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

01.15.19

IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, IBM, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat puke

Summary: Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM’s takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it’s very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe

IT HAS been bad enough that US courts got targeted by IBM, which actively lobbies to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the impact of Alice (SCOTUS). We wrote many articles about it. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses the word “customer” to refer to companies like IBM — the same thing the Battistelli-appointed António Campinos does.

They totally distort what patent offices are and what they exist for.

“IBM is using OIN to stonewall opponents of software patents and pretend that Free software developers can and should coexist with them.”As we last noted earlier this week, at the European Patent Office (EPO) patent quality is nowadays just “speed of granting”. It’s just a patent-granting machine. Examination is being narrowed. Calling the speed of granting “quality” is like judging the quality of fine dining in some restaurants by how quickly the food gets served (by that yardstick, junk food or deep-fried “fast food” is of the best “quality”).

Ever since Campinos came to the EPO they’ve been calling algorithms “AI” every day; it’s how they promote software patents in Europe.

We have meanwhile noticed that UPC and software patents boosters speak to IBM. They’re constructing their typical kind of propaganda — lobbying with puff pieces that neglect opposition (not even hiding the agenda and it’s clear who’s sponsoring it). Once again, under the guise of ‘harmonisation’ (the word UPC fanatics like to throw around) and using words like “clarity” (the same thing they say in relation to the US), Patrick Wingrove of Managing Intellectual Property pushes this piece. Watch how IBM promotes abstract patents under the guise of “AI”; Even in Europe, in violation of the EPC…

Lawyers from IBM and other artificial intelligence-focused businesses have welcomed the EPO’s new guidelines, but say kinks in the examination approach to the technology in Europe and elsewhere need to be ironed out and then harmonised

[...]

Shaw at IBM says her company would welcome clarification of AI patenting laws to eliminate ambiguity, such as those associated with patentable subject matter and inventorship.

“It’s always helpful in any guidance issued by patent offices to include a range of pointers and examples, such as the useful output from the EPO and JPO,” she says. “That is especially true in some areas where case law within AI has not yet built up.

IBM needs to quit doing this. Red Hat is being sold to an enemy of Free software if it carries on pushing in this direction. Someone wrote yesterday (linking to our coverage about Finjan): “In the security space, it did them [IBM] well in the sense of selling patents to outright troll Finjan, which in turn used them to lift $12M out of FireEye’s pockets.”

IBM is using OIN to stonewall opponents of software patents and pretend that Free software developers can and should coexist with them. We suppose that this is the future of Red Hat as well.

12.30.18

2019 in Techrights: New Datacentre, New Focus

Posted in IBM, News Roundup, Patents, Red Hat at 4:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As Techrights continues to grow we move to a new hosting environment and we’ll be covering technology a little more than court cases with legalese and pertinent caselaw

SEEING that patent extremists like Gene Quinn throw in the towel after two decades and seeing that patent blogs are becoming a lot less active, we’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest problems at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are being gradually addressed, notably software patents that the Federal Circuit and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) help squash. We’ve seen several new examples over the past fortnight, but we’re not going to cover these. Instead, seeing that António Campinos promotes software patents in Europe under the auspices of tbe European Patent Office (EPO), we’re going to shift focus somewhat. The main difference in the coming year will be less coverage about the US patent system. It’s viewed as a lower priority because, as we said a few days ago, “we feel like goals have been fulfilled.” If elimination of software patents was the goal, SCOTUS and 35 U.S.C. § 101 sealed the deal. Several times earlier this year we pointed out that SCOTUS continually rejects appeals from cases like Alice. It’s not interested in reconsideration. Nothing will change.

“IBM has been stockpiling loads of US patents for several decades and even gave some of these to trolls like Finjan.”The demise of software patents has expectedly caused the number of patent cases (lawsuits) to collapse and many patent trolls go out of ‘business’ (it was never a legitimate business in the first place).

David Perry, senior patent lawyer at Red Hat, wrote for CNBC on Boxing Day. Being a lawyer who will soon work for IBM albeit subject to approval in 2-3 weeks’ time (IBM is overzealously in favour of software patents), he framed the question as a matter of hirings; this has nothing to do with hirings however. Gross slant from people whose job depends on patent litigation. “Companies lose as much as $80 billion every year to litigation brought by patent aggressors,” he explained, perhaps failing to note that his next employer is among those aggressors. To quote:

Tech companies are fighting an $80 billion legal battle to help attract the most talented software engineers

[...]

So-called “patent trolls” may not be top of mind for the public, but they’re certainly on the mind of technology innovators. Nine out of the top ten global internet companies — including Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and Google — and hundreds of other companies (including mine) have joined forces against them.

These trolls – also known as patent assertion entities — acquire patents for the sole purpose of suing other companies for money. They cost companies $80 billion in lost wealth every year, and are responsible for over 85 percent of U.S. high-tech patent litigation.

What about IBM? Look no further (back) than its patent aggression earlier this year. IBM has been stockpiling loads of US patents for several decades and even gave some of these to trolls like Finjan. Then there’s the scam which is misuse of patents for tax purposes. Luxembourg, for instance, is still facilitating tax evasion using patents as loophole/cover (there's a patent trolls infestation there). An article by Oliver R. Hoor and Samantha Schmitz-Merle (ATOZ Tax Advisers) alluded to this some days ago:

Therefore, IP rights covered by the new Luxembourg regime are patents defined broadly and copyrighted software. These IP rights fall within the scope of the new regime to the extent that they are not marketing-related IP assets and were created, developed or enhanced after 31 December 2007 (the former IP regime provided the same limitation in time) as a result of research and development (R&D) activities…

These tax breaks are benefiting, by design, the richest people and corporations. The monopolists who can afford loads of patents (like IBM) profit from this.

In the coming year we intend to focus a little less on the US patent system (notably courts and Office). Instead we’ll write more about technology companies like IBM and Red Hat, not to mention mischievous Microsoft. EPO coverage will remain unchanged and it will be our highest priority.

A server migration was completed successfully yesterday, but only for the sister site, Tux Machines. We may soon attempt the same with Techrights although this migration will definitely be more complicated for several reasons (3 CMS components, 3 domains and so on). Fingers crossed. Downtime is likely with or without DNS changes taking hours to propagate.

12.13.18

Latest Talk From IBM’s Manny Schecter Shows That IBM Hasn’t Changed and After the Red Hat Takeover It’ll Continue to Promote Software Patents

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 3:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And don’t forget what David Kappos is doing

Manny Schecter
Photo credit: Esteban Minero

Summary: IBM’s hardheaded attitude and patent aggression unaffected by its strategic acquisition of a company that at least claimed to oppose software patents (whilst at the same time pursuing them)

THE SO-CALLED ‘champion’ of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was, for a number of decades, IBM, based on the number of granted patents.

As IBM takes over Red Hat (not finalised yet) Red Hat could use a reminder that IBM is hostile to software freedom, free software, sharing etc. because it's a propagandist for software patents and it's aligned with 'IP' extremists' front groups. It’s funding them and it’s leading them.

Less than a day ago this article from a site of patent propagandists (pro-patent trolls, pro-UPC, pro-software patents and so on) was published with this summary: “IBM’s Manny Schecter believes public awareness of intellectual property has increased but there has not been a corresponding increase in understanding” (patents are not property).

He mentioned patents specifically:

On the patent side, people often get confused about various aspects of patents, such as the difference between filing and grant date. “All understandable,” noted Schecter.

Those who are intimately familiar with IP do not necessarily help the situation: a second area of confusion, according to Schecter, comes from the public debate around IP. “We argue vigorously for positions in the intellectual property world, and we have a tendency to use a lot of rhetoric and take a lot of extreme positions in trying to make our point,” said Schecter. “Sometimes we actually want that extreme position and sometimes we are just trying to get our point across.”

Schecter urged the audience to close the gap between awareness and understanding by increasing the level of understanding. “We have to figure out how to optimise the benefit of intellectual property,” he said.

Schecter believes that people who say that intellectual property is somehow hurting innovation are really saying is it is not achieving its optimum promotion of innovation.

“If we are actually going to get people understanding intellectual property we have to overcome confusion, we have to overcome misinformation, we have to overcome our own rhetoric and we have to overcome pressure from our clients. Just speak honestly and respectfully. Our innovation economy, our national security, frankly our everyday creature comforts may depend on it,” he said.

Earlier this week the IBM-led (still IBM-centric) Open Invention Network, which is also a booster of software patents, added Alibaba and Ant Financial as members. But rather than add members shouldn’t these people work to abolish software patents? They’re ridiculous! There are, as it turns out, even patent on numbers. At first we thought this was merely satirical, maybe parody. But as this new tweet shows (there’s a picture there): “In 1994, Roger Schlafly, trying to showcase the flaws of US Patents, patented two primes. These primes were used to improve modular division thus saving a lot of time in the Diffie-Hellman method for public-key encryption – critical to secure lots of Internet services at the time…”

Just pay the fee and the monopoly is yours.

The Open Invention Network’s CEO said he was “looking to bring in more Chinese companies,” even if membership is of no use against patent trolls and it merely legitimises software patents. To quote this short new report:

OIN is the largest patent non-aggression community in history. It supports the freedom of action in Linux as a key element of open source software. It is funded by Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, SUSE and Toyota.

In a recent interview with IPPro, OIN CEO Keith Bergelt said the organisation was looking to bring in more Chinese companies and that in 2018, the total number of OIN licensees “has eclipsed the total number of Japanese licensees”.

According to OIN, as a global leader in ecommerce and cloud computing and a global leader in financial technology, respectively, Alibaba and Ant Financial are “demonstrating their commitment to open source software as an enabler of their platforms and systems”.

They are demonstrating their commitment to patents; there are much better solutions than OIN (more on that in our next post), but large members of OIN aren’t interested in these. Companies like IBM and Microsoft try to shield their software patents or cross-license these under the ‘umbrella’ which is OIN. But such patents should not at all exist in the first place. Moreover, being a member of OIN did not prevent IBM from feeding Microsoft-funded patent trolls.

12.03.18

The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and IBM Are Part of the Software Patents Problem in the United States

Posted in IBM, Patents, Red Hat at 7:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ginni Rometty

Photo source (modified slightly): The 10 Most Powerful Women in Technology Today

Summary: IBM’s special role in lobbying for software patents (and against PTAB) needs to be highlighted; even Ethereum’s co-founder isn’t happy about IBM’s meddling in the blockchain space (with help from Hyperledger/Linux Foundation)

IBM keeps pursuing all sorts of bogus software patents on “blockchains” (a hype wave nowadays surfed by the EPO and USPTO). As can be expected, given our lack of loyalty to any company (we have no sponsors), we very often write about IBM as a patent menace, undermining programming with software patents advocacy and stockpiling of such bogus patents. Last week we stumbled upon this new article titled “Ethereum Co-founder Sounds Off On IBM Blockchain” and it said this, citing Quartz:

Ethereum’s co-founder doesn’t seem impressed with the IBM blockchain.

The company has been among the firms investing both money and mind power into blockchain, evidenced by a string of announcements over the last several months — in a drive to file scores of blockchain-related patents. In fact, IBM is tied with Mastercard for the second-highest tally of blockchain patents in 2017. The company said its blockchain platform has more than 400 clients, using Hyperledger Composer and Hyperledger Fabric. Among recent announcements, the company had a patent accepted to use blockchain for database management.

However, Co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who spoke with Quartz on the sidelines of Devcon4, isn’t thrilled with IBM’s moves.

“I don’t understand this deeply, but the detail that jumped out at me is they’re saying, ‘Hey, we own all the IP and this is basically our platform, and you’re getting on it.’ And like, that’s … totally not the point.”

IBM’s acqusition of Red Hat worries us somewhat because of Red Hat’s software patents. What will be the fate of these patents in IBM’s hands?

We never forgot how IBM leveraged the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) for software patents lobbying in the US. They created a dedicated “taskforce” for this [1, 2].

Another stacked panel of IPO was advertised over the weekend; it is a propaganda mill and front for IBM among other software patents proponents who loathe PTAB as it invalidates software patents by merely applying 35 U.S.C. § 101 or the law (based upon SCOTUS). Notice who’s in this “webinar”; just three law firms: “Gasper LaRosa of Jones Day, Brian Murphy of Haug Partners LLP, and Dorothy Whelan, Fish & Richardson” (they speak about PTAB, which invalidates a lot of software patents).

“The registration fee for the webinar is $135,” it says. Wasting money to be lied to or get indoctrinated?

11.15.18

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

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

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

Trump and Iancu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

11.04.18

Software Patents Proponents Abound: IAM, IBM, Kappos, OIN and Microsoft

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of lobbying for software patents and against Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs); the big players are still eager to strangle the whole domain with thousands of lawsuits, armies of lawyers, and tens of thousands of US patents of questionable quality/validity (enough to keep their rivals hobbling and fearing)

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) continues granting some software patents. And sure, not many or any of them have much of a chance in courts. Especially not high courts like SCOTUS or even the Federal Circuit. Just look at their track record.

“Over the past week there have also been reports about another Microsoft-funded patent troll suing almost all of Microsoft’s rivals in this space (security).”The patent trolls’ lobby, IAM, is trying hard to change that. Patent aggressors pay IAM for the effort and days ago they promoted software patents in an event called Software IP. Guess who opened the event: IBM, the new (soon to be confirmed) owner of Red Hat. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s actually not surprising as it’s consistent with IBM’s stance on the matter.

“Brian Kuhn from @IBM delivers this year’s keynote address,” IAM declared. At around the same time David Kappos, who had worked for IBM before he became the Director of the USPTO (he’s now more like a lobbyist of IBM), got boosted by the front group misleadingly named “Innovation Alliance” (hint: it is not about innovation but litigation, it should be named accordingly but “Litigation Alliance” sounds bad). Kappos is a paid lobbyist for software patents — he is paid by patent powerhouses including IBM and Microsoft — both companies being feeders of patents trolls. Their tweet said: “Fmr. @USPTO Dir. Kappos and Judge Michel: Congress needs to pass legislation that redefines #patent eligibility standards to overrule recent #SupremeCourt decisions #PatentsMatter @MorningConsult https://morningconsult.com/opinions/supreme-court-patent-decisions-stifling-health-care-innovation/ …”

It’s basically that same old rant of theirs about SCOTUS. The “Innovation Alliance” then went on to bashing PTAB, which is consistent with the above agenda of lowering the patent bar. This anti-PTAB alliance, boosted by radicals who created anti-PTAB groups, is doing anything it can think of to slow down or obliterate PTAB. As we recently noted, however, based on the numbers, PTAB remains strong and “PTAB petition filing in the third quarter of this year was the highest since the second quarter of 2017,” according to Michael Loney’s latest tally.

Going back to IAM and its IBM-led (keynote) event, here they are writing about Northrop (to be mentioned later in the week in the misleading article from IAM, promoting abstract/bunk patents) [1, 2, 3, 4]: “Northrop – clearly given the amount of money we have in place we’re bullish on patents and software patents although still dealing with some unpredictability in the system [..] diligence process is definitely more robust when there are a lot of software patents in a portfolio [...] having diversity in your portfolio (such as in terms of geography) allows you to blunt some of the impact of Alice [...] I think the negative impact of Alice can be overplayed a bit. It got rid of some really bad patents and is cleaning up the system a little bit…”

A lot if not all software patents are not desirable to the software domain. At all. It isn’t as though there were programmers in that crowd though. It was an echo chamber of lawyers/attorneys. Someone called Pierantozzi is quoted/paraphrased as saying “there’s more confidence, less uncertainty [in software patents] especially in portfolios that are tied to technology…”

Keith Bergelt, a former US diplomat who worked in patent ‘monetisation’, was there too and he’s paraphrased as saying “having Microsoft as a licensee [in OIN] is symbolically important and it’s important for the entire community…”

If only they stopped feeding patent trolls — something OIN can do virtually nothing about. It’s worth reminding ourselves that Bergelt succeeds a person from IBM, who was the first head of OIN. In fact, OIN still is a very IBM-centric group.

A few days ago an article was published with the headline “Microsoft Wants to Make Peace with the Open Source Community” (then stop feeding patent trolls and financing firms that smear FOSS).

One Microsoft-connected patents troll that repeatedly attacked GNU/Linux firms (including Red Hat quite a few times) is still busy suing, based on this new report:

Cook Medical has won a successful dismissal of a patent infringement claim brought by Endotach, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Group.

Endotach’s appeal was dismissed by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s summary judgement that Endotech’s US patent (5,122,154) was invalid under section 102 of the US Patent Act.

Cook was originally sued by Endotach in 2012 at which point the patent had already expired.

[...]

The Supreme Court held that the equitable defence of laches no longer applied to cases where the alleged infringement occurred during the statutory period.

Over the past week there have also been reports about another Microsoft-funded patent troll suing almost all of Microsoft’s rivals in this space (security). As we noted before, there’s this press release and shallow press coverage. Exactly one month ago they got a patent back in play and they’re still as aggressive as ever while Microsoft carries on stockpiling new patents (examples in [1, 2]).

10.30.18

IBM- and Microsoft-Backed Patent Troll Strikes Again and IBM’s Lobbyist for Software Patents Has Just Defended Patent Trolls (Again)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: IBM, IPO, AIPLA, ABA and Other Lobbying/Front Groups of the Patent Microcosm Are Trying to Change US Law for Software Patents

David Kappos as lobbyist

Summary: With IBM and Microsoft having lots of commonalities when it comes to patent policy and exploitation of the law (both employed similar people too, notably Marshall Phelps and David Kappos, former Director of the USPTO), concerns should be raised in light of the latest lawsuit from the patent troll they support

FORGET the nonsense about OIN and LOT Network; OIN does nothing to shield anyone from trolls or proxies, which Microsoft is leveraging to sell “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]. It’s also difficult to forget Microsoft’s role in the SCO lawsuit, which is still ongoing (more than a decade and a half now) and primarily targets IBM.

“It is quite worrying to see IBM- and Microsoft-employed lobbyists publicly defending patent trolls on the very same day an IBM-armed and Microsoft-funded patent troll uses software patents for blackmail.”According to patent boosters, who took note of it pretty fast and linked to reports, patent troll Finjan, fueled by the new owner of Red Hat, backed and financed by Microsoft, filed another lawsuit. We had spotted the original press release within hours upon publication and it said this:

Finjan Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ:FNJN), a cybersecurity company, today announced that — after nearly two years of good faith efforts to resolve a patent dispute with Fortinet, Inc. ( “Fortinet”) — its subsidiary Finjan, Inc. (“Finjan”) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Fortinet, Inc., a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Finjan filed the Complaint (Case No. 3:18-cv-06555), on October 26, 2018, and alleges that Fortinet’s products and services infringed or are infringing at least nine of Finjan’s U.S. patents. Specifically, Finjan asserts that Fortinet’s FortiGate, FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, FortiSiem, FortiSandbox, FortiMail, FortiWeb, FortiCache and FortiClient technologies, including Fortinet Security Fabric Platform products infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,154,844; 6,965,968; 7,058,822; 7,418,731; 7,647,633; 7,975,305; 8,079,086; 8,225,408; and 8,677,494 (collectively “the Asserted Patents”). Finjan is seeking, among other things, a jury trial, past damages not less than a reasonable royalty, enhanced damages for willful, wanton and deliberate infringement, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for infringement of each of the Asserted Patents. Additionally, Finjan is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against Fortinet and those in privity with them, from infringing and inducing the infringement of the ‘968, ‘822, ‘731, ‘633, ‘305, and ‘408 Patents.

These are software patents. So the same month that Microsoft said it had reached patent “truce” with GNU/Linux its patent troll Finjan is filing yet another lawsuit against Microsoft’s rivals. It’s as if nothing at all has changed except Microsoft’s lies embedded all over the media (something about “protecting Linux” and “open-sourcing patents).

Meanwhile, the lobbyist David Kappos (sponsored by Microsoft and IBM after he had run the USPTO) is promoting software patents and patent trolls (like Microsoft’s and arguably IBM). He uses the euphemism non-practicing entities (NPEs) and published this article yesterday in what’s likely the largest site on the topic, saying:

The recipe for swinging the pendulum of patent law towards weaker patent rights is simple: Start with a generous warning about the scourge of low quality patents, stir in a skosh of fear mongering regarding non-practicing entities (NPEs) asserting those patents, then apply heat with predictions of lost jobs and threats to innovation, publicize in a blog, speech or article, and there you have it!

Just like the Trump-appointed Director Iancu he seems to be denying there’s a problem. Earlier this month Iancu came under a lot of fire, especially from front groups of technology firms large and small, after he had insinuated that patent trolls aren’t a problem or don’t even exist (they’re a ‘fiction’ or ‘fake news’). It is quite worrying to see IBM- and Microsoft-employed lobbyists publicly defending patent trolls on the very same day an IBM-armed and Microsoft-funded patent troll uses software patents for blackmail. Need we add that on the same day IBM also announced that it bought or agreed to buy all of Red Hat’s ‘defensive’ patents, which include software patents? The Federal Circuit typically finds that those patents are invalid (if the case reaches that far, at great expense to the defendant).

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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

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

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

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

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts