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10.08.17

Thugs United: Francis Gurry Lecture, Courtesy of Benoît Battistelli

Posted in Australia, Europe, Law, Patents at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Law school featuring talks from (and in honour of) people who break the national law and then claim immunity

Battistelli's Gurry Lecture on Intellectual Property

Summary: On the black comedy which is a lecture in a law school delivered by one who shows flagrant disregard for the law (and named after another)

What does it say about a law school when it invites and honours people who break the law? That certainly brings back memories of last month’s Harvard debacle.

The University of Melbourne Law School says that “Mr Benoît Battistelli will be presenting the Francis Gurry Lecture on Intellectual Property on Wednesday 18 October 2017 on the topic “The European Patent System: Serving the Global Economy”.”

“Do they know much about Battistelli? Have they researched his background before inviting him to a law school?”“In this year’s Lecture,” says another page, “the President of the EPO will explain these developments and explore their implications and benefits for Australian innovators.”

Do they know much about Battistelli? Have they researched his background before inviting him to a law school?

Both Battistelli and Gurry are governing like dictators who boast their utter disregard for the law and/or their immunity. For a law school to invite a person with such a terrible record when it comes to obeying the law is an utter disgrace. And to honour or name the lecture after another? Just because he’s Australian?

09.22.17

Shelston IP Blames “Well-Organised and Appropriately-Connected Open Source Lobby” for Ban on Software Patents

Posted in Australia, Patents at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shelston IPSummary: The activism is working and foes of programmers are feeling the pressure, for software patents are being more explicitly banned in some countries

THANKFULLY enough, New Zealand’s software industry (i.e. developers) managed to keep software patents away. The same is true, to some degree, in Australia (we wrote some articles about that a few weeks ago). We have covered the subject very closely for many years and it last intensified again a couple of years ago when Shelston IP et el — basically a bunch of self-serving liars (lying about the software industry) — reared their ugly heads again [1, 2, 3, 4]. No doubt they will keep on trying again and again until they get their way (if ever).

“It is now blaming FOSS — by name — for the de facto software patents ban (loopholes notwithstanding).”A couple of days ago Shelston IP had another go at it. It is now blaming FOSS — by name — for the de facto software patents ban (loopholes notwithstanding). The whole thing was “largely due to a well-organised and appropriately-connected open source lobby – however, the change of Government and its amenability to such campaigning cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor.”

Last year we wrote a lot of articles about the Productivity Commission of Australia, whose suggestions were more officially adopted only weeks ago, in defiance of pressure from law firms (whose agenda is altogether different; they’re patent maximalists).

Writing from Australia, here is what Shelston IP said about New Zealand:

With few exceptions, most of the reforms listed above are apolitical in the sense that they would likely have eventuated irrespective of which party held the balance of power at the time. That said, some of the specific detail of the various reforms may have had a slightly partisan political flavour to it – for instance, the issue of software patents in the lead-up to the new Patents Act 2013. Originally, when the exposure draft of the new legislation was published (2004), the Labour-led coalition of the time proposed no software-specific restrictions as to whether it was patentable. However, by 2010, the National-led Government had purported to impose not only an “as such” restriction – but, further, to align more with the English courts (exemplified in the Aerotel decision) than with the European system. New Zealand’s change in position over these six years was largely due to a well-organised and appropriately-connected open source lobby – however, the change of Government and its amenability to such campaigning cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor.

Unfortunately, in New Zealand and elsewhere, one cannot be too nice, courteous or polite; the only way to keep software patents away is to starve companies like Shelston IP which keep meddling in policy (and demonise/lie about people who are actually affected by those policies, e.g. software developers).

09.03.17

What Germany and the EPO Could (and Should) Learn From Australia About Patent Scope

Posted in Australia, Europe, Patents at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Public Release of Productivity Commission Final Inquiry Report into Australia’s IP Arrangements
Reference: Public Release of Productivity Commission Final Inquiry Report into Australia’s IP Arrangements

Summary: Patent maximalism, including patenting of software, recognised as an undesirable, but will the EPO accept that rather than publicly advocate software patenting?

Australia — like Canada (subject of our previous post) — is a large developed country with a relatively small population. Both are historically inspired by English/British law.

