EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.22.19

Guest Post/Off-Topic: Koalas Caught in Australian Bushfire

Posted in Australia at 2:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By Rianne Schestowitz

If you donate I can go home safely

Summary: Australian volunteers and rescuers need help to rescue helpless animals facing danger

Watching videos/photos of Koalas being rescued from a charred/burning forests in Australia is heart-breaking and devastating. More than 350 Koalas are reported being dead and these numbers are growing. Those who live far from Australia (just like me) can’t help physically rescue them, but a small amount of money/donation to sustain the hospital/facilities, volunteers and rescuers is of great help. Koala is just one of the many species that perish from the bushfire and they need our help, so please donate through the GoFundMe page and through other legitimate websites. Help those who support animal welfare.

03.23.19

Patent Law Firms Still Desperate to Find New Ways to Resurrect Dead Software Patents in the United States

Posted in America, Australia, Europe, Patents at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Resurrected

Summary: There’s no rebound and no profound changes that favour software patents; in fact, judging by caselaw, there’s nothing even remotely like that

THIS morning and afternoon we took a look at US affairs, seeing that 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchallenged and even if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants a software patent (or patents) — as happens a lot — courts will likely reject it (or these). The Federal Circuit follows Alice (SCOTUS) and so does the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) when assessing inter partes reviews (IPRs). We’ve hardly seen any exception to the rule lately (patent maximalists have stooped as low as to cherry-pick mere applications, e.g. yesterday, or revisit rather old cases); it is possible that, as per this report and another from Patently-O, § 101 will be revisited in SCOTUS. And even if it does happen, it will not necessarily bring back software patents to the US; it may as well force another long(er) nail into their coffin of software patents. Suffice to say, law firms and law students casually spread propaganda about software patents, even as recently as days ago. They want people to believe that software patents are both desirable and attainable (maybe at the Office, but courts are another matter). Here’s another new example. The patent microcosm (“Attorney Julie Reed is a member of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn’s patent team”) keeps lobbying the USPTO and American courts for software patents even though this microcosm never writes any code.

“There’s a similar problem in Europe. Voices are being hijacked and software developers are routinely spoken ‘for’ (without their consent).”The patent microcosm of Australia (Ken Simpson and David Webber of Davies Collison Cave in this case) is still looking at one very old decision in an attempt to sell bogus software patents that Australian courts would likely reject. Maybe the office would reject that one too (if there was a lawsuit over it). There’s this new article about IP Australia at IDG, but it does not deal with this subject.

There’s a similar problem in Europe. Voices are being hijacked and software developers are routinely spoken ‘for’ (without their consent). Patent law firms pretend to care about them, even though all they care about is themselves. But the European Patent Office (EPO) will be the subject of our next post.

03.01.19

Why Justin Simpson is Wrong About Software Patents

Posted in Australia, Deception, Patents at 1:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CEO and Patent Attorney at Billtrader Pty Ltd

Summary: Yet another boring article lectures us on why software patents are ever so wonderful, based on people who make a living from software patents without having written any software/code

TECHRIGHTS already wrote/published a lot of articles about why software patents are bad. I’ve been writing on the subject since a decade before Alice/35 U.S. — i.e. when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had to begrudgingly accept that software patents almost always perish in American courts; the same is happening in European courts, never mind if the EPO promotes software patents in Europe under the guise of “AI”, “4IR”, “ICT”, “CII” “Blockchain”, “IoT” and all sorts of other ridiculous buzzwords.

“It’s some new (albeit tiring, repurposed) propaganda from Justin Simpson.”We were therefore a little curious to see a CEO and Patent Attorney at Billtrader Pty Ltd (small firm) publishing this piece titled “A new type of patent: the software patent”; Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ has been writing more and more about it lately (see this index of articles), but this one page is 15MB in size (yes, 15 megabytes for just a few paragraphs of text; very bad implementation). It’s some new (albeit tiring, repurposed) propaganda from Justin Simpson. Debunking this propaganda is very easy, albeit highly time-consuming (due to length), so let’s just break apart two consecutive paragraphs and dissect these.

“Debunking this propaganda is very easy, albeit highly time-consuming (due to length), so let’s just break apart two consecutive paragraphs and dissect these.”Simpson wrote: “Software has value. Google, Facebook, and Amazon are software companies.”

Water also has value (billions of people depend on water for their very survival) and utilities/water treatment companies make billions of dollars each month. Should we patent water?

“Their core value is created by the clever software they have built.”

Software that is covered by copyrights and is often kept secret (proprietary) anyway. The above three companies very rarely use patents to sue, unlike IBM and Microsoft.

“Those three companies alone are worth nearly $2 trillion. That’s nearly double the GDP of my home country, Australia.”

“Water also has value (billions of people depend on water for their very survival) and utilities/water treatment companies make billions of dollars each month. Should we patent water?”Is he trying to imply that it’s the patents that add up to value? Putting aside the fictional aspects of these speculative valuations…

“So why is it that software is not patentable?”

Well, because empirical evidence does not support claims that they’re needed for innovation and copyright alone already covers the need. There have been a lot of studies about it (scholarly, too).

Here is his explanation however:

“The reason is that the courts must base their decision on existing laws and past cases that were written well before software was invented. Laws that could not have envisaged the nature and role software plays in modern society.”

Similar arguments are being made for patents on life and nature. Will he defend patents on human beings too? Or seeds?

“Articles like these have become common and they’re always pretty shallow.”These boring old arguments (nothing novel about them; every sentence or paragraph is dingo droppings) aren’t going to sway or convince anyone but the target audience of the site, with its patentism (like a religion revolving around worship of patent monopolies).

So the bottom line from Mr. Simpson is, make software patents possible and “bam!” Suddenly the GDP of Australia will be tripled. Right? It’s all about him looking for more clients (more billing opportunities), earning at the expense of people who actually write code.

Articles like these have become common and they’re always pretty shallow. Pure marketing (shameless self-promotion).

12.28.18

Australian Law Firms Fight to Bring Software Patents Back to Australia

Posted in Australia, Patents at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An appeal of a rejection of a patent application at IP Australia has been spun by the litigation industry of Australia; people are expected to believe that something truly massive has just happened and that software patents are miraculously rendered valid now

THE importance of Australia’s patent office (IP Australia) isn’t high because of the country’s relatively small population. Software patents in that country, however, matter to us because Australia is an English-speaking country whose policies sometimes influence (but are more often influenced by) the West. This is why we keep track of Australian patent affairs as well, albeit not so often.

The Australian Financial Review, part of the corporate media in Australia, published this misleading headline earlier this month. “ROKT win against IP Australia a victory for tech start-ups,” declared the headline (not even with quote signs, i.e. attributed to someone’s mere claims), but that’s a lie. Software patents harm startups the most. ROKT is trying to prop up some dubious patent in Australia after examiners/courts repeatedly said no. This is the latest:

The ruling sets a precedent for how IP Australia assesses innovation in software, almost four years after the authority started knocking back more software patents after a 2015 case in which the full Federal Court ruled only patents for technical innovations (like hardware developments) were acceptable, not business model innovations or methods.

The case deals with just one patent and the Federal Court isn’t the highest court. But one can be sure that law firms in Australia will leap at this opportunity nonetheless, looking to influence the outcome and market such patents to potential clients (applicants, litigation and so on).

“One can trust law firms to always twist and spin the smallest of things as monumental changes, albeit only when it suits them (and ignore those things when the outcome isn’t desirable to their bottom line).”The above case may have impact and set a precedent; but it does not mean that software are back to Australia as it’s about one single patent.

FB Rice’s Madeleine Kelly wants lots of litigation, so anything that gives legitimacy to software patents in Australia makes her eager to mislead and gets her excited. “New lease of life for software patents in Australia” was the title of her article. A more moderate headline was “IP Australia lose patent dispute over software patent” (yes, just one). To quote:

Ecommerce marketing company Rokt has won the right to have its software patent granted following a dispute with IP Australia.

In a ruling, justice Alan Robertson overruled a previous ruling from the Australian IP commissioner which denied Rokt’s patent.

Robertson found the patent to solve “not only a business problem but also a technical problem” and ordered the patent to proceed to grant.

So one patent is being granted. That is all.

Firms that aggressively lobbied for software patents (lawyers obviously!) have reared their ugly heads again. An article by Brook Dyer and Anton Blijlevens (AJ Park) said this: (mind the bizarre use of the term “computer-implemented business method”)

In Rokt Pte Ltd v Commissioner of Patents [2018] FCA 1988, a recent decision by the Australian Federal Court, it was found that a computer-implemented business method is patentable subject matter in Australia.

This decision has provided clarification regarding the extent to which computer-implemented business methods can be eligible subject matter for patent protection in Australia, which has been an area of uncertainty in recent years.

Not uncertainty; it was a ban. Moulis Legal’s Warren Wong used an artistic headline, “Between Rokt and a hard place,” and as one might expect from law firms it’s just mostly marketing wrapped up as ‘analysis’.

Just because some company managed to get a software patent granted (after expensive appeals) at a court below the top court does not mean that software patents are in general, overnight, valid in Australia. Notice that this doesn’t even deal with a lawsuit but mere examination (the lowest form of appeal). One can trust law firms to always twist and spin the smallest of things as monumental changes, albeit only when it suits them (and ignore those things when the outcome isn’t desirable to their bottom line).

11.15.18

Ignoring and Bashing Courts: Is This the Future of Patent Offices in the West?

Posted in America, Australia, Courtroom, Europe, IBM, Patents, Red Hat at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

President Battistelli went as far as publicly attacking and threatening judges — the hallmark of President Donald Trump

Trump and Iancu

Summary: Andrei Iancu, who is trying to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 while Trump ‘waters down’ SCOTUS (which delivered Alice), isn’t alone; António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is constantly promoting software patents (which European courts reject, citing the EPC) and even Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ is dissenting against Australian courts that stubbornly reject software patents

BOTH the European Patent Office (EPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have been granting software patents in spite of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and in spite of software patents in Europe being de facto banned (bar loopholes that António Campinos is happy to exploit and even expand).

“This merely lowers confidence in US patents and, accordingly, lowers their collective worth.”Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’, will soon be a speaker at the IP Awareness Summit (IPAS), which is an indoctrination/lobbying campaign set up by parasites who cause as much litigation as possible, making themselves ‘necessary’. IPAS is promoted by various sites of patent lawyers this week. Here’s one that takes note of Iancu’s participation:

US Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Andrei Iancu, will speak at the event.

Looking at the past week’s news regarding software patents, we can’t help but notice that the Andrei Iancu-led Office is again issuing fake patents or software patents that courts would almost certainly reject. They just never learn, do they? This merely lowers confidence in US patents and, accordingly, lowers their collective worth. Here’s a new press release about a new patent grant on how to “correlate across static analysis so that development teams can fix one bug, push this fix down the line, and seamlessly remediate multiple vulnerabilities within the code.”

“Looking at the past week’s news regarding software patents, we can’t help but notice that the Andrei Iancu-led Office is again issuing fake patents or software patents that courts would almost certainly reject.”How is that not a software patent? IBM, we should probably add, is still patenting software. Red Hat’s takeover is not looking good in light of IBM’s software patents policy, which remains unchanged. IBM’s software patents (or filings thereof) on management of patents have gotten a ton of press coverage; earlier this week there were over a dozen articles like [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], probably because of the “Blockchain” factor alone. The patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) thinks that IBM will use/adopt Red Hat patents in the usual ways (IBM is a longtime patent bully). “The open source business’s portfolio is not big,” IAM wrote about Red Hat’s patents, “but should bolster Big Blue’s attempts to bridge the gap with Amazon, Google and Microsoft in a space that is rapidly growing in importance.”

