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02.24.17

IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of ‘News’

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

Nelson Wild

Nelson Wild

Summary: The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn

“There are 650 MPs,” IAM’s official account wrote. “The one signature in support is Douglas Carswell’s. He tabled the motion 🙂 This looks like it’s going nowhere…”

Actually no. And this isn’t the first time shaming tactics (formally classified as psychological manipulation) are used by IAM to promote the UPC; we covered some examples before.

Notice the smile and remember that IAM was PAID for the pro-UPC propaganda it had done and continues to do. Some of the money came from EPO‘s PR agency, as we showed here before.

The strident Joff Wild is trying to paint UPC sceptics and critics themselves as raucous and disconnected from facts, even when he himself gets the facts wrong. Hypocrisy has no bounds here…

“The strident Joff Wild is trying to paint UPC sceptics and critics themselves as raucous and disconnected from facts, even when he himself gets the facts wrong.”Around the same time IAM also wrote: “UPC movement in Spain? Country’s National Commission for Markets & Competition recommends joining unitary system.” (linking to this page in Spanish)

Bristows LLP and EPOThe problem is, as Benjamin Henrion already pointed out, “CNMC does not promote competition.” Here is some background in English and here is some recent criticism, noting that “it seems clear that for whatever reason the intensity of competition enforcement in Spain has been diminished and that much of the momentum established by the CNC has been lost.”

UPC would harm competition a great deal and profoundly damage small companies, such as those which dominate the Spanish economy (unlike, say, the US economy).

“UPC would harm competition a great deal and profoundly damage small companies, such as those which dominate the Spanish economy (unlike, say, the US economy).”Looking outside the spheres of Team UPC, the EPO, and their propaganda mills (such as IAM), here we have Dr. Luke McDonagh, a London academic, stating: “You know you’ve done your job as an academic when you speak to a journalist for 20 mins & leave him more confused than before!”

McDonagh alludes to Ian Dunt, whom he spoke to. Dunt wrote: “Patents: There is no area of the Brexit debate where it’s harder to get firm opinion on what it entails. It is an unspeakable mess. [] Only solid conclusion I can get to is that Theresa May was deeply unwise to make such a firm promise on the ECJ. But then we knew that.”

“We can expect Team UPC, the EPO, and their official sites (including unofficial and peripheral fake news sites) to continue to tell us all that the UPC is unstoppable, inevitable and so on.”As we noted here before, McDonagh is one among several academics who point out the obvious — that UPC is untenable in post-Brexit Britain. “I will be speaking at the UK European Law Association at KCL on 13th March 18:00,” he wrote separately, “on #Brexit and the #UPC http://www.ukael.org/ #patents”

We can expect Team UPC, the EPO, and their official sites (including unofficial and peripheral fake news sites) to continue to tell us all that the UPC is unstoppable, inevitable and so on. People out there have already learned to recognise which sites or blogs are an extension or a megaphone of Team UPC (some even got co-opted). They have been doing that for many years. It’s their lobbying strategy, as Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna too recently noted.

02.23.17

UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Team UPC still distorts the facts, as if the end justifies the means

UPC Dead

Summary: Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe’s throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC

THE EPO‘s management is eager to ram the UPC through, having decided to replace the Boards’ location, keep them understaffed and perpetually scared, etc. The management calls it “reform” but it’s actually an overhaul which serves the patent microcosm and large foreign corporations; it would be an enormous, historic disaster. It needs to be stopped, both by EPO insiders (not Team Battistelli) and outsiders.

Decision T 2561/11

An EPO-friendly legal firm wrote the other day (earlier this week) about decision T 2561/11 from the Boards, noting that “the EPO Board of Appeal found an Appeal to be admissible despite certain omissions in the Notice of Appeal. In particular, the Notice of Appeal failed to mention the Appellant’s name and address, and was alleged not to contain a request defining the subject of the Appeal, both requirements of Rule 99 EPC.”

“In the above case, it would be so convenient for the Office to just blame the Boards and punish them for it, as is so common/habitual nowadays.”Since then, as was covered here before, the EPO got even stricter, not when it comes to patent scope but when it comes to signatures etc. It further complicates the process not of patent-granting but merely the bureaucracy. In the above case, it would be so convenient for the Office to just blame the Boards and punish them for it, as is so common/habitual nowadays.

