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07.28.16

EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO management would rather see staff keeping their eyes shut in the face of it

Battistelli eyes shut

Summary: The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers

THE EPO is facing a hard time at ILO right now, having abolished or demolished labour rights. “Better late than never,” goes to saying, even if justice comes many years late and many receive no justice for purely clerical reasons (more than anything else).

Someone who follows the ILOAT judgments has taken a closer look at what goes on there. Having gone through the EPO cases for the last session, that person gave us some statistics about it. Most EPO workers haven’t heard of ILO for months, but a lot is going on there. While people are in holiday…

“Most EPO workers haven’t heard of ILO for months, but a lot is going on there.”“As usual,” we got told, “most of the cases were dismissed on formal grounds. 21 cases, 10 were irretrievable (internal remedies not exhausted, etc). Of the eleven remaining, the EPO basically lost 9.”

That’s more than 80% of all cases lose by EPO!

“Check the cases out,” we were told, “you can Google it, the cases are all public, but I think it is pretty interesting. There is such a long delay to get to the ILOAT that it is only now that the “Battistelli cases” are starting to cone through. And the ILOAT doesn’t seem very impressed.”

“That’s more than 80% of all cases lose by EPO!”Over at IP Kat somebody wrote about a particular case: “The judgment 3694 of the ILO administrative tribunal is very interesting. It confirms that the EPO does not follow the rules of law.”

Here is a response to that:

Interesting indeed, because it confirms that by excluding the two members appointed by the Staff Committee, the Appeal Committee was improperly composed.

Also interesting, the decision of the Tribunal took less than 4 years.

In the meantime, how many decisions have been taken by the Appeal Committee in this faulty composition?

Techrights intends to publish and comment on outcomes of these rulings. This might take a while, but there is no lack of time. As it takes nearly half a decade for outcomes to be reached, a few extra weeks or months aren’t that huge a lag/latency.

In related news, we recently learned about labour abuses at WIPO as well. “While I don’t have time for WIPO stories,” one reader told us, “I know you’ve commented on that crooked organization’s dealings before…”

For those wishing to express solidarity or help WIPO workers (where Mr. Battistelli tried to become head but lost to Mr. Gurry), here are some details about a new WIPO petition titled “Stop union-busting and stop retaliation against whistleblowers at WIPO”. We reproduce the text below for future reference:

In September 2014 the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Francis Gurry, fired WIPO Staff Council President, Moncef Kateb, as he was about to reveal damaging information about fraud, wrongdoing, mismanagement and theft of staff DNA. Now Gurry is trying to close down the Staff Council and replace it with a new compliant, management-friendly model.

Gurry decided to set up his own WIPO Staff Council and is currently preparing illegal elections in order to dislodge the current duly elected Staff Council which is too critical for his liking. This will leave WIPO staff deprived of the last independent voice that is prepared to expose bad practices and abuse of power in this United Nations Specialized Agency.

It is a desperate move by Gurry at a time when attempts are being made to cover up and suppress an investigation report, apparently containing adverse findings on allegations made against him. It follows a public hearing at the US Congress at which he was compared to Sepp Blatter, the former President of FIFA, and a letter from the heads of several bipartisan sub-committees demanding his dismissal.

We need your support.

Please tell Gurry to stop retaliation against whistleblowers and the legally elected Staff Council. Please tell the WIPO Member States to call for Gurry’s resignation. The credibility of the Organization, its Member States and the entire UN system is at stake.

“Staff all over the world are kindly invited to demonstrate their support for the duly elected WIPO Staff Council by electronically signing the petition using the following link,” said a concerned person, possibly a WIPO insider. We already explained some of the similarities between what happens at WIPO and at the EPO. We recently learned from a reliable source that there may also be fraud at the EPO, albeit those who have the evidence are afraid to come out with it (due to fear).

To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

Posted in Asia, Europe, Patents at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not just in terms of human rights, potentially patent quality as well

Erdoğan and EPO
Original photo: Erdoğan, 2012

Summary: Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections

Battistelli is dangerous. He destroys the Office (EPO) having already repelled and driven away a lot of the top talent. There’s no way to attract these workers back and the EPO, based on the hard facts (not Bergot's lies), is unable to attract skilled workers. Maybe that’s what Battistelli wants. A bunch of young workers would be more obedient (also cheaper as per the salaries scale) and they would fail to identify or understand prior art, thus approve a lot more applications erroneously. Battistelli sure doesn’t stand any judges (maybe “penis envy” as per the psychological theory, metaphorically alluding to intelligence), not even the ones who rule against him in high courts at The Hague. Remember who has just suspended literally thousands of judges (among people in other ranks). It was Erdoğan.

