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02.10.19

Jim Zemlin’s PAC Keeps Raising Money From Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSDL, OSI at 12:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Today’s Linux Foundation, de facto successor of OSDL, is fronting for proprietary software companies — a very profitable business prospect

Jim Zemlin's PAC
Quite a few of the above are former Microsoft employees (document from IRS)

Summary: The Open Source Definition’s author as well as various Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries warn of an attack on FOSS (“efforts to undermine the integrity of open source”); it’s not too hard to see who participates in it or enables such attacks

SOME days ago the media was ‘aflood’ or awash with reports (literally dozens like this one) about Microsoft stepping deeper into the Linux Foundation, spurring backlash and motivating some readers to write to us about it. As one reader once framed it, the Linux Foundation monetises the handover of Linux and pertinent related pieces, composed by volunteers, to the corporations that ‘buy’ these. It is a fantastic “business model” if it can be called that (imagine passing it off as a “charity”, too). Jim Zemlin and his fellow PR people (and accountant) receive outrageously large salaries, based on public filings (see above). We’re talking about something like $600,000 per year, possibly tax-exempt because they pose as a non-profit. The above is from 2015, so these salaries have likely increased since. As Bryan Lunduke pointed out at some point, these people earn even more money than Linus Torvalds himself (the people or person whose trademarks they convert into cash). Is he in it for software freedom or just for the money? Zemlin is not a technical person.

“…recently there have been efforts to undermine the integrity of open source…”
      –OSI
I’ve long attempted to refrain from being too harsh on the Linux Foundation because I recognise we have vastly greater threats out there (threats to software freedom). The question remains, however, how much Microsoft money is too much and when does the Linux Foundation represent the interests of proprietary software companies more than it represents Free software (or “Open Source”) ideals?

OSI, which also received Microsoft money not too long ago, now warns about an effort to “undermine the integrity of open source”. To quote Business Insider’s new artice, “one of Silicon Valley’s most important industry groups warns that the definition of the term “open source” must be guarded just as zealously as that of the kilogram — and that “recently there have been efforts to undermine the integrity of open source” by stretching the definition to suit their own self-interest.”

“It’s no wonder that the OSI’s Bruce Perens warned a couple of years ago that the the Linux Foundation had become an infringers’ club (he was alluding to GPL infringements).”You just know something is very wrong when pro-GPL groups are being made up just to be dominated by serial GPL infringers like Microsoft and VMware. Who’s facilitating it (and profiting from it)? The Linux Foundation. It’s no wonder that the OSI’s Bruce Perens warned a couple of years ago that the the Linux Foundation had become an infringers’ club (he was alluding to GPL infringements). His views on OIN weren’t any more flattering. This isn’t some random person but the person who came up with the Open Source Definition and is generally supportive (and close to) the FSF/Free Software movement.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

02.06.19

The Evolution of Microsoft Embracing Python Like a Python Snake

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 3:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Many new strides in recent months

Tie snake

Summary: Microsoft’s suffocating embrace is, as usual, targeting the market leader, this time Python (a programming star) and the past few months brought disturbing new developments associated with entryism

THE FOLLOWING tweets, starting 2010 and running until this week, tell the story better than a diagram/picture.

Money talks. Microsoft is buying its position inside Python like it did Apache a decade ago [1, 2].

01.06.19

Pirate Party Championing Free/Open Source Software in Europe

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software at 7:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European Pirate Party

Summary: The European Pirate Party is an ally of Free/Open Source software, helping to improve such software not just for Europe but for everyone in the world

AT the end of last month Julia Reda (MEP, Pirate Party) made an announcement which was initially overlooked. Maybe due to the time of the year. But over the next week (and almost a fortnight) news sites caught up with it. See below.

This is definitely a step in the right direction. Not only does the Pirate Party promote copyright sanity (e.g. opposing copyright ‘reform’ which would ban or tax Fair Use like in the links below). It is also an effective proponent/advocate for software freedom.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. EU to launch bug bounties for 14 open source projects

    Starting this month the European Commission (EC) will kick off a series of bug bounties aimed at finding and patching security bugs in open source software (OSS).
    Each of the bug bounties, which offer prize pools of between €25,000 and €90,000 (AUD$40,518 and AUD$145,868), target open source programs that are widely used within the EC.
    The EC selected software it would fund bug bounties for based on previous inventories of software usage within the EC and a public survey about what projects should be supported.
    Open source projects that will get EC-incentivised attention in coming months include Filezilla FTP software, the KeyPass password manager, Drupal CMS software, and the Apache Software Foundation’s implementation of Java technologies, Apache Tomcat.

  2. EU to offer nearly $1m in bug bounties for open-source software

    The full list of 15 bounty programs includes the file archiver 7-zip, the Java servlet container Apache Tomcat, the content management framework Drupal, the cross-platform FTP application Filezilla, the media player VLC, the password manager KeePass, the text/source code editor Notepad++, plus other popular tools. Rewards start at €25,000 and go on up to €90,000 ($28,600 to $103,000), for a total offered amount of €851,000 ($973,000).

  3. Pirate Party MEP serves up €1m Brussels-backed bug program for open source

    The European Union is ponying up close to €1m under a bug bounty programme spanning a range of open source projects.

    The cash drop represents the latest milestone for the Free and Open Source Software Audit Project (FOSSA) the brainchild of German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda and her colleague, Max Andersson.

    In a pre-NYE blog post announcing the bounties, and recapping progress on FOSSA, Reda said that, “In January the European Commission is launching 14 out of a total of 15 bug bounties on Free Software projects that the EU institutions rely on.

  4. EU Offers up to $100,000 in Bug Bounties for Open Source Projects

    The European Commission has provided funding for bug bounties in 14 open source projects it relies on. The bounties are designed to find gaps in its security after a year of successful attacks across the world.

    The idea has roots in the Heartbleed vulnerability, whose discovery in OpenSSL caused a mad scramble and widespread concern. This led to the proposal of the Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) by Julia Reda.

    The bounties include popular applications like Filezilla, Notepad++, PuTTy, VLC Media Player, KeePass, and 7-zip. They were chosen by a historical look at application usage in the EC and a public survey by Reda.

    Of course, while the discovery of the bugs will aid the European Commission, they’ll play a wider role in protecting the public as a whole. The bounties are open to all on HackerOne and Intigriti, meaning anyone holding on to relevant exploits has a financial incentive to divulge them.

  5. ‘Ethical’ hackers could make up to £80,000 breaking into EU computer software as part of new European Commission security project

    The Commission is funding 15 ‘bug bounties’ in total, with the total prize fund topping £800,000.

    EU officials are looking to paper over the cracks in open source programmes – software available for free online – that the Union uses in its computer systems.

    The full list of programs includes 7-zip, Apache Tomcat, Drupal, Filezilla, VLC, KeePass, Notepad++ and other popular tools used in systems across the globe.

    Rewards for ‘ethical hackers’ who get involved range from £22,000 to £80,000 per bug found, depending on how serious the flaw is.

  6. EU to fund bug bounties

    Ethical hackers could earn up to $100,000 if they can spot vulnerabilities in the free open source software used by the European Union
    The European Union (EU) has set up a bug bounty for 15 applications to help uncover security flaws in the most popular free and open source software on the web.

    Bug bounties are a prize for people who actively search for security issues and the EU is calling on ethical hackers and developers to help find vulnerabilities in the open source projects it relies on.

    The initiative was announced by Julia Reda, a member of the European Pirate Party and the co-founder of The Free and Open Source Software Audit Project (FOSSA), and will see the EU fund 15 bug bounties ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 depending on the software in question and the size of the vulnerability.

  7. The EU opens its own bug bounty program for open source software

    IN PRECISELY 86 DAYS – unless something dramatic happens – Britain’s 73 MEPs will lose their hard-earned (citation needed) European Union salary. For those that want one more hit of EU gravy after handing in the door pass, there is another way: finding bugs in open source software.

    Bug bounties are nothing new, but they tend to be offered by companies with deep enough cash reserves to fund them, for obvious reasons. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and many others essentially pay people to find flaws in their software, so they can patch them before somebody else uses it to cause them bigger headaches further down the line.

    So why is the EU getting in on the act? Simply because it uses open source software, and said programmes rely on the community to catch potential exploits. That’s proved pretty efficient in the past, but with the EU representing the interest of 28 countries – well, 27 and one putting on its coat to leave – one small exploit could cause a lot of big problems.

    As such, German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda has unveiled the bug bounty program for 15 pieces of software favoured in Brussels and beyond: 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PuTTY, the Symfony PHP framework, VLC Media Player and WSO2.

  8. EU to fund open-source bug bounty programmes
  9. EU Offers Bug Bounties For 14 Open Source Projects

    The European Commission in January is funding 14 bug bounty programs in hopes of sniffing out vulnerabilities in the free open source projects that EU institutions rely on.

    The bug bounty programs span 14 open source software projects and offers a total of almost $1 million for all bounties combined. The bug bounty programs have varying rewards, start and end dates, and platforms. The first bug bounty programs – for Filezilla, Apache Kafka, Notepad++, PuTTy, and VLC Media Player – begin next week on Jan. 7.

    The initiative stems back to the Free and Open Source Software Audit project (FOSSA), first created by European Parliament member Julia Reda. Reda proposed FOSSA with the hopes of securing open source software, after the Heartbleed vulnerability was discovered in open source encryption library OpenSSL in 2014.

  10. European Union is Encouraging Coders in Open Source Projects with Bug Bounty Programs

    For anyone who has played around with the coding side of things, or even had a peek under the bonnet, names such as notepad++, GNU C library and Putty will be immediately recognizable.

    These are some of the commonly used Open Source Software (OSS); software that is freely distributed with it source code that allows the user to read or modify it. Due to this, they are widely used in IT and programming.

    Appreciating the important purpose they serve, and also the possibility of abuse, Julia Reda, an EU Member of Parliament has announced that the European Commission is launching what they term as “ bug bounty programs,” in a bid to encourage and support open source software.

    The Member of Parliament noted that this is part of an ongoing effort, Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) in a concerted effort to get people to look debug these projects. At this time there will be up to fifteen programs that will be supported, in a bid to make the Internet safer and more reliable.

  11. EU launches Bug Bounty program for 14 free open-source products

    Bug bounty program for 14 of its open source projects will commence from January 2019 while the last one will start from March 1. These programs are sponsored as part of the 3rd edition of the FOSSA project, which was approved by the EU authorities in 2015 after severe vulnerabilities were identified in the OpenSSL library in 2014.

  12. EU to offer bug bounties for finding security flaws in open-source software

    Bug bounties are a way for companies to check the security of their software by offering cash to freelancers who hunt for security exploits and then report them so that they can be fixed. The idea is that everyone benefits from this process: the company gets its software checked by a larger variety of people than they could employ by themselves, the bug hunters get offered legitimate cash for finding a security flaw instead of selling that information on the black market, and the public gets software which has been more thoroughly checked for security issues. Big tech companies like Google and Intel have been running bug bounty programs for years.

  13. European Union announces bug bounty program

    Payouts have ranged from 25.000,00 € for a Digital Signature Services (DSS) vulnerability to 90.000,00 € for a PuTTy vulnerability.

    “The issue made lots of people realise how important Free and Open Source Software is for the integrity and reliability of the Internet and other infrastructure,” Reda said in an announcement. “Like many other organisations, institutions like the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission build upon Free Software to run their websites and many other things.”

  14. EU primes open source bug bounty effort

    Security researchers have welcomed a European Union-funded scheme to offer bug bounties on free and open source software projects that begins its roll-out this month.

    The bounty scheme is an extension of the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project, and will reward ethical hackers who uncover flaws in key components of internet technologies such as Drupal and Apache Tomcat as well as consumer utilities such as the VLC Media Player.

    Maximum payouts will range between €25k and €90k under a total of 15 programs, administered by either HackerOne or Intigriti/Deloitte, funded in large part by the EU.

  15. Europe to Fund Open Source Software Bug Bounty Programme

    From Monday 7 January the European Commission (EC) will start paying out bug bounties to security researchers who find vulnerabilities in 14 open source projects.

    The funding pot is part of the EU Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project, overseen by the EC’s Directorate General of Informatics (DIGIT).

    The bounty programmes, run on the HackerOne and Intigriti platforms, cover open source software (OSS) used in European infrastructure, including streaming software Apache Kafka, content management framework Drupal and puTTY; a free SSH and telnet client for Windows.

    But the project has not been without its critics, who have warned it will place a growing workload on volunteer-led projects, potentially alienating code maintainers who will see little personal benefit as a result.

  16. Open Source Software Needs Funding, Not Bug Bounty Programs

    While the European Union’s latest bug bounty program for widely used open source projects sounds like a step towards improving the security of the overall Internet ecosystem, these programs may wind up complicating efforts to secure these applications.

    The European Union has committed to pay €850,000 (nearly $1 million) in bug bounties for vulnerabilities found in 15 open source projects as part of the edition of the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project, said Julia Reda, a member of the European Parliament representing the German Pirate Party. The projects are 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PuTTY, the Symfony PHP framework, VLC Media Player, and WSO2. Six of the projects will accept vulnerability reports until the summer, six until the end of the year, and three will accept reports through 2020. Drupal, a powerful content management system, and PuTTY, a terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application, have the largest amounts allocated under this program, at €89,000 ($101,000) and €90,000 ($102,000), respectively.

  17. EU Launches Bug Bounty for 15 Open Source Projects

    Working in partnership with HackerOne and Intigriti, the EU announced that the European Commission will launch a bug bounty program as part of the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA).

    The third edition of FOSSA will include 15 software programs: 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PHP Symfony, PuTTY, VLC Media Player and WSO2, according to EU Parliament member Julia Reda.

    Reda, who has written extensively about the security risks in Open SSL, launched the FOSSA project with her colleague Max Andersson in 2015, which is moving into phase three. The first 14 bug bounty projects will commence in January 2019, with the final project beginning in March.

  18. EU to fund bug bounty programs for 14 open source projects starting January 2019

    The 14 projects are, in alphabetical order, 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PuTTY, the Symfony PHP framework, VLC Media Player, and WSO2.

    The bug bounty programs are being sponsored as part of the third edition of the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project.

    EU authorities first approved FOSSA in 2015, after security researchers discovered a year earlier severe vulnerabilities in the OpenSSL library, an open source project used by many websites to support HTTPS connections.

  19. EU Offering Cash Bounty Incentives For Finding Security Flaws in Open Source Tools

    FOSSA aims at bringing together the developer community to ensure better security of open source systems, such as CMS or other standard software used by the EU.

    There are several open-source software that is widely used by the authorities, as well as the public at large. Reportedly some of these are used as part of the EU’s IT Infrastructure, and therefore they are keen on ensuring better security for such projects.

  20. Europe to fund bug bounties for 15 open source programs, including VLC, Drupal and Notepad++

    The full list of programs that will be funded by the EC from January includes a number of popular tools: 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, Notepad++, PuTTY, PHP Symfony, VLC Media Player and WSO2. In March, midpoint will be added to the list.

  21. EU offers bounties to help find security flaws in open source tools
  22. EU puts up bug bounties to find flaws in open source software

    The European Union (EU) has put up a bug bounty for security researchers to spot flaws in the open source software used by the regional bloc.

    In a post on her website, European Parliament member Julia Reda of Germany said the bounty to be launched in 2019 by the European Commission – EU’s executive branch – will cover a total of 15 free and open source software “that the EU institutions rely on.”

  23. EU to fund bug bounties for open source projects including PuTTY, Notepad++, KeePass, Filezilla and VLC

    Why it matters: The internet largely relies on open source projects to survive, but these are often developed by hardworking and charitable developers rather than well-paid employees. An unfortunate consequence of this is that developers simply don’t get the time and resources they require to hunt down the vulnerabilities that are so pervasive in complex code.

    The European Union has recognized this problem, and as part of their Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) they’ve set up a bug bounty for 15 applications. The bounty ranges from $30,000 to $100,000 depending on the software in question, and of course, on the seriousness of the vulnerability discovered.

  24. European Union to fund bug bounties for leading open-source software projects

    The European Union is an unexpected entrant into the world of bug bounties, funding 14 of them for open-source software projects on which the organization relies.

    Bug bounties are payments provided to security researchers and others who detect and report vulnerabilities in software. The EU’s funding will begin at the start of January.

    Announced late last week by Julia Reda, an elected representative of the EU Parliament, the program will fund bug bounties for a variety of software: 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services, Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PuTTY, the Symfony PHP framework, VLC Media Player and WSO2.

    The funding will be provided through the Free and Open Source Software Audit project that was approved by the EU in 2015. That project was founded after flaws were found in OpenSSL, the open-source library used for the encryption of internet traffic.

  25. EU to Launch Bug Bounty Program for Open Source Software

    The bounties are offered as part of the Free and Open Source Software Audit project (FOSSA), originally launched in 2015 following the discovery of security flaws in OpenSSL encryption.

    Julia Reda, a German member of the European Parliament, says the bug bounty program will include 14 projects that the EU itself relies on.

    “The amount of the bounty depends on the severity of the issue uncovered and the relative importance of the software. The software projects chosen were previously identified as candidates in the inventories and a public survey,” she says.

  26. EU To Offer Almost $1M In Bug Bounties On Open Source Software

    The full list of programs includes 7-zip, Apache Tomcat, Drupal, Filezilla, VLC, KeePass, Notepad++ and other popular tools that the EU institutions rely on, with rewards ranging from €25,000 to €90,000 ($28,600 to $103,000), for a total offered amount of €851,000 ($973,000).

  27. 14 open source projects get EU funding for bug bounty payments

    Starting from the New Year, the European Union has decided to fund bug bounty programmes for a plethora of important open source projects. There are 14 projects covered by this initiative, starting from January 2019. The EU reckons its funding will shore up the integrity and reliability of the internet and other infrastructure, benefitting organisations and intuitions not just in Europe, but worldwide.

  28. The EU Opens Bug Hunting Season in 2019 for 15 Open-Source Projects It Uses

    From January 7, 2019, researchers can submit security flaws for Filezilla, Apache Kafka, Notepad++, PuTTY, and VLC Media Player via the HackerOne bug bounty and vulnerability coordination platform. midPoint, a platform for identity management governance, is another product the EU wants to be more secure and offers rewards for vulnerabilities reported through HackerOne, starting March 1, 2019.

    The rest of nine software products for which the EU set up a bug bounty are FLUX TL, KeePass, 7-zip, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, GNU C Library (glibc), PHP Symfony, Apache Tomcat, and WSO2; security flaws for them are coordinated through Intigrity, a Brussels-based crowdsourced security platform. The security reward programs for these start on January 15 and January

  29. EU to sponsor bug bounty programs for 14 open source projects from January 2019

    Julia Reda, EU member of the parliament, announced, last week, that EU will be funding the internet bug bounty programs for 14 out of the total 15 open source projects, starting January 2019.

    The Internet Bug Bounty programs are rewards for friendly hackers who actively search for security vulnerabilities and issues. The program is managed by a group of volunteers that are selected from the security community. The amount of the bounty depends on how severe the issue uncovered is and the importance of the software. The amount ranges from 25,000,00 Euros and all the way up to 89,000,00 Euros.

  30. EU to fund bug bounty program for top open-source software

    The European Union will help cover the expenses of bug bounty programs for 14 open-source projects according to an announcement made by EU Member of Parliament Julia Reda.

    The projects that will receive funding for their bug bounty programs are 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PuTTY, the Symfony PHP framework, VLC Media Player and WSO2.

    The bug bounty programs are being sponsored as part of the third edition of the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA) project.

  31. EU to fund open-source bug bounty program

    Here’s a cool way for white hat hackers to earn themselves some nice greens. The European Union is funding a bounty hunter program for a bunch of open-source projects.

    Starting next year, cybersecurity-savvy individuals can get their hands dirty with a total of 14 projects: 7-zip, Apache Kafka, Apache Tomcat, Digital Signature Services (DSS), Drupal, Filezilla, FLUX TL, the GNU C Library (glibc), KeePass, midPoint, Notepad++, PuTTY, the Symfony PHP framework, VLC Media Player, and WSO2.

Fighting ‘True Enemies’, Not One Another

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Infighting isn’t helpful and it helps the foremost detractors/adversaries

A spider

Summary: Lesser threats and greater threats to Free/Open Source software or why we aren’t entertaining particular stories/drama

THE WORLD of GNU/Linux has changed profoundly. Back in 2006 when this site was born GNU/Linux had already come under legal attacks from SCO; then came the Novell/Microsoft patent collusion and later came lawsuits such as Microsoft v TomTom. Microsoft wasn’t the sole threat, but it often co-opted other companies (like SCO and Novell in the aforementioned examples) in an effort to help Microsoft derail software freedom, promote software patents etc.

“Civility within the community and across/among communities generally makes us stronger in the face of proprietary software giants.”We have a great deal to say about what happened to the Linux Foundation, what systemd may do, the threats posed by centralisation (e.g. GitHub), what IBM’s takeover of Red Hat may mean, and all sorts of cultural wars against the Freedom of Free software communities, including free speech. Those are divisive issues, however, so we might limit what we say on those topics. Last year we explained that the CoC of the Linux Foundation, for instance, didn’t harm Linux as much as the wars/arguments over it. Mutual reconciliation is often a lot better than confrontation as long as those whom you do not agree with are more or less on the same channel technically speaking. To use an example, if one random person is in favour of GNU/Linux and the GPL but disagrees about women’s rights, is that really the person worth picking a fight with? Rather than people who are pushing Windows, smearing copyleft, and sometimes even bribing officials for GNU/Linux to be abandoned? For similar reasons we barely bring up politics (there are political news picks in our daily links, but we don’t comment on those).

A reader once asked us why we never write articles about systemd. It is not a priority. The assumption was that we would say negative things about it, but that would be counterproductive. At the moment there are many threats to Free/Open Source software (back doors, surveillance, the ‘cloud’ trap, openwashing and entryism to name just a few) — threats much greater than one another. Civility within the community and across/among communities generally makes us stronger in the face of proprietary software giants.

12.09.18

The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even several times per day, as shameful as it may seem

EUIPO outsourcing

Summary: The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks

DISREGARD for the rule of law is pretty normal at the EPO. There are endless examples of it and a broad range of aspects to it. We spent years covering that. Today, however, we would like to focus on how the EPO (as well as the USPTO) gets to grant software patents, never mind if courts dismiss these.

Mostly illegal software patents that pertain to my research field (computer vision) are being openly promoted and bragged about by today's EPO. This did not happen under Battistelli; this is a Campinos thing. We cannot stress often enough that as far as software patenting is concerned Campinos seems a lot worse than Battistelli; judging by how often the EPO promotes such patents under the leadership of Campinos (as opposed to Battistelli’s). It is a race to the bottom. Just before the weekend the EPO wrote: “The number of European patent applications relating to self-driving vehicles increased by 330% between 2011 and 2017.”

A few days ago a news report was published under the headline “GM Patents the Blockchain Solution for Driverless Cars”.

“We cannot stress often enough that as far as software patenting is concerned Campinos seems a lot worse than Battistelli; judging by how often the EPO promotes such patents under the leadership of Campinos (as opposed to Battistelli’s).”Combining two buzz/hype waves, blockchains and SDV (the EPO’s buzzword/term of choice), these people nowadays facilitate and permit patents on software. Software patents are bogus however. They’re likely worthless too as most judges would laugh them out of court (if it ever gets this far).

And speaking of blockchains, which the EPO promotes patents on (misleadingly-named event, which is actually about patents but doesn’t explicitly say so), mind this new article from Swiss media (in French). The headline speaks of blockchains and “open source”; a French-speaking Free software (“open source”) developer just said: “Software patents, the end of free software…”

By granting patents on blockchains the EPO blatantly tramples/stomps on Free/Open Source software, which is fundamental to the adoption of blockchains.

We understand that the Campinos-led EPO saw a hype wave and decided to ride/surf it, but at what cost? The concept of blockchains is being brought up even by those who don’t understand it; several days ago Forbes published “Blockchain For Business: This Startup Thinks It Solves All Of Blockchain’s Worst Problems” (marketing disguised as an article).

This is eerily similar to the “AI” hype, which resurfaced about a year ago. Everyone started rebranding things “AI”, years after they had rebranded everything “smart” and “cloud” or whatever (more buzzwords to be mentioned below).

“By granting patents on blockchains the EPO blatantly tramples/stomps on Free/Open Source software, which is fundamental to the adoption of blockchains.”Even the lawyers admit it’s just hype/buzz. This new article from a law firm starts with this sentence : “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a loaded technology buzzword that comes in different forms in various commercial products.”

Yes, it’s a buzzword. So far this month we’ve seen an “Artificial Intelligence Trading Expert” [1, 2] (just using algorithms; nothing new) and this article titled “‘Buzz about AI’ lends to Linguamatics win”. Calling mere algorithms “AI” is now as commonplace as can be. Here is an example from a few days ago: “Artificial intelligence technology has helped build software that can analyze videos for better capturing of events, understanding patterns and surveillance.”

“Everyone started rebranding things “AI”, years after they had rebranded everything “smart” and “cloud” or whatever…”All of these examples (above) mention patents and “AI”. Everything is being called “AI” these days… for marketing purposes. “iCAD Announces FDA Clearance of ProFound AI™ for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis,” says this new press release. Here comes the Allied Security Trust (AST) and the “AI” hype; lots of bogus patents as usual. But… “AI”! So it’s innovative!

Software potentially puts the patent ‘industry’ in the ashtray; so they call software “AI” now, as usual (because they’re technically inapt). “Wave Computing®,” states another new example, “the Silicon Valley company that is accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) from the cloud to the edge…”

All the above are from the past fortnight alone; “AI” and “patents” everywhere. It is intentional. As we recently noted on numerous occasions, even the USPTO has swallowed the “AI” hype and offers it as a route towards software patentability. An article by Sameer Gokhale (Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP) makes it very obvious. They’re pretty shameless about it.

“As we recently noted on numerous occasions, even the USPTO has swallowed the “AI” hype and offers it as a route towards software patentability.”How about “Smart” and “IoT”? These are two more buzzwords recently embraced everywhere (globally even).

“Smart devices in IoT need a smarter patenting strategy,” IAM’s new headline says. Just keep stuffing buzzwords like “smart” and “IoT” in hope of enabling software patents, right?

“This article provides a comprehensive report on the challenges faced in patenting technology in the Internet of Things domain,” it says. It’s a domain that just means devices with an Internet connection. It’s far too vague, intentionally so.

We are meanwhile seeing European law firms trying hard to find all sorts of ways to patent software. Philip M. Nelson and Ronald J. Schoenbaum (Knobbe Martens), for example, have published [1, 2] “Will New PTO Guidance Be The Antidote to Alice In The Medical Device Patenting Process?”

“We are meanwhile seeing European law firms trying hard to find all sorts of ways to patent software.”Here they go again with “Medical Device”, two cheeky terms combined to associate software with “life-saving” and “physical” (even when it boils down only to code).
Marks & Clerk’s Thomas Prock has just published “A feather in one’s app: why the UK could lead the way for medical app patents” (similar talking point). It adds the buzzword “app”…

Suyoung Jang, Cheryl T. Burgess and Mauricio Uribe (also of Knobbe Martens) are still pushing anti-Section 101 lies. It’s that classic software patents propaganda, spread at all costs (even to multiple publishers that charge for it; it’s cross-posted [1, 2] again). They’re using the fata morgana that is "Berkheimer and Aatrix"; the latter became known for little more than that patent lawsuit (Aatrix is mostly/only mentioned in relation to patents, even when it’s not about patents) and the former became a placeholder for “I don’t like Alice and Alice sucks because fact-finding.”

“Today’s EPO is rotting with corruption and fake patents (that bear no presumption of validity).”António Campinos may not say much on the subject, but his actions in a leadership position are revealing. The EPO’s Twitter account has just quoted Campinos as saying: “In my time at the EPO I’ve been able to rely on the expertise, dedication and commitment of an experienced staff to help in the transition process…”

What transition? Some staff calls him “mini Battistelli” and some claim that he’s even worse than Battistelli; it’s clear that nothing is changing, except for the worse. Today’s EPO is rotting with corruption and fake patents (that bear no presumption of validity). Staff cuts are implemented (he did the same in another agency) by means of limited (with time limits) contracts, longterm hiring freeze and encouragement of early departure/retirement.

11.05.18

Blockchain Hype Exploited by the EPO and by Patent Law Firms to Wrongly Assert Free/Libre Software Can Coexist With Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 12:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Managing IP and ‘Software IP’ (IAM) among other think tanks of patent trolls and litigators continue to advance a toxic agenda while the EPO openly and endlessly promotes software patents under the guise of blockchain “innovation”

THE management of the USPTO has been receiving backlash recently. Blockchain, AI and other media buzz get used to grant software patents. A lot of people aren’t happy about it. Soon, to make matters potentially worse, IBM will take over Red Hat. IBM is a strong proponent of software patents.

Last week Red Hat’s McBride was quoted as saying: “we have been very single minded about patents – we don’t see any value in them other than the deterrent impact they have…”

But that does not deter patent trolls. In fact, it doesn’t really accomplish anything.

Will things improve/change for the better any time soon? That depends. In a sense, things improved a little when Microsoft left only its patent trolls to do the battles. Microsoft will not refrain from lobbying for software patents and it still pursues some of its own (there’s a new article right now about “virtual keyboard methods for Xbox and touch” — another patent from Microsoft).

The way we see it, there’s a battle between the litigation ‘industry’ (or ‘in-house’ legal teams at large corporations) and geeks who actually write code and make things. The former group is trying to justify its existence and for that there’s a constant need for litigation (like weapons makers rely on perpetual war/conflict).

“In-house counsel from confectionery, biopharmaceutical, telecommunications, technology, plastics and medical research companies explain how they’re measuring patent worth to find cost-saving wins,” this article from a site of the litigation ‘industry’ (Managing IP) wrote some days ago. Extortion “on a budget”? This is a truly sick ‘industry’ of litigation and threats and what “cost-saving wins” means is neither cost-saving nor a win.

“AMERICAS Thirteen practitioners from McKool Smith have established a litigation boutique called Reichman Jorgensen with offices in Silicon Valley, Atlanta and New York,” Managing IP wrote around the same time. These vultures and parasites call their extortion rackets “boutiques”; McKool Smith represents a lot of patent trolls.

It has meanwhile emerged that there’s another AIPLA echo chamber lobbying event. It calls for software patents because greedy lawyers want lots of frivolous lawsuits to profit from at geeks’ expense. Ellie Mertens (Managing IP) wrote:

The software patent eligibility situation in the US is “a really high fence” that requires some sparkle to pass while the European test is drier

The software patent eligibility situation in the US is “a really high fence,” said Sarah Knight of Talem IP in a panel at the AIPLA Annual Meeting last week, “when it should be just a threshold.”

Managing IP is on the same bandwagon; just look at who sponsors Managing IP. The same goes for IAM, which ran a pro-software patents event last week. In their own words: “First session of day at our #softwareIP event focusing on patentability of software globally with great panel comprising USPTO, Amadeus, Facebook, Alibaba, Lung Tin IP and Haseltine Lake [] Jean-Francois Cases of Amadeus – 10/15 years ago it was impossible to get a software patent granted in Japan, now it’s one of easiest jurisdictions. For us right now India is hardest place to get a software patent…”

More so than Europe.

The corrupt EPO has made software patents far too easy to get. Blockchain patents (software patents) are outside the scope of European patent law, but today’s EPO routinely ignores and violates the law anyway. Here is what the EPO wrote before the weekend: “#Blockchain technology is not without controversy. You can discuss patenting it with patent specialists and blockchain professionals at this #conference: http://bit.ly/EPOblockchain18 ”

The EPO is nowadays plagued with nepotism and rapidly-declining patent quality; its founding document (EPC), European authorities and the rule of law are routinely spat at. Even insiders notice. They write about it. They sign petitions.

Even outsides complain: “Dear @EPOorg – blockchains are not device, they’re not software. “𝘉𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯” 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘴𝘦𝘵 (merkle trees) 𝘰𝘧 𝒑𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒉! There’s no software involved, it doesn’t require computers. Pen & paper works too…”

Yes, blockchains aren’t exactly new; few people understand the underlying concepts and the EPO exploits that. Here again the EPO is promoting software patents ever so shamelessly. That’s just merkle trees: “What are the main challenges in patenting #blockchain & its applications? Experts will discuss that and their solutions at this event we’re co-hosting with @GoI_MeitY: http://bit.ly/indoeur pic.twitter.com/hZjqGCr4Sn”

The mentions of blockchains are endless at the EPO. Here again the EPO does it: “Are you involved in #patents and #blockchain developments? Then this is the event to attend!”

The management of the EPO does not understand blockchains (the people at the top are not scientists and they were selected for nepotism); it got a lot worse under António Campinos, who is merely a quieter version of Battistelli.

IAM wrote: “Amadeus’s Cases – in Europe our experience is that once an examiner has made up their mind on an application it’s very hard to change it…”

Examiners at the EPO simply lack the time to properly assess applications. We know it because they say so, usually anonymously.

Notice what the EPO wrote some days ago: “Elke von Brevern, PCT Expert at the EPO, and Richard Garvey, Key Account Manager at the EPO, will tell you how you yourself can make the PCT system more efficient. Join them in Washington…”

And Houston, Texas. Yes, also in Texas, where many law firms work with patent trolls. Notice what the EPO has turned into and who it’s attempting to appeal to. Where next? Dallas? This latest roundup from “Dallas Invents” contains a lot of software patents (also creepy ones like “Apparatus and method for deploying an implantable device within the body”).

Today’s EPO is very much on board with patent trolls’ agenda and IAM’s too. Citing Alibaba’s Roger Shang, IAM wrote about software patents again; “we don’t see a contradiction between open source and patents,” Shang is quoted as saying. That’s a lie.

Alibaba was also mentioned a few days ago in relation to patents on blockchains, not in China (where software patents are permitted) but in the US. “Alibaba Files Patent For Blockchain System,” says the headline. So these ridiculous software patents from China have spread to the West with Campinos and Iancu eager to allow software patents. From the article: “Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a blockchain based system that allows a third party administrator to intervene in a smart contract in case of illegal activities. The USPTO published the patent application on October. 4, 2018.”

Alibaba Group is a big “client” to the USPTO, so we won’t be surprised to see such patent applications accepted. Doubling down on the lie above, days ago we saw a new article titled “10 Things to Know About The Intersection of Blockchain Technology, Open Source Software, and Patents”. Complete nonsense right from the get-go or the headline, courtesy of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. Blockchain patents are fake patents that would be rejected by courts and these patents are clearly not compatible with the distribution model of Free/Open Source software. The article says: “This set of issues is important now because blockchain technology is on the verge of mainstream commercialization and much of it relies on open source software. As with any technology where there is rapid innovation, the number of patents being filed and obtained is increasing. The interplay between patents and open source is often confused. The recent changes to the scope of patentable subject matter under U. S. patent laws have created uncertainty over what is patentable. This is particularly true with respect to blockchain-based inventions and how innovations in this space are disrupting business processes.”

This is misleading because those things (what they call “blockchain-based inventions”) have always been around to some degree. Terminology may have changed, but like “cloud” there’s a hype explosion and it’s mostly associated with a word, not substance. These patent law firms are trying to destroy software development and they’re misleading people by saying software patents are OK if you say “blockchain”. Mind this days-old spammy press release, published under the headline “Can You Patent the Blockchain if it is Open Source?”

The actual text starts under “Why Businesses using Blockchain Technology are Filing for patents and Other Useful Info about Software Patents” (after that they merely promote their services). We’re assuming that they hope people may search the Web, perhaps searching for “Blockchain” and “Open Source”, then give them a call.

Here’s another new one: “10 Lessons On Blockchain And Open-Source Licenses”

So says Law 360‘s James Gatto and the patent ‘industry’ when they try to impose software patents on Free/Open source developers, mainly by using hype waves. “On their own,” Gatto says, “blockchain technology, open-source software and patents each present legal issues that are often complex and frequently misunderstood. When combined, the complexity and misunderstandings of these three topics are…”

The only real connection between these three is that a lot of code associated with blockchains is Free/libre software and companies try to take control by claiming monopolies on the algorithms — something which they should not do.

09.07.18

IAM Media Engages in Trademark Violations While Trying to Misrepresent Free/Open Source Software in Relation to Software Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The “I” in IAM stands for “Infringement” (apparently)

Summary: The site/group which is trying to lecture us all about “intellectual” “property” is itself failing to respect the relevant laws; to make matters worse, it’s liaising with groups of proprietary software vendors to mislead the public about the relationship between Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and patents, notably software patents

THIS post is about Battistelli’s friends at IAM, which habitually whitewashed EPO scandals and is generally promoting patent trolls’ interests. We’ll have a lot more to say about it this coming weekend.

This quick post is about something which happened earlier today.

The IAM account in Twitter said: “Can open source and patents coexist? That’s what experts from #OpenInventionNetwork, @Workday, @Uber and @RedHat will be discussing at Software IP on October 30 in San Francisco. Get your ticket here http://bit.ly/2QatL0l #SoftwareIP pic.twitter.com/OBUmBrBQqW”

Well, Red Hat is pursuing software patents but calls them "blockchains" amongst other thing; the rest of those in attendance are obviously misfits. Answering the question “Can open source and patents coexist,” of course they cannot, but OIN and the others want them to because they’re proprietary software companies and their front groups. They don’t care about Free software or freedom. They also perturb the meaning of Open Source to suit a primarily proprietary agenda.

IAM is a think tank of patent trolls, Microsoft’s patent trolls included. It also fronts for the patent microcosm, patent litigation ‘industry’ etc. They won’t allow people to use the “F word” (freedom). It didn’t take long for Simon Phipps (OSI President) to say: Interesting there’s no-one from OSI or FSF speaking.” He copies in the OSI and the FSF, the Free Software Foundation’s chief to be more specific or exact.

“By the way,” added an observer, “it got me thinking, isn’t this a case of trademark infringement of OSI’s Logo ? Doesn’t seem to fit those clear guidelines…”

That links to the OSI’s Web site.

Benjamin Henrion then joked that “the (R) has been removed at least.”

So now we know how IAM really feels about “intellectual” “property” (what it calls copyrights, trademarks and patents as though they’re all the same thing). Well, they have since then deleted this tweet, perhaps realising just how serious;y embarrassing this was; thankfully we made a copy and here is a copy of the image from their deleted tweet (the tweet’s text is quoted above):

IAM trademark

They make it seem as though “Open Source” is all giddy about patents. They did this before too. Why does the OSI even participate in anything with such a nefarious lobby group? That says a lot about OIN (nothing positive). We mentioned this before.

06.10.18

Deception on § 101/Alice Continues, Courtesy of Firms That Are Making Money From Worthless (Bunk) Software Patents

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just projecting their personal agenda

35 U.S.C. 101 mirror

Summary: 35 U.S.C. § 101 does not seem to matter to people whose living is made from litigation and patent pursuits on (or pertaining to) algorithms; we rebut a few examples from the past week, reminding readers that lawyers aren’t credible advisors on issues they stand to gain from (at clients’ and innocent companies’ expense)

THE collapse of software patents is very much a reality in the US. Don’t ask law firms; they just want to sell more ‘services’ (e.g. lawsuits and patent applications) around that.

The other day in Law.com there was an article with the term “Open Source” in the headline, which got our attention. Don’t be misled though; Law.com is traditionally a Free/Open Source software-hostile site, typically helping lawyers sell services around licence compliance and other things which are marketed by FUD. “Patents and open source are not mutually exclusive,” someone (a self-appointed expert) is quoted as saying in this new piece.

“They’re alluding to the corporate ‘flavour’ of “Open Source”, not Free/Open Source software.”Actually, they are. They’re not compatible. Software patents and Free/Open Source software cannot co-exist. “You can do both and do both correctly,” continues the self-appointed expert, “but it takes education, especially for people who are newer in the industry.”

They’re alluding to the corporate ‘flavour’ of “Open Source”, not Free/Open Source software. “Moore said engineers often join Pure Storage from companies that were not engaged in open source projects,” the author writes, “and expect a similar policy. Others are pro-open source, but may not know the benefits of patents.”

So they’re trying to market software patents to companies which claim to be “Open Source”, such as Red Hat (it’s applying for software patents and really ought to stop doing that). “That’s one reason why Gideon Myles,” continues the author, “lead IP counsel at San Francisco-based Dropbox Inc., said his company educates new employees on both processes.”

“When it comes to patents in general (i.e. not software), patents may make sense, but as far as Free/Open Source software is concerned, there should be no patents in that (their) domain. No good would come out of this.”In other words, they’re wasting employees’ capacity and reducing their productivity because of silly patents.

Are these actually worth pursuing anymore? No.

But that’s not what lawyers (with fanciers job titles like “IP counsel”) want companies to believe, or else they’ll lose their job if not the entire legal department.

When it comes to patents in general (i.e. not software), patents may make sense, but as far as Free/Open Source software is concerned, there should be no patents in that (their) domain. No good would come out of this.

Sadly, as media in this domain remains dominated by law firms (or authors who extensively quote them), one may easily get the impression that software patents are still potent, even in the face of § 101/Alice.

In a new guest post by “Benjamin C. Stasa, Shareholder, Brooks Kushman PC, Southfield, Michigan and David C. Berry, Director, Patent Procurement Clinic, Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, Michigan” (i.e. mostly the patent ‘industry’) they suggest workarounds to bypass § 101. They’re also trying to water down § 101 or obliterate it by any means possible/available.

From the outline:

We offer an alternative approach for amending § 101 to allow some range of patentability for inventions directed to judicially-recognized eligibility exceptions. Rather than attempting to redefine the line between eligible and ineligible subject matter (a revision that preserves the current all-or-nothing approach), we propose amending §101 to implement disclosure-based limits on the scope of claims directed to judicially-recognized exceptions (abstract ideas, laws of nature, and natural phenomena).

It’s the same old tricks; IBM and IPO lobby along those lines, as we shall show later today. They say they want to “amend” § 101, but what they mean to say is “weaken”. § 101 is based on several judgments from the Supreme Court, yet these people think that some blog post of theirs, based on their financial agenda, has relevance to § 101?

“There’s no quantitative/numerical data to support an assertion like “comeback” for software patents.”§ 101 is already very clear, but Iancu (who is acting like a ‘mole’ of the patent microcosm, at least thus far in his term, serving or speaking for the litigation ‘industry’ he came from) does’t like it and wants it thwarted in defiance of the Supreme Court. Here’s a new tweet about it: “#BIO2018 IP track kicked off with opening remarks from Andrei Iancu of the @uspto. Clarifying #section101 and changing the dialogue to focus on brilliance of #inventors high on agenda.”

Well, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is an anti-PTAB lobbying body and for Andrei Iancu to even attend this event says a lot about his interests. Also on the subject of § 101, Mondaq republished a piece from Charlene Lipchen (Field LLP). She is misleading people if she seriously thinks that there’s a software patents rebound in the US (there’s none), calling it a “Glimmer Of Hope” and stating the following upfront: “It remains a general rule, in patent law, that one cannot obtain a patent for an abstract idea. Over the years, patent claims for methods implemented by computers and software have been struck down by the courts, on the basis that merely using a general-purpose computer to implement an abstract idea does not make the abstract idea patentable. More recently, since the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, a software patent case providing a revised test for determining what is patentable subject matter, most patents containing claims to software challenged in US courts have been struck down. The patent claims at issue in Alice were directed to a method for implementing an intermediated settlement between parties.”

“A fortnight ago we began seeing pure spin by patent extremists, claiming that § 101 would see the US Congress/Senate involved, but that was something that people nowadays call “fake news”.”That’s that same optimism we’ve just responded to. There’s no quantitative/numerical data to support an assertion like “comeback” for software patents. And Iancu cannot change that either; he’s not a judge. Law is outside his scope of authority.

A fortnight ago we began seeing pure spin by patent extremists, claiming that § 101 would see the US Congress/Senate involved, but that was something that people nowadays call “fake news”.

A new article by Matthew Bultman (with his usual patent maximalist slant, which we took note of before [1, 2, 3, 4]) speaks of a “High Court” being “begged”, but no such thing happened. A high court wasn’t mentioned at all. This is more of that pure spin, a 180 degrees spin in Law 360. To quote:

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation on Friday seized on a Federal Circuit judge’s recent call for a “higher authority” to clarify what is eligible for a patent, telling the U.S. Supreme Court a current state of confusion begs for intervention.

The clinic, which is fighting a decision that invalidated three patents on cardiovascular disease tests, highlighted comments Circuit Judge Alan Lourie made last week when the appeals court denied separate rehearing requests from HP Inc. and Green Shades Software Inc.

The term “higher authority” does not imply “High Court” like Bultman’s headline insinuates. In fact, there’s no evidence at all that anyone at all is going to revisit these cases. § 101 remains in tact.

As is widely known, § 101/Alice isn’t taken as seriously by the lower courts. Yes, at the lower courts (District Courts) as opposed to the Federal Circuit (CAFC), § 101 is more likely to be swept aside, as was the case in Hybrid Audio, LLC v Visual Land, Inc.

Joseph Herndon, writing about a trial in a California District Court, managed to find one of those 35 U.S.C. § 101 cases in which judges dismissed the defendant’s argument:

In the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Hybrid Audio, LLC sued Visual Land, Inc. for patent infringement with respect to audio signal processing technology used in conjunction with MP3 technologies. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Despite seemingly very broad claims, the Court found that it was clear from the asserted patent that the claims were directed to an improvement in the functioning of a computer, and thus, were patent eligible.

The patent at issue is entitled “Signal Processing Utilizing a Tree-Structured Array,” which originally issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,252,909 on June 26, 2001. After a reissue application was filed for the ’909 Patent, the ’909 Patent reissued with certificate number RE40,281, and subsequently, a request for reexamination of the ’281 Patent was filed, and the PTO issued a reexamination certificate for the ’281 Patent confirming patentability of the reexamined claims.

[...]

Thus, despite broad claims that recite only functional aspects, and no physical components or elements that perform the functions, the claims were found to be patent eligible because the patent disclosure clearly set forth how the claimed processes improved computer functionality as compared to prior art. This enable the plaintiff to show that the claims were necessarily rooted in computer technology, solved a technical problem with a technical solution, and improved upon prior computer technology—all factors weighing in favor of patent eligibility.

If this gets appealed (to CAFC), this patent will likely be invalidated as per/in lieu with § 101 (as usual).

Have we come to the point where it’s so hard for patent lawyers to find CAFC rulings in favour of software patents? Are they now looking for supportive cases at lower courts?

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