Douglas Carswell in Motion to Bury the UPC in the United Kingdom

Putting aside the war on the Boards — a war long fought by Battistelli — how about the war on British law, or the pretense that Brexit is magically compatible with UPC (it’s not)? Dr. Luke McDonagh, who had repeatedly explained why the UPC is untenable here, said it is “interesting that Carswell seems all on his lonesome in putting this UPC motion forward – what is the Tory position?”

“Remember that Carswell is a longtime Tory (Conservative) politician.”“Be interesting to keep an eye out on this UPC EDM by UKIP’s Douglas Carswell this week,” Max Walters from the Law Society Gazette wrote.

Remember that Carswell is a longtime Tory (Conservative) politician. He is hence pretty mainstream and he comes from a high-profile family of famous doctors of medicine. His defection to UKIP is pretty recent and wasn’t motivated by nationalism, racism and so on (the stereotypes).

“Her Master’s Voice,” Margot Fröhlinger

“Founded doubts regarding a legal UPC with UK after brexit,” wrote another person the other day, “IP system need certainty…”

“Is this the first time that [the EPO's] Mrs. Fröhlinger is not 100% certain in public about UK participating in UPC after Brexit?”

That’s what Christopher Weber wrote before noting that “it’s just an old article preceding the UK’s intent to ratify that I mistook for a later statement. My bad.”

But nothing has technically changed since then. In fact, the person who expressed intent to ratify has since then been sacked or resigned. We also did a long series explaining why ratification makes no sense and even if it ever happened, it would not be sustainable, in particular after Brexit. Here is that series again:

What’s noteworthy about Fröhlinger’s remark is that she has always been “her master’s voice” (Battistelli’s echo chamber) and rejected simple facts when it suited Battistelli’s agenda [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], as pointed out here before. Fröhlinger is in many ways an extension of if not part of Team Battistelli, wherein lying has become banal and routine.

The Rain in Spain…

Meanwhile, fake news about Spain is being spread again (we have seen a lot of fake news about the UPC recently, e.g. [1, 2]) and Team UPC is trying to connect it to Brexit (there is no connection). This one tweet, linking to Manuel Rey-Alvite Villar from Bristows LLP (some of the worst liars out there), says: “Will the Spain joins the UPC System and the Unitary Patent? Brexit can make Spain changes his mind…”

“Spain’s ruling party and authorities still reject the UPC and have stated the reasons as recently as a year ago.”Nonsense. First of all, none of this is news; Francisco Moreno has already demonstrated that it goes a couple of years back. And what does the self-serving Bristows base its ridiculous headline on? “The motion [which] will be debated in the Committee on Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of the Congress of Deputies (the lower house of the Spanish parliament).”

But the party behind this motion has already spoken about it and attempted it before. Spain’s ruling party and authorities still reject the UPC and have stated the reasons as recently as a year ago.

02.21.17

Inverting Narratives: IAM ‘Magazine’ Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If it looks like a patent troll, IAM will certainty love it and agonise over the bad reputation of trolls

IAM THE VOICE OF PATENT TROLLS

Summary: Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft’s tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as “pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products”) as seen in IAM almost every week these days

THERE IS A WAR against GNU/Linux. It’s a very big war. But a lot of it happens in the back room and it is being led by Microsoft, a notoriously corrupt company that still relies on bribes and blackmail for a lot of its deals (we have given many examples in the past).

Yesterday we saw a Microsoft-friendly site writing about the latest attack on Free software from Google. The site called it “Patently Ridiculous” (in the headline) that “Google [is] Ordered To Pay $20 Million Plus,” as we noted here the other day (it’s a notoriously trolls-friendly judge).

“Not all of this officially counts/qualifies as patent revenue (royalties) because Microsoft uses a clever trick now.”“Software patents are usually patents on the obvious wrapped up in as obscure, vague and technical a language as possible,” the site said. “In this case Google has been found guilty of infringing a “sandbox” patent in Chrome.”

That’s a software patent and it was found valid in one of those notorious courts in the Eastern District of Texas, so Google will hopefully appeal. But there is an even broader war going on, some of which involves Microsoft satellites that keep suing Android (or GNU/Linux) device makers. We provided plenty of examples in past years.

“This trick started about a year ago with Acer, not too long after it naturally followed from a lawsuit against Samsung that yielded a settlement 2 years ago (same effect, same consequences).”Microsoft itself is playing this aggressive game also directly, though it learned how to disguise it a little better. It is trying to make billions of dollars by shaking down Android OEMs and Chrome OS OEMs (often the same OEMs — more or less — as these two operating systems overlap one another more and more over time). Not all of this officially counts/qualifies as patent revenue (royalties) because Microsoft uses a clever trick now.

This trick started about a year ago with Acer, not too long after it naturally followed from a lawsuit against Samsung that yielded a settlement 2 years ago (same effect, same consequences). Then came Xiaomi (not only bundling of Microsoft malware but also payments to Microsoft, in the form of patent purchases). This was all along misportrayed by IAM, as we repeatedly showed. Either they are willfully ignorant or maliciously lying about it. Today IAM published another one of these puff pieces. It paints Microsoft as some kind of “good cop”, but what the author of this article conveniently neglects to say (or twists the facts of) is that Microsoft previously blackmailed HTC using software patents (around the same time Apple did so).

Here is how IAM put it:

The Microsoft petition – jointly filed with Taiwan’s HTC – argues that claims 14, 15 and 17 of the ‘695 patent should be invalidated on grounds of obviousness. The petition also notes that the ‘695 patent has been asserted by Philips along with several other patents in a series of infringement cases it filed in the District of Delaware back in December 2015. The seven of these lawsuits that remain active target Acer, Asus and HTC from Taiwan; Double Power Technology and Yifang from China; and US companies Visual Land and Southern Telecom. Microsoft has joined the Acer, Asus, Double Power, Visual Land and Yifang cases as a counter-defendant; it is also involved in the HTC case as an intervenor-plaintiff.

[...]

Of the defendants in the Philips lawsuits, we know that Microsoft signed HTC as a patent licensee back in 2010, and that it has revised and expanded existing IP licensing deals with Acer and Asus in recent years. With regards to both the latter, this involved the pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products on the Taiwanese manufacturers’ devices; this has also been a feature of headline patent deals signed with other major Asian companies, including Lenovo and Xiaomi. It may be the case that Microsoft has also offered some form of patent risk mitigation, similar to the aforementioned cloud customer programme, as part of these agreements – though that is just my speculation at this stage, and would be difficult to confirm since the details of such licensing arrangements are typically highly confidential.

Instead of ever acknowledging their mistakes/errors, Team IAM likes to pretend that I did not understand what they wrote. This Microsoft-powered site with many guests from Microsoft embedded in articles is fooling nobody. Microsoft is almost worshiped there and rarely is there even a single sentence critical of the company.

“Just using patents to coerce companies into doing what Microsoft tells them,” I told IAM. “It’s a form of blackmail.” But they keep repeating Microsoft’s talking points every month if not every week. That’s revisionism.

Watch how IAM framed a PTAB IPR petition (as if Microsoft cares for companies it blackmailed): “Microsoft IPR filed against Philips looks like another example of the company’s patent-plus value creation strategy.”

Blackmail with patent threats is not “Value creation”. It’s extortion, it’s blackmail. IAM needs to stop pretending that it’s a news site if trolls are painted as innocent victims and companies that terrify and bully the whole industry get treated like a banality to be ignored if not celebrated.

IAM, like the EPO which turned it into a propaganda mill, is a symptom of many of the things we stand against. The other day it celebrated European patent-based sanctions against Chinese companies (like the aforementioned OEMs from Taiwan or China) and only days ago it promoted patent tax through SEPs, which are inherently not compatible with Free/libre software. To quote:

Avanci was launched last September with Qualcomm, Ericsson, ZTE, KPN, InterDigital and Sony all agreeing to make their standard essential patents that read on 2G, 3G and 4G technology available for license across a range of IoT industry verticals. The first three sectors that Avanci has targeted are the auto industry, connected homes and smart meters. There’s no doubt that Avanci brings together some of the leading plays in wireless technology, but it also has some notable gaps such as Nokia and Huawei. Five months after it launched it is yet to conclude any licensing agreements, although Alfalahi insisted that feedback from the industry and from regulators has been positive and that his team continues to talk to a wide range of licensees and possible members. “We’re not saying that cross-licensing or one-on-one licensing doesn’t work, we just believe there’s a better way and over the last year it has become clear there is a need in the market,” he said.

By making up buzzwords like “IoT” or “4G” companies try to bundle together a bunch of patents that deny entry into the market (via standards) unless entrants pay a very large toll (sometimes more expensive than all the hardware combined). In reality, many of these patents are software patents, i.e. something which isn’t even patent-eligible in the vast majority of countries.

We read IAM not for information but mostly as an exercise in understanding the idealogical opposition; IAM stands for greed, protectionism, and litigation, in lieu with its funding sources (revenue sources are not limited to subscriptions).

02.20.17

No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway” —Marshall Phelps

Summary: Old and familiar tricks — a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines — are being peddled by Watchtroll again

I COME from a professional background of computer vision and I am also familiar with (and trained in) processor technology, so when I say that software is inherently mathematics I am not just merely repeating what other people are saying. In fact, having debated this in length with Watchtroll a couple of years ago, it became abundantly clear that he (Mr. Quinn) does not know that the heck he is talking about; he could not even name any computer program he wrote. It’s astounding that people who want to believe that software is patentable take him seriously*.

I therefore worry that Watchtroll is seen by many as some sort of ‘authority’ on the subject; it’s a site by and for law firms, or a propaganda mill for their pockets (software patents). They do a lot of lobbying and also shaming of officials like the Director of the USPTO (they never even mention the EPO).

“The latest Watchtroll piece wants people to think of computer programs as computers; as if putting something that is akin to prose through a processor magically makes it patentable.”The latest Watchtroll piece is titled “Operational Mathematics on a Processor is not an Abstract Idea”. They are mixing two things here; processors are not abstract but mathematics is a whole different thing. They cannot just magically link two things to make them look like the same thing. In our view, which was consistent over the years, the processor itself can have patents associated with it, and we don’t object to that. But algorithms are not processors and they are rarely if ever embedded in gate level. The computers are programmable. That’s what Manchester innovated after the (second) World War and what the Computer Science department here — the department which I studied in — became most renowned for.

The latest Watchtroll piece wants people to think of computer programs as computers; as if putting something that is akin to prose through a processor magically makes it patentable. Clueless or just lying to oneself?

We often wonder how many of the software patents proponents who write for Watchtroll actually come from Computer Science and can comprehend computer programs/code. We cannot recall even one. “Peter also works as a patent engineer in patent prosecution,” says the disclosure in the above article. What the heck is a “patent engineer”? That makes it sound like the act of patenting itself is an engineering task? Can they patent the process of patenting too? I once dated a girl who said she was a “nail engineer” (later it turned out she meant manicurist), so here again we have these artistic semantics.

“Sadly, based on what we heard, the above-mentioned pattern of deception (combining or blurring the gap between machine and code) is often used to trick EPO examiners into granting software patents; they can mislead themselves into thinking that they don’t grant software patents, but they do.”“Operational math on a processor is a switching device and not an abstract idea,” Peter writes. The processor just takes an instruction or a set of instructions (input) and produces some output, yielding something that can be processed for visualisation, sound etc. But the processor is not the program itself. The programs are stored in memory or in registers, which themselves resemble a book and are already covered by copyrights, not patents, just like a book. We could go on and deconstruct the whole piece from Peter, who is an Electronic Engineer, not a software engineer (far from the same thing).

Sadly, based on what we heard, the above-mentioned pattern of deception (combining or blurring the gap between machine and code) is often used to trick EPO examiners into granting software patents; they can mislead themselves into thinking that they don’t grant software patents, but they do.
____
* Well, here is Mr. Watchtroll being treated as some kind of guru on the subject [1, 2] just a few days ago.

Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM ‘Magazine’, Debunked on UPC Again

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IAM 'Magazine' Debunked

Summary: The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even ‘borrows’ out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC

THE EPO has already paid (one might say bribed) a lot of media organisations as large as the Financial Times for fake news about the UPC. It also spent over a million Euros for a PR firm (FTI Consulting) to manipulate the media and this PR firm paid IAM ‘magazine’, which for a number of years had promoted the UPC (even before FTI paid).

Over the weekend we found IAM stating: “Interesting news from Spain – opposition Socialist party tables Parliamentary motion urging Spanish participation in unitary patent system. [...] Up to now, there has been a united political front in Spain keeping country outside the UPC system. It challenged its creation at ECJ & lost” (untrue). Spain would be utterly foolish to ever look at the UPC, for reasons we explained here before; the UPC would only harm Spain and the EPO does almost nothing — or worse than nothing — for Spain.

“But hey, if it helps the UPC campaign, why not air it, right?”There is one major problem with what IAM stated to create a false sense of optimism. As Francisco Moreno pointed out, along with a screenshot: “Participating in the UP (English, French, German) supporting at the same time Spanish was in their 2015 electoral program” (so this is far from news).

IAM tried to make ‘news’ (more UPC promotion) out of something that was not; there’s no excuse for this other then shoddiness or sloppiness in reporting, especially given that IAM’s editor in chief, by his own admission, lived for a long time in Spain and can probably speak Spanish (or Catalan) just fine.

But hey, if it helps the UPC campaign, why not air it, right? Especially when EPO (or EPO PR) money flows in

02.19.17

Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

Posted in Deception, Patents at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To a carpenter, for example, every problem looks a nail

Law of the instrument
Reference: Law of the instrument

Summary: Cherry-picking one’s way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation

CHERRY-PICKING is somewhat of an art form in legal blogs. They so often altogether ignore cases/decisions that don’t bolster the narrative which they promote and simply act as a megaphone when the exceptions occur.

Such was the case with this CAFC decision — one of those truly unusual cases (happened about 20% of the time last year) where PTAB is sort of ‘vetoed’ (overruled) by CAFC. This was reported on by Patently-O the other day and now there’s more, including from MIP:

A Patent Trial and Appeal Board finding of unpatentability for obviousness based on two prior-art references in Personal Web Technologies v Apple has been remanded because “the Board did not adequately support its findings”

This is about software patents and we wrote about that some days ago, around the same time we highlighted Mintz Levin's bad/misleading advice. People from this firm are still spreading their misinformation, e.g. in another domain or with slight variations in the same domain. They want to make is appear as though software patents are alive and well because of a few, cherry-picked decisions. They just want more business from poorly informed clients whose patents would turn out to be worse than worthless (costly if litigation is even attempted).

Another site, Banana IP (more like banana republic), offers tips for workarounds where software patents are simply disallowed (as a matter of law).

Patents: Understanding Software Inventions in India and US

[...]

The Indian patent law does not provide a proper definition of the term ‘software’ or ‘computer program’. But, under the section 2 of the Copyright Act, 1957 a computer program is defined as “a set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other form, including a machine readable medium, capable of causing a computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular result”. Section 3 of the Indian Patent Act, 1970 summarizes about the inventions that are not patentable. In particular, Section 3(k) of the Patents Act excludes mathematical methods, business methods, computer program per se and algorithms from the patentable subject matter. According to the Computer Related Inventions (CRI) guidelines issued by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks on 19th February, 2016, the computer program in itself is never patentable. The Examiners are advised to deny the claims if the contribution lies only in mathematical method, business method or algorithm. However, software can be patented in India if the software is in conjunction with a new hardware. In other words, the software must be in relation to a specific hardware (a device or apparatus) and the claims will include the device or apparatus used in conjunction with the software. Inventions that are combined with hardware and software features that are inventive, novel and hold industrial applicability are patentable.

Misconceptions around potency of software patents would do a disservice to everyone, including their proponents. What it all boils down to is a lie by omission, much like the lie just published in this article, disseminated under numerous headlines including “America’s always had black inventors – even when the patent system explicitly excluded them”.

This is a decent article (not much like the propaganda one finds in lawyers’ sites who market their services) as it clarifies that inventorship does not require patents. In software we count lines and quality of code rather than assess something silly such as patents. People can invent with or without expensive papers to ‘prove’ merit. From the article:

One group of prolific innovators, however, has been largely ignored by history: black inventors born or forced into American slavery. Though U.S. patent law was created with color-blind language to foster innovation, the patent system consistently excluded these inventors from recognition.

As a law professor and a licensed patent attorney, I understand both the importance of protecting inventions and the negative impact of being unable to use the law to do so. But despite patents being largely out of reach to them throughout early U.S. history, both slaves and free African-Americans did invent and innovate.

We are often being told by the patent microcosm that patents are necessary for innovation or are a measure (or surrogate) of innovation. Basing one’s worldview on such a belief leads to claims that rich nations like Switzerland innovate the most rather than rich nations being able to patent (expensive) the most — a subject which we tackled here last year.

02.17.17

Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent microcosm belongs in the same wastebasket that software patents go into

Waste disposal

Summary: The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these

SEVERAL months ago we wrote that software patents had become pretty toothless everywhere except the Eastern District of Texas, where judges continue to exploit their own governance to welcome patent trolls. Nowadays, just because the USPTO occasionally grants software patents does not necessarily mean that courts (more so the higher ones) will respect them. Recent experiences and even a census (2016 statistics) serve to show that lawsuits with software patents have become a very risky game to play (the plaintiff typically loses not only the case but also a lot of money, which law firms pocket in the process).

“Recent experiences and even a census (2016 statistics) serve to show that lawsuits with software patents have become a very risky game to play (the plaintiff typically loses not only the case but also a lot of money, which law firms pocket in the process).”Law firms that used to make a lot of money from software patents are concerned. They need their clients to become dumb or poorly informed. Yesterday we saw a new article, which was unsurprisingly (given the authorship) entitled “Software Is Still Patent Eligible”, published by Sandra Badin, Matthew Karambelas, Nick Mouton, Michael Renaud, and Michael D. Van Loy (Mintz Levin). This is poor advice from a self-serving firm which is just trying to sell its services around software patents. These patents may seem eligible at the US patent office, but how about in District Courts? Or even worse: CAFC? SCOTUS was very clear about it.

Not even District Courts like the Eastern District of Texas’ can provide much of a reprieve, at least not for much longer because SCOTUS has Texas in its crosshairs. Writing about TC Heartland — the case that can effectively kill patent trolls later this year (their modus operandi would be shattered) — Professors Megan M. La Belle & Paul R. Gugliuzza wrote yesterday that “[p]atent litigation is, as we all know, [has been] highly concentrated in a small number of districts. Most notably—some might say, notoriously—the rural Eastern District of Texas hears about forty percent of all patent cases nationwide. Many lawyers and scholars consider this case concentration to be a critical flaw in the patent system.”

“The environment for patent bullies is rapidly changing and those who assisted such bullies (law firms that pursue patents by the millions) will need to find another business tactic.”Putting aside Alice and the Bilski case, the few courts that actually disregard precedential rulings may soon be out of business (not literally, but they will have to shrink significantly) and what will proponents of software patents have left to say?

The environment for patent bullies is rapidly changing and those who assisted such bullies (law firms that pursue patents by the millions) will need to find another business tactic. Fitbit is already withdrawing from its own patent case (which it initiated) and laying off a lot of its staff; they deserve it for resorting to patent aggression rather than innovation. Don’t expect law firms to accept this new reality, as long as they can continue to mislead prospective clients.

In spite of Fitbit deciding to abandon its own case — a fact that Bejin Bieneman PLC’s site (a software patents proponents’ site) conveniently omits — here is a new anti-Alice post [via], published only yesterday, to paint just ponies and rainbows. To quote:

Fitbit sued Jawbone, its rival, alleging infringement of three patents directed to preparing wearable activity trackers with client and/or server computers, whereupon Jawbone unsuccessfully brought a Rule 12 motion to dismiss alleging patent-ineligible subject matter. Fitbit, Inc. v. AliphCom, No. 15-cv-04073-EJD (N.D. Cal. Feb 9, 2017.) The asserted patents were U.S. Patent Nos. 9,026,053, 9,106,307, and 9,048,923; “[a]ll of the asserted claims recite a method or system for pairing that involves three discrete entities: a portable monitoring device, a ‘client,’ and a ‘server.’” Skirting the question of whether claims were directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea, the court found that the claims recite an inventive combination of elements.

As is widely known by now, Fitbit effectively lost the case by dropping it. Not that law firms would want the public to know this…

Objective information about patents has become scarce because the few who have an incentive to write about the subject are those who profit from it.

Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lobbying disguised as “news” (from Watchtroll & Friends, the “Alt Right” of the patent world)

Watchtroll on USPTO

Summary: Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO

FOR a number of weeks if not months (depending on when Watchtroll started spreading malicious rumours, personal attacks, and fake news about Michelle Lee [1, 2, 3, 4]) it has not been known what exactly goes on at the USPTO. This is important as it can help determine the future direction of the US patent system, e.g. eligibility of software patents. The maximalists are trying to install Rader as Director of the USPTO, but they have not been successful.

“…a bunch of spoiled brats and bullies are trying to scandalise Lee and cause her to lose her job while they are sending to officials some truly nasty letters (with phrases like “Drain the Swamp”) to persuade the Trump administration to fire her.”Citing this report, earlier this week Patently-O wrote: “What an oddity – for the past 26 days, it has been an open secret that Michelle Lee remains USPTO Director but officials at the office have repeatedly refused to confirm or deny that role or to provide any answer to the question “Who is in charge at the USPTO?”

“According to a Politico squib report, both Rep. Darryl Issa and USPTO PR Director Paul Fucito have confirmed that Dir. Lee is “in charge” but it is unclear whether she is still USPTO Director.”

As we noted here before, a bunch of spoiled brats and bullies are trying to scandalise Lee and cause her to lose her job while they are sending to officials some truly nasty letters (with phrases like “Drain the Swamp”) to persuade the Trump administration to fire her.

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