Bonum Certa Men Certa

David Kappos Whines About the Supreme Court Shutting the Door on Many Software Patents

From USPTO Director to Lobbyist for Patent Maximalism and Software Patents?

Fordham IP Conference
No comment necessary



Summary: Reports from the Fordham IP Conference serve to show nefarious bias which serves not only patent lawyers and their large clients (like Microsoft or IBM) but also software patents (which Microsoft and IBM have turned into their business model as sales continue to nosedive)

THE Fordham IP Conference (i.e. stuffed and/or staffed with lawyers, no public interest representatives) has just ended and there was material in it which related to the EPO, the UPC, and software patents in Europe (to be covered separately). Unless you are very wealthy, you're unlikely to have been able to attend and unless you are a patent maximalist, you wouldn't have had a chance to speak there (just listen). It's an echo chamber, a meeting behind closed doors (almost), a conspiracy or a think tank (to put it politely). It's one of several such events (in big and overpriced cities) which are efforts to collectively shape the law and influence policy. Output/reports are like a think tank's bit of "research". Dissenting voices are not allowed, let alone invited to offer input.



"It's one of several such events (in big and overpriced cities) which are efforts to collectively shape the law and influence policy."Right now software patents in Europe are a big deal because the US basically pushes back against such patents, much to the chagrin of patent lawyers who profited from them (usually at the expense of programmers like myself and millions of others).

David Kappos, formerly of USPTO and IBM (now increasingly notorious for aggression with software patents), is acting as though he's above a Supreme ruling or as if SCOTUS is wrong (because of his own financial interests). One must recall what Kappos did after leaving the USPTO (now a patent profiteering person, who is still pushing for software patents).

"David Kappos - not a fan of the Supreme Court's decisions on section 101," says the caption below his face. We will cover the latest developments regarding section 101 some time in the weekend.

According to this outline of the event, composed by a proponent of software patents, Alice upsets Kappos:

In terms of Supreme Court decisions, especially the CLS v Alice Bank decision, David said that it is impossible to make sense of the Supreme Court jurisprudence on section 101. In trying to make sense of section 101, the PTO is trapped by a set of Supreme Court decisions which are incomprehensible. That is has been the architect of PTO's real struggle to get to grips with patentable subject matter. Judge O'Malley agreed that it is difficult to understand what is and is not left in terms of patentable subject matter, but this challenge has led to many more creative arguments from lawyers who try to distinguish their inventions from the realm of a CLS v Alice Bank situation. Sir Robin chimed in stating that in the real world the patent office does issue bad patents - it is inevitable This is because its a one-sided examination process conducted by an examiner who may not have all of the prior art before him or her and who is generally under-resourced. You can see this in Europe where an opposition takes 10-15 years to decide whether a patent is valid. This is a broken system. The America Invents Act, to Sir Robin, looks great in comparison as it provides a quicker, more efficient regime to address validity. It also provides certainty, which is hugely important.

David agreed about the inevitably of some patents being wrongly granted. In particular, this is an issue when an examiner is being asked whether an invention is abstract - that very question is entirely subjective and, as Sir Robin noted, in such a situation of course wrongly granted patents will be inevitable.


Michael Loney, who went to New York to cover this event for MIP, wrote about the role/input of Kappos as follows:

David Kappos who, (as Hansen says) everyone knows, has 10 priorities for whoever is the next US president:

Innovation = action, progress, leadership US must resume its role as world leader in innovation Federal government will lead in championing and rewarding innovation Government needs to recognise innovators need incentives Patent system is our system for incentivising innovation - we need a strong patent system Administration should not shy away from leadership in tuning patent system, from a position of strength Curtail abuses, but with the view that the benefits of patents far outweigh occasional misuses Patent system must take precedence in conflicts with other systems of law, especially antitrust law We will favour creation of new technologies and dynamic competition not protecting status quo (as antitrust law does) Patent system is enshrined in the constitution because innovation is about exalting what's next not what's now.

In the Q&A, he says he feels the current (Obama) administration, in its second term, has not been as supportive of patents as it was before or should be.


It would be a lot nicer if Kappos just stayed out of policy and didn't contribute to the impression that patent lawyers and patent aggressors such as IBM steer policy in their favour, such that money (billions of dollars) is passed into their pockets without them lifting a finger. They self-discredit their firms and also discredit this system as a whole. It's no better than what we find in ISDS (e.g. in TTIP/TPP) or ACTA, but there's less public outrage because few members of the public 'grok' patent law.

Recent Techrights' Posts

What the End of Journalism Looks Like
All on the same day
Links 01/03/2024: Microsoft 'Retiring' More Services and Raspberry Pi Celebrates 3rd Birthday (Launched on February 29th, 2012)
Links for the day
Women's Empowerment
Sponsored by Bill Gates
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Speed Bumps and Analog Stuff
Links for the day
[Meme] Those Greedy EPO Examiners
Says the litigation industry, charging 300 euros an hour per attorney
EPO Discriminates Against Families of Its Own Workers, the Union Explains Legal Basis Upon Which It's Likely Illegal and Must be Challenged
To the Council, the EPO boasts about its wealth (seeking to impress by how much breaking the law "pays off")
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 29, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 29, 2024
Links 01/03/2024: Misuse of Surveillance Against UK-Based Journalism, EPO Conflict Now in the Media
Links for the day
Taking a Break From Paid Promotion of the Illegal, Unconstitutional Kangaroo Court for Patents (UPC)
JUVE returns to its 'roots'?
FSFE admits losing funds from bequest by insulting and ignoring Fellowship representative
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Raspberry Pi Incus Cluster and Aya 0.5.0 Coming Soon
Links for the day
Links 29/02/2024: Layoffs at Apple, Expedia, and Electronic Arts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Web Enshittification and Firefox user-agents
Links for the day
Spiked Piece/Censoreed Piece: 'Microsoft Copilot is a gimmick', says top CIO
Issues relate to connectivity and cost
Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, Plagiarism & Debian
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Clergy of GNU/Linux (Corporations Like IBM)
Volunteers as powerless "followers" of companies that "harvest" their labour
There Will Be Lots More Apple Layoffs (Already Years in the Making)
The corporate media still tries to shape the narrative to prevent panic or delay market hysteria
Latest SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) Report For The Hague Reveals EPO Does Not Obey Court Orders, Refuses to Allow Workers to Freely Talk to One Another
working in a place where communication itself is restricted
[Meme] The Oppression Will Continue Until EPO 'Quality' Improves
wonder why EPO morale is so low?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 28/02/2024: Many War Updates and Censorship
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Social Control Media Notifications and Gemini Protocol Extended
Links for the day
Links 28/02/2024: Microsoft the Plagiarist is Projecting, Food Sector Adopts Surge Pricing
Links for the day
Helping Microsoft 'Hijack' Developers (to Make Them Work for Microsoft, Not the Competition)
VS Code is proprietary spyware of Microsoft. Jack Wallen keeps promoting its use.
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Groupthink and the 'Problem' With Linux
Links for the day
Android Rising (Windows Down to All-Time Lows, Internationally)
This month was a bloodbath for Microsoft
HexChat Looks for Successors to Keep IRC Growing
IRC is far from dead
[Meme] Just Make Him Happy
Y U no produce more monopolies?
End of a Long February
top 10 posts
[Meme] The EPO's Relationship With Patent Examiners
Nobody is "safe"
New Pension Scheme (NPS) at the European Patent Office Explained at the General Assembly
Investing in the future, or...
Donald Trump & FSFE Matthias Kirschner election denial
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 27, 2024