“Australia’s patent policy seems to be improving, e.g. by reducing the incentive to troll Australian firms.”As we noted the other day, Australia not only recognises the dangers of overpatenting but also does something about it. Australia has just limited patent scope and Peter Leung from Bloomberg did an article about it (“Australia Seeks Tougher Inventiveness Patent Requirements”).

Australia’s patent policy seems to be improving, e.g. by reducing the incentive to troll Australian firms. Here are some portions from Leung’s report, which compares it to the EPO:

Inventors seeking new patents in Australia may have to meet more stringent inventiveness requirements that better match Europe’s under a government proposal aimed at improving the nation’s intellectual property system.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government’s recent response to recommendations from the Productivity Commission, a government research body, included support for raising the inventive step requirement— analogous to the U.S. requirement that an invention be not obvious. An invention is not obvious if it’s sufficiently different from the known technology at the time.

“As it currently stands, the inventive step bar isn’t as high in Australia as it is at the European Patent Office,” Simon Potter, principal and patent attorney with Spruson & Ferguson in Sydney, told Bloomberg BNA. “Even though the Australian government made some changes back in 2013 with the Raising the Bar Act, the Productivity Commission’s view is that the bar remains too low, and the government apparently agrees.”

[...]

More Like Europe

The government said it supports amendments to the Patents Act to clearly establish that a “scintilla” of inventiveness is not enough to secure a patent. The law should also make clear that the “obvious to try” test used by the European Patent Office can be used to determine whether an invention has an inventive step, it said.

[...]

Rachel Hooke, a partner and patent attorney with FB Rice in Sydney, told Bloomberg BNA adopting an inventive step requirement in line with the EPO’s in theory likely won’t be too controversial, but much will depend on the details and implementation.

The government also supported a related Productivity Commission recommendation requiring applicants to identify the technical features in its patent claims, a practice that the EPO employs. Whether an invention meets the inventive step requirement should turn on the claim’s technical features, so requiring the applicant to lay out those features should help patent examiners come to the right conclusion, the commission said.

[...]

Furthermore, Australia has a “manner of manufacture” test but the EPO doesn’t, which is why the technical features analysis is so important in Europe, Hooke said. Having both seems “unnecessary and confusing,” she said.

Here in Britain patent trolls are quite rare. Software patents are also quite rare if not rarer than lawsuits from overseas trolls like Ericsson’s (earlier this year in London it unfortunately got its way). Perhaps the departure from the UPC would help guard British software companies, which rightly oppose the UPC.

“Here in Britain patent trolls are quite rare.”What about Germany?

The Germany-based EPO receives a lot of patent applications from Germany (far more so than from the UK) and “some similarities exist between German and EPO practice,” say Meissner Bolte’s Dr. Stefan M. Zech, Jochen Kilchert, Dr. Stephan Held, Christian Hess, Tilman Pfrang and Dr. Tobias Wuttke. Their days-old article notes: “Another restriction on software is the requirement under Section 1(1) of the [German] Patent Act that patents are granted to inventions or fields of technology, excluding any subject matter considered to be non-technological” (as is often pointed out by the German patent ‘industry’) and here is the part about the EPO, where software patents are being in granted in defiance of the rules:

When determining novelty, only direct and unambiguous disclosure is relevant. However, this requirement is broadly interpreted when compared to the practice before the European Patent Office (EPO).

With respect to the inventive step, some similarities exist between German and EPO practice. However, the EPO problem-solution approach – although generally known by German patent law practitioners – is of considerably lower importance. The decisive question in Germany is often whether the prior art can provide any motivation or incentive to add further features to an already-known solution of the prior art.

It’s already widely publicised that in Germany there’s a plague of patent trolls; they’re truly surging there. We wrote many articles about that. No doubt it’s good for law firms, especially those that specialise in litigation/prosecution. But what does that mean for the ordinary German software developer? No good…

“It’s already widely publicised that in Germany there’s a plague of patent trolls; they’re truly surging there.”The following portion of text was brought forth to me by an online friend, citing an old book from James Stewart Martin, titled All Honorable Men (1950). It’s about fascism’s history (Patents and Cartels) and the role played by patents at the time. Under “Chief of the Decartelization Branch for Military Government in Germany after World War II” it says this:

The practice of I.G. Farben was to capture the basic patents in each field of synthetic chemistry. They would file applications for patents not only in Germany but also in most of the civilized countries of the world.

Our own patent laws were full of loopholes that helped a great deal. For one thing, despite the legal requirement that a patent specification must be so detailed as to enable a man “skilled in the art” to practice the invention, a vague description of the method of producing a chemical compound is often enough to obtain a patent.

(…)

Further, these loopholes permitted an enterprising firm to file its application for a patent long before the actual “bugs” had been worked out of the production process.

The Germans, between the two wars, made an especially energetic drive to exploit their initial advantage in the field of synthetic chemistry in this way. In many cases they blanketed whole new fields of industrial technology by securing basic patents covering all known or suspected processes for synthesizing important materials.

In some cases they themselves had not discovered how to make these materials, but that mattered very little. If someone else did discover the “know-how,” he would find himself blocked by the patents already issued to some German firm or individual on the basis of a general description of the process.

Confronted with this earlier patent, the new inventor had a simple choice before him : spend anywhere up to ten years and thousands of dollars in arguing a patent interference through the Patent Office and the courts; or make a deal. Most of them chose to make a deal. But each deal included specific and legally enforceable recognition by contract on the part of the newcomer that the German patent was valid and not open to question.

Then he would get a promise from the Germans that as they worked with the new process in their own factories and laboratories, they in turn would make available to him the technical know-how that they might discover.

This made it a mutual enterprise beneficial to both, saved expense of litigation, and besides the two could then join forces against any other inventors who might still be outside the arrangement.

In practice, this meant that if I.G. Farben caught Du Pont on the first go-round with the Farben patents in the United States and made a deal with Du Pont, from then on it was I.G. Farben and Du Pont against, shall we say, Monsanto. And as more outsiders fell in with the scheme the team of solidly organized patentees grew and the chances of the remaining outsiders were less and less.

There’s a true danger that unless Germany ends the gold rush for patents, small- and medium-sized companies will suffer. At the EPO, last year’s statistics show a consistently high number of patents. From 2007 to 2016 the number of German patent filings was: 32,103, 33,384, 30,472, 33,104, 33,447, 33,814, 31,887, 31,691, 31,379, and 31,815 (last year).

“There’s a true danger that unless Germany ends the gold rush for patents, small- and medium-sized companies will suffer.”Compare that to France with: 10,797, 11,487, 11,608, 11,721, 11,865, 12,234, 12,378, 13,194, 13,294, and 12,726 (last year).

The UK is even lower with: 7,260, 7,172, 6,569, 7,142, 6,508, 6,691, 6,510, 6,917, 7,099, and 7,226 (last year).

“If the EPO was to study the reports from Australia, Battistelli would get the boot the following day.”Remember that the EPO is primarily based in Germany, France’s INPI does not really do proper examination, and the UK has the IPO.

France never quite did any quality assessment of patents (it’s more like registration), the UK-IPO is pretty strict, and EPO is nowadays granting patents like mad. Insiders tell us that anything goes, even software patents. If the EPO was to study the reports from Australia, Battistelli would get the boot the following day.

08.31.17

The Dark Side of WIPO and Attempts to Suppress Information Mirror the EPO’s Tactics

Posted in Australia, Europe, Patents at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Curious new details and bits of information about WIPO help show just how similar it is to the EPO when it comes to serious abuses

THERE are many parallels between what happens at the EPO and what happens in WIPO, except for the fact that both bully bloggers who write about their abuses and never mind the fact that Battistelli tried to be the head of both (at different times).

Someone who is familiar with what happens at WIPO recently got in touch with us. This person wished to tell us about “WIPO Malfeasance”, taking stock of some truly horrible things, having recently read about the “Update on Civil Complaints and Criminal Complaints Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in Lufthansa/Airplus Case” (published here a year and a half ago).

“My concern was recent learning of the hostile environment at WIPO and the stress it places on ethical individuals who find themselves isolated and worse if they bring attention to questionable practices engaged in at WIPO by Gurry subordinates.”
      –Anonymous
“I was browsing the web,” told us this person, “regarding information on Francis Gurry at WIPO and whistleblower retaliation and other wrongdoing…”

That’s how this person came across our articles. We certainly hope that more people from within and/or around WIPO will approach us with information. We need to expose what happens in WIPO as well.

“My concern,” the person explained to us, “was recent learning of the hostile environment at WIPO and the stress it places on ethical individuals who find themselves isolated and worse if they bring attention to questionable practices engaged in at WIPO by Gurry subordinates.”