“Remember who has just suspended literally thousands of judges (among people in other ranks).”In many ways, Battistelli is not just a French republican (he is a politician) but somewhat of a Maoist Chinese ruler or Sultan like Erdoğan. AMBA, which represents the broads of appeal that Battistelli has been busy attacking lately, issues a statement in the front page of its Web site. The statement (noted in this comment) says: “Much depends on the how the BoAC and the President of the BoA choose to act. This could lead either to an increase in independence, or the opposite. For 40 years, the President of the Office and the Vice President of DG3 have enjoyed broad discretionary powers. The BoAC and the President of the BoA have similar powers, and their decisions could lead to problems similar to those underlying R19/12. The reform, rather than transferring the problem, should rather have set new guarantees in the written text of the law (albeit secondary law).”

Well, since the President of the BoA is elected in part by Battistelli himself, we can safely assume that he or she will either be a Battistelli crony or somewhat afraid enough of Battistelli (no independence) to simply appease Battistelli at every turn. How is that improved independence?

EPLAW, which represents patent law firms, commented on this ‘extrajudicial killing’ of the appeals processes at the EPO (that’s pretty much what the systematic attacks on the boards boil down to), citing AMBA and saying: “Eventually, the perception of independence has turned out to be the guidance for the structural reform, not independence in substance. The EBA’s decision R 19/12 continues to show its consequences.”

“Whatever remains of the EPO after DG3 is priced out of reach and understaffed even further in tiny overcrowded out-of-Munich offices, it will never be the same.”Battistelli is killing one of the cornerstones of the EPO as per the EPC, namely the appeals process. “Killing it softly” as the song goes… and “the trickle approach of undermining DG3 until it becomes untenable,” this one new comment noted. The full comment says: “My sympathies from DG1. Decisions made openly and for a logical reason, however personally painful, can be borne and normally solutions would be sought. In this case , it’s plotting and playing with people’s lives for no clearly stated reason. As you say, it’s the trickle approach of undermining DG3 until it becomes untenable – no replacement of members leads to an inevitable running down of DG3′s effectiveness. A normal consideration, if this were to be inevitable,would be to manage this and to involve staff in preparing both the office and their careers for the future. The current situation could not be further from this. You don’t deserve this. Nobody does. Again, my sympathies.”

Whatever remains of the EPO after DG3 is priced out of reach and understaffed even further in tiny overcrowded out-of-Munich offices, it will never be the same. Talented judges are likely to seek employment elsewhere and this is probably what Battistelli wants. He wants to dim down the lights and make life rather hard so as to induce a ‘natural death’. This is something he has already done to SUEPO (only with limited success because blowback comes from the entire staff).

The EPO now shares more than just disregard for human rights with China. It also adopts the low(er) patent quality which China is notorious for. AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office has just said that “SIPO and the European Patent Office (EPO) decided to renew the MOU on beefing up patent classification cooperation for another 6 years.”

“Turkey is a member of the EPO, don’t forget that, and Battistelli already meets similar types of rulers (if not much worse)…”Oh, look, another MoU. The original page (in English) is dated two weeks ago. Is this something which Battistelli can really brag about? Becoming more like China?

The country is ranked very low (boding poorly) on human rights in many areas and Western think tank (or propaganda mill) “Freedom House rates China as a 6 (the second lowest possible rank) in political freedoms.”

Team Battistelli sent me several legal threats for my reporting, even after I had gotten a high-profile solicitor on my side. Erdoğan would be proud of Battistelli; have they met yet? Turkey is a member of the EPO, don’t forget that, and Battistelli already meets similar types of rulers (if not much worse)…

07.27.16

Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli’s Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Pesky’ quality control cannot coexist with Battistelli and middlemen who are paid to trick examiners

Urgent

Summary: Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli’s sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office

TODAY’S EPO is not the EPO which existed decades ago or even a decade ago (before Battistelli). It is so ruthless an employer that critical thinking is simply disallowed or better kept to oneself (because thoughtcrime is impossible to prove/enforce/incriminate).

One judge who allegedly spoke out (anonymously) was not only ousted but also defamed thereafter (in an effort to rationalise the illegal ousting). Now there is collective punishment for those who defended him or simply insisted on a fair trial, justice, and proper (legally-acquired) evidence, not defamatory-yet-unchallengeable claims. “It is not about taking decisions that make sense,” one person wrote the other day about Battistelli’s methods. “It is about punishing…”

One can soon see the similarities to Turkey.