Red Hat should never have pursued software patents in the first place; now all these patents are at the hands of the corporation that lobbies the most for software patents. We warned about it. Some Red Hat employees even sympathised with our warnings.

“Red Hat should never have pursued software patents in the first place; now all these patents are at the hands of the corporation that lobbies the most for software patents.”Over at the EPO the situation isn’t so promising either because earlier today the EPO once again promoted (as usual) software patents using hype waves (like “Blockchain”). “This conference will explore the IP protection & patenting of #blockchain technology and of its applications in different technical fields,” it said. It’s about software patents. It also did the usual “SDV” thing, writing: “European patent applications related to autonomous driving have grown 20 times faster than those across all technologies.”

Many of those are software patents pertaining to algorithms running on a computer inside a car. The EPO hopes that by emphasising “cars” it’ll successfully make such algorithms look/sound “physical” or “technical” or whatever.

We should probably mention, at least as a side-/sub-note, that SUEPO has removed yesterday’s post about USF (covered in this post of ours). Did the EPO under António Campinos once again threaten them? It happened before. If someone with contacts/connections to SUEPO can ask them why they removed that page and then tell us, we’ll appreciate it. If SUEPO was forced to remove links about unions, there would be something poetic about it (like censorship of information about censorship).

“It is noteworthy that in some of the largest “Western” economies (we recognise that Australia isn’t in the West, but it’s heavily influenced by the Western ‘bloc’) the courts say “no!” to software patents, yet the only ones complaining about that are those who profit from litigation.”Last but not least, posted behind paywall today was this piece titled “Computer Software Inventions Patentability Case Has Got IPTA’s Patents in a Bunch” (slang). It says: “A high profile appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia about the patentability of computer inventions could reset the IPTA’s bar on the…”

As a reminder, the Australian legal system nowadays rejects software patents (see our wiki under Australia), so Macpherson Kelley’s Mark Metzeling and Mitchell Willocks (i.e. the patent litigation ‘industry’) keep bashing courts etc. to promote bogus patents and IPTA's clients. It is noteworthy that in some of the largest “Western” economies (we recognise that Australia isn’t in the West, but it’s heavily influenced by the Western ‘bloc’) the courts say “no!” to software patents, yet the only ones complaining about that are those who profit from litigation. They occasionally smear judges and courts (we find new examples every week).

10.28.18

The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia Wants Litigation, Hence It Wants Software Patents

Posted in Australia, Law, Patents at 4:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent Lawyers' Tears

Summary: The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA) — like its equivalents in Europe and the US — wants nothing more and nothing less than additional lawsuits, i.e. expanded patent scope and lower standards/thresholds for patenting

There’s a new article titled “The future of software patents in Australia” (there’s not even a present, as we noted in our writings about software patents in Australia) and it seems little misleading because over time the country moves further and further away from such patents. “The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA), the representative body for Australian patent attorneys,” Ray Tettman (Watermark Intellectual Property) wrote behind a paywall, probably just alluding to some spin of the litigation ‘industry’ in Australia.

“Even if courts repeatedly reject such patents — as happened in Austria earlier this year — the law firms still make money in the process until there isn’t enough confidence in the patents for more lawsuits to be filed, as one could see in the US over the past couple of years.”The European Patent Office (EPO) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) generally have rules against software patents (EPC and 35 U.S.C. § 101, respectively, offer something to that effect), but software patents are still being granted in Europe and in the US only for courts to strike them out (if that ever goes that far). Even if courts repeatedly reject such patents — as happened in Austraia earlier this year — the law firms still make money in the process until there isn’t enough confidence in the patents for more lawsuits to be filed, as one could see in the US over the past couple of years.

