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08.30.15

Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents through globalisation

Manchester eye

Summary: The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called ‘unification’ — much like so-called ‘trade’ deals — serves to support them

THE EPO will be the subject of many posts next months, having been de-emphasised somewhat during the summer vacation.

One interesting aspect of the EPO is its role in the UPC and the globalisation of patent law (in a US-leaning fashion, not EU-led). Quality is compromised for the sake of quantity, e.g. income and protectionism. This is secretly steered by multinational globalists with effectively no borders — shady people who have no loyalty to any country in particular.

Only a few days ago we showed how the EPO-supported UPC was potentially big news because experts in the field say that the unitary patent regime can bring software patents into Europe. Now we have a new article from some Web site titled “europeansoftwarepatents” (presumably in favour of them*). The article is titled “Software patents in Europe: Marketing campaigns are not patentable” and it says: “The patent application at stake concerned an intelligent mail system to coordinate direct mail with other marketing channels. The invention concerns the calculation of dates on which people should be contacted for marketing purposes. The idea is to predict when marketing mail pieces will arrive at recipients’ homes, and to use those dates to determine an optimal date on which the recipients should be contacted using a further marketing channel (e.g. telephone, e-mail, television, radio).”

“One interesting aspect of the EPO is its role in the UPC and the globalisation of patent law (in a US-leaning fashion, not EU-led).”That would not be patentable also on grounds of triviality, never mind how abstract it is and how overtly software-related it is (nothing physical in the process).

Europeans are meanwhile coming to realise that the UPC may change all this. More of them grasp the simple fact that it herald the start of a software patents era in Europe, dictated by patent lawyers and their biggest clients. One person wrote that “shamefully Gov PT [Portugal] approves unitary patents, no info released” — a subject that we covered here the other day (3 days ago to be precise). We have already explained why it’s so undemocratic and here is one article from earlier this month, showing that this was done with pretty much zero input from the Portuguese public. “Portugal has officially ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) agreement, raising the total number of signatories to eight,” wrote WIPR. “The ratification was confirmed yesterday, August 6, after a notice was published in the country’s official gazette on legal developments. The document states that President Aníbal Cavaco Silva ratified the agreement on July 30.

“In a statement on the ratification, published in English, the Portuguese government said the agreement will help to “improve the enforcement of patents and the defence against unfounded claims”.”

That’s a shamelessly misleading statement. The UPC would do exactly the opposite. It would make so-called ‘enforcement’ (litigation) more broad in terms of scope, which is of course a bad thing. This may seem bad on its own right, but UPC would also make more things patentable, which in turn renders many “unfounded claims” well founded. It’s euphoria for the patent maximalists and multinational corporations.
_____
* The site describes itself as “your one-stop resource for everything you need to know to protect your valuable software innovations with European software patents.”

08.27.15

Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Investigation Unit

Summary: The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech

Staff suicides at the EPO are a frequent occurrence [1, 2, 3] as the last/latest one was just a week ago. This can reasonably well be blamed on a regime of terror, led by the arrogant, Napoleonic Battistelli. He rules with an iron fist and violates many rules, laws, regulations, etc. There’s no real protection from a thug like him who pretends to be above the law (impunity), so people are rightly afraid. It’s the same with armed policemen who destroy video evidence and do as they wish, basically acting like unaccountable goons.

Worst among all is probably Battistelli’s so-called Investigation Unit, which is basically just a bunch of goons, who even hire the ‘British Blackwater’ to go after staff and after journalists. Just for the uninitiated, who haven’t been following what we covered here before, here are some reminders:

“The Office continues to filter emails sent to EPO staff and containing the word SUEPO in the subject,” SUEPO wrote on the 26th of this month (an update titled “Filtering of SUEPO emails”). It’s not exactly surprising anymore. The EPO is nuts, so this is expected. “A SUEPO lawyer addresses Mr Battistelli,” wrote SUEPO, “by pointing out the legal implications and requests the end of the filtering. A copy of the letter can be found here.”

In a very crude, undemocratic fashion they do not just try to completely gag opposition, even if that opposition is the staff union, i.e. EPO staff rather than outsiders. For the record, here is the text of this complaint from SUEPO (it’s in German, so translations would be well received)

Patent Practitioners: “The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The US patent system may be getting exported to Europe (a silent occupation), without even consulting European citizens on this matter

Park in Manchester

Summary: The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)

“The Unitary Patent might be able to open the floodgates for software patents in Europe,” says this new analysis, published earlier today in a lawyers’ site. It echoes many of the warnings from the likes of FFII, among other European groups that have repeatedly warned about the Unitary Patent (UPC).

“It echoes many of the warnings from the likes of FFII, among other European groups that have repeatedly warned about the Unitary Patent (UPC).”The long piece is titled “The Murky Waters Of Software Patents” and it’s not as positive as one might expect. Given the publication it comes from (pro-patents), it’s hardly surprising at all. “Software patents,” says the author, “have been the subject of much debate – not only in the US, but also in Europe. This has been a thorny issue for many years and the future of software patents still remains unknown. At the outset, a breakdown of the differences between patents and copyrights will highlight why the patent is the form of intellectual property which is proving to be the most problematic with regards to software.”

The author later alludes to Alice, which we may write a lot more about tomorrow. “In the US,” he says, “software patents have been in existence since the early 1970s, but courts have recently started to reject software patents. The courts have ruled that simply “doing something on a computer” does not enable one to obtain a software patent on the matter. After hundreds of thousands of patents being issued, it became clear that there needed to be more restriction and the courts have recently been invalidating patents that were already granted. In 2014, in the landmark Alice Corp judgment, the courts stated “the mere recitation of a generic computer cannot transform a patent ineligible abstract idea into a patent eligible invention.” Thus the US is now retreating from its original position of granting software patents somewhat liberally.”

Then the author writes about Europe, in particular about the effects of the UPC. “The Unitary Patent,” he explains, “is a very recent brainchild of the European Patent Office. Through one single request, one will be able to obtain patent protection in 25 member states (Spain, Italy and Croatia are not currently participating). This patent will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Unitary Patent Court, which will comprise of a court of first instance, a court of appeal and a registry.

“The rulings of this court will affect the Member States who have ratified the agreement. The EPO hopes that the establishment of the court will add to more predictability in proceedings and avoid parallel litigation. Since all unitary patents will thus have their own court, there is also an expectation of faster and more efficient procedures than if these were to be held in the relevant Member States. So far, seven Member States have ratified the agreement – and Malta was among the first to do so. It will come into force once it has been ratified by thirteen states, which is expected to be around 2016. Nevertheless, the position of software patents under this new patent system will remain to be seen. When it comes into force, it will lay the cornerstone for more debate on the subject – as being able to achieve a unitary software patent will mean that it will automatically be recognized in all the Member States.

“The Unitary Patent might be able to open the floodgates for software patents in Europe, since if it allows for software patents, they will become immediately applicable in all the EU Member States. The same might be said for the contrary – however, the fact that the EPO allows for a Unitary Patent court of appeal means that this discussion might go on for years to come.”

Another site of patent lawyers now informs us of “Progress on the Unitary Patent”. It says that “[o]n 10 July 2015, the Preparatory Committee (which handles all the subsidiary issues arising from the creation of the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”), such as HR or IT management) met to discuss the last (18th) draft of the Rules of Procedure for the UPC. They are expected to reach an agreement on a final set of Rules in October 2015.

“The draft Protocol on Provisional Application of parts of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court was also on the agenda as well as the salary package of the judges, the privileges and immunities of the UPC and the division of costs and responsibilities.”

According to this, Portugal too has caved in without even consulting or liaising with its citizens. What a coup!

“Confirmation of Portugal’s ratification of the UPC Agreement was published on 6 August 2015,” says a site about the UPC, “in the country’s Official Gazette of legislation. In the Diário da República Eletrónico, the Decree of the President of the Republic No. 90/2015 indicated that Aníbal Cavaco Silva had approved the UPC Agreement on 30 July 2015 following Parliament’s approval (No 108/2015) on 10 April 2015; a certified copy of the original UPC Agreement was also published in English and Portuguese. See here.”

Here in the UK as well, without even consulting citizens, the government is now preparing for the UPC. Nobody voted for it. This just serves to show how undemocratic the European Union has become, possibly even worse than the EPO alone.

What happens here is similar to what happens in New Zealand right now [1, 2, 3], with persistent efforts to thwart the law (a law banning software patents) through all-encompassing ‘trade’ deals, effectively ‘laundering’ the law at the behest of rich and powerful people who collude in secret. In New Zealand, the loopholes for software patenting have thus far been similar to Europe’s “as such”.

Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?

THE EPO‘s management has been so rogue that suicides have been happening, as we previously covered in [1, 2, 3]. Any outsider would agree that this may be a sign of terrible, incompetent management that over-stresses staff and rules by fear, reigning by terror.

Hearing from sources that 5 people at the EPO have committed suicide under the Battistelli regime is going to motivate more activism against the EPO, including staff demonstrations. Staff at the EPO needn’t be suicidal or depression-leaning. Many employees — and examiners in particular — are highly qualified, often with Ph.D.-level degrees and many years of technical experience. Money is not an issue and these people are a lot smarter than their ‘boss’, Battistelli, who merely comes from a prestigious (expensive) French school and has plenty of powerful connections other than his cabal inside the EPO’s management.

“Yet another EPO employee committed suicide last week,” wrote a person to us. This person managed to secure possession of a note that Ciaran McGinley published and disseminated among all EPO staff this week. We have deleted the name of the dead person in order to respect the wishes of his family.

“Just watch how negative the work atmosphere has become.”“The note of Ciaran McGinley looks poetic,” said our source, “but it is highly hypocritical and cynical. The term suicide has been carefully omitted. The suicide rate has now become extremely worrying. This is the fifth suicide in 39 months during the mandate of Mr Battistelli. And it is the third one in the principal directorate of Mr McGinley since his appointment. Mr McGinley systematically refuses any independent investigation whether the workplace could have played a role in these tragedies. And his lyrical note would be sufficient to make his staff forget that they are told that they are overpaid and will soon be replaced by machines. Their professional pride has been completely destroyed.”

The EPO scandals are far from over. We have some exclusive stories about the EPO’s other abuses. They are lined up for publication next month and we are eager to expose corruption with more tenacity than before as the regime of Battistelli is costing more than just money (not to mention the harm to European citizens). Some people prefer not to live under it.

When Battistelli doesn’t just eliminate people by illegally ‘suspending’ them (like a house ban) he just turns out to be ruling by intimidation. That’s never a healthy way to manage. If some staff are opting to eliminate themselves rather than eliminate corrupt elements in the institution that employs them, who wins?

Just watch how negative the work atmosphere has become. It now including censorship, self-censorship, suspicion that ill staff are just lying to get a day off, and so on. This must end.

Below is the text of the message from Ciaran McGinley [PDF].

Our colleague ██████████ passed away

26.08.2015

A message of PD 2.1 Ciaran McGinley

Dear Colleagues,
By now, most of you will have been made aware of the unexpected passing away of our colleague ███████████. ██████, who was only 42 years old, leaves behind a wife and two young children. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy must, first and foremost, go to them. We have lost a colleague, a friend and a future leader. His family have lost something much more precious – a son, a husband and a father. I think I speak on behalf of everyone in PA when I express my shock and sadness about this tragic loss. His family have asked the EPO to be discreet and to respect what is a very private matter. We all therefore need to behave in a way that fully supports their wishes on this point. The best way to do this is to remember ██████ for how we at the EPO knew him – instantly likeable, open and always with a sincere, warm and caring smile.

Arrangements are currently being made for him to be flown home. The family has indicated that they prefer that the funeral takes place in a close, intimate circle. The family very much appreciate all the good wishes and expressions of sympathy, but they also want, and need, their privacy. The EPO social services have offered full support to the family as is usual in such tragic circumstances. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank ████ OHS for the support she has offered and given to colleagues in the past two days – it has been much appreciated and I know that it will continue to be necessary in the coming weeks as we all try to get to terms with what has happened.

Ciaran McGinley

PD Patent Administration

08.25.15

Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 2:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software

A story that we covered here on Monday has received quite some attention, far more than we anticipated. It’s basically about a letter composed by two technically-incompetent people, which means it’s full of factual errors and serves more as Microsoft endorsement and scare tactics against GNU/Linux, ODF, and Free software. It’s about Munich, where two officials got a lot more press than they deserved (even in English-speaking media [1, 2, 3]). As one article put it, “proprietary software companies are known for their public affairs (lobby) large budgets.” The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).

“The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).”Continuing the trend and the line which we went along the other day, in this article from the Monday Glyn Moody said that Russian “Members of parliament [are] worried about personal and classified data being sent to the US.”

The British media covered this as well, saying that “Russian lawyers have filed a complaint calling for an outright ban – or at least tight restrictions – over the sale of Windows 10 in Russia.”

Well, they’re right and Munich would be ever so dumb to abandon software Freedom, having already paid a lot to escape the lock-in/exit barrier, whereupon it chooses to be spied on by a hostile country which targets Germany (political espionage). Moving to Windows would mean Vista 10 or later (our contacts at Microsoft says that future version will have even more spying).

Munich is going to stay with Free software, as before, but the Microsoft camp keeps trying to maintain the mythology of failure there. The negative press gives many officials the wrong impressions and scares them, discouraging any other nation-wide moves to GNU/Linux. That’s what it’s all about.

08.21.15

EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Helping US patenting standards go international

Manchester international airport

Summary: How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now

THE EPO has been under fire here for nearly 8 years. The original reason, well before sheer corruption became evident at numerous levels, was patent scope. We had written a great deal about software patents in Europe and the “EPO [is] still pushing for patents on software and business methods,” according to the FFII’s President who now points right into the EPO’s own site.

Well, none of these domains should be patentable in Europe. Anything else would be Battistelli breaking the law yet again, this time in order to artificially increase the number of granted patents, the overall revenue, etc. (making himself look good at the expense of the public to whom he does a huge disservice).

“Democracy in Europe is gradually being crushed under the auspices of “unity” and patents are just one aspect among several (see so-called ‘trade’ deals for more).”Here is the EPO writing “Big data, linked data, linking data: what’s the difference & what role do patents play in them?”

This is promotion of this conference, which seemingly strives to expand the scope of patents.

Jesper Lund, who has been active in this area, ‏says that the “EPO is actively advising people on circumventing the ban on patenting sw [software] and business methods as such (“if claimed as such”).”

The FFII’s President adds that it’s done “With the blessing of the Danish Patent Office DKPTO!” Remember that a Dane, Jesper Kongstad, is Battistelli’s number one minion (or one among several), which is why protests by EPO staff targeted the Danish Consulate earlier this year [1, 2, 3, 4]. Also recall what the Danish Presidency did 3 years ago to further empower the EPO's grip and potentially bring patent trolls to Europe. According to two new reports from IP Kat [1, 2], Europe takes further steps towards this. This issue wasn’t voted on, there was no referendum, and it’s clearly against the interests of ordinary Europeans. Democracy in Europe is gradually being crushed under the auspices of “unity” and patents are just one aspect among several (see so-called ‘trade’ deals for more).

For the EPO it would make perfect sense to eventually patent methods of breaking the laws (abusing staff, patent scope and so on), then evading justice, as was previously done in the Dutch courts system, with help from a corrupt official.

08.17.15

Patents Roundup: Patent Reform, Google’s ‘Startups’ Ploy, JDate, Fitbit, Cisco, and UPC in the UK

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The UK silently adopts a worse patent system without even consulting the public

Manchester library

Summary: A collection of news stories about patents, accumulated over the past week or so

LAST week we observed quite a few ongoing patent cases, as well as new developments in Europe and the United States. This post summarises all the important ones.

The Economist Started a Massive Debate

In at least two articles, both of which published earlier this month, The Economist slammed the current patent system, alluding not specifically to the notorious US patent system. It’s a global problem, that’s for sure, as many systems are interconnected (more so over time, especially with so-called ‘trade’ deals afloat). It is very nice to see a respected British newspaper like The Economist (notable as the UK’s patent regime and copyright regime have historically been most overzealous) joining the opposition to it all, after all…

“In at least two articles, both of which published earlier this month, The Economist slammed the current patent system, alluding not specifically to the notorious US patent system.”Days later, citing The Economist, David Perry of Red Hat said that “more recently, it seems that the problem of patent trolls has captured the attention of a broader audience. Four years ago, NPR produced an episode of This American Life called “When Patents Attack!” And, four months ago, John Oliver devoted the bulk of his time on Last Week Tonight, to raising awareness about patent trolls. “Most of these companies don’t produce anything—they just shake down anyone who does, so calling them trolls is a little misleading—at least trolls actually do something, they control bridge access for goats and ask fun riddles,” he explained.”

Red Hat focuses on patent trolls again. “The patent troll problem is not a new one” is the headline. The Economist, however, did not focus on trolls at all. It’s regretful to see Red Hat distracting the debate again, moving us away from the core issues.

Another article, composed by Mike Masnick, offered a better response. “Once Again The Economist Thinks Patents Are Hindering Innovation And Need Reform” was the headline and citing The Economist, Jeff John Roberts of Fortune, a man who recently wrote some good articles about patents, published an article titled “Hey lawmakers, patents and innovation aren’t the same – here’s a reminder”. This too was motivated by the debate above. To quote Jeff John Roberts: “Patents mean more innovation, right? Sadly, that’s not the case as The Economist makes clear. In a terrific piece of writing in the August 8th issue, the UK magazine explains in clear language what has gone so wrong:

“Red Hat focuses on patent trolls again.”“Patents are supposed to spread knowledge, by obliging holders to lay out their innovation for all to see; they often fail, because patent-lawyers are masters of obfuscation. Instead, the system has created a parasitic ecology of trolls and defensive patent-holders, who aim to block innovation, or at least to stand in its way unless they can grab a share of the spoils […]

“Innovation fuels the abundance of modern life. From Google’s algorithms to a new treatment for cystic fibrosis, it underpins the knowledge in the “knowledge economy”. The cost of the innovation that never takes place because of the flawed patent system is incalculable.”

“The Economist editorial comes at a time when patent reform is getting bogged down yet again in the U.S. Congress. If you’re keeping score, this is the third time in five years that lawmakers have tried to fix the system but, as before, the patent lobby is swooping down with money and dire slogans to grind the process to a halt.”

It has been nice to see the public debate changing somewhat (diverted away from “trolls”), owing to articles that question the system as a whole, not just parasitic elements in it.

Sadly, discussions about patent scope are almost inexistent. That’s a due to a failure of scientists to ‘butt in’ and become involved in the debate. Maybe it’s also the fault of journalists for not approaching scientists for their views.

Lobbying for and Against Patent Reform

Reform debate has been locked down. When the political system in the US speaks of patent ‘reform’ (especially these days but also historically) it basically speaks about “trolls”. Classic “patent troll”, as per definition, is a firm looking to make financial gain not from products (they do not exist) but from extortion. Patent trolls encourage and promote a non-producing economy for parasites to thrive in, nobody can deny that. Is it any better if products exist though? Companies like Microsoft have some products, but in many areas they act like parasites, preying on companies that actually have the lion’s share of the market (Android for instance). It should be clear by now that eliminating “trolls” alone would not end the problem. It’s therefore a misguided debate, driven for the most part by corporations, their lobbyists, and patent lawyers to whom they are top clients.

“It is important that the people who actually produce (actual products, not paperwork) provide their input regarding patent law, or else they will be misrepresented and the law steered against them.”Last week we saw an occupied media lobbying on patent ‘reform’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. As expected, much of this comes from corporate media for corporate agenda [1,2], [3] (posted in other sites) is a “Case for Patent Reform” by Lee Cheng, the chief legal officer at Newegg, which is exceptionally proud of its fight against 'trolls', having done so for years. It receives recognition in this new piece titled “Don’t Be a Victim: Protecting Your Small Business from Patent Trolls”. [4] is a piece from the lobbyists’ media, composed by member of the “Independent Inventors of America”, who basically lobbies against the favoured reforms currently on the table. We sure wonder if this is just another lobbying piece from a front group pretending to be “inventor”. Lastly, in [5] we have greedy patent lawyers who openly call for expansion of patent scope. Where are the scientists in all this? It’s mostly lawyers again. It is important that the people who actually produce (actual products, not paperwork) provide their input regarding patent law, or else they will be misrepresented and the law steered against them.

We were rather amused to see greedy patent lawyers who openly call for expansion of patent scope trying a gross reversal of today’s reality and attempting distortion of facts, pretending that large corporations pass patents to startups (the ‘trickle-down’ nonsense), as opposed to troll-feeding by large corporations, so as to get their rivals attacked by trolls like MOSAID (renamed Conversant). Well, to be fair to patent lawyers, that’s just what they do for a living. They present a gross, biased, and often inaccurate picture of reality in order to get their way and win cases.

Patent Lawyers/Maximalists Against Patent Reform

Yet another lawyers’ firm, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, writes about what it labels “Google’s “FFF” patent plan”, noting: “These two initiatives build on Google’s effort to impact patent reform in the United States and beyond. Prior to these announcements, Google’s efforts included the launch of the Patent Purchase Promotion in April (which we discussed here). Google has not officially released any information on the outcome of the Patent Purchase Promotion but Kurt Brasch, a lawyer at Google, reported that the program was a big success. In a phone interview with Fortune.com Mr. Brasch stated that the company bought numerous patents at purchase prices ranging from $3000 to $250,000.”

“Google cannot fend off patent trolls, so its claims to be helping startups with its patents are just marketing.”Google claims that it helps startups, but this won't work. Google’s IBM-like strategy was talked about by other sites of patent lawyers (covered in brief along with expected protests against the aforementioned reports from The Economist).

Here is what IP Troll Tracker wrote about Google’s strategy when it comes to a startup it supports: “Google would rather shutter the venture than try and fend off the lawsuit, unless the Ordrx software were already pulling in mountains of money.”

Google cannot fend off patent trolls, so its claims to be helping startups with its patents are just marketing. Fortune‘s Jeff John Roberts said so too. That was just a couple of weeks ago in the corporate press.

JDate

“JDate is not a classic patent troll, but it sure acts like one.”Tackling the JDate case, which we wrote about repeatedly for weeks, TechDirt says that “The whole lawsuit is absurd, and it starts with the trademark claims that come before the patent ones.”

JDate is not a classic patent troll, but it sure acts like one. JDate will hopefully get sued in a move of retaliation, preferably to the point of bankruptcy. What the company has done here sets a very bad example to any others that are watching. Software patents on very vague concepts are the weapon.

Jawbone and Fitbit

Citing this patent maximalists’ site (which even grooms notorious patent trolls), IP Kat says that “Jawbone holds 78 utility patents and 78 design patents compared to Fitbit’s 89 utility patents and 11 design patents. Jawbone’s patents lean towards hardware and design, whereas Fitbit’s patents are more focused on hardware and software.”

Yes, Fitbit is patenting software, as we noted here several times before. Its Orwellian surveillance tendencies aside, it ought to convince people to avoid these products. A good friend of mine had purchased a Fitbit device and saw it lasting for only one week. It’s a fragile toy and a fashion accessory that tracks the owner even when the owner is asleep. Nobody needs that.

Cisco

We recently wrote about Cisco's attempt to portray itself as a trolls buster, having acted like a troll itself. Some GNU/Linux-centric sites help the former narrative. This is a good example where a massive corporation, Cisco, not some small startup, uses patents for anti-competitive purposes while claiming to be fighting trolls.

Large corporations want the population to only be obsessed with patent trolls. It helps those large corporations protect themselves and does nothing to tackle the broader issues.

EPO and UPC in the UK

The EPO is coming to the UK. It’s entering from the back door. It gets more of a presence in the UK in ways that we first covered last week, noting that no public consent was even sought! The lawyers who work for (or with) the UK-IPO must think they are above the law, as it increasindly looks a bit like government-sanctioned collusion.

“The UPC is almost guaranteed to bring patent trolls to Europe, enabling them to expand their scope of litigation (or threatening letters, demanding payments).”A maximalist of patents (including software patents), AmeriKat of IP Kat, wrote about the UPC courtroom being established before it’s even authorised. AmeriKat “interprets this as meaning that if the UPC doesn’t happen (pending a UK referendum on membership of the EU) or is somehow delayed than the IPO or, indeed another governmental body, can make use of the space.”

Another piece from the same blog speaks of a “[b]ill that is drafted by civil servants – his servants – and that is supposed to protect the interests of businesses” rather than those of citizens. The UPC is almost guaranteed to bring patent trolls to Europe, enabling them to expand their scope of litigation (or threatening letters, demanding payments).

When people return from their summer holiday we are guaranteed to hear a lot more about the EPO and the UPC. It’s truly undemocratic and often secretive, too.

08.13.15

Geographical Scope of Broadening Scope of Patents is Expanding With 1%-Centric ‘Globalisation’ and ‘Trade’ Deals

Posted in America, Australia, Europe, Patents at 5:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The plot to monopolise more of what is public (e.g. public domain, common knowledge) gradually unravels as people secretly (dodging public participation) congregate to centralise power structures, opportunistic predation, costly litigation, and enforcement of demands from corporations (like I.S.D.S.)

IT IS saddening to see that despite some patent progress which is being made in the US, owing for the most to SCOTUS*, other countries/islands/continents regress and essentially derail their own economy. It’s a class war waged between multinational corporations, i.e. plutocrats without borders, and everyone else, irrespective of nationality. It’s a large-scale heist cleverly disguised as harmonisation of national and international laws.

Not too long ago we explained how the software patents debate in New Zealand was being bypassed or worked around in secret. Some vigilant people caught this secretive ploy and alerted the media, calling for action while fighting back against software patents. Now there is a press release and resultant/accompanying media coverage from the local/national media, even ZDNet outside the country [1, 2, 3, 4]. Will this be enough? Well, it’s only the beginning of what could become a very long struggle. New Zealand has already devised the same loophole that Europe is sneakily using in order to allow software patenting, provided it’s tied to some unspecified device.

Speaking of Europe, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) ‘harmonisation’ ploy is well under way as here in Britain, without public consent (no referendum, no polling, not even a Parliamentary debate), the London division of the UPC [is surprisingly] announced”. Yes, the patent parasites (practitioners) just jump the gun and according to this report, “UK Intellectual Property Office has announced the new location of the London section of the Unified Patent Court.”

So UK-IPO basically ignores the standard authorities and procedures, just like the EPO‘s management. One might say that they virtually operate outside the law, much like the Mafia. They know what’s good for them and they don’t bother consulting the public. According to IP Kat, a blog of patent maximalists from London, the Enlarged Board (tackling EPO disputes) finally has something to reveal.

Just like these secret (and now notorious) ‘trade’ deals which we rarely write about (even though more is known about them now), these patent conspiracies (or collusions) serve to just enrich a meta-industry of people who profit from taxation of real practitioners — people whose practice is producing stuff like software and machines.
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* According to Patent Buddy, the SCOTUS ruling in Alice keeps squashing software patents. “New PTO eMod system,” allegedly (no link to the source), “seamlessly generates automated § 101 rejection on every appl’n, saving the PTO millions of $$ a year in exam costs.”

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