in the United States and a further suit against Samsung in China.

“Huawei’s IP coming-of-age in full swing,” IAM says, but actually, Huawei as a whole is growing (it’s now one of the biggest Android OEMs) and its growing patent stockpile accompanies this growth. Don’t believe IAM and all those patent law firms (like those that fund IAM) when they tell the public that software patents are fine and patent litigation has great prospects. They’re just trying to invite business. It’s called marketing.

07.08.16

Conflicts of Interest and Payments From Large Corporations Bias Coverage of Patents in the News

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Conflict of interest
Reference: Conflict of interest

Summary: How media has reported (or spun) some of the latest observations regarding patent lawsuits and software patents in the United States

THE world of ‘IP’-centric media is complex. It’s complex because one must track the payments of many entities in order to better understand the bias (some payments are not direct). IAM, an EPO mouthpiece, is probably one of the worst in that regard, with WatchTroll (Gene Quinn) as a close second. MIP (Managing Intellectual Property) is actually pretty okay, as funds appear to be derived from endorsements (of firms) and subscriptions.

Presenting new evidence of patents as bubbles, MIP says that “IPOS has approved the first loan application using a patent as collateral, and is opening its financing scheme up to other IP rights.” There is also this new article about ASEAN (Asia) and it looks informative enough.

Now, compare that to the latest output from IAM (more like agenda/advocacy, not news). Watch how IAM, which is partly funded by patent trolls, spins litigation decline in the US (reported the other day) as no reason for “Asian companies and governments” to lament or deemphasize patents. “This accords with a widely held perception that recent changes to the US system have made this the toughest environment in which to be a patent plaintiff in recent memory,” says the author, whose colleague later groomed the Microsoft- and Nokia-fed patent troll, MOSAID (renamed Conversant). In this article, IAM doesn’t disclosure Conversant’s payments to IAM . These are the predators (the Microsoft-connected anti-Android proxies) that are paying IAM, so IAM cannot really criticise them (without risk to funding or metaphorically biting the hand that feeds).

“When money changes hands and there is agenda to push (or sell), fact-checking isn’t much of a priority.”Does anyone still take IAM seriously? When money changes hands and there is agenda to push (or sell), fact-checking isn’t much of a priority. Even the world’s largest patent troll is habitually being groomed there.

Speaking of patent trolls, they very often use software patents and even heavily rely on those. Patent Progress, which typically bemoans patent trolls, changed its tune this week and proceeded to yet more criticism of software patents (second time in a week). As Matt Levy put it yesterday:

Alice Helps Another Company Stop a Patent Troll

[...]

It’s critical to have a way to quickly invalidate bad software patents. Alice and 35 U.S.C. § 101 have been invaluable, as the Capstone case attests. But there are critics who complain about Section 101 and its supposed “incoherence.”

For example, David Kappos, the former head of the USPTO, wants to get rid of Section 101 altogether; but then again, he’s not being sued by patent trolls, is he?

David Kappos is also a lobbyist for large corporations now, putting to shame any remnants of USPTO integrity. The author himself (Levy) is funded by some large corporations (through CCIA), which is how we often explain excessive focus on patent trolls rather than on software patents.

For the record, Techrights never has and never will receive money from corporations. Our only ‘agenda’ or ‘bias’ probably pertains to the interests of software developers (being one myself).

07.07.16

~90% of Technology Patent Lawsuits Are Patent Trolls-Related, Show New Figures

Posted in America, Patents at 6:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So much for ‘protecting’ innovation and creativity (of firms that create nothing)…

Summary: Technology patents, and notably software patents, continue to be the big hole in companies’ pockets (and the wet dream of patent lawyers)

AS EXPECTED when we wrote about it yesterday, the Unified Patents figures start making headlines. “Anti Software Patents” wrote “Tech 90% Patent Troll rate” and cited the original which is saying: “Almost 90% of High-Tech litigation continues to be NPE related (Figure 8). Extrapolating 1st half 2016 litigation to the full year would result in 4374 cases (Figure 11). All top 5 most frequent plaintiffs in 2016 were PAEs (Figure 16). PTAB appears to have reached a steady state of filings and cases pending (Figure 18).”

The EFF, in the mean time, starts a new kind of campaign which it compares to Open Access in academia. “When Universities Sell Patents to Trolls,” says the summary, “Publicly Funded Research Is Compromised” (a subject we covered here before in relation to the world’s largest patent troll, which is somewhat of a Microsoft assertion proxy).

Sadly, many patents that are granted to benign (and sometimes taxpayers-funded) entities end up in the hands of patent trolls that are often secretly connected to large corporations which exploit them for loopholes (cannot sue patent trolls in return or allege antitrust violations).

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Originator of Software Patents) Still the Number One Barrier to Progress and Justice

Posted in America, Patents at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CAFC corruption

Summary: New Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) cases/rulings and what the latest developments serve to teach us about CAFC

THE activity of patent litigation is a function of misunderstanding, disagreement, and inability to settle. It is not, however, to be mistaken or conflated with patent activities (cross-licensing for instance). Patent maximalists, especially those who profit from actual litigation (patent lawyers, not necessarily attorneys), conveniently mix the two. It is worth remembering that poor judgment or low-quality patent examination would more likely lead to patent disputes. This is one of several reasons we’re highly concerned about the EPO these days. Looking at the far east, there too litigation activity seems to be on the rise; this week alone Huawei decided to sue with patents [via] once again (China is a growing platform for such litigious activity and hostile atmosphere it entails) and in Korea patent cases boil over to the US courts. Patents were originally introduced not to occupy thousands of courts but for preservation/publication, attribution, and dissemination of knowledge (with accompanying fees or temporary prohibition on imitations). Nowadays, judging by these very recent articles about patents on life [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], patents are made to control who lives and who dies, or who ‘owns’ parts of everyone’s body. This is not OK and it directly relates to software patents if the said patent is looked upon closely. Now there’s also the Rapid Litig. v CellzDirect case [1, 2], patents on exported goods, and other such CAFC cases like Bascom, which relates to software patents. As The National Law Review put it yesterday, “Focusing on Second Step of Alice, Federal Circuit Finds Inventive Concept in Software Patent in BASCOM” (there is more coverage here).

How far can this madness go and when will it be globally realised that software patents never made sense to begin with (it was CAFC that brought these into existence). Matt Levy, writing for Patent Progress yesterday, scoffed at “Bad software patents” when he wrote the article “CAFC Says Configuring an Option per User is Patent-Eligible” (it oughtn’t be). To quote Levy’s explanation of the case and the patent:

Bad software patents apparently still have a few protectors on the Federal Circuit: in its recent decision in Bascom Global Internet Services, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, a Federal Circuit panel said that a patent for configuring a content filtering option per network user is patent eligible. After making a lot of progress in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, this is a big step backwards.

[...]

This is patent lawyer language, of course, but it’s not too complicated. Basically, there are a few ways of filtering out objectionable websites; this system forces all network requests through a single server which filters out the objectionable websites. Each user has a filtering method(s) associated with her account, and the server uses the associated method(s) for the user making the request. That is the claim. There are no new filtering methods, no implementation details, nothing more specific than what I’ve just described.

Under Alice, it seems pretty clear to me that this shouldn’t be patent eligible. The abstract idea is something like “filtering content through a single access point where the method of filtering content is configured for each user.”

“The Federal Circuit has ruled that the claims of a patent for liver cell treatment were not directed to a patent-ineligible concept, in a decision that provides guidance on how life science innovations can satisfy the Mayo test,” MIP wrote, demonstrating that CAFC not only challenges Alice but also the Mayo test (both at SCOTUS, the US Supreme Court). CAFC also “saves 10k patents by reversing district court decision in Immersion Corp v HTC,” according to this new patent lawyers’ analysis of Immersion Corp v HTC, serving to reinforce the view that CAFC is somewhat of a rogue court which all along was in the pockets of patent lawyers, disinterested in justice itself.

Invalidation of Bogus Patents (Software Patents and Other Abstract Patents) Peaking at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

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

PTAB

Summary: Another sign that software patents in the United States are a dying breed because closer scrutiny gets applied even outside the courtroom

NOT ALL is doom and gloom. The USPTO, for one thing, is unable to grant software patents like it used to because PTAB keeps invalidating such patents and the US Supreme Court takes the side of PTAB (confer Cuozzo [1, 2, 3]), which unlike USPTO examiners does not strive to maximise the number of granted patents. The National Law Review has a new article about it, titled “Supreme Court Gives Deference to USPTO in Post Grant Proceedings,” and there is even a sponsored ‘article’ about it in IAM this week.

The major news, however, isn’t Cuozzo but the following June report from MIP. It says:

According to the Docket Navigator database, 176 PTAB petitions were filed in June, consisting of 166 inter partes review (IPR), nine covered business method and one post-grant review (PGR) petition.

This made it comfortably the busiest month for petition filing so far this calendar year, ahead of February’s 150 petitions. This was despite it being the lowest month for CBM petitions since January 2016 and for PGRs since March 2016.

This surge in invalidation/reassessment activity goes in cohesion with the sharp decline in litigation activity. We hope this will further cement the end of software patents in the United States.

07.06.16

Microsoft and Its Lobbyist David Kappos (Former USPTO Director) Are Still Lobbying for Software Patents

Posted in America, Microsoft, Patents at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another reminder of revolving doors culture at the USPTO

Microsoft links to David Kappos

Summary: Just as things are beginning to improve in the US — where patent scope is tightened and software patents often get invalidated/rejected — the Microsoft-funded David Kappos (who came from inside the USPTO) rears his ugly head again

SOFTWARE patents are dying in the US and as we noted here yesterday, the “patent global warming” — as Benjamin Henrion habitually calls it — cools down a bit. The National Law Review (based in Chicago, i.e. US-centric) has a new series of articles the latest part of which discusses software patents (versus copyright on code) and correctly says that “the Alice Corp v CLS Bank Int’l decision at the US Supreme Court which made it much harder to patent software.” Asserting existing (old) software patents in a court of law has become even harder, as the USPTO has a build-in conflict of interests (so-called ‘production’ versus quality control — the same problem we now see at the EPO). So yes, Alice became a nightmare to big patent bullies like Microsoft and IBM (the previous employer of Kappos).

“Asserting existing (old) software patents in a court of law has become even harder, as the USPTO has a build-in conflict of interests (so-called ‘production’ versus quality control — the same problem we now see at the EPO).”Microsoft now links to David Kappos (its anti-Alice lobbyist) and his Web site which promotes software patents. “Patents Fuel the American Dream” is the title and Microsoft has just piggybacked US Independence Day for this lobbying push (opportunistic marketing stunts that strive to associate patent maximalism with patriotism). Benjamin Henrion responded by saying that “patents fuel the American nightmare.” It’s especially true for software developers, who are often hit by patent trolls that almost always use software patents.

Last week we wrote about the Sequenom decision (or lack thereof), which was good news for abolishers of software patents. Glyn Moody, who wrote a book on the subject on genome monopolies, said that “Diagnostic Patents Suffer Another Setback In US As Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Sequenom Appeal” (more about Mayo than about Alice). To quote Dr. Moody:

In recent years, there have been a couple of really important US Supreme Court decisions in the biotech field. One is the 2013 judgment striking down gene patents. The other is a ruling from 2012 that rejected the patenting of basic medical diagnostics, in a case involving Mayo Collaborative Services and Prometheus Labs. The resultant loss for biotech companies in terms of devalued patent portfolios, and their reduced ability to control the market using intellectual monopolies, has been so serious that it is no surprise that there are periodic attempts to get these decisions mitigated through subsequent court rulings.

[...]

Although the industry will doubtless whine about how there is no incentive to produce new diagnostic tests, there’s no evidence that research and development in this area has ground to a halt in the US since the Supreme Court ruling on Mayo. All that has happened is that obvious applications of natural biological phenomena have been removed from patentability. Given the inherent reasonableness of that, we can probably hope that further challenges to Mayo will also fail.

The above does not deal with the angle of software patenting (covered here a few days ago), but in essence and in brief the SCOTUS rejection means that there will be no potent challenges to Alice and Mayo and the foreseeable future.

07.05.16

Signs of Progress: Overly Litigious US Patent System Calms Down a Bit, Reform Upsets Megacorporations

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 1:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US patent lawsuits
Based on data from Lex Machina

Summary: Tensions and disputes over patents in the US are on the decline, potentially as a direct result of heightened scrutiny of patents over their quality

THE USPTO is loved by patent aggressors and feared by everybody else. According to these new figures from Lex Machina (reported by IAM in this case), the USPTO just got a little less scary. To quote one of many analyses to come (after the US holiday): “New patent lawsuit in the US were down by close to 1,000 filings in the first half of 2016 compared with the first six months of 2015, providing a further indication that the marked drop off in cases since December may be part of a longer-term trend.

“As expected, given the IAM funding sources, IAM is not particularly happy about it, but what IAM wants is typically the very opposite of what society as a whole should want.”“According to Lex Machina’s running total, there were 2,238 cases brought in the first six months of this year compared with 3,232 in 2015 and 2,923 in 2014. That makes it the lowest first half total since 2011, the year that the America Invents Act was signed into law and its new joinder rules led to a spike in filings. Lex Machina has not officially announced their numbers for the first six months of 2016, but Lex Machina’s database keeps a running total and it’s safe to assume that the final total to the end of June will be close to 2,238. Unified Patents released its analysis earlier today which put the number of new cases at 2,187.”

This looks like great progress, possibly attributable to PTAB (part of America Invents Act*) and the message it sent out to patent aggressors after Alice had been handed down from SCOTUS.

As expected, given the IAM funding sources, IAM is not particularly happy about it, but what IAM wants is typically the very opposite of what society as a whole should want. IAM’s agenda is still promotion of the EPO, opposition to patent reform, UPC advocacy, and software patents (there’s no ambiguity about it). In the US, which still grants some software patents and thus helps patent trolls, voices can be found of large corporations that are upset. IAM gives them a platform this week. It is quite revealing.

Over at Patently-O, a blog based in the US (unlike IAM which is British), a MacDermid v. DuPont petition gets mentioned today and to quote the original: “Whether the Federal Circuit has erred in holding that there “must” be a proven “reasonable expectation of success” in a claimed combination invention in order for it to be held “obvious” under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a).”

“It was eventually the Supreme Court — not US Congress (in the pockets of megacorporations) — that brought necessary change.”Arguments about obviousness of patents have become commonplace not just because of Alice (which mostly relates to business methods and software). Another Patently-O article from today speaks of Rapid Litigation Management v CellzDirect and says that “[o]n appeal, the Federal Circuit held that the claimed hepatocyte prep-method was “not directed to a patent-ineligible concept.””

To quote the original: “The inventors certainly discovered the cells’ ability to survive multiple freeze-thaw cycles, but that is not where they stopped, nor is it what they patented. Rather, “as the first party with knowledge of” the cells’ ability, they were “in an excellent position to claim applications of that knowledge.” Myriad, 133 S. Ct. at 2120 (quoting Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 689 F.3d 1303, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (Bryson, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part)). That is precisely what they did. They employed their natural discovery to create a new and improved way of preserving hepatocyte cells for later use.”

Here we have Myriad (the SCOTUS determination) being used to challenge another kind of patent. It was eventually the Supreme Court — not US Congress (in the pockets of megacorporations) — that brought necessary change.
_____
* A science-led Patent Trial and Appeal Board which invalidates many software patents these days.

07.02.16

Patents Roundup: Patent Maximalism, Apple’s Patent Deception, and Failure of Patent-Centric Media to Name and Shame Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Apple, Deception, Patents at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some of the past week’s patent stories grouped together for easier absorption (sans the patent lawyers’ bias)

IAM ‘magazine’, which glorifies patent stockpiling and litigation (follow the money), basically continued to promote stockpiling of patents earlier this week. It’s about USPTO registration, which IAM uses to reinforce the notion of patents as “ownership” and innovation. Nicola from IP Kat, who is often sceptical of patent maximalists (she’s one of their best writers on such topics), linked to this paper and said: “The key finding is that, “55% of triadic patents are commercialized. We also find that 17% of all triadic patents are not commercialized but are at least partially for preemption, though only 3% of all triadic patents are purely preemptive patents.” Preemption is patenting for strategic purposes, rather than commercial. (You could argue the two are one and the same, but the paper focuses on preemptive non-use, as in strategic patenting with no intention to use the patent.) The paper goes into much more detail, but the punchline is that nearly half of triadic patents are not used, but ‘strategic’ patenting may be less prevalent than popular discourse would have you believe.”

“Patenting without boundaries devalues pertinent patents and harms confidence in patents.”What we appreciate about Nicola is that in spite of backlash in the comments (probably from patent lawyers) she continues to insist that when it comes to patents, more is not necessarily merrier. Patenting without boundaries devalues pertinent patents and harms confidence in patents. That’s just overpatenting. This is particularly true when it comes to software patents, which often correspond to very old ideas being implemented on a computer, on a device, over the Internet and so on. According to this new puff piece, for example, “Viridity Energy secures patent for transport-based energy storage software,” which probably corresponds quite loosely to something like the first software patent ever to be granted in the US (granted to Martin Goetz using the guise of “transport”). Software in general isn’t adequately protectable by patents but by copyright and there is no single patent that covers an entire computer program (there is no one-to-one correspondence and a single program can potentially infringe on thousands of software patents these days). We sure hope that the EPO won’t be gullible enough to believe otherwise.

Moving on a little, GoPro, which Microsoft extorted using patents earlier this year, becomes aggressive with patents of its own. As Digital Trends put it: “After Polaroid manufacturer C&A Marketing Inc. sued GoPro for copying the Cube’s design last year, GoPro is turning the tables, saying that it’s the Cube that is using GoPro’s patented technology. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, GoPro alleges that the Polaroid Cube copies two patents owned by the action-cam giant.”

“…when Apple wants to remotely control your phone, microphone, cameras etc. (or allow others to gain such control) it’s OK “because copyrights!””GoPro may be aggressive with patents, but no company these days is nearly as aggressive as Apple, which sees its empire devoured by Google with Android. Apple is now pursuing patents on censorship, as quite a few sites correctly note. Rick Falkvinge (Pirate Party founder) correctly went with the headline “Apple patents technology enabling police to prevent iPhones from filming police abuse”. One article had the headline “Apple gets patent for remotely disabling iPhone cameras, raising censorship fears”, but many of the other articles about it (literally hundreds if not thousands of them) were so terrible that they repeated Apple’s talking points. Poor reporting took Apple’s word (at face value) on how cameras being hijack would be used; when Apple wants to remotely control your phone, microphone, cameras etc. (or allow others to gain such control) it’s OK “because copyrights!” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72]. How misleading. These lies dominated the media and made Apple’s patent look like “protecting artists” rather than censoring photographers (who are themselves artists). See the article “The New iPhone Might Shut Off Next Time You Try to Film the Police in Public” for better perspective, unlike advocacy sites of Apple patents. This one said: “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover an Apple invention that pointed to the coming indoor GPS trend that is about to come to market first with the Lenovo-Google Tango smartphone this fall. In our report covering the Lenovo phone we pointed to a feature that will be introducing augmented reality. To a certain degree this is covered in today’s granted patent. Apple’s technology discusses working with venues like a museum that could provide visitors with guided tours and beyond on a future iPhone. In 2014 we posted a report titled “Apple and Google Headed for an Indoor Location Services War,” and indeed they are with Lenovo-Google taking the first shot. The second aspect of today’s granted invention caused a massive roar from techies who were upset with the camera being able to block smartphone video recording at concerts.”

Speaking of Apple, IAM insinuates that iPhone sales ban in China is a bad thing (suddenly IAM thinks patent assertion is bad, probably because China isn’t paying IAM) and MIP says “Apple’s latest China setback could encourage patent trolls”. “The Beijing IP Court has ruled that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus infringe the design patent of a Chinese-made smartphone, in a case that one IP lawyer believes could provide inspiration to patent trolls,” MIP writes. Well, if they are so supportive of patents, why is this bad when China uses patents? A bit of hypocrisy here, no? On the other hand, IAM published “Fujifilm’s Chinese pharma patent licensing deal marks a milestone in its IP-driven transformation” and “Qualcomm’s licensing model will be “destroyed” if it can’t win key China case, says its ex-Asian patent director” (also about china). So a monopoly abuser wishes to conquer China with patents that China doesn’t care for and IAM takes the side of the monopolist. How predictable. Moving further east to Japan, watch how IAM promotes/grooms Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll (which came from Microsoft originally). IAM wrote: “Earlier this month, we learned that Intellectual Ventures (IV) is spinning out its Invention Development Fund (IDF) into a separate entity. The news was confirmed by Paul Levins, who has been head of IV’s Australia and New Zealand operations and is the Asia and Europe programme director for IDF, while speaking on a panel at IPBC Global 2016 in Barcelona. As I understand it, this process has been underway for a few months and is still ongoing – but this has not stopped IDF from doing deals.”

“We see more of the same bias coming from patent lawyers’ (supposedly ‘news’) sites, which prefer to treat all patents as necessary and those that sue companies as “doing the right thing” (irrespective of merit or benefit to science, technology, and society).”The word troll isn’t even mentioned in this article (nor is it mentioned in this new article about the patent troll of Ericsson, which now goes to Asia for some shakedown, extortion, blackmail or whatever). WatchTroll only puts the word troll in scare quotes, reflecting the same kind of bias. We see more of the same bias coming from patent lawyers’ (supposedly ‘news’) sites, which prefer to treat all patents as necessary and those that sue companies as “doing the right thing” (irrespective of merit or benefit to science, technology, and society). “Amicus Briefs Due Soon in Supreme Court Copyright and Patent Cases,” one such site said after it suggested how to destroy small companies using patents. “A tactic sometimes used by a well-established competitor against a startup is to accuse the startup of patent infringement,” the article said. “Unless the startup has deep pockets, it cannot really afford to defend a patent lawsuit…”

This is why patent trolls are particularly problematic for small companies. Sometimes patent trolls are just proxies/satellites of large companies. If only more patent lawyers’ sites cared to cover the subject…

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