“I know that the president and his cronies will be furiously spinning the “reforms” as being fully justified.”
      –Anonymous
Earlier today the EPO wrote about a page titled “Boards of appeal and key decisions 2016″. How much more of the boards of appeal would Battistelli allow to exist/vanish? He already punishes them like never before. The boards of appeal are the one thing Battistelli is killing faster than anything else (even SUEPO); it helps him lower patent quality without this decline being measurably noticed in the short term (while his term as President continues). Low occupational capacity means that year-to-year figures would not be comparable, never mind the imminent rise in costs (self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to demand for appeals).

One person wrote to us earlier this week (in relation to the ‘exile’ of the appeal boards) that: “To add insult to injury, the office space available to the Board members and chairmen will be reduced by 36% when moving to Haar (even although office space in Haar is substantially cheaper than in Munich). To put it into perspective: a Board chairman will get less space than an examiner, even although he or she has the same grade as a principal director!”

Another deliberate attack by Battistelli against appeal judges? Incentive to leave/resign/retire? Against those who threaten to show that quality control under his administration has been severely compromised? Battistelli’s “focus upon punishing the Boards of Appeal has led him to a situation that makes no sense,” one person wrote the other day. Here is the full comment:

I know that it is about punishing. That much is blindingly obvious from the plain facts.

The point that I was making is that BB’s [Battistelli] focus upon punishing the Boards of Appeal has led him to a situation that makes no sense from any other perspective.

For example, the Boards have:
been “reformed” in a manner that (according to the perception of many users and AMBA) actually reduces their independence;
been moved, against the express wishes of the users (who argued that physical location had little to do with (the perception of) independence of the Boards); and
had the fees for their services substantially increased, which was directly against the interests of the users and has no objective justification whatsoever (as, for example: there is certainly no shortfall in the EPO’s funding under the current fee structure; and being “subsidised” by renewal fees certainly has no bearing upon independence if the there is no “outside” interference in the setting of the budget of the Boards).

Thus, by any objective measure, BB has failed to achieve his stated objective and has acted against the express wishes of the users. I know that the president and his cronies will be furiously spinning the “reforms” as being fully justified. However, I now wonder whether sanity can be restored by the emergence of a sufficient groundswell of opinion that, contrary to the EPO management’s line, is based upon a credible interpretation of the facts.

“The move may not influence where Oral Proceedings before the BoA will take place,” one person wrote in response. “Does anyone know if just the offices of the BoA members will been moved, or whether also future invitations to Oral Proceedings will be for the “new” building?”

One response to that said: The intention is for oral proceedings also to take place in the Haar building. It is however apparent that only a limited number of o.p. rooms are foreseen, and that it will be necessary to use the same trick which airlines already use, i.e. “overbooking”. If on a particular day all oral proceedings for which summons were issued actually take place and not enough rooms are available, the participants for one or more of those proceedings would be sent home.”

“Battistelli policy is not simple retribution,” said another person. “The aim is to get rid of the board of appeal” (because of the UPC, in our humble assessment). Here is the full comment:

Battistelli policy is not simple retribution. The aim is to get rid of the board of appeal and it is a war of attrition. Let me list the facts:
-the boards have been understaffed for the past 3 years. Members who retired have simply not been replaced, we miss about 30% people.
-as the recent events discussed here show, boards members can be removed from their post at will. They just still get 50% pay till their 5 years contract runs out.
-the new fees make appeal extremely expensive and therefore unattractive.

From talks in the corridors of the Isar building, I would say that most board members recognise the writing on the wall. It is just that they have nowhere to go, they will be prevented to work for 2 years. A large amount of members will simply retire this or next year. What else is there to do? The planned removal to Haar will probably take place with a much smaller DG3.

Furthermore, as the event listed here shows, the Council agrees.

Whatever is happening in Munich right now, it’s not good. Battistelli and his ilk are opportunistically unifying officials around mass shootings today (classic political trick) and this new article shows patent law firms trying to reside in the EPO’s back yard — so to speak — for quicker access if not fast lanes (there are other strategic moves being reported today). “The move aims to strengthen the firm’s European presence and provide a “convenient” meeting place for its clients who appear before the European Patent Office (EPO), which is based in Munich,” says the article. They can even have lunch in some lobby together with examiners, or choose office space in the same building as the judges. And at the same time the boards of appeals are being repelled and pushing out of Munich? Sure, that makes a lot of sense!

Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 6:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The trolls’ best friend, Mr. Gilstrap

Rodney Gilstrap

Summary: A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)

TECHRIGHTS spent a lot of time writing about Microsoft’s hijack of Yahoo. Microsoft took everything it wanted from Yahoo and left a dead company to rot, as usual (that’s Microsoft’s modus operandi as one can see in Corel, Novell, Nokia et cetera).

Now that Yahoo is sold (and journalists don’t bother mentioning how Microsoft killed Yahoo) the think tank which is IAM says: “While that deal will involve the bulk of Yahoo!’s traditional business, it does not involve the Excalibur patent portfolio, a stockpile of around 2,700 assets that the company has spun out into a separate vehicle to be sold separately.”

“Microsoft took everything it wanted from Yahoo and left a dead company to rot, as usual (that’s Microsoft’s modus operandi as one can see in Corel, Novell, Nokia et cetera).”We always sensed the danger that Yahoo would give its software patents to some hostile entity or a Microsoft-made entity like CPTN. Yahoo has a lot of software patents, but they’re quite worthless after Alice and some are nearing their expiry. The good news is, one single decision at the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) had supreme impact and this lowers the risk to software developers everywhere in the world (if they trade within the US or export to the US).

A lot of patent lawyers/attorneys keep pondering/assessing tricks for portraying software patents as non-abstract (even though they always are), in light of Alice whose impact was incredibly profound.

As expected all along, Bascom is exploited by software patents proponents including Watchtroll’s site (patent attorney John M. Rogitz in this case). He says that the case of “DDR begins with Mayo step 1 analysis without definitively declaring whether the claims are or are not abstract. Instead, the opinion observes what the claims are not: they are not a mathematical algorithm or a fundamental economic or longstanding commercial practice, but instead address a business challenge (retaining website visitors), a challenge particular to the Internet. Instead of declaring this not to be “abstract”, however, Judge Chen simply points out that identifying the precise nature of the abstract idea is not as straightforward as in Alice given the various varying formulations of the underlying abstract idea presented by the infringer and by the dissent.”

Unless Judge Chen actually wrote a computer program, it is likely that understanding of abstractness of algorithms would be deficient. Watch the very latest pro-software patents lobbying/promotion from Shelston IP [1, 2]. They’re preying on ignorance and looking for exceptional court decisions not only to preserve software patents in the US/Australia but also bring them elsewhere (like Australia’s neighbours and in particular a defiant New Zealand).

“Unless Judge Chen actually wrote a computer program, it is likely that understanding of abstractness of algorithms would be deficient.”Speaking of judges, Rodney Gilstrap is a villain, not a judge (recall his track record in East Texas [1, 2, 3, 4]). He deals with an enormous number of troll cases where software patents are treated favourably and practicing businesses are forced to pay parasitic trolls. As it turns out, he also publishes documents in Microsoft Word format (maybe a clerical error). He is publishing in formats that only Microsoft customers can properly access, much like the EPO (see today’s tweet which mostly matters to people who are using Microsoft Windows, not anything else).

“Section 101 is a powerful tool for patent defendants, if they can get heard,” Joe Mullin says in his summary and here is the beginning of the article “East Texas judge backs off restrictive “abstract” patent motion rules”:

US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas hears more patent cases than any other federal judge. Last year, he installed a set of controversial rules for those cases, leading to rare public criticism. Changes to Gilstrap’s order (Word file), dated last week, suggest some of those rules have been withdrawn.

Section 101 of the US patent laws is what the Supreme Court has deemed bans overly abstract patents. Since the high court decided Alice v. CLS Bank in 2014, Section 101 has become more important, since courts have been reading it as banning many software patents that recite basic processes.

Last year, the patent rules for Gilstrap’s court held that defendants seeking to file a motion under Section 101 “may do so only upon a grant of leave from the Court after a showing of good cause, which shall be presented through the letter briefing process.”

Gilstrap is out of control. More people need to speak about it. CAFC too had such a judge, but he was ejected for misconduct.

Patent trolls are going after small companies if they don’t wish the claims to be challenged or for trials to be concluded. It’s a rogue system, so in addition to ending sofwtare patents it would be useful to prevent venue shifting to Rodney Gilstrap with his bogus Texan ‘court’ (whose district openly advertises itself as being friendly towards trolls). What a mess of a system! This needs to be tackled immediately.

“There`s no present. There`s only the immediate future and the recent past.”

George Carlin

CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PTAB

Summary: A look at how the AIA’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts

PATENT QUALITY at the USPTO seems to be improving as more courts rule against patents, PTAB challenges the USPTO’s examiners, and even examiners are growingly worried because of those first two group (courts and PTAB), so they are cautious in granting patents, thus rejecting more of them, especially when these are abstract.

Michael Loney, writing for MIP from New York, says that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), originator of software patents, has just “ruled that the burden of proof does not shift to the patent owner on institution of an inter partes review (IPR) trial, in In re Magnum Tools International. It reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)’s determination that the challenged claims were invalid for obviousness.”

“This means that, regardless of CAFC’s notorious past, it has become somewhat of a solution to the software patents epidemic.”One may be tempted to say that this is just typical of CAFC, but actually, judging by the numbers, CAFC very often rules against software patents these days. Hugo Roy from the Free Software Foundation Europe has just “updated https://hroy.eu/posts/patentFacts/ … listing some interesting facts about #patents. (Check the invalidation rate in the US! 91%)”

The 91% figure refers to CAFC and here is the relevant part from the updated page: “In the US, patents challenged on the basis of the US Supreme Court Alice v. CLS Bank decision are invalidated by Federal Circuit courts in 91.9% of cases (66.5% for all courts).”

This means that, regardless of CAFC’s notorious past, it has become somewhat of a solution to the software patents epidemic. It has no choice after Alice at a superior level (SCOTUS). In another article, one which Michael Loney found and shared, an inter partes review (the way PTAB slays software patents) is mentioned as follows: “On July 25, 2016, Unified Patents Inc. filed a petition for inter partes review of all claims 1-15 of U.S. Patent 6,415,207. In IPR2016-01465, Unified challenged a patent directed to automated tracking, one that Shipping and Transit has asserted against more than 90 small businesses.”

It’s no coincidence that small businesses are targeted; small businesses cannot afford or don’t have the incentive to take this to court. Imagine what UPC would do to European SMEs if it ever became a reality. This would help patent trolls at the expense of small businesses (in particular the smallest ones).

Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No scientists wanted or needed in Team Battistelli

MoU signed by Bergot

Summary: The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn’t treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties

THE EPO never ceases to amaze. What the USPTO stopped being (or is trying hard to put an end to) the EPO is now trying to become. Quality of patents is treated as a ‘nuisance’ because backlog, which means pendency, isn’t tolerated by people in suits who never earned a scientific degree and cannot grasp the complexity of peer review, literature surveys, etc.

Judging by today’s tweet which links to this tripe from Benoît Battistelli (warning: the EPO may be able to track click-through sources), patent quality is being increasingly disregarded/discarded. In relation to ECfS, which we mentioned here before (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), Battistelli says the “EPO has addressed this issue effectively through the implementation of “Early Certainty from Search” (ECfS),” having also stated (correctly) that the “EPO has built its reputation upon quality.” For those who don’t know how ECfS works, see our prior posts. Battistelli destroys that great reputation of the EPO not just by mocking justice, labour rights, human rights, the European courts etc. but also by ending the very essence of the patent office. “Since July 2014,” he says (that’s when we started reporting on many EPO scandals), we are supposed to think his office “aims to provide a high quality search report with a preliminary opinion on patentability within six months of filing.”

“These incompetent managers have no grip on reality, they have no scientific background (watch who was put in charge of hiring scientists in Human Resources and how she lies to staff), and they are basically self-serving amateurs who are treating professors and judges like kids in need of discipline so as to compensate for their own insecurities.”Working based on self-imposed or top-down deadlines alone (we leaked some E-mails about it last year) is not wise. It encourages sloppy work. Having peer-reviewed papers for international journals since my twenties, I know how unreasonable this demand can be when thousands of patent applications come through the door and one needs to cooperate with other examiners (or reviewers). For good (high-impact) international journals it can take up to half a decade for a single paper to get accepted. Battistelli clearly does not understand any of this. Unlike previous EPO Presidents, he’s no scientist, he’s just a politician with ENA ‘education’. He habitually fabricates ‘studies’ (which he pays for!), just like anti-scientific lobbies and think tanks.

Unless Battistelli gets fired (or resigns), he will leave nothing of the EPO (devalue existing patents and erroneously grant future ones). This promises to damage the whole of Europe as a result. But does he care? He would be retired (if not dead) by then. He wants a hero’s welcome in his lobbying festival (one is being organised at the EPO's expense for next year and is mentioned every day by the EPO in Twitter). He won’t be around to see something hitting the fan, will he? It’s like Republican politicians who leave a mess behind themselves (like a nation in tatters, e.g. Iraq), in order for another party and another Presidential term to have to cope with.

Longtime (senior) staff of the EPO is not dangerous. It’s Battistelli and his ilk who are dangerous because they threaten to put the entire Office (and Organisation) out of business. Senior examiners who already retired and/or left care because they have their pensions and old comrades at stake. They don’t like what they see in Team Battistelli. These incompetent managers have no grip on reality, they have no scientific background (watch who was put in charge of hiring scientists in Human Resources and how she lies to staff), and they are basically self-serving amateurs who are treating professors and judges like kids in need of discipline so as to compensate for their own insecurities.

OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, OIN, Patents at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A better initiative would strive and work towards ending software patents, not faith-based ‘protection’

“Where knowledge ends, religion begins.”

Benjamin Disraeli

Summary: The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software

THE function of OIN seems benign if not benevolent on the surface; the problem is, it helps distract from better efforts that would more effectively defend Free/Open Source software (FOSS). Another not-so-useful initiative was Peer-to-Patent, but it seems to be gone by now.

OIN is growing (see the OIN ‘Community’) and MRV has just joined OIN (see the press release [1, 2], mostly or completely overlooked by reporters). This is a sign of growth, but it is growth which won't help FOSS all that much because it was never truly designed with FOSS in mind. The “Open Source Innovation” mentioned in the title of the press release wrongly assumes this will be beneficial to FOSS, but unless every company in the world joined and vowed not to sue any of the other members (like Oracle suing Google), what would it achieve? And what about lawsuits by proxy? Even if Microsoft was ever to join, its patent trolls (two of which we wrote about last night) would still be capable of suing Linux developers/companies.

Speaking of which, even Android players are a patent menace at times (e.g. Sony). A new and relatively long article by Professor Jason Rantanen speaks about Ericsson’s patent troll, Unwired Planet, and its case against Apple. “This post will focus on the issue of fault in the context of Unwired Planet,” he wrote upfront, “although its observations about fault are relevant to issues of culpability in the context of enhanced damages determinations.”

Even if Ericsson was ever to join OIN, this would not prevent it from suing Android OEMs, directly or via proxies like Unwired Planet (which even operates in Europe now).

07.26.16

The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft’s Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

Posted in America, Microsoft, Patents at 5:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft has swallowed everything it could from within Yahoo!

“Bartz says search engine Bing unlikely to make significant mark”

MarketWatch (June 2009)

Summary: A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers

QUINN (Watchtroll), who does not know how software works, is actually one of the most vocal proponents of software patents out there. He can also be quite rude when he doesn't get his way. Watch how Watchtroll bemoans being rejected over a bogus software patent application, then calling the process “bogus” (blaming/hating the game, not the player). Benjamin Henrion politely asked him: “Which part of abstract you don’t understand?”

As we have been showing here since 2014, Alice is having a profound effect on software patenting in the US and this new blog post looks into how Alice eliminates software patents (or does not). As one might expect, the legal profession only focuses on the rare cases where software patents somehow survive scrutiny (they hope to replicate the outcome).

“There is so much at stake here (billions if not a trillion dollars across all companies).”Curiously enough — albeit not too shockingly — since Monday morning we have been seeing a lot of articles about the sale of Yahoo! (there were rumours about it over the weekend). Journalists are rewriting the recent history of Yahoo! and omitting the role of Microsoft in killing Yahoo. A few months ago people noted that Alice would significantly reduce the value of Yahoo, but what about the damage caused by Microsoft, reducing the bidding price for the company by almost 90%? This new article titled “Yahoo, Verizon Deal Clears Way for Patent Sale” says that “Yahoo’s sale of its core internet business to Verizon on Monday opens the door for the company’s next major step — the sale of more than 3,000 granted and pending patents covering e-commerce, search and other components of the modern web.”

It also noted that Alice “resulted in many software patents being thrown out. Many top tech firms also already have cross-licensing deals with Yahoo, so a firm purchasing the patents would face barriers to monetizing them.”

One has to wonder how much of their value companies like IBM and Microsoft lost after Alice. There is so much at stake here (billions if not a trillion dollars across all companies). The bubble has burst.

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