09.04.18

A Retreat From Patent Quality Means a Retreat of Patent Applicants

Posted in Australia, Europe, Patents at 7:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They would not spend a fortune pursuing patents that courts would likely invalidate/reject for the same reason students would not apply for colleges and universities whose degrees aren’t respected by employers

Walking feet

Summary: Walking away from patent offices that grant patents too easily (even patents that have no legal standing) is an existential threat to these offices; by tarnishing a reputation of patents which they grant patent offices can soon thereafter perish, as the EPO demonstrates (ongoing ‘shadow’ layoffs)

EARLIER THIS WEEK Romania Insider published “Only five out of a million Romanians own European patents,” referring to European Patents (EPs) granted by the EPO. It’s not so crazy to argue that EPs just aren’t worth the money anymore because the EPO got corrupted by a bunch of self-serving crooks and as a result examination cannot be properly and thoroughly performed (as it ought to). There’s not enough time to do the work, as insiders keep telling us, and veteran examiners are quietly being laid off. They’re not even being replaced as there’s a longterm hiring freeze and those with greater experience are being pushed out. This is a major scandal like nothing we’ve ever seen at the USPTO (the EPO actually makes the USPTO look very, very good and ethical in comparison).

Jakob Pade Frederiksen’s new guest post at Managing Intellectual Property deals with “checking [of] patent text” by applicants. A poorly quality-controlled examination meant that a lot of work (such as researching prior art) had been offloaded to applicants; examination by the Office was killed by Battistelli anyway; he doesn’t seem to have had an interest in anything other than speed or pace (or P.A.C.E.) because it’s just ‘printing’ patents as fast as possible that counts as “success” based on his yardstick (so-called ‘productivity’). The article in question cites the European Patent Convention (EPC) — a fundamental document (like a Constitution) that long ago lost its relevance because the EPO stubbornly deviated and violated it ever so routinely. Battistelli treated it like toilet paper — something which never bothered Jesper Kongstad, who actively participated in violating the EPC until his government (based on rumours we heard) effectively fired him. To quote:

Pursuant to Rule 71(3) of the European Patent Convention (EPC), towards the termination of the examination proceedings, the Examining Division of the European Patent Office (EPO) shall inform the applicant of the text in which it intends to grant the European patent. Following Rule 71(5) EPC, if the applicant subsequently pays the grant and publishing fees and files the required translations of the claims, he shall be deemed to have approved the text intended for grant.

[...]

The applicant’s attempt to reinstate the missing parts of the claims did not thus succeed, despite the fact that it was the EPO’s Examining Division that included an incomplete set of claims in the text intended for grant.

Examiners barely have time to deal with underlying texts; they read the texts and some are experienced/qualified enough do more and go further (it gets worse over time due to brain drain).

“The European Patent Organization (EPO) has issued an “Intention to Grant” for Europharma’s SuperSmolt FeedOnly,” The Fish Site said yesterday. “EPO has reached its conclusion after an extremely thorough assessment process,” but we doubt that! Based on what insiders have told us and based on leaked material, there’s simply no time for an “extremely thorough assessment process” because one risks losing one’s job for doing the job properly (i.e. proper examination, which can take time and effort). From the article:

The European Patent Organization (EPO) has issued an “Intention to Grant” for Europharma’s SuperSmolt FeedOnly, which offers feed-based smoltification of salmon, eliminating the need for the growth-inhibiting winter photo period associated with traditional hatchery smoltification.

[...]

“The decision will not change much in terms of our daily work and focus but we are pleased to have achieved the recognition from the EPO for our innovation. We have worked on smoltification over many years and put significant resources into developing SuperSmolt FeedOnly. The EPO has reached its conclusion after an extremely thorough assessment process and its decision is an acknowledgment of the innovative qualities of this product.

They would be deeply disappointed if they took someone to court only to discover that this patent is void and thus worthless (e.g. due to prior art or the fact that they arguably patent nature — probably an impermissible thing in Europe).

Beata Khaidurova (FB Rice, i.e. the patent microcosm in Australia) is meanwhile whining and crying because it has gotten harder to get patents on life in Australia. Managing Intellectual Property gave her the platform to say that the “Change to Patent Examiners Manual creates uncertainty” (as readers may recall, Australia recently narrowed patent scope):

It is a long-standing principle of Australian patent law that determining whether or not a patent application is directed towards patentable subject matter should be done separately to determining issues of novelty and inventive step. However, amendments to the Australian Patent Examiners Manual late last year introduced a new practice, encouraging consideration of prior art when assessing subject matter eligibility, which in Australia includes the requirement that the invention be a manner of manufacture. A year on, it seems that this supposed clarification to the Manual has only resulted in confusion and uncertainty about what role prior art plays in determining the existence of patentable subject matter.

[...]

While the recommendation remains in place, it seems that the issue of patentable subject matter for software-related inventions in Australia has become more problematic than ever for patent applicants. There is a glimmer of hope, however, in the form of a number of appeals currently afoot in the Australian courts, which seek to overturn some recent Patent Office decisions regarding patentable subject matter, and hopefully steer the law in a more reasonable direction. With many members of the Australian patent attorney profession being in agreement as to the lack of legal support for the Manual’s recommendation, the outcomes of the appeals are eagerly awaited.

What Khaidurova calls a “reasonable direction” is actually lawyers’ direction. They want more and more patents; it is, after all, their bread and butter. They’d probably want bread and butter patented as well! Patent Docs, another site of patent maximalists, has meanwhile published another “Life Sciences Court Report” (the term "Life Sciences" is misleading for reasons we've named before). Bryan Helwig reiterated: “We will periodically report on recently filed biotech and pharma litigation.”

They typically just promote patents on life and nature — something which Australia grapples with. How can life and nature be considered "inventions"?

08.19.18

From the Eastern District of Texas (US) to Australia Patent Quality Remains a Problem

Posted in America, Australia, Patents at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents of all colours of the rainbow

Appeal to swatches

Summary: Patents on anything from thoughts to nature/life (in the US and in Australia, respectively) demonstrate the wildly wide range (or spectrum) of patents nowadays granted irrespective of their impact on innovation

A FEW HOURS ago Eibhlin Vardy published this post (part of a series) celebrating patent maximalism at the USPTO, whose ten millionth patent may ironically enough be bunk.

“We might already be in the midst of such a decline, i.e. a restoration of patent quality.”What if patent grants started to decline in terms of number, e.g. each year that goes by (rather than the opposite)? We might already be in the midst of such a decline, i.e. a restoration of patent quality.

Well, a system which strives to grant as many patents as possible isn’t one that necessarily encourages innovation and in many cases it actually prioritises monopolisation at innovation’s expense for numbers’ sake; that would practically discourage innovation.

A few days ago we saw this news report about a patent on “[s]ystem and method for data management,” i.e. a software patent and hence bunk patent. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is a national and international laughing stock because of stuff like this:

Papa John’s International and its subsidiary Star Papa have been sued over the US-based pizza franchise’s mobile app.

Oklahoma-based Fall Line Patents filed its patent infringement complaint yesterday, August 15, at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Fall Line Patents is the owner of US patent number 9,454,748, called “System and method for data management”.

According to the complaint, the patent “teaches methods for managing and collecting data from a remote computing device” by gathering location-specific information on different hardware and software platforms on one device.

This is a relatively new patent, judging by its number. This ought to go to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) through an inter partes review (IPR); if needed, the Federal Circuit would likely affirm an invalidation; Papa John’s can afford this. Such is the high cost of sloppy patent grants pertaining to abstract ideas. Watch who got the patent; it’s an entity outside Texas (Oklahoma is far away) and it’s called “Fall Line Patents”. We wrote about it last year and a few months ago when Unified Patents implicitly called it a patent troll. Why are these patents still around? Moreover, why are such patents still being granted after Alice?

Are patents being granted for the sake of numbers or for the sake of innovation? Judging by this new press release [1, 2], the repository is nowadays treated like some kind of literature. “This new section provides easy access to historical patent and exclusivity data for FDA-approved drugs,” it says. They’re typically just evergreening their patents in order to ensure drug exclusivity persists (perpetuity). It’s neither beneficial to innovation nor is this healthy for patients.

Lately we have been writing a great deal about how patents get granted on software owing to a bunch of hype and/or buzzwords. Yet more bunk patents, for example, came from Walmart (it labels some “Blockchain”). Days ago, based on media reports [1, 2, 3], Walmart was shown to be riding the “VR” wave, exploiting buzz when a patent (or application) at hand has absolutely nothing to do with VR innovation/s but merely utilisation thereof from the software side. Here is what Matthew Boyle wrote about it:

The world’s biggest retailer wants to find out, according to filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The company has applied for two patents that detail a “virtual show room” and fulfillment system that would connect shoppers clad in VR headsets and sensor-packed gloves to a three-dimensional representation of a Walmart store. Customers could wander digital aisles from home and “grab” items, which would be immediately picked and shipped from a fully automated distribution center.

The supposed invention involves no improvement to the hardware; it’s ridiculous and it’s what we have come to expect.

Earlier today Patent Docs mentioned a “Webinar on Blockchain and IP,” once again invoking that hype about blockchains, which most lawyers are unable to even explain. “Blockchain”- and “Bitcoin”-washing have become popular because they can make everything sound novel and cutting-edge. It’s especially necessary in the US, unlike China for example. Anything goes in China, including software patents, because SIPO — to the chagrin of WIPO — doesn’t give a damn about patent quality. Shouldn’t the US care more? Coinbase is now attempting to get a US patent on a “new bitcoin payment system” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], relying perhaps on the examiners not understanding that it’s pure software and thus not patent-eligible. Can the lawyers find a way to manipulate/fool the examiner? That’s perfectly possible and they can retry until they get the ‘right’ examiner.

Days ago in Mondaq and in Lexology we saw this new article from Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP’s Tony Sabeta. He starts with a Big Lie, insinuating that “blockchain applications are patent-eligible” even though they’re not. They're software patents. Bunk, waste of paper. They may eventually get granted, but no high court would tolerate these. The USPTO advertises and brags about these, which actually says a lot about the USPTO and its attitude. To quote Sabeta:

As a patent practitioner, one of the questions I often get asked is whether distributed ledger technology (DLT), such as blockchain, is patentable. I naturally respond in the affirmative (with some qualifiers of course), and inevitably there is a deluge of follow-up questions and statements such as: “That can’t be! Blockchain is just software, and isn’t it nearly impossible to get patents for software these days? or “This technology has been around for almost 10 years, there is nothing new to patent here,” and so forth.

It’s not even about novelty; it’s about it being an abstract concept and therefore patent-ineligible.

We live in crazy times, however, so to examiners who are rewarded for granting more patents rules will be convenient to bend. That’s how we ended up with so many patents on algorithms, life, and nature (even though the rules forbade all of them). Over at Watchtroll two days ago Ted Mathias, Stacie Ropka, and Rebecca Clegg published “The CRISPR Tug of War” — yet another one of those promotions of ‘life monopolies’ (or monopolies on life itself). That was around the same time Merck was awarded a CRISPR patent in Australia:

Merck has been awarded a patent for CRISPR nickases by the Australian Patent Office.

The application covers a foundational CRISPR strategy in which two CRISPR nickases are targeted to a common gene target and work together by nicking or cleaving opposite strands of chromosomal sequence to create a double-stranded break.

Merck said in a statement that these paired nickases will “improve CRISPR’s ability to fix diseased genes while not affecting healthy ones”.

In addition to allowing a patent application on paired nickases, the Australian Patent Office also announced the formal grant of Merck’s 2017 CRISPR integration patent, following withdrawal of four independent, anonymously filed oppositions.

Australia grants such ridiculous patents on life because of CSIRO and the influence of lawyers. There’s an ongoing fight over the matter at the EPO because the authorities say no to such patents whereas EPO management actively flouts the rules. As it always does…

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts