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07.02.17

India Continues to Reject Software Patents in Spite of Pressure From Foreign Companies Like IBM

Posted in America, Asia, IBM, Patents at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gate in India

Summary: The Indian patent office reaffirms its commitment to banning software patents in spite of growing pressure from companies that are not even Indian (and their law firms)

THE situation in India matters a great deal because India is probably the world’s largest software maker (depending on how it’s measured). Software patents are not allowed in India, which is absolutely commendable and is the correct approach. Just ask any software developer (anywhere)…

According to several articles in English-speaking media from India, the India Patent Office had “software patent rules reissued” or “reissued norms for software patenting” (a lot of articles about this are identical but were published across several English-speaking networks).

“So despite of all that pressure and in spite of the loopholes, Indian examiners do their job.”Manny Schecter‏, who has been pushing for software patents on behalf of IBM, took note of it and wrote: “India has released new guidelines for examining computer-related inventions for patentability http://www.ipindia.nic.in/newsdetail.htm?”

But don’t expect much to have changed. As this recent article put it: “The Patent Office raised objections stating that the method is a mere software application…”

“Just a buzzword like “innovation” is meaningless and considering IBM’s use of software patents against FOSS we should watch quite closely what Schecter‏ et al do in India.”So despite of all that pressure and in spite of the loopholes, Indian examiners do their job. They cull out the garbage.

“The #patent system should promote #innovation for all technologies without discrimination,” Schecter‏ wrote not too long ago, alluding to software patents in India, but it didn’t take long for FFII’s President to respond with, “what if it does not? Plus there are no metrics for innovation.”

“Later this month we will show that Schecter‏ and his highly controversial friends (like Watchtroll) do immense damage to the US patent system as well.”“Innovation” in IBM’s terminopoly just means “IBM making a profit.” Just a buzzword like “innovation” is meaningless and considering IBM's use of software patents against FOSS we should watch quite closely what Schecter‏ et al do in India. Later this month we will show that Schecter‏ and his highly controversial friends (like Watchtroll) do immense damage to the US patent system as well. They still promote software patents in India and in the US, as we noted in a post last Sunday. Will they ever succeed? Not if the population stands up to them…

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Under Attack From the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants It Not to Exist Anymore

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proponents of software patents are, as expected, wishing nothing but harm to patent reform

PTAB

Summary: Attempts to revert back to a system full of lawsuits, trolls and blackmail are publicly seen in the form of “STRONGER Patents Act” — a supposed ‘improvement’ that strives to roll back PTAB

THERE are many patent myths abound. They are being spread by those who profit from patents, not from products. In fact, they rarely make anything at all (except destructive lawsuits). Among the myths is the concept that an economy with a lot of patents (even too many) will thrive. But it’s based on a lie. Number of patents, for instance, is not indicative of progress or invention but investment (money and effort) in patent applications. In some countries patents are simply granted on just about anything; see what happens in China at the moment. See this new article celebrating “high number of patents” as if it’s a meaningful yardstick (it usually just says something about where large companies are based).

“Put in simple terms, there are court cases that now make trivial the invalidation of abstract patents such as software patents; but enforcing the rules against such patents, especially old patents, can be difficult without PTAB.”We have approximately two dozen articles on the way about patents, but we lack the time to publish them all. Some of these (to be published some time in summer) will expose the lobbying effort for a patent system that serves the patent ‘industry’ (law firms, patent trolls, and patent bullies) at the expense of science and technology. We are very eager to write about it, having researched the subject for months, but we publish based on priority (timing, urgency, relevance to current events). Today we wish to focus on PTAB, which is basically under attack again. PTAB has been responsible for eliminating more software patents than any other branch (even all courts combined), so it needs to be defended. According to this new post, “Analog Devices filed for the inter partes review against Knowles’ U.S. Patent No. 8,018,049 covering a Silicon Condenser Microphone Package. The PTAB agreed with the challenge and found a substantial number of the claims unpatentable.”

In another domain, the domain of pharmaceutical patents, someone is profiting by crushing so-called ‘Big Pharma’ (which use their patents for drug inflation or artificial price hikes). As PTAB expert Michael Loney put it the other day: “This month saw the PTAB issue the final decision on a Kyle Bass inter partes review.”

Kyle Bass won. We wrote about his petitions many times before.

This is the kind of thing we want. Here is another new example:

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has issued a rare granted motion to amend in Valeo North America v Schaeffler Tech, suggesting the Board is willing to consider well-crafted substitute claims

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has granted two substitute claims in Valeo North America v Schaeffler Tech.

Meanwhile, Dennis Crouch continues trying to slow PTAB down and discredit its decisions. Here is his latest attempt to draw attention that inflames or harms the relationship between CAFC and PTAB (in spite of them agreeing ~80% of the time).

We recognise that many of our readers are new to this and rely on expansion of acronyms etc. Put in simple terms, there are court cases that now make trivial the invalidation of abstract patents such as software patents; but enforcing the rules against such patents, especially old patents, can be difficult without PTAB. The patent microcosm — i.e. firms that profit from litigation and shakedowns — is trying to corrupt politicians right now. It tries to bamboozle them into killing PTAB after it eliminated many bogus patents and as one new headline put it, “STRONGER Patents Act would “gut” the PTAB” (if it got passed, but not even the patent microcosm expects it to pass).

“The direct attack on Alice itself is still in the making and there are companies like IBM and Microsoft pushing hard for it.”We wrote about this subject before. It overlaps several other efforts to weaken if not eliminate reform. As TechDirt put it the other day, “Could You Design A Worse Patent Reform Bill Than The STRONGER Patent Act By Senator Coons? Don’t Think So” (wait, there’s more on the way… as we shall show soon).

The direct attack on Alice itself is still in the making and there are companies like IBM and Microsoft pushing hard for it. Don’t take AIA, PTAB, or even Alice for granted. Not even taking Michelle Lee for granted was a safe bet because personal attacks from the patent microcosm seem to have pushed (if not forced) her out. After IAM tried to push a corrupt man into her position Watchtroll is having a go also (suggesting replacements [1, 2]), multiple times in fact after it repeatedly attacked Michelle Lee with baseless ‘scandals’ (over a dozen times). IAM still cites Watchtroll as an authority and whines about SCOTUS doing the right thing on patents (like Alice). Here is the relevant paragraph:

That was definitely one of the takeaways from the ‘US pendulum’ session in which the panelists debated a slew of recent court decisions and the overall state of patent rights in the US. IP Watchdog’s Gene Quinn was clear on the impact that Lexmark might have. “It could be the biggest decision of our lifetime, there are a lot of people panicked by the case,” Quinn said. “It will dramatically decrease the revenue for companies doing business overseas, I don’t see any way around it.”

Maybe he can just attack some more judges in his blog, defame Directors of patent offices, and resort to whatever dirty tricks (with IBM’s help) to perturb the system. They already buy themselves some ‘academics’, moles and lobbyists like David Kappos to help with this, as we shall probably show in greater detail later this month.

06.25.17

IBM, Apple and Facebook Pursue Software Patents in India in Defiance of the Ban

Posted in Apple, Asia, IBM, Patents at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

India is a software powerhouse. Let’s keep it that way.

Malviya Bridge
Malviya Bridge, inaugurated in 1887, is a double decker bridge over the Ganges at Varanasi.

Summary: Multinationals from the United States, or digital colonisers with ambitions to spy on and control finance, continue to behave as though Indian law is not applicable to their operations in India and repeatedly attempt to patent software anyway

INDIA, by some criteria, grew to the point of having the world’s largest software industry. There are also lawyers in India who are hoping to prey on the software industry by imposing a patent tax on all software.

“There are also lawyers in India who are hoping to prey on the software industry by imposing a patent tax on all software.”LexOrbis promotes software patents in India without even understanding these. Also in spite of India banning these. Now comes this self-promotional puff piece. What gives? When will they understand or accept that Indians simply do not want (or need) software patents? When is enough “enough!”?

“Infosys, an Indian giant, already spoke out against software patents and virtually stopped pursuing them.”Watch IBM’s Manny Schecter (he is their patent chief) along with his ilk still promoting software patents in India, not only behind the scenes but also publicly. A few weeks ago he wrote: “Great that India is promoting #IP education, but #India must also recognize a broader scope of #patent eligible subject matter…”

He was alluding to software patents, as usual. Meanwhile, the English-speaking news in India (several articles such as this one, found via numerous accounts) says that patent aggressor Facebook is pursing patents that are not allowed in India. This is a software patent:

Facebook has sought an Indian patent for its electronic payment system enabled through messaging.

Apparently, based on this other report, both Apple and Facebook ignore patent law in India and pursue such patents. To quote, “Apple and Facebook’s move to apply for patents relating to digital payments comes despite India’s stand on not allowing patents on software, unless paired with hardware in an innovative way.”

“Patent maximalism would impress nobody but the likes of Microsoft, which is close to TCS and Wipro.”Infosys, an Indian giant, already spoke out against software patents and virtually stopped pursuing them. According to this new report, TCS and Wipro (the other Indian giants) still “seek more patents”. Patent maximalism would impress nobody but the likes of Microsoft, which is close to TCS and Wipro. Here is the part about Infosys:

Infosys has embraced open source technologies, also joining the Open Invention Network (OIN) to share IP on Linux programs and support “patent non-aggression”. This will also reduce research costs and focus on building technologies with community participation and strengthen its offerings.

We wrote about this 3 months ago.

We strongly encourage all Indians to get involved and organise against software patents in order to guard their best industry.

05.14.17

IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

Posted in IBM, Law, Patents at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Truly malicious company that seeks to thwart democracy

IBM and the Holocaust
Yes, it’s a real book based on a true story

Summary: IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers “thieves”, and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision

THE previous post reinforced the trend of software patents dying in the US, irrespective of what the USPTO does (because the courts have the final word and the highest court said “no” to software patents in Alice).

“It is widely known that when large corporations want to accomplish something in politics they can just bribe (or “hire”) some politicians, e.g. to change the law.”A few days ago we became aware of a new push to pressure politicians into undoing Alice. It is widely known that when large corporations want to accomplish something in politics they can just bribe (or “hire”) some politicians, e.g. to change the law. As usual, IBM, Microsoft etc. (acting via their front groups) are trying to rob us all and undermine patent progress. There were some tweets about it, which triggered a flurry of communications with us about 4 days ago. It quickly started to become clear what was happening around that time.

“Apparently,” wrote a patent reformer (whom we respect), “it is already being heavily lobbied even though there is no bill yet. A successful bill would have to focus on bio, not software…”

This is “not a good sign,” Benjamin Henrion responded. “The big guys have already written the bill.”

Yes, this is how they operate. They did this in other countries too, e.g. in New Zealand. We wrote about that at the time.

“They did this in other countries too, e.g. in New Zealand.”So basically, a bunch of patent parasites and patent trolls want to maximise their damage to the industry and in order to achieve this they are trying hard to change the law. Looking for some earlier context we found this: “Congressional staffers at Stanford PAE conference: patentable subject matter reform will be the first patent bill introduced this Congress…”

Amazing? Yes. Surprising? No. We saw that coming.

Henrion responded, “the great return of a software patent bill written by the patent industry?”

Not if we raise awareness of this and fight back.

“Amazing? Yes. Surprising? No. We saw that coming.”Then came the “Swamp” friends of Watchtroll and his ilk, with tweets like this: “@USinventors proposal on subject matter eligibility is also shaping the Congressional discussion. Depends on TC Heartland & non judiciary” (TC Heartland is due soon).

Someone asked: “Any discussion about proposed legislation (i.e., what might be the definition of patent eligible matter)?”

“If IBM uses radical sites like Watchtroll (which mocks judges) to lobby for software patents while paying former officials to ‘buy’ the law, then IBM certainly turned us into its enemy (we used to be a friend).”Well, it didn’t take long for Watchtroll to advertise this, with IBM taking the lead, as usual. In fact, for IBM to associate with such people says a lot about IBM. If IBM uses radical sites like Watchtroll (which mocks judges) to lobby for software patents while paying former officials to ‘buy’ the law, then IBM certainly turned us into its enemy (we used to be a friend).

Don’t forget the role played by David Kappos, the former Director of the USPTO. David Kappos is now selling influence/access, thus disgracing the USPTO which he came from (he had come from IBM before that).

“David Kappos is now selling influence/access, thus disgracing the USPTO which he came from (he had come from IBM before that).”It’s not too expensive buying policy in the US. Corporations such as IBM, together with an IPO “task force” (that’s what they call it) do this right now. David Kappos — now bankrolled by IBM, Microsoft etc. — tries to make software patents legally enforceable again, using old euphemisms such as “clarity” (to make it seem like they don’t steal democracy and stomp on the Justices).

It didn’t take long for this to be promoted by IBM

As Henrion told the IBM manager, “it would show that Congress members are lackeys of large corporations, but that’s not new.”

“IBM is very, very evil now.”IBM is now aided by a lobbyist (revolving doors in USPTO, also paid by IBM before and after his time at the USPTO). It is purchasing (or at least trying to purchase) new laws so as to override the highest court.

What does that tell us about IBM? Has it ever gotten more benign than it was back in the days of extreme patent aggression, notorious help to the Nazi regime, and so much more? IBM is very, very evil now. IBM links to this puff piece from Patently-O, which said this: “According to at least one hearsay report, members of Congress are working toward a new patent reform bill on subject matter eligibility – likely partially following the models prepared by the IPO and pushed by Dave Kappos (among others). There is some chance that it will be introduced this month.”

Yes, “Dave Kappos”… he refers to him as though it’s a close friend. Dave…

“To IBM, it stops nowhere. They’re bullies. They have become huge parasites again.”IBM continues advocating software patents, saying just a short while ago: “If one can #patent a process implemented in circuits, the same should be true for a process implemented in #software”

No ambiguity here. IBM is an enemy of Free/Open Source software.

Henrion responded with, “then if it is implemented in software, mental acts should also be patentable. Where does it stop?”

To IBM, it stops nowhere. They're bullies. They have become huge parasites again.

“They once again hijack the word “fix” to mean break. They want to undo the fix.”Watchtroll, who has been working alongside IBM for a while, says: “Read (and sign) the U.S. Inventor petition to Congress to fix the U.S. patent system. http://www.usinventor.org/petition/”

So they already have a site up and Henrion says that “patent madness it means.”

They once again hijack the word “fix” to mean break. They want to undo the fix. We have noted this deceptive pattern for over a year. How misleading a hijack of words.

“Software patent bill [are] being written by IBM coming to Congress,” Henrion keeps warning this weekend. “Every programmer engaging in some form of logic for a living,” he writes, “needs to think about buying patent insurance…”

“It probably won’t take long for Microsoft to publicly join IBM in pushing for this “fix” [sic], which means making Patent Trolls Great Again.”Henrion has already been the victim. He is a programmer like myself.

We are deeply and utterly disgusted to see a sort of alliance between Watchtroll, IBM, and Patently-O too, promoting the attack on software developers. The other day Patently-O once again promoted old myths about patents, which are neither a right nor property. Using their misleading words, they keep calling those whom they rob “thieves”, alleging that people who write their own code are “stealing” (as opposed to trolls who shake them down for ‘protection’ money).

It probably won’t take long for Microsoft to publicly join IBM in pushing for this “fix” [sic], which means making Patent Trolls Great Again. Keep an eye on “MicrosoftIP” in Twitter (in the coming days, maybe even as early as tomorrow).

OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, OIN, Patents at 2:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open Invention Network (OIN): the ‘solution’ of companies that love (to exploit) GNU/Linux and also love software patents

Animals

Summary: Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces

THE notion that OIN can “protect” GNU/Linux from software patents may be a convenient one, but OIN never opposed software patents and it rarely offered any substantiative protection. With the USPTO de-emphasising patents on software (in no way owing to OIN) we might find some reprieve. With PTAB eliminating many such patents (already granted by the USPTO) we might feel safer.

“OIN is, in our assessment, somewhat of a distraction.”The latest OIN PR, however, has managed to entice at least a couple of GNU/Linux-centric writers. OIN is, in our assessment, somewhat of a distraction. It’s not at all useful against patent trolls and it never opposes software patents. It’s actually supportive of FOSS and software patents at same time, as contradictory as that concept can be (FOSS and software patents are inherently incompatible). SJVN wrote ‘for’ OIN that “everyone and their uncle — yes, even Microsoft– use Linux and open-source. A decade ago, Linux was under attack by SCO for imaginary copyright violations, and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was claiming that Linux violated more than 200 of Microsoft’s patents. So Open Invention Network (OIN) patent consortium was formed to defend Linux against intellectual property (IP) attacks. The stakes may not be so high today, but Linux and open-source software is still under attack from patent trolls and other attackers. That’s where the Open Invention Network (OIN) steps up by expanding its patent non-aggression coverage through an update to its definition of the Linux System.”

Well, notice that they never even mention GNU. It’s not a coincidence, it’s intentional. They certainly know all about GNU, but the brand “Linux” represents a friendlier (to them) philosophy. Published around the same time by Christine Hall was the following article, suggestive of a media outreach by OIN. It says: [via]

On Thursday, the Linux System got a lot larger. This is good news, and means that anyone using Linux and other other software often used with it, can sleep better nights, knowing that the Open Invention Network (OIN) is now watching their back on the patent front more than ever.

That’s what OIN does. It seeks to protect enterprise Linux and open source users against patent infringement claims, which is seen as open source’s greatest intellectual property vulnerability. It does so primarily with an ever growing portfolio of patents it offers to license free-of-charge to any person or organization that agrees to not enforce its own patents against core components of Linux and other key open source projects, which it calls the “Linux System.” It’s a carrot and stick approach, using a lot of carrot and going easy with the stick.

OIN is well-meaning (in its own mind), but it won’t tackle software patents and patent trolls that use them. As Benjamin Henrion put it, it’s “useless against trolls. But that’s not in the PR.” (press release).

“It claims to be trying to thwart sales of patents that would later be used to sue GNU/Linux vendors, but rarely have we seen a real example of that (they claimed this only once, more than half a decade ago).”We, ourselves, stopped engaging with OIN. It proved to be a waste of time, especially when we spent a long time communicating online with patent trolls who had approached us, then trying to get OIN involved (it was toothless and uninterested).

Right now, just to use a new example, the Microsoft-connected Acacia (Microsoft connections and history of suing GNU/Linux vendors) gets mentioned for former executives netting ZTE patents. “ZTE [is] revealed as vendor of Chinese patents sold to NPE set up by ex-Acacia executives,” says the headline and here is the relevant part from IAM (trolls’ proponent):

Longhorn – founded last year by former Acacia Research executives Christian Dubuc and Khaled Fekih-Romdhane – announced back in February that its Ox Mobile subsidiary had acquired “assets related to 4G/LTE with worldwide coverage, as well as Chinese assets related to smartphone implementation” from an unnamed Chinese company.

What could OIN possibly do here? Nothing. It claims to be trying to thwart sales of patents that would later be used to sue GNU/Linux vendors, but rarely have we seen a real example of that (they claimed this only once, more than half a decade ago). OIN can, at times, look like a placebo. It gives an illusion of safety and thus false comfort.

“It’s the ‘solution’ as envisioned by companies like IBM, which (as we shall show later today) spearhead a big push for software patents everywhere.”To clarify, OIN are not the “bad guys”; far from it…

OIN just isn’t the solution to our problems. It’s the ‘solution’ as envisioned by companies like IBM, which (as we shall show later today) spearhead a big push for software patents everywhere. If OIN took some concrete action, e.g. submitting an amicus brief against software patents or sending a letter against IBM’s latest plot — a ludicrous concept as OIN virtually came from IBM — we would possibly change our minds and reconsider this position.

Having just visited the front page of OIN’s Web site, it now seems abundantly clear that they collaborate with IAM (even pay IAM), proponents of software patents, patent trolls, and patent maximalism. If OIN tries to make itself look even worse, then it’s certainly doing a fine job.

04.11.17

PAX Means Peace, But It’s Making Peace With Software Patents Rather Than Destroy Them

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, OIN, Patents at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Whether it’s called “PAX” or “SuperPAX”, it does not solve the issue but merely exacerbates the patent thicket problem

Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman

Summary: One last take on the whole “PAX” brouhaha, which is far from a solution to problems we’re all facing in the software world

THE announcement of “PAX” made a lot of headlines/press last week, e.g. in the financial press1. Well, Android-centric sites covered that quite a lot and to a lesser degree GNU/Linux-centric sites did too (like SJVN2). We wrote several articles about that, e.g. [1, 2]. We believe that as long as the USPTO grants software patents there is room for things like “PAX”, but they are not a solution to the underlying problem, which is the patents themselves (on software).

“We believe that as long as the USPTO grants software patents there is room for things like “PAX”, but they are not a solution to the underlying problem, which is the patents themselves (on software).”Jeff Roberts‏, a writer whom we respect for his firm grasp of these issues, published the article “Google-Backed Patent Network LOT Adds Cisco, Slack” and separately added: “Patent folks: Google-backed LOT adds Slack & Cisco to its non-aggression pact. (how long till @IBM joins too?)”

Well, IBM has already fed some patents into Android OEMs for defensive purposes (at great cost). It would not be shocking if it joined “PAX” sooner or later, even if it has OIN. Maybe there will even be some bridging between OIN and “PAX”, as one defends GNU/Linux (not just the kernel anymore) and another Android, which uses the Linux kernel and some Free software projects that are covered by OIN.

“Well, IBM has already fed some patents into Android OEMs for defensive purposes (at great cost).”“Collective shields don’t work against trolls,” Benjamin Henrion rightly reminded them. This is why we prefer different approaches. We don’t think that patent pools, even if advertised as “defensive”, will ever lead to eradication of deprecation of software patents.
_______

1 Google Creates Community License to Unify Android Makers (GOOG, MSFT)

Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG) is attempting to create peace in patent litigation.

The Mountain View company launched Android Networked Cross-License or PAX (Latin for Peace), a community license between manufacturers of Android devices that makes their collective patents available to each other minus royalties. “ We call it a community license because all members grant licenses to one another on a royalty-free basis, thereby promoting patent peace within the Android ecosystem,” the company wrote in a blogpost. (See also: Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them).

Signatories to the patent license include prominent makes of Android phones, such as the likes of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (SSNLF) and HTC. Collectively, they hold more than 230,000 patents. According to Google, the agreement “materially reduces patent risk.” In other words, this means that members will not sue each other for using Android-related patents in their devices.

2 PAX: Android patent protection consortium formed

OIN was formed in 2005 when Linux was under legal siege from SCO for imaginary copyright violations and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed Linux violated over 200 Microsoft patents. So, IBM, Sony, Phillips, Red Hat, and Novell formed Open Invention Network (OIN) to defend Linux against IP attacks. Since then, many major companies have joined OIN from both inside the technology business, such as Google and manufacturing companies like Damiler.

04.06.17

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

Posted in Deception, IBM, Patents at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos as lobbyist
Source: David Kappos interview with Intellectual Property Magazine (2010), modified by us

Summary: The ruthless attempts to run over companies that create software and don’t have ~50,000 patents (including software patents) definitely carry on, and this serves to show just how crooked the process of legislation has become, complete with lobbyists, think tanks, and subversive agents of monopoly

EARLIER this year we took note of IBM establishing a sort of "task force" (their word) with IPO, in which IBM took leadership with clearly malicious intent like resurgence of software patents. It was hardly even made secret, they just didn’t advertise this to geeks who are ‘supposed’ to think that IBM is a ‘friend’. It’s an enemy now. For what it’s worth, participating in it were the other ‘usual suspects’.

“Rewriting [Section] 101 in an echo chamber called IPO,” Benjamin Henrion noted yesterday (after we had spotted this too), there was activity in which “no developer involved, only large companies again…”

“It was hardly even made secret, they just didn’t advertise this to geeks who are ‘supposed’ to think that IBM is a ‘friend’.”Watch who’s in there: IBM’s Manny Schecter, David Kappos (worked for IBM and still paid by IBM, with a USPTO period in between and no ‘cool-off’ time), and even Bob Stoll!

MIP wrote about it: “The cover story assesses the chances of a change to the test for patentable subject matter under Section 101 in the US. Calls for changing 101 are increasing. In January, for example, a proposed amendment from the Intellectual Property Owners Association provided one concrete way to do it. We spoke to patent practitioners including IBM’s Manny Schecter, Cravath’s c and Drinker Biddle’s Bob Stoll to assess what impact 101 is having now and what should change.”

“All they care about is money and if they get to shape the law, guess whose money they will pocket or at whose expense they will enrich themselves…”So here they are. A bunch of self-serving, greedy, manipulative lobbyists trying to rewrite the law for personal gain. Where is the outrage? In another post, this one behind a paywall, it says that “The ABA has proposed an amendment to Section 101, which follows an IPO subject matter eligibility proposal in January. The president of AIPLA has told Managing IP his association’s board will likely approve a 101 proposal within the next six weeks”

Well, we must never ever let the American Bar Association (ABA) or AIPLA override or rewrite US patent law. It’s like letting oil companies and their lobbyists write up environmental regulations! All they care about is money and if they get to shape the law, guess whose money they will pocket or at whose expense they will enrich themselves…

03.12.17

IBM is Hoarding a Lot of Software Patents But Disguises Them as ‘Cloud’, ‘AI’, and Other Buzzwords

Posted in IBM, Patents at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if drawing some diagrams of so-called ‘clouds’ renders an old idea suddenly “innovative”

Bird and cloud

Summary: IBM, its disturbing software patents advocacy, and the new wave of bogus software patents, which hop and ride the wave of the latest buzzwords (the generation preceding that was “on a computer” or “over the Internet” patents)

EARLIER this year and last year we took note of IBM’s dubiously large pile of patents. Statistics about these showed that many of these were about “AI” or “cloud” — something along the lines of “on a computer” or “over the Internet”. We remind readers that IBM is one of the, if not the, proponent/s of software patents and eradication of Alice-related tests. IBM even took leadership role in task forces to that effect and it employs David Kappos as a lobbyist, after he worked both for IBM and for the USPTO.

“They are ‘cloudwashing’ (our term) old stuff in an effort to make new software patents seem like they have merit or are novel.”According to this, “analysis from Envision IP which found that IBM had sold more than 15,000 patents since 1991, with Google the biggest customer” [sic] (customer is the wrong term).

We kindly remind readers that IBM patents a lot of dubious things that should never be granted a patent at all. They are ‘cloudwashing’ (our term) old stuff in an effort to make new software patents seem like they have merit or are novel. IBM is also ‘openwashing’ its operations whilst attacking large GNU/Linux users. IBM was one of the earliest allies of GNU/Linux, but that is no longer the case. The company now has a strategic partnership with Apple and many of its ‘contributions’ to Linux seem to be antifeatures like Treacherous Computing. We are therefore saddened to let go of the myth of IBM as protector if not flag bearer of GNU/Linux interests.

Incidentally, about software patents on so-called ‘cloud’ (a nebulous concept) there is this new article which takes note of trolls’ role in it. To quote a couple of portions:

NPEs (Non-Practising Entities) are businesses that assert patents through litigation to achieve revenues from alleged infringers without practising or commercialising the technology covered by the patents they hold. NPEs are uniquely well placed to monetise their patents at each stage of the litigation cycle. They have access to capital and all necessary forensic and legal resources; and an NPE doesn’t practise its patents so is immune to a counterclaim that a defendant might otherwise be able to bring against a competitor, or a cross-licence that the defendant could otherwise offer.

[...]

Although the number of patent litigation cases filed in the USA has declined from a high point of 6,500 in 2013 to 5,600 in 2015, this is still almost double the 3,000 or so launched in 2009, and correlates fairly steadily over the last few years at around 2% of US patents granted.

The above decline is often attributed to AIA and/or Alice. We should add that, based on recent patent filings from IBM, the company is exploiting the AI hype (not a new thing, but the hype is newer), with silly marketing like “Watson”, in order to hoard yet more software patents. There is this new article titled “Of Patents and Artificial Intelligence” and it totally misses the point that patents on AI are typically if not inherently software patents and should thus be denied. Pay attention to who authored the article though; don’t ask lawyers about it. They say what brings them the most income, disregarding actual cases such as Alice.

“They say what brings them the most income, disregarding actual cases such as Alice.”The bottom line is, forget (at least for a moment) about these notorious “on a computer” or “over the Internet” patents and pay attention to the latest wave of “AI” or “cloud” patents, which represent no expansion of innovation but a more creative way to bypass patent restrictions and fool examiners.

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