Summary: Patent ‘radicals’ and ‘extremists’ — those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy — fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers
THE USPTO is under attack from the patent microcosm. They are still working overtime to chase away Director Lee, now basing claims that she is on her way out on some article about something else. At the same time they also keep bullying the Indian patent office because it disallows software patents and, as mentioned here before, since Japan is getting tougher on patents, the patent microcosm is not happy about it either. The patent system in Japan is improving (better quality) and right now IAM (the trolls’ think tank) bemoans it and says: “Continuing a trend manifested over the past decade, the number of patent applications submitted to the Japan Patent Office (JPO) fell again in 2016, as businesses reappraise the role that Japanese assets play in their IP portfolios. However, the decrease was significantly smaller than in previous years – suggesting that filing rates may be levelling out, for now.”
“Fundamental ideas are being patented and companies that produce and sell a lot of things are being preyed on (at the expense of customers).”Why is this happening? Because the patent microcosm wants legal chaos. It profits from that. Companies like Samsung, for example, are being sued by all sorts of trolls and extorted by Microsoft. “A jury found for Rembrandt and awarded $15.7 million in damages,” Patently-O writes this week about a case against Samsung. “On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed on infringement and validity – but rejected the lower court’s finding that the patent had been properly marked.”
In addition, Samsung is being attacked by Apple in several different patent lawsuits, using truly dubious patents that we wrote about before. Apple has some truly awful patents that make the USPTO look worse (and the same goes for the EPO under Battistelli). As one good article noted the other day, the notorious “rubber banding” patent is back in action:
Apple went all-out in its patent assault on Samsung beginning in 2012, when Steve Jobs’ promised “thermonuclear war” against Android became a reality. The patents used by the Cupertino device maker weren’t just challenged in court, though. Various parties have challenged Apple’s most important patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office, as well.
On Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion (PDF) about an “ex parte reexam,” filed against Apple’s patent by an anonymous party. The reexam claimed that one of the patents upholding Apple’s big win against Samsung, US Patent No. 7,844,915, never should have been issued at all. The ’915 patent was described in a general way as the “pinch to zoom” patent, but its claims describe a way of distinguishing between one-touch and two-touch operations.
These sorts of ridiculous patent cases serve to illustrate the depth of the problem. Fundamental ideas are being patented and companies that produce and sell a lot of things are being preyed on (at the expense of customers). India, Japan and the US under Lee have basically done the right thing; that’s why they’re constantly under attack by the patent microcosm, whereas a lot of this same microcosm seems perfectly happy with Battistelli turning the EPO into the world's laughing stock. █
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A company stuck in the past with nothing but a pile of patents (like Nokia)
Summary: The days of Qualcomm’s cash cow (a bunch of standard essential patents) may be numbered, as US, EU and Korean authorities belatedly look at the company’s practices and Qualcomm already caves
Qualcomm’s de facto monopoly (in the patents sense), as we’ve covered here before [1, 2], means that people pay Qualcomm a lot of money even when they buy nothing from Qualcomm. In some sense, Qualcomm does in chipsets what Microsoft does in software. It demands ‘protection’ money from just about everyone and it also has patent trolls to help punish for ‘noncompliance’ with unreasonable demands.
“It demands ‘protection’ money from just about everyone and it also has patent trolls to help punish for ‘noncompliance’ with unreasonable demands.”Not too long ago Qualcomm came under fire from Apple, even though it had abused many other companies. Florian Müller had a peek at the latest documents and found Qualcomm claiming “credit for enabling Pokémon GO,” which is of course nonsense. To quote Müller:
As the number of pages (the original complaint was approx. 100 pages, now the answer and the counterclaims fill 140 pages) shows, this is a huge commercial litigation and threatens to turn into a battle of materiel. Both parties have enlisted multiple major law firms. The first surprise here is that Quinn Emanuel is among the three firms representing Qualcomm, given that Qualcomm’s filing (in paragraph 192 of the counterclaims part) accuses Samsung–another company QE is defending against Apple–of sharing (with Apple) “a common interest in diminishing Qualcomm’s ability to obtain fair value for its innovations” and trying “to avoid paying fair value for Qualcomm’s intellectual property and to impede Qualcomm’s licensing program.” I wonder how Samsung feels about its own lawyers not distancing themselves from such allegations…
Is Qualcomm trying to suck up to the Japanese and Korean regulators with this “Pokémon GO” fairy tale? As one Android-centric site put it, Qualcomm has “Big Trouble in Little Korea” and an Apple-centric site said that “[i]n a 134-page filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Qualcomm provides a point-by-point rundown of Apple’s January lawsuit, denying a total of 389 allegations.”
“Is Qualcomm trying to suck up to the Japanese and Korean regulators with this “Pokémon GO” fairy tale?”What we have here are two patent bullies fighting one another and it’s clear that only law firms are guaranteed to win, as usual (parasites can’t lose).
Qualcomm to Pay BlackBerry
Meanwhile, as emerged in the news last night [1, 2, 3], Qualcomm will need to shell out a lot of money. BlackBerry, which has itself become akin to a patent troll (both directly and indirectly), expects to receive nearly a billion dollars from Qualcomm. “BlackBerry awarded $815 million in arbitration case against Qualcomm,” says a headline one reader sent to us about it. Might Qualcomm need to refund even greater amounts of money to other firms?
Florian Müller published another article earlier today, having watched this case rather closely. “Qualcomm does not want European and Korean antitrust proceedings to impact its FTC litigation,” says the headline. Like Intel and Microsoft, Qualcomm has come under incredible scrutiny in several continents and the effect can be devastating to a company that depends so much on patents rather than actual products. To quote Müller:
Qualcomm, which would have us believe we couldn’t even play Pokémon GO if not for its wireless technologies, is fighting a global, multi-front war against regulators, industry players and consumers (who are piggybacking on the FTC case in Northern California).
On one of those fronts, BlackBerry just won an arbitration award over $815 million. Unfortunately, arbitration is opaque, so the legal basis for this is unclear, other than BlackBerry having claimed to have paid too much in license fees during an unspecified past period. The kind of wrongdoing here is totally unclear, and we also don’t know what an appeals court would have decided. Still, the $815 million award, which is final and binding, has made BlackBerry’s share price soar by 12%. For the Canadian company, it’s a huge amount of money. For Qualcomm, it’s also a very significant amount, but the bigger problem is that every independent finding of Qualcomm having overcharged someone makes it harder for Qualcomm to convince the courts of law and the court of public opinion that it’s just being bullied by the likes of Apple and Samsung and that all those antitrust enforcers have all just been misled by sore losers in the marketplace and by evil companies denying Qualcomm a fair compensation for its innovations.
This concern is real. A joint case management statement filed yesterday by the FTC and Qualcomm–”joint” in terms of being a single document despite virtually zero convergence on substantive questions–in the Northern District of California shows that Qualcomm is indeed concerned about how the various parallel proceedings could influence each other.
The above already mentions the news about BlackBerry, which is important. Is Qualcomm on the run from regulators?
Unfair and Unreasonable
“Apple’s challenge to Qualcomm is already having a positive impact, which is why we said we would support Apple right from the start (in this case alone).”So-called standard essential patents (SEPs) or RAND or FRAND are a subject we’ve covered here many times before. Last night IP Kat said that “It ha[d] been a busy couple of weeks for standard essential patents (SEPs)… and now we have the European Commission’s roadmap on SEPs.”
“FRAND is already in DSM,” Benjamin Henrion explained, “don´t know what is the status of this directive…”
Well, if SEPs like Qualcomm’s lose their legitimacy, the effects would be enormous and also impact software companies. In China, based on what IAM said earlier today, the subject of SEPs and patent trolls that wield them (like Ericsson in Europe) is being brought up and scrutinised. To quote:
We’ve seen a major patent pool introduce a new royalty rate structure aimed at enticing more developing-market implementers to get involved, the first foreign NPE officially enter China through a joint venture agreement, and Apple directly challenging the licensing terms Qualcomm agreed on with Chinese regulators. And, of course, the Beijing IP Court issued the country’s first SEP-based injunction against Sony.
Apple’s challenge to Qualcomm is already having a positive impact, which is why we said we would support Apple right from the start (in this case alone). Companies like Qualcomm offer far too little to society but more importantly, they set a dangerous precedent to be exploited by all sorts of other companies and harm productive companies. █
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Value comes from scarcity, not overabundance (or a ‘paper economy’)
Summary: The ludicrous notion that an economy will become more competitive/attractive because of a large pile of overestimated papers is challenged by a series of bubbles which benefit nobody and eventually implode
A DECADE ago when we wrote about CSIR it was a top filer in India's patent office. CSIR has since then more or less imploded, as covered here before [1, 2], essentially acknowledging that it had wasted public money on a worthless patent bubble.
CSIR’s sheer failure has just become the subject of yesterday’s article from Dr. Glyn Moody, a mathematician-turned-journalist who writes:
Last December, we wrote about China reaching a rather questionable milestone: filing one million patents in a single year. As Techdirt has pointed out repeatedly, more patents do not equate to more innovation, so simply filing huge numbers of patents means very little in itself. The government of India has just found this out the hard way. As The Hindu reports, CSIR-Tech, the commercialization arm of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has had to shut down its operations.
As a reminder, very recently the US Chamber of Commerce tried hard to shame India into patent maximalism. It seems clear, however, that the US Chamber of Commerce (a corporate lobby, not a federal thing, sometimes known as CoC) is pressuring every country to grant a lot more patents, including the United States itself!
As IP Watch puts it today, CoC is now shaming the USPTO, in an effort to manipulate it:
The signers argued that the USPTO is not dependent on taxpayer funding, and that the patent fees which it collects in fact provide a source of revenue to the federal government.
The letter also raises concern that the hiring freeze will cause the US to fall behind other countries in granting patents. The letter states that the USPTO has fallen from #1 to #10 in its ranking by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center, and that China’s patent office is issuing patents faster than the United States.
So what? China issues a lot of lousy patents on everything under the Sun and it’s already becoming a litigation hub, which helps nobody except law firms. This use of “China” for propaganda purposes was recently seen quite a lot within the camp of software patents lobbyists [1, 2] and was last mentioned this morning.
The problem with patent maximalism or overpatenting is that it creates perceived value out of thin air and the only ones who profit from that are homeopaths-like ‘wizards’ who wish us to genuinely believe something becomes “innovative” only as soon as some patent gets granted. It doesn’t work that way. █
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The trolls’ ‘news’ site just won’t leave India alone (simply refusing to let go)
Summary: Lobbying site IAM continues to serve as the vehicle/front for patent parasites that cannot stand India’s patent policy and perpetually try to derail it
INDIA banned software patents a long time ago and many times so far this year IAM has attempted to shame and ridicule India into changing its mind. Articles about it from this year alone include:
“The last thing India should do is allow software patents, facilitating yet more of that blackmail (‘protection’ money without even a trial).”Today, Joginder Singh of LexOrbis tries to promote software patents in India (just published). This piece of his was printed by IAM last week, whereupon we debunked it here (just before the weekend). This morning, IAM published this piece about one of the world’s biggest patent bullies, Qualcomm [1, 2], as it takes on the Indian market. “Little surprise that telecoms companies led the way as licensors continue to file new infringement lawsuits in the mobile phone space, many targeting Indian and Chinese manufacturers,” IAM said. “Qualcomm retained its position as the top overall patent filer in the country, but it put a lot more space between itself and the number two company, Philips, increasing its applications by 55%. Microsoft and Toyota also increased their activity enough to break into the top 10.”
Suffice to say, Microsoft is another one of those companies that blackmail legitimate rivals and abuse a dominant position in the market. The last thing India should do is allow software patents, facilitating yet more of that blackmail (‘protection’ money without even a trial).
IAM is a truly malicious network pretending to be a news site; all it does is drive agenda in exchange for money. We believe/think that in order to shield itself from scrutiny (save face), IAM did not publicly speak about its EPO propaganda (‘survey’) this year, unlike before (prior years). Only Battistelli mentioned it publicly one month ago. █
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Watch what role IAM is playing here…
Summary: Linux-powered operating systems are under attack from software patents in China and in Europe while sites like IAM do everything they can to promote patent trolls, the UPC, and other aggressive means of extracting money from one’s competition
CONTRARY to what Margot Fröhlinger claims on behalf of Battistelli, the UPC would not be desirable to Asian companies. Some of them already suffer from patent trolls in Europe as well as in Asia — a problem to be further exacerbated by UPC-like regimes.
“The operating systems are Tizen and Android.”Published a few days ago by the EPO's eternal mouthpiece was this article which conflates software patenting with “pro-innovation line”; It says that “SIPO guidelines [...] on business method and software claims [...] looks to boost its burgeoning internet and e-commerce sector,” but in reality it just means more trolling and litigation. China’s patent maximalism, as is evidenced from the news a day or two ago [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], punishes Korean giants. These software patents from China are now being used against Samsung. ChannelNews said that “Huawei Wins $15.4m Patent Case Against Samsung” over “fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software…”
The operating systems are Tizen and Android. As CNET notes in its own coverage of this, it comes almost in conjunction with a “separate case [in which] Huawei has been warned by the UK High Court to pay a global license fee for patents from US software company Unwired Planet to avoid intellectual property infringement in the UK or risk being barred from selling its phones…”
“We urge readers to keep abreast of what IAM is cheering for here: trolls and UPC. Both are funding sources of IAM.”This case, as we noted here before the weekend, demonstrates that patent trolls are penetrating London and succeeding there. A ‘unitary’ effect would be even more devastating.
The spinners from IAM, however, see it differently (they are paid to see it differently). “Huawei case also shows that in addition to Germany NPEs can get injunctions in the UK in FRAND/SEP cases. That’s Europe’s big 2 venues sorted [...] And this is without the UPC,” they noted. “If that does get up and running, there will be a number of British and German judges on the bench.”
We urge readers to keep abreast of what IAM is cheering for here: trolls and UPC. Both are funding sources of IAM.
“Bristows are some of the worst liars out there, so anyone pursuing a “piece” or “paper” from them is looking for nothing but propaganda.”Recently, IAM has been cheering for the trolls of Ericsson almost every day. They’re attacking. Their target (defendant) is Linux/Android. Two days ago, IAM promoted Ericsson’s patent troll (Unwired Planet) even twice in a single day, serving to reinforce IAM’s role as the trolls’ propaganda rag. They refer to the troll as “NPE Unwired Planet” and also say that “IAM commissioned a piece from UK law firm Bristows…” (so the EPO pays a PR firm, which in turn pays IAM, which then pays Bristows, which also happens to lobby for the trolls’ dream, the UPC).
Bristows are some of the worst liars out there, so anyone pursuing a “piece” or “paper” from them is looking for nothing but propaganda.
“We previously noted that Ericsson and Microsoft now use a similar strategy — the strategy of passing patents for trolls to attack rivals.”Well, such is the nature of IAM and its neighbourhood. They’re a propaganda mill disguised as 'news'. In their latest issue, as usual, they are whitewashing Microsoft’s patent racketeering and stating: “Based on different continents and very different in size, Microsoft and Fractus are united by a sophisticated understanding of IP value which is delivering tangible results. Others would be well advised to heed their example…” (advocacy of patent trolling, courtesy of the trolls-loving friends at IAM).
We previously noted that Ericsson and Microsoft now use a similar strategy — the strategy of passing patents for trolls to attack rivals. This isn’t innovation; it’s just aberration. █
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Summary: The latest attempt (among many) by IAM and its affiliates to push for software patents in India even though India neither needs nor wants such a ludicrous thing
WE habitually write about the ban on software patents in India because law firms and their large clients (IBM, Microsoft etc.) keep challenging this ban, no matter how rational it is for a country with an economy and an industry like India’s — a topic covered here many times before.
“He bemoans India’s insistence on doing the right thing for its people and its businesses.”The latest to challenge this ban is Joginder Singh of LexOrbis (greedy law firm that IAM keeps publishing for). He bemoans India’s insistence on doing the right thing for its people and its businesses. IAM blindly reposts this as “international report,” but it’s hardly a report, it’s just marketing. it’s advertising. Example of nonsense from a non-programmer: “copyright law does not protect the basic idea behind the software code.”
As a programmer myself (since my early teens), I can immediately call nonsense on that. Even terms like “software code” are somewhat inane and are expected from people who don’t understand that software is code, or that code is software. Here are Singh’s concluding words with our comments in yellow: “the situation has remained unchanged [oh, poor you! Think about the poor patent law firms!]. The patent office has issued manuals and guidelines to streamline its practices and procedures, and the tribunals and courts have provided some judicial precedents [as they certainly should]. However, more clarification is needed [same propaganda that the patent maximalism lobby uses in the US right now, “clarity”/”clarification”]. For example, the denial of patent protection under the per se exclusion must be limited to those aspects covered by copyright law [that statement makes no sense as all code is copyrighted]. Considering that the same piece of source code can be written in many different ways and different programming languages, and the copyright law protects only the literal copying of software code, copyright law cannot provide adequate protection to software-driven inventions [so you want to patent or copyright binaries now?]. The copyright law does not protect the basic idea behind the software code [formulations of commands are more like recipes, not ideas]. The functional and technical aspects of software-driven inventions [oh, that’s a new dodge, “software-driven inventions” instead of “software patents” or CII] ought to be patentable considering that it is the improvements in software that significantly affect the performance of hardware.” [no, software does not enhance the “performance of hardware”; hardware just runs software]
That’s just one paragraph. Given the amount of such nonsense that IAM spews out on an almost daily basis, we cannot do a rebuttal of everything but instead point out that IAM has been very busy shaming India for software patents (we have lost count of how many times IAM has already done that this year alone), in what can only be characterised as a twisted, self-serving lobbying campaign. That's just what IAM does, with or without direct help from the outside. █
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“Those in the West who pushed China to show more “respect” for patents must be feeling so proud of the progress that Chinese companies have made in this regard, and so pleased now to see Apple being sued in local courts using China’s patent laws.”
Summary: Proponents of patent maximalism — those to whom more patents would necessarily translate into higher income — have led patent systems to the trap of losing sight of their original goals
THE concern we so often express about patent quality at the patent offices (notably at the EPO and USPTO) is a concern rooted in the very fundamentals of patent law. Patents were never meant to be granted by the millions on just about every trivial ‘brainfart’. Complexity and scope constraints are cornerstones of this system. Without them, all we have is monopolisation and retardation of scientific progress. Academics have voiced similar views over the years/decades/centuries.
“Complexity and scope constraints are cornerstones of this system.”The EFF has just named [1, 2] the latest “Stupid Patent Of The Month”. We urge readers to look what kind of patents are being granted these days, in order to fully appreciate how wrong patent scope has gone. To quote the summary:
Our ongoing Reclaim Invention campaign urges universities not to sell patents to trolls. This month’s stupid patent provides a good example of why. US Patent No. 8,473,532 (the ’532 patent), “Method and apparatus for automatic organization for computer files,” began its life with publicly-funded Louisiana Tech University. But in September last year, it was sold to a patent troll. A flurry of lawsuits quickly followed.
Louisiana Tech sold the ’532 patent to Micoba LLC, a company that has all the indicia of a classic patent troll. Micoba was formed on September 8, 2016, just a few days before it purchased the patent. The patent assignment agreement lists Micoba’s address as an office building located in the Eastern District of Texas where virtual office services are provided. As far as we can tell, Micoba has no purpose other than to sue with this patent.
As is common. Trolls are the means.
As the headline suggests, what this patent is about is “Storing Files in Folders” — nothing novel that wasn’t already done well before computers. Why was this patent granted and how much will it cost to invalidate it? Trolls typically go after weak and vulnerable companies to whom settling would be cheaper than a legal challenge, hence the severity of wrong grants — something which we believe routinely happens these days at the EPO, helping a new surge of patent trolls in Germany. Based on the latest figures, patent litigation also skyrockets in China, where there has clearly been a patent bubble (over a million patent applications last year alone).
“The spread of software patents to China is a growing issue, which is likely going to merit increased coverage of SIPO here at Techrights (Battistelli is mimicking SIPO).”AnJie Law Firm of Beijing, writing at MIP a couple of times in the past 24 hours (it was bumped up again this morning), chose the headline “Examination Guidelines amendments good news for patentees”. As a reminder, starting today, China loosens restrictions on software patents (like the above) and this is terrible news for software companies. When patent law firms spread the lie that low patent quality is “good news for patentees” (rather than to themselves) they fool nobody except sites like MIP (which choose to actually print this tripe). Even if a software business chooses to pursue a patent and succeeds, it will not be good news. Patents are a two-edged sword and these businesses will get sued too. And who benefits from lots of lawsuits at the expense of businesses? Law firms like AnJie.
The spread of software patents to China is a growing issue, which is likely going to merit increased coverage of SIPO here at Techrights (Battistelli is mimicking SIPO). Recently, the EPO repeatedly promoted [1, 2] (publicly even) software patents in Europe. █
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Lessons to be learned from China, Battistelli’s apparent role model
Reference: Loose Patent Scope Becoming a Publicity Nightmare for the EPO and Battistelli Does a China Outreach (Worst/Most Notorious on Patent Quality)
Summary: The horrible vision and the enormous cost (not just to the European Patent Office) that Battistelli’s policies will have on an entire continent explained in light of the situation in China, where the biggest patent bubble in human history is currently taking shape
THE EPO‘s vision of 'SIPO Europe' (bottom low of patent quality) is particularly disturbing in light of the USPTO‘s (and KIPO’s and JPO’s) growing leadership in terms of patent scope. The old reputation of European Patents (EPs) persists in some circles and lingers on in the out-of-date literature, but it won't be long before people grasp the severity of the problem, verified by EPO leaks. European Patents are not what they used to be. Examiners know it (some of them bemoan having to grant software patents in Europe), but their management keeps lying about it. The EPO ‘accomplished’ quite a lot; not only did it demolish the reputation of EPs (from which EPs derive their value/fees) but it also destroyed trust in the entire institution. Many people out there already realise that it’s safe to assume the EPO is lying until/unless proven otherwise. They lie so much that it’s not even funny. We catch them lying several times a day and barely find the time to even properly write about (and refute) all the lies. It’s a Dark Age at the EPO.
“They want lots of litigation; only deep-pocketed companies and their lawyers would benefit.”Mark Schweizer, writing for IP Kat after it quit covering EPO scandals (due to medieval sanctions from the EPO), wrote about WIPO’s statistics yesterday, about a fortnight after the supposed news came out. We covered that on multiple occasions earlier this month. Filing of lots and lots of patent applications in China, for instance, led to soaring litigation numbers, not innovation. WIPO et al keep conflating the two, as that’s just what WIPO exists to do. IAM, in the meantime, writing this morning about China, reveals that patent maximalism in China yields nothing but a whole lot of lawsuits. This is the kind of future envisioned by UPC proponents. They want lots of litigation; only deep-pocketed companies and their lawyers would benefit. We shall deal separately with the UPC later today.
With litigation soaring in China (see what we wrote almost two weeks ago and almost three weeks ago), one should take the hint/clue, no? Schweizer has instead repeated the dubious claims from the EPO, as follows: “The EPO has released its annual report 2016 a while ago, see here for key figures. Beware of the “European patent filing” indicator, which grew by 6.2%. European patent applications (i.e. only including PCT applications that entered the regional phase) are down 0.4%. Philips is the largest filer before Huawei and Samsung. Granted patents are up a massive 40%.”
A lot of these applications, insiders tell us, should not be counted at all, but the EPO is lying and cheating, as usual. Yesterday, for example, the EPO recited these numbers. I asked them: “How many of these businesses actually paid the fees? The raw numbers used by EPO are bogus and/or misleading.”
“A lot of these applications, insiders tell us, should not be counted at all, but the EPO is lying and cheating, as usual.”Also mind this partial chart published by the EPO yesterday. The “patent applications at EPO are down,” I told them. “Battistelli did this!”
Less than an hour later Twitter shadowbanned me (again), I suppose quite possibly due to patent maximalists reporting me for “abuse”, with the intent of suppressing criticism.
“Only one company in top 5 is European,” I told the EPO about this tweet from yesterday. Has the public noticed that?
Citing the above from IAM, the author of the article (Schindler) takes note of the devastating effect but dresses it up as desirable. To quote: “A judge has revealed that there are more than 20 standards essential patent (SEP) disputes pending before the Beijing IP Court.”
“Patents on everything! Even mere ideas or thoughts! Not even with a computer to execute any code! That’s where China is heading.”Imagine the same thing happening in Germany, which already attracts a growing number of patent trolls, then invoking/enforcing injunctions in the whole EU. That’s what UPC would accomplish. That’s what EPO management wants. Chinese companies already use the biased courts in Texas to do it in the United States; they would do this in Europe too (if the UPC became a reality), hence the gold rush for EPs. Meanwhile in China, based on this new article, there is a “Green light for business method patents” (to quote the headline).
“11th November is an important date to online consumers in China,” it says. “The socalled “Singles Day”, initially a made-up annual festival as an ‘anti-Valentine’s Day’ celebration for singletons, is now the biggest shopping event in the world, thanks to the marketing ploy of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Chinese consumers reportedly spent over US$17.8 billion on Singles Day last year on the online shopping sites of Tmall and Taobao, two subsidiaries of Alibaba. The astonishing sales figure has far surpassed the figure of US$14.4 billion in 2015 and eclipsed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two biggest shopping days in the US.”
So guess what that means? Yes, patents! Patents on everything! Even mere ideas or thoughts! Not even with a computer to execute any code! That’s where China is heading. Much to our regret, the EPO too seem to have embraced this mentality. Imagine how many patents can be granted on Christmas!
“Imagine what another year of Battistelli would do to the Office, which already loses in ‘demand’ for EPs and will soon run out of work.”“The compulsive patent hoarding disorder” is a new article from the Indian press, sent to us yesterday by a contributor. To quote the core premise: “It takes money to make money. CSIR-Tech, the commercialisation arm of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), realised this the hard way when it had to shut down its operations for lack of funds. CSIR has filed more than 13,000 patents — 4,500 in India and 8,800 abroad — at a cost of ₹50 crore over the last three years. Across years, that’s a lot of taxpayers’ money, which in turn means that the closing of CSIR-Tech is a tacit admission that its work has been an expensive mistake — a mistake that we tax-paying citizens have paid for.”
Get it? Overpatenting is damaging to one’s national interests. Or continental interests. Imagine what another year of Battistelli would do to the Office, which already loses in ‘demand’ for EPs and will soon run out of work. When the bubble finally bursts (it’s definitely going to happen, like it happened in the US), Battistelli and his cronies will have already 'looted' the Office. █
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