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08.04.15

‘Sanader’s Protégé’ Željko Topić Slammed by Press in His Home Country

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ivo Sanader
Ivo Sanader, “convicted felon who served as Prime Minister of Croatia,” based on Wikipedia
Photo licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Summary: The mischiefs of Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić still not forgotten while temporary calm prevails at the EPO

Sanader is in prison, but Topić is not. Actually, Topić now receives an astronomically-high salary from European taxpayers. He escaped his country where he faces many criminal charges to reach a high office in a cosmopolitan area, just like other minions whom he is professionally close to or tightly connected to [1, 2, 3, 4].

The EPO remains somewhat of a laughing stock not just because of Topić but also his boss, Battistelli, who flagrantly and shamelessly ignores the law, insisting that he is exempt from the rules accompanying basic European laws. It’s utter disregard for every member state, not just the Dutch. Since a lot of EPO staff are currently on holiday, we may not be hearing so much about the EPO these days, but nothing has changed for the better.

Today we present two English translations of articles that were published in the Croatian press on the 30th of June. “The content of both articles is much the same,” told us a source who offered translations, “and they both refer to the Council of Europe declaration launched by Pierre Yves Le Borgn’.” We covered this a month ago.

Here is the first translation. The original article is at tjedno.hr.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL LAUNCHES DECLARATION CONCERNING THE EPO

June 30, 2015

On the initiative of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French representative to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, two SDP Members of the Croatian Parliament, Melita Mulić and Gvozden Flego, took part in the launch of a declaration dealing with the recent scandalous events at the European Patent Office (EPO). Apart from them, the text of the declaration was signed by 82 other parliamentarians, including four out of five of the leaders of the main political groupings in the Assembly. One of the signatories of the declaration is Mr. Josip Juratovic, a Member of the German Parliament [born in Croatia].

We remind our readers that on 17th February 2015, the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled against the European Patent Office (EPO), claiming that its internal dispute resolution system led to the violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter. The Court also stated that the EPO cannot invoke its immunity in such a manner that an international organization becomes a place with fewer rights, protected by its so-called immunity from jurisdiction.

The persons who are at the centre of this political and economic scandal which has been one of the main subjects of attention of the European media in recent months, are the President of the EPO, the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man, Mr. Željko Topić, the former director of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia.

The aforementioned declaration invites all 38 member states of the EPO which are also members of the Council of Europe to act to resolve this legal deadlock, and it also invites the EPO management to comply with the decision of the Hague Court of Appeal.

Another article can be found at dnevno.hr. The headline is “Sanaderov kadar u središtu europskog skandala!” which translates to “Sanader’s protégé at the centre of a European scandal!”

COUNCIL OF EUROPE REQUESTS THE ADOPTION OF A DECLARATION ON THE EPO

Sanader’s protégé at the centre of a European scandal!

Author: D. Boroš
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The actors at the centre of the political, economic, and media scandal which is among the main topics of newspapers throughout Europe in recent months, are the President of the EPO, the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man, Mr. Željko Topić, the former director of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia.

Members of the Croatian Parliament form the SDP, Melita Mulić and Gvozden Flego, on the initiative of Pierre-Yves Le Borgne, the French representative to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, participated in the launch of a declaration concerning the recent scandalous events at the European Patent Office (EPO).

In addition to them, the text of the declaration was signed by 82 other parliamentarians, including four out of five leaders of the main political groups of the Assembly. One of the signatories of the declaration is Mr. Josip Juratovic, a [Croatian-born] member of the German Parliament.

We remind our readers that on 17th February 2015 the Court of Appeal in The Hague pronounced judgment against the EPO, claiming that its internal dispute resolution system led to the violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter.

The Court also stated that the EPO cannot invoke its immunity in such a manner that an international organization becomes a place with fewer rights, protected by its so- called immunity from execution.

Connected to this, the actors who found themselves in the middle of this political and economic, and also media scandal which is one of the main stories in newspapers throughout Europe in recent months, are the President of the EPO, Frenchman Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man, Mr. Željko Topić, the former director of the Croatian SIPO.

The aforementioned declaration invites all 38 member states of the EPO which are also members of the Council of Europe, to bring this legal impasse to an end, and it invites the EPO management to comply with the judgment of the Hague Court of Appeal.

