Bonum Certa Men Certa

The United States Still Has Software Patents Because of USPTO Greed, Incapacity for Criticism/Change

The USPTO's previous Director now a kind of lobbyist who works for software patents proponents, including his former employer

Kappos PAI



Summary: Criticism of US patent scope, which still leaves room for software patents because of corporate resistance to change/reform, motivated by USPTO maximalism (trying to grow numbers irrespective of quality)

THE USPTO is the main remaining barrier to abolition of software patents. The US Supreme Court already ruled on the subject, but the USPTO, which is powered by greed (just see what former Director Kappos is doing these days), refuses to obey the courts until it must, as it damages the USPTO's reputation and valuation of patents.



"Innovation needs no patent protection," a new article from The Hindu (published moments ago), speaks specifically about software patents in India and says (specifically citing the US as a problem): "The lack of clear boundaries in software means that even law-abiding software developers who intend not to violate another’s patent have no clear means of avoiding it. With 15,000-plus e-commerce patents (2010) in the U.S. alone, it is not possible to eliminate the risk of a patent infringement lawsuit. Frivolous lawsuits by U.S. patent trolls account for nearly 38 per cent of all patent litigation in the U.S. The problem of software patents ends up increasing the cost of software for all of society."

"Actually, considering the original idea behind patents, secrecy oughtn't be needed (nor protected)."If patents are about publication, which is what they were about in the first place (at time of their inception), how come so much secrecy and even talks of an appeal to the US Supreme Court, SCOTUS (regarding secrecy)? According to this new article: "Given the dissenting opinion in this case, a further appeal to the Supreme Court is not inconceivable. Unless and until that happens, however, communications between a patent applicant and their patent agent that are directly related to the preparation and prosecution of a patent are entitled to privilege. The difficulty will be in recognising when the line is crossed and, in grey areas, it is very likely that we will continue to see attorneys copied into correspondence."

Actually, considering the original idea behind patents, secrecy oughtn't be needed (nor protected). Why should SCOTUS resources be wasted on such matters? Besides, as we have already shown for nearly 2 years, the USPTO hardly cares what SCOTUS says. Courts continue to smash software patents to pieces, whereas the USPTO continues granting software patents. As this new article/blog post points out today, the issue is further complicated by the notion of computer-generated patent applications and minds as computer metaphors. "Courts now routinely," says the author, use a particular subcategory "to invalidate claims for software inventions that “can be performed in the human mind, or by a human using a pen and paper.”"

"Nobody benefits from all this red tape except monopolists and their lawyers (the monopolists already have them among staff, and the legal costs scale fine with their huge business base)."We saw such wordings before ("pen and paper" analogies), even in court rulings. The second aforementioned article (both from Bilski Blog) notes: "As the AlphaGo-like computers continue to help human predict the unpredictable and make fast breakthroughs, it also raises important questions about inventorship and challenges our present patent system. To have a well-functioning patent system in the digital age may require a rethinking of inventorship by our courts and legislature."

Nobody benefits from all this red tape except monopolists and their lawyers (the monopolists already have them among staff, and the legal costs scale fine with their huge business base).

"Patent systems without restrictions on scope are bound to become just filing systems that are ultimately obsolete."According to another new article from today, Uber gives yet another reason for a boycott as it pursues software patents to ensure monopoly whose overall (societal) cost would be huge. "It's unclear how Uber's new patent could affect Lyft's application of its own “Prime Time” dynamic pricing feature," wrote the author, "if at all. In recent years many in Silicon Valley have argued the process for obtaining software patents is flawed."

Later today we are going to to touch several related matters. Patent systems without restrictions on scope are bound to become just filing systems that are ultimately obsolete.

Recent Techrights' Posts

The Ongoing Evolutionary Process of News-Reading (or News-Finding) on the World Wide Web
it gets worse
"It's Obvious There's No Future For Any of Us from Blizzard at Microsoft"
The rumours suggest that more Microsoft layoffs are on the way
[Meme] Who's the Boss?
"I thought EPC governed the Office"
Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) at the EPO and Why Workers' Salary is Actually Decreasing Each Year (Currency Loses Its Purchasing Power)
outline and update on a years-old blunder
 
Gemini Links 27/02/2024: Facebook as Containment Field and Depression Driven Development (DDD)
Links for the day
They're Adding Warnings Now: The Site "It's FOSS" is Not FOSS
It's better that they at least explicitly state this
Links 27/02/2024: Nevada Versus End-To-End Encryption, Birmingham Bankrupt
Links for the day
End of an Era
The Web isn't just filled with marketing spam but actual disinformation
[Meme] Onboarding New EPO Staff
You read the patent application and grant within hours
The Legacy Prolific Writers Leave Behind Them
"Free Software Credibility Index" after more than 15 years
Phoronix in Google News
congratulating or welcoming Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.)
Google Fired Many Employees Working on Google News (Which Had Deteriorated and Became Gulag Noise, Littered and Gamed by Blogspam, Plagiarism, and Chatbot/Translator-Generated Spew), Now Comes the Likely 'Phase-out'
No wonder many yearn for the days of DMOZ and Web directories in general
IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 26, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, February 26, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Exposed: FSFE, Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), Legal Network & Modern Slavery
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 26/02/2024: Mastodon Trouble, RSS, and Zombie-scrolling
Links for the day
Links 26/02/2024: Suicide Crisis and Doctor Walkouts in South Korea
Links for the day
Why Do People Who Attack GNU/Linux Hate Women So Much?
My wife is being viciously targeted again
Ongoing Media Campaign, Sponsored by Bill Gates, to Portray Critics of Gates Crimes as "Conspiracy" Cranks
In prior years we wrote about this PR tactic of Gates
[Meme] Follow the Law, Not Corrupt Bosses
pressuring staff to break the rules to make more money
The EPO Uses Appraisals to Force Staff to Illegally Grant European Patents or Lose the Job. The Matter is Being Escalated en Masse to ILO-AT, Requesting a Review of Appraisal Reports.
it is only getting worse over time
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 25, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Chronic Pain and a Hall of the Broken Things
Links for the day
Links 25/02/2024: New Rants About 'Hey Hi' Hype and JavaScript Bloat
Links for the day
Going Static Helped the Planet, Too
As we've been saying since last year
Chris Rutter, Winchester College, Clare College choir, Arm Ltd, underage workers & Debian accidental deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Blocking Crawlers and Moving to gemserv
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 24, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, February 24, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day