“I am wondering if there is any way to verify the disproportionate amount of personal leave time, suicides, whistleblower events at this agency and if parallels are seen at EPO?”
      –Anonymous
This sounds exactly like the EPO, where Team Battistelli is the equivalent of “Gurry subordinates.”

The person continued: “I am wondering if there is any way to verify the disproportionate amount of personal leave time, suicides, whistleblower events at this agency and if parallels are seen at EPO?”

As far as we know, there have been more suicides at the EPO and little is known about some of them because the EPO denies investigators access. This is where immunity helps pave the way to human suffering and potentially yet more suicides.

I was always very eager to expose these abuses at WIPO, not because I have a grudge against WIPO (I don’t) but because a lot can be learned regarding the EPO and international institutions in general. The immunity which prevails in these institutions actually tends to assure human rights abuses and lack of accountability.

“What was the French investigation and why was Gurry allowed to freeze the office and remove emails from the spouse … Much like the cozy link with Swiss police to illegally obtain staff DNA?”
      –Anonymous
“My concern was to expose the corruption that led to ‘suicide’ of ethics officer when he was placed in a no-win position of reporting to director who was above the ethics consideration and was ruthless and vindictive in squashing complaints,” our source told us. “There is a question in my mind if this was a suicide … What was the French investigation and why was Gurry allowed to freeze the office and remove emails from the spouse … Much like the cozy link with Swiss police to illegally obtain staff DNA?”

This is new to us. It suggests that even people fairly high up at WIPO (who were contacted about this) are not entirely sure it was a suicide.

At the EPO, as sources often told us, people were pushed to suicide by bullying. The Office likes to bully people, either legally (legal aggression) or by so-called ‘interrogation’ which defies international law.

To merely compare WIPO and the EPO does not suggest things are identical; we’re trying to determine what patterns exist which helps explain symptoms. There’s no ‘competition’ over who’s more abusive; both institutions can be evil. Both can be rogue.

“What were the arrangements made to open patent satellite centers in Russia and China — how aware were member companies?”
      –Anonymous
“A lot of this is public information,” our source told us. “The issue of the health records at these organisations is difficult to vet. The staff morale will be easy to get individually — except that most of the staff do not want a record that will expose them to retaliatory attacks. The public record hints at the environment. This seems to again a case of “absolute power in an organisation corrupts absolutely” — I wonder if anyone has has been able to follow a money trail as WIPO has its own budget source. What were the arrangements made to open patent satellite centers in Russia and China — how aware were member companies? It seems that Russia and China want access to early knowledge of technology trends and there could be a way to at the [very] least monitor the most recent information — a leaky gate could benefit these countries — so what safeguards did WIPO do for this highly valuable information — why the secrecy to their member states and who made these decisions and why the ones taken. Yes, it seems there is smoke.

“I just see dysfunction and a narcissist in charge and wonder why there is so much retaliation when some of his questionable practices are exposed. Suspicious this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“So other than three whistleblowers — your article [see above] — it seems there is the unusual actions of US to discipline WIPO by cutting funding by 15% — there is Australia starting to separate itself.

“I just see dysfunction and a narcissist in charge and wonder why there is so much retaliation when some of his questionable practices are exposed.”
      –Anonymous
“This guy [Gurry, an Australian] has made his deals — what were they and how many other people have been crushed as they blocked his questionable dictatorial practices — some of which exposed an illegal nature. How many other activities. Besides the power — were there kick backs — staring contracts to friends is minor (reported for only a minor slap)..”

We have already covered similar things at the EPO too. The resemblance is difficult to ignore.

“I only recently found out about this swamp through a personal connection,” the source continued, “and wondered how to expose the mess and help the employees. It seems a similar situation to the dysfunction the US civil service has in dealing with their new ranting president.” (Trump)

“A benevolent dictator is the most efficient structure — however failings in perfect benevolence can be disastrous. ”
      –Anonymous
Although we are often discouraged (by readers) from making political analogies, no doubt these are inherently political matters. Politics cannot be refrained from. Battistelli is in fact a politician with a clear political affiliation. Today, in our IRC channels, an Australian also explained how WIPO ties into Australian politics. “Most people have no clue how many countries have WIPO offices as, like with Australia, the branch in that country is not named WIPO,” he explained. “Australia has a branch office,” he insisted, linking to this reference page.

Going back to our source and the motivations for sharing it: “I do not see why these should not be questions for the public to think about. Also, the criminal activities you report from EPO make one wonder what about these Patent organisations has such a lax oversight — when one would think extra precautions are needed, i.e. who watches the watchers? Is there a fundamental flaw in the organisational structure where autocratic characters rise quickly and are tempted by corrupt shortcuts? A benevolent dictator is the most efficient structure — however failings in perfect benevolence can be disastrous. So my musings were to encourage your questions and to keep the pressure on WIPO — hoping to empower those in unfair stressful situations, clip Gurry’s powers and try and get a fair look by justice officials.

“…real people’s lives are being hurt and there are much better ways to run the organisations.”
      –Anonymous
“I feel strongly that some daylight should be shone on these activities and individuals — real people’s lives are being hurt and there are much better ways to run the organisations. I am frustrated by abuses of power and trust. I would not be surprised [if] there is significant hidden questionable compensation for shady deals.”

Recall what Team Battistelli did some months ago. They’re taking massive bonuses for themselves and often use these bonuses to wage legal war against the media — all this in order to discourage reporting about their wrongdoing. We’ll write more about that later today.

If someone out there has more information about WIPO, please get in touch. We would like to know what Gurry and his ilk try so hard to hide from the public.

08.30.17

Australian Government Cracks Down on Patent Maximalism, Dealing a Blow to Parasitic Firms

Posted in Australia, Patents at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Parasitic creature

Summary: Following recommendations from the Productivity Commission, the government of Australia decides to limit the scope of patents because currently the “system imposes significant costs on third parties and the broader Australian community.”

THE USPTO together with PTAB is improving patent quality. It’s a much-needed improvement.

Last year we wrote about half a dozen articles about the findings of the Productivity Commission in Australia, demonstrating the dangers of patent maximalism, including software patents. The study has not been merely shelved or ignored. In fact, a site of patent maximalists (with new articles like this one) openly bemoans rather than reports a decision in Australia to help SMEs rather than parasitic law firms. To quote what it said yesterday:

The Australian government will abolish the innovation patent system in a bid to bring the country in line with international standards.

In its response to the Australian Productivity Commission’s inquiry into intellectual property, the government agreed that the innovation system is “unlikely to provide net benefits to the Australian community or to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)”.

Innovation patents are akin to utility models in that they have a shorter lifespan than traditional patents—eight years, in Australia’s case—and have lower thresholds for inventiveness.

“The commission found that the majority of SMEs who use the innovation patent system do not obtain value from it, and that the system imposes significant costs on third parties and the broader Australian community.”

That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. The Australian government, having studied some facts (not lobbying from the patent ‘industry’), has reportedly decided “to raise the inventive step threshold” in patents, IAM said yesterday. IAM is of course complaining:

The government will also ask Parliament to raise the inventive step threshold for standard patents and insert language in the patent statute that emphasises the technical/technological features of an invention, through the following three amendments to the Patents Act 1990…

Does that mean the end of software patents in Australia? Meanwhile in New Zealand, where the subject of software patents was hotly debated for years, patent bullying may be about to become easier. As Managing IP has just put it:

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) became a participant patent office in the global patent prosecution highway (GPPH) on July 6. IP practitioners in New Zealand point out that the GPPH provides an accelerated option, but not acceptance of a patent. They also stress that use of the GPPH may not result in the broadest possible claims as claims need to sufficiently correspond to those found allowable

This does not impact patent scope, but it certainly favours more litigation or prosecution. It often means rushed examination, too.

The bottom line is, the above patent maximalism sites were quick (if not first) to report what seems like substantial improvements in patent quality. They are not pleased about it, but people who work in the area of science and technology definitely gained at the expense of the patent ‘industry’ (the patent microcosm).

08.20.17

Patent Scope Recognised as Essential For Patent Quality, But Software Patents Continue to be Granted

Posted in America, Australia, Patents at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…not that courts tolerate these patents (if one can afford fighting them in court)

A lionSummary: Patents that are toothless, clawless lions are being accumulated by companies that should know various courts would scrutinise these enough to rule them invalid

THE number of software patents at the USPTO is hundreds of thousands. And these are the ones that aren’t expired yet. It’s a bubble. It’s madness. No way any software developer (or even software firm) can keep track of this many patents, which is one of many reasons such patents aren’t desirable.

Suffice to say, software patents are being ‘dressed up’ as something they’re not. As this news article from South Africa put it four days ago, it’s widely known that the “existence of patents may actually stifle innovation in key sectors, for example in software…”

This article is about patents on life-saving medicine — an area in which prominent US lobbyists (including the Podesta Group) bully South Africans, on behalf of large US corporations, obviously. From the article:

In the case of medicines, the mere existence of patent protection may lead to the high price of lives being lost, as in our recent history, when millions of South Africans could not afford antiretroviral treatment for HIV, and as in the present day, when few can afford the impossible burden of new, life-saving treatments for cancer.

The other day we also saw this article about Singapore, noting correctly that they may need to limit “patent regime to spur innovation and improve the quality of patents granted…”

“What sort of loopholes exist? We already named words like “device”, “car”, “phone” and phrases like “over the Internet” or buzzwords such as “cloud”, “AI” etc.”Because patent quality matters. Not the number of patents. It should be about quality, not quantity. Singapore should stop issuing/granting software patents and patents on business methods, not just on genome (or anything about DNA). To quote: “One of the package’s most important steps is to follow decisions in the landmark cases of Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics, from the US, and Australia’s D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics by clarifying that Singapore believes isolating DNA” is not patenable.

Only the crazy EPO has decided to become the world's laughing stock by granting patents on genome. As we said earlier today, the EPO also gave a green light/loophole to software patenting — something which examiners we heard from vehemently object to but are pressured (from above) to accept.

What sort of loopholes exist? We already named words like “device”, “car”, “phone” and phrases like “over the Internet” or buzzwords such as “cloud”, “AI” etc.

These are the new tricks.

Buzzword overload and media hype, accompanied by marketing from large companies, brought back an old buzzword from the dead. Now it’s “AI” everywhere; for whose benefit? It’s not a new concept and it’s a broad area which pertains to statistics and maths (at the lower level). I did my doctorate on it.

“It’s a shame the above companies/people don’t know that software patents are a waste of time and mere paper, mostly because these are worthless in courts.”It’s disturbing to see just how often these days patents get painted as “AI” to hide the fact that they’re on software and maths. Here is a new example [1, 2] (only days old) which speaks of an “AI techniques to identify individual attacker behavior and to judge the severity of combinations of such behaviors.”

There’s an illusion of novelty and illusion of it not being abstract, but courts in the US repeatedly reject such patents (the USTPO continues to grant them, under the assumption a buzzword like “AI” can bypass tests). It’s all just software. How about this other example from last week’s news? Malicious patents that are not only on software but also for surveillance? Surely Alice makes these patent-ineligible. Here’s another new one, which speaks of “pioneer[ing] in patented physical, cyber and biometric technologies…”

“Will examiners learn to stop all these tricks and loopholes? They’re being ambushed and bamboozled by law firms whose main skill (or so-called ‘service’) is confusing examiners into granting what they should not.”Well, biometrics are software. There’s a device for scanning, sure, but much of the work is done by maths. Is “biometric” another one of those buzzwords that are now being used to disguise software patents? It’s a shame the above companies/people don’t know that software patents are a waste of time and mere paper, mostly because these are worthless in courts. Maybe some dishonest lawyers talked them into it. Here is another example, this one saying that “BOS GLOBAL Holdings PLC managing director hailed as a “remarkable achievement” the granting of two Australian patents protecting its workplace productivity software.”

Well, as we noted here earlier this month (citing an Australian law firm), the Australian courts don’t tolerate software patents, so this too is a waste of time and money.

Will examiners learn to stop all these tricks and loopholes? They’re being ambushed and bamboozled by law firms whose main skill (or so-called ‘service’) is confusing examiners into granting what they should not.

07.04.17

Patent Lobbying by Patent Law Firms Down Under

Posted in Australia, Patents at 11:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AJ Park and NSA

Summary: Lexology gives Griffith Hack, FB Rice, and AJ Park a platform for influence and marketing that strive to alter how patents are dealt with in New Zealand and Australia

A FEW DAYS ago we saw headlines about Apple “filing [patents] in Australia [for] all Aspects of Siri in Relation to Home Automation” (essentially software patents). We hadn’t lost sight of Australia, where software patents basically remained a problem.

“They just want to market themselves for software patents in the continent.”Recently we saw Griffith Hack, a law firm, alleging that “Australia’s Raising the Bar IP law reforms have created a system that makes oppositions quicker and delivers greater certainty.” The article about Australian patent oppositions is actually shameless self-promotion, as is typical from such sites. We have grown accustomed to that. This same site also published — we presume for a fee — shameless self-promotion from Australian patent law firm FB Rice, which has been pushing for software patents for quite some time [1, 2, 3]. “This is the first part of a two-part series and deals with the current state of software patents,” it said. “The second part will provide our prediction on where software patents will go in the future.”

They just want to market themselves for software patents in the continent. AJ Park, which operates in Australia and New Zealand (where software patents are effectively banned in spite of AJ Park’s heavy lobbying over the years [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), is still at it, having published in that same site “Should innovation patents be kept?”

In our assessment, AJ Park has been one of the most villainous forces for software patents in New Zealand if not in Australia too. These firms need to be watched as their corrupting influence in policy is well documented.

04.16.17

An Australian Patent Troll, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA), is a Bully Not Just in the Patent Sense, Explains the EFF

Posted in Australia, Patents at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GEMSA is attacking speech, not just legitimate companies

Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA)Summary: The mischievous troll GEMSA, which doesn’t seem to get enough out of bullying real companies, is now attacking a civil rights group’s free speech rights

NOT too long ago (2015), much to our shock the EFF actually attracted a lawsuit for merely criticising a patent — something which we too had done on occasions. The lawsuit was later dropped (Scott A. Horstemeyer found out that this attracted yet more negative publicity and then fled).

Just before Easter, the EFF revealed that the same series as the above (“Stupid Patent of the Month”) attracted accusations of “slander” (as if GEMSA, which we mentioned here before, worries about its patent being ‘insulted’ or something). Here is what GEMSA did:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit yesterday against a company that’s using foreign laws to stymie EFF’s free speech rights to publish information about and criticize its litigation over a patent featured in EFF’s “Stupid Patent of the Month” blog series.

The company, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA), owns a patent claiming the idea of using “virtual cabinets” to graphically represent different operating systems and storage partitions. GEMSA has filed dozens of patent infringement cases in the U.S.

Since 2014, EFF’s stupid patent blog series has called attention to questionable patents that stifle innovation, harm the public, or can be employed to shake down users of commonplace processes or technologies. After EFF wrote about the patent, GEMSA accused EFF of slander. The company went to court in Australia to obtain an order to take down the article and prohibit EFF from publishing anything about any of GEMSA’s patents.

TechDirt, which has itself attracted a lawsuit (for saying the truth about a man who pretends to have invented E-mail after the real inventor passed away) and is habitually cross-posting “Stupid Patent of the Month”, had this to say, calling GEMSA an “Australian Patent Troll” right there in the headline (to trolls, patents are all they have). To quote:

As you probably know, each month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) posts its “Stupid Patent of the Month” post, highlighting particularly egregious patents that never should have been approved and/or particularly egregious patent litigation around those patents. You might know about this even if you don’t follow the EFF’s own website, because we almost always repost those posts here on Techdirt, under EFF’s Creative Commons’ license. In fact, last summer, we reposted EFF’s article about US Patent 6,690,400, held by Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd. (“GEMSA”), an Australian company that has all the hallmarks of a classic patent troll. You can read that post for the details of the patent in question, but suffice it to say, EFF described it as “storage cabinets on a computer” and GEMSA has sued dozens of companies, rarely explaining how they possibly infringe. For example, in suing Airbnb, all GEMSA notes is that the site’s user interface “infringes one or more of the claims of the ’400 patent.”

Not surprisingly, GEMSA was not particularly thrilled about being named the holder of a “stupid patent of the month” or to have EFF make fun of its lawsuits. Unlike, say, IBM, who upon being named a stupid patentholder of the month appeared to see the error of its ways, GEMSA decided to really double down. It went to court. In Australia. And got an order telling EFF to take down the article and barring EFF from publishing anything about any of GEMSA’s patents.

We certainly hope that more will be written about GEMSA and its terrible patents, which conjoined with its bullying against civil rights groups will guarantee its bankruptcy and dismantling. GEMSA and entities like it don’t deserve to even exist.

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