A lot of action is likely to resume at the end of this summer. No issue, no scandal, and no instance of corruption has been addressed yet. Nobody at the very top has resigned (or got fired) for quite some time although it’s well overdue. A lot of European politicians are now involved. Even Croatian politicians are upset at the EPO.

08.03.15

The World is Changing and Patent Law Can Change Either for Better or for Worse

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Recent secret dealings (which are being exposed to the public owing to whistle-blowers) show the degree of coordination and collusion against public interests; it’s up to us, the majority, to fight back and tackle this injustice

THE world’s disparate legal systems are under attack from so-called ‘trade’ deals and their dirty dealers. We hardly ever cover this subject (except in daily links), but almost everyone knows the impact of these, owing in part to leaks and public demonstrations which raise awareness. One goal is globalisation (in the negative sense) and a method that is trending these days is ‘harminisation’ of laws across nations and continents, almost always in a way that makes them more corporations-leaning and plutocrats-friendly. It’s not surprising considering who works on these deals in secret. These conspirators are bypassing democracy because they want more for themselves and less for the rest of us. It has a lot to do with patents, which are codified into law to legalise monopolisation, i.e. marginalisation of challenge or competition (even from government, as ISDS comes to demonstrate).

Last week we wrote about what was happening in New Zealand. The so-called ‘trade’ deals can potentially bring software patents to New Zealand. Here is how one news site from New Zealand put it some days ago: “The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry won’t say whether New Zealand’s laws on software patents will need to be overhauled if agreement is reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Parliament passed a law that outlawed software patents “as such” in 2013. The wording of the law change was a compromise that resulted from years of tortuous debate.

“Trade magazine CIO reported that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaks suggested Mexico was now the only country against allowing software to be patented.

“The important point here is that some companies are starting to distance themselves from the EPO and USPTO.”Here in Europe we already have some loopholes similar to those which exist in New Zealand. These enable some companies to patent software (as long as it’s bound to some unspecified “device”). Europe has the Boards of Appeal (BoA) mechanism for independent/external assessment — not oversight — of the EPO and it too is being crushed right now (recall the BoA’s role in defending against software patents half a decade ago). The BoA is clearly under attack right now, as stories we covered served to show. It wants public input to help save it from the ruthless EPO, which hates to share any of its governance. The European Patent Office is now a totalitarian entity right at the heart of Europe. It must be stopped.

A biased site which targets patent lawyers spoke of an interesting trend the other day, published under the headline “The companies that abandon most US and EPO patents – and shoulder much responsibility for raising quality” (the latter part is spin).

The important point here is that some companies are starting to distance themselves from the EPO and USPTO. Corporate culture may be evolving for the better. “In the latest issue of IAM magazine,” says the author, “Matthew Beers and Maria Lazarova of Ocean Tomo take a deep-dive look at patent abandonments data from both the USPTO and EPO. The full article contains a wealth of interesting data but, for the purposes of this blog we’ll take a sneak peek at the findings relating to IP owners and which of them abandon the most patents at both agencies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, about half of the top 50 companies by abandonment volume are also in the top 50 by number of applications filed. What’s more, of the top 50 companies by abandonment volume over the period examined by Beers’ and Lazarova’s analysis, well over two-thirds appear among the top abandoners at both the USPTO and the EPO.”

This is bad news for patent lawyers. Over in the US, which expands the USPTO to Silicon Valley (as planned), it is said that there is now “New Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility”. “On July 30,” writes a site of patent lawyers, “the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a set of documents providing examiners and practitioners with additional guidance on patent subject matter eligibility. The July 2015 Update responds to comments received from the public following the USPTO’s issuance of the 2014 Interim Guidance (2014 IEG) on December 26, 2014.”

It sure looks like they are limiting patent scope. The assignment of patents on software really must stop, at the very least because judges deem these patents patent-ineligible, based on the law (they are not patent examiners, but they know the limits of the law and can enforce the law by exercising their duty).

Just the other day we learned that a famed BitTorrent entrepreneur managed to get a patent on P2P live streaming. TorrentFreak said this “may be the start of a new breakthrough,” but we hardly feel excited by the passage of yet another patent on software. This really ought to stop and a good start would be scrutiny of the ‘trade’ deals, those who facilitate them, the USPTO, the EPO, and politicians who push for the UPC (essentially another so-called ‘harmonisation’ of law and courts framework). There are many powerful and selfish forces looking to gain power and money at the expense of everybody else, especially scientists. As we are by far the majority, we can repeatedly beat those relentless forces. From awareness comes anger and when the majority is angry the evil forces become fearful and often retreat (see ACTA).

The Latest on Patent ‘Reform’ in the US: GOP Media Deception, Healthwashing Patents, and SIIA Lobbying

Posted in Patents at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s all about might and power (rich people can buy law), not objective assessment of public interests

Semi trailer

Summary: Techrights looks at the more prominent actors driving patent policy in the US, with budget to absorb and agenda to lobby for

THE efforts to make a ‘reform’ happen in the US patent system have not been receiving much media coverage, not in the past week anyway. As we have pointed out before, such efforts mostly or only target patent trolls anyway, so they are incomplete. “Give existing reforms a chance to kill patent trolls,” said this article from last week (the headline speaks only about patent trolls). “Over 8 million patents later,” the author said, “we’ve moved from fertilizer to a revolution in genetics and digital technologies. Thousands of patents have issued on computer software and methods of doing business.” Well, so patent scope is certainly a problem, why focus just on trolls?

“Patent Reform Is Not a Left Wing Thing,” said the Independent blog a week ago while GOP-leaning media is still fighting against patent reform. Here is a notable right-wing site attacking the Innovation Act by stating: “Congressman Goodlatte’s Innovation Act (H.R. 9) is too broadly written and will penalize numerous inventors and companies who develop and commercialize patented innovation. Further, it is based on flawed and unreliable data about “patent trolls.” Rather than rushing to pass this legislation, we should slow down and ask more questions. Only by asking questions will we understand the potential downfalls, unintended consequences, and effects on all stakeholders of the innovation economy.”

The corporate media took a stance similar to that of the GOP. “We Must Not Weaken the Patent Laws that Lead to Cures” was the headline in NewsWeek and Wall Street media uses the ‘health’ card too (painting patents as “healthy” or “life-saving”). To quote: “In 2012, CardioNet, a BioTelemetry subsidiary, filed suit against MedTel24, Inc. and other Companies in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for patent infringement. CardioNet sought an injunction against each defendant, as well as monetary damages. The defendants asserted counterclaims alleging the patents in the suit were invalid and not infringed.”

Andrew Chung, over at Reuters, wrote about UnitedHealth getting sued on antitrust claims. It’s about patents and more specifically misuse of patents to actually harm lives and damage health. To quote Chung: “Nearly four months after a California healthcare software company won a patent infringement verdict against UnitedHealth Group, it filed a new lawsuit alleging the insurance giant obtained its patents fraudulently and violated federal antitrust laws” (not a unique situation).

Over at lobbyists’ media and sites that repost articles (not really news sites), the SIIA (lobby which we wrote about before [1, 2, 3, 4]) pushes to crack down on trolls. The writer describes himself as “vice president for public policy at the Software & Information Industry Association, the principal association for the software and digital content industries, and a leading authority on U.S. tech policy.”

Looking at the SIIA’s Web site and recalling what we wrote about it over the years, it can do both good and evil because some of the time it lobbies for interests of its proprietary software component (members).

In summary, the debate over ‘reform’ continues in the media, but it is dominated not by scientists but politicians and other lawyers, including lobbyists. Conveniently they use the “health” metaphors to give the illusion that lives are at stake. It’s that infamous “do X or many people ARE GOING TO DIE” trickery.

Newegg Uses Its Fight Against Patent Trolls for Marketing

Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 6:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Newegg
Phoro credit: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

Summary: Comments on Newegg’s fight against patent trolls in court, setting an example for other companies

Newegg, founded by a Taiwanese man just 14 years ago, has been an important player in the fight against patent trolls that take companies to court because it has no tolerance towards such lawsuits and it is willing to lose money in the courtroom rather than pay up (it usually costs less to make the trolls go away with extortion money). “Newegg is famous for fighting patent trolls,” wrote a trolls expert the other day, “and the company is currently trying to win fees from several cases where it has won or the troll has given up.”

A week ago Newegg got some positive covers for winning an important battle. Newegg then used this fightback against patent trolls for PR [1, 2]. “Again,” wrote our reader iophk about this original blog post, “a distraction away from sw patents themselves.”

It is true that software patents are the real issue for us, but it doesn’t mean that Newegg tackling one patent at the time for defensive purposes is a bad thing. If only every company did that…

07.30.15

People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

Posted in Australia, Law, Patents at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporations rely on people remaining ignorant, apathetic and docile like sheep

Sheep

Summary: The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process

MUCH of the software patents debate in New Zealand happened 2 years ago and about 5 years ago. We also wrote about it the other day, having noticed revisionism in the media.

Well, software patents are now being pushed from the back door (bypassing public debate), as today’s ZDNet article serves to remind us:

Negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement appear likely to undo New Zealand’s ban on software patents.

[...]

The president of the New Zealand Open Source Society is “livid” that New Zealand’s Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiating team appears to have already conceded the country’s newly-minted ban on software patents.

[...]

Lane said leaks of the negotiating position show that at one point only Mexico was holding the line on software patents and New Zealand appeared to have already conceded.

The implication is New Zealand’s new software patent law, passed just two years ago, will need to be reversed if the TPPA is inked.

“I think it would be fair to say that I haven’t seen any indication that there is anything positive for New Zealand in this at all,” Lane said. “The only motivation that I’ve been able to discern for taking part in the process is the somewhat dogmatic idea that if we are not part of this then we are going to miss out on something.”

It is clear that corporations and plutocrats always get what they want unless people fight back. We encourage people in New Zealand, not just software developers, to rise up and resist this injustice. It’s a nonviolent coup attempt.

07.28.15

MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

Posted in Patents at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH

THERE ARE many reasons to be concerned about the Apple- and Microsoft-backed patent troll known as MPEG-LA. In the fight against peace and justice, there are various strategies which maximise collateral damage (usually harming the majority of people for the benefit or profit of war-loving monopolies). Some are rooting for DAESH, but MPEG-LA is now rooting for something called “DASH”, only a week after the HEVC Advance press release and news coverage (very similar to MPEG-LA).

Here is the press release, a puff piece titled “MPEG LA issues call for DASH technology patents”, and another early article that says: “Just when Media Source Extensions and Encrypted Media Extensions are making HTML5-based video playback a reality, DASH royalties threaten to derail it.” (the headline says “An Unhappy Surprise: MPEG LA Is Forming a Patent Pool for DASH”)

We are definitely going to hear more about it in days, weeks, months and perhaps years to come. It’s an assault on everyone; it’s a cartel that strives to tax everyone. This is also an assault on Google with WebM, not just Free software codecs such as the Ogg family. Google has had no effective response to it so far (trying to appease MPEG-LA by paying or cooperating, just like Mozilla, makes the problem worse), other than improving prior art search and relying on publicity stunts, claiming to be giving some patents away to fight trolls (MPEG-LA is technically a troll, one that is backed and funded by Apple and Microsoft, among other giants).

We have finally found one good article about Google’s publicity stunt. It is a new article by Jeff John Roberts, published yesterday to say: “The other big reason the Google giveaway won’t mean much for startups is that those patents – or any other patents – won’t stop the trolls. That’s because patent trolls, unlike productive companies, are just shells without real assets or business operations, meaning they’re not vulnerable to counterclaims in a patent case. As it stands, for now, the trolls will continue to plague startups and big companies alike unless Congress musters the will to pass proposed laws to undercut their business model.”

A publicity stunt is all that is, just like IBM et al. with OIN, which cannot combat patent trolls at all. Today we learn that DataCentred joins OIN. The media calls it “open source alliance” even though it is little or nothing to do with Open Source, except perhaps the covered software. The British media says that DataCentred “joins the Open Invention Network to protect Linux users against software patent aggression.

“DataCentred has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) to leverage the use of open source and protect users of the Linux OS against software patent aggression.”

What has OIN ever done to protect GNU/Linux? There are hardly even any examples of deterrence. OIN may be good for IBM, but what about Free software developers who have no patents and can hardly join the OIN at any meaningful level of capacity?

Big companies like IBM — much like patent trolls — are not vulnerable to patent counterclaims, let alone claims. If you are a small software company, IBM will find something on you and be able to drive you out of business using legal fees. The same goes for Microsoft.

The very idea that patents can help protect the ‘little guy’ (or girl) is ludicrous. Vast software patent troves make everything potentially (and likely) infringing, so everyone is rendered vulnerable. The frantic rush to stop patent trolls rather some particular kinds of patents is due to them being a ‘hack’. When fighting against patent trolls, software giants like IBM or Microsoft cannot make counterclaims. Large patent aggressors (like trolls, but with known brand) such as Apple, IBM, HP and Microsoft hate trolls because they’re essentially a loophole. But they are happy to create or feed their own (loyal) trolls such as MOSAID, CPTN, Intellectual Ventures, and even MPEG-LA. Lobbyists in the US push hard for ‘reform’ only when it comes to patent trolls simply because that’s what mega-corporations want. There is a besieged government, which in turn becomes a government of occupation (against the people), where patents are just a corporate tool.

New Zealand’s Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

Posted in Australia, Patents at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand

HALF a decade ago we wrote a great deal about the patents debate in New Zealand because there was serious risk of software patents invading another country. Being a Five Eyes country, if it happens in New Zealand, then it can be further expanded to Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada, just like many oppressive laws, especially in recent years (because “terrorism!” or “ISIS!” or something like that). Colonial/imperialist legacy has plenty to teach us about manufacturing and exploitation of public panic to sway public opinion and thereafter change laws.

A new article from the press in New Zealand points out the relationship between lobbying for software patents and so-called ‘trade’ deals (protectionism for multinationals). Paul Brislen is quoted sparingly and it says the following: “The negotiations had been conducted in secret and the New Zealand IT industry was concerned.”

Yes, same thing happened when it came to software patents. Large corporations such as Microsoft and IBM lobbied in secret.

Another quote: “One of the biggest issues for New Zealand was the country’s patent law and the issues for copyright.”

Copyright is an interesting one. As we now know, based on the Kim Dotcom case in New Zealand, the US Department of Justice and the FBI now apparently reign over New Zealand.

Another quote: “Parliament passed a new law about two years ago because the previous patent legislation did not cover software and IP, Mr Brislen said.”

Plutocrats and their corporations never rest until they get what they want. It can be a constant battle for power.

Another quote: “The legislation was held up for a long time while the Government debated how to respond to lobbying to introduce a law which would devalue patents.”

Patents needn’t be “devalued”, many need to be abolished, especially software patents.

Last quote: “The industry lobbied the Government to say software should not be subject to a patent.”

Well, that’s what companies from New Zealand said, but not foreign companies like Microsoft and IBM, which also used their lawyers in New Zealand to pressure the government,

Don’t let the media (especially in New Zealand) rewrite history. Software developers from New Zealand did a fine job mostly (not entirely because a loophole was left in tact, just like in Europe) defending themselves from patent aggressors and software monopolists from abroad. The article has flaws in it, but at least it recalls a big and important battle over software patents — one that Europe and the US hardly even have anymore. All that the press talks about right now is “trolls”.

07.27.15

Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

Posted in Patents at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look at some of last week’s patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)

AFTER many years of bitterness (over loss of focus in the media) we may finally write more about patents and will occasionally return to our old “Patents Roundup” series. The goal is to debate not “trolls” but the real issues with the patent system — issues that are much broader than patent trolls.

Technicolor

“​Cisco sheds its set-top box business to Technicolor for $600m,” according to this new article. “Additionally,” wrote the author, “the pair have signed a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement though neither company has said which patents are involved.”

This is what’s known as a “thicket” and it helps remove competition from the market unless it is very well funded. By buying this business (Technicolor will have it all) and having just got these patents, Technicolor can now exercise yet more control, using patents, over its competition.

Alice/Section 101

Patent lawyers who persistently and openly promote software patents are clearly nervous about Alice/Section 101 because it kills software patents almost all the time (in high-profile cases). Watch this latest ‘damage control’ from IP Watchdog. It’s quite funny to watch actually.

After the ruling in the Alice case, what kind of software developer still tries to patent software? The billionaires’ fan press, Forbes, presents this story titled “The Nuts And Bolts Of Scaling A Company”. In it there’s propaganda: “Of course, now that the software is developed, she has filed patents.”

Yes. “Of course”. That’s what everyone should do, based on billionaires’ media. She decided to waste time and money because lawyers bamboozled her. Maybe the likes of Forbes (personification of people like Donald Trump) also bamboozled her. See [1] below. The Rupert Murdoch-owned WSJ is now comparing “Government-Enforced Monopolies” (patents) to ‘Free Market’. These super-rich people have no sense of shame, have they? To them, class war (looting by the oligarchs/plutocrats) is ‘Free Market’.

Anyone who still tries to patent software in the US clearly paid no attention to Alice and the subsequent rulings. Patent valuation for such patents sank, as even proponents of software patents (patent lawyers) care to admit. The only people to profit from such nonsense are lawyers.

Voip-Pal Patenting VOIP

According to this news, Voip-Pal.com Inc. is now busy patenting software, even where software is not patentable. “They controlled nodes in Canada, London and Denmark,” says the article, “used to prove the validity of their concept which was later patented.”

Why patent it? What’s the point? Is it even legal to patent software where they operate?

Fitbit

We recently wrote about Fitbit coming under a barrage of lawsuits. Well, Fitbit itself is hoarding a growing number of so-called ‘wearable’ patents. An article about this, which uses the “intellectual property rights” propaganda term in the headline, was published the other day. “But not everything “clever” can be patented,” it noted. Well it can, in the US, even when it’s not clever. Ask Sun’s engineers. They openly mocked the system for accepting just about every patent application and granting patents for about 92% of them, according to more recent statistics.

Another new article about Fitbit says: “According to Park, the secret to its success has been the combination of hardware and software, as well as distribution” (not patents).

If that is the case, then how come Fitbit continues to hoard patents? It arguably needs these for defence from sharks and aggressors such as Jawbone. In a perfect world, no such patents would be granted in the first place.

Scott Walker and Patent Lies

Scott Walker is a horrible — if not corrupt — politician. He gained notoriety in recent years (we have mentioned him almost a hundred times in our daily links) and this new article about him says:

Green Box said it held seven patents, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office lists no patents granted or assigned to Van Den Heuvel or the company.

As is often the case when it comes to Scott Walker, lies are the ‘norm’.

Marijuana Patents

Medical-marijuana patents may soon be granted because, according to this report, a company “filed two provisional U.S. patent applications for cannabis extracts” (so basically patents on banned drugs).

Nasty JDate

JDate, based on [2-5], is now misusing software patents to attack the competition, hoping to drive it out of business. Remind us again how software patents supposedly promote innovation? There is also some bizarre trademark bullying, with JDate claiming ownership of the letter “J” (which stands for Jewish in this case). See the articles below for the gory details.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. At Wall Street Journal, Government-Enforced Monopolies = ‘Free Market’

    Those folks at the Wall Street Journal are really turning reality on its head. Today it ran a column by Robert Ingram, a former CEO of Glaxo Wellcome, complaining about efforts to pass “transparency” legislation in Massachusetts, New York and a number of other states.

    This legislation would require drug companies to report their profits on certain expensive drugs, as well as government funding that contributed to their development.

    [...]

    This would eliminate all the distortions associated with patent monopolies, such as patent-protected prices that can be more than 100 times as much as the free-market price. This would eliminate all the ethical dilemmas about whether the government or private insurers should pay for expensive drugs like Sovaldi, since the drugs would be cheap. It would also eliminate the incentive to mislead doctors and the public about the safety and effectiveness of drugs in order to benefit from monopoly profits.

  2. JDate Is Suing JSwipe Over The Letter ‘J’, Here’s What My Bubbie Would Have Said

    Today, Forbes unearthed a lawsuit from late last year that Jewish dating site JDate’s parent company filed against an app called JSwipe (also aimed at Jewish folk). It’s over the use of the letter J. The case is set to pick up again next month.

  3. Jdate Sues Competitor Jewish Dating App For Using The Letter “J”

    Jdate, the popular dating service responsible for more Jewish hookups than a bottle of Manischewitz, is playing hardball in the dog-eat-dog world of nice Jewish match-making.

    Jdate’s parent company, Spark Networks, discreetly filed a lawsuit late last year against Jswipe, the ‘Tinder for Jews’ dating app, claiming intellectual property over the letter “J” within the Jewish dating scene (the company refers to the branding as the “J-family”).

  4. Members Of The ‘Tribe’ Swipe For A Shidduch

    Over the sounds of the packed crowd at the lower level of Noho hotspot “Acme,” on Tuesday evening, one phrase could consistently be heard: “I work in real estate.”

  5. Jdate Sues Competitor Jewish Dating App For Using The Letter “J”

    Additionally, Jdate claims it owns the patent on software that “confidentially determines matches and notifies users of mutual matches in feelings and interests.” Jswipe, like Tinder, notifies users when their romantic interest ‘swipes right’ on their picture, violating Jdate’s patent.

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