Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Troll Finjan Manages to Defend a Patent (on Appeal) and the Trolls' Lobby is Loving It

Todd M. HughesSummary: Blue Coat (now owned by Symantec) has attempted -- and failed -- to invalidate all of Finjan's patents using Section 101/Alice; those who are in the business of trolling view that as particularly good news because the judgment came from Timothy Dyk and Todd Hughes (much younger and appointed a few years ago)

THE USPTO had granted software patents far too easily before Alice, so in recent years we saw a lot of patent trolling from the likes of Finjan (such trolling is drying up over time, owing to courts' decisions which repel further action).



The high-profile patent trolls and their supporters were glad to see that, for a change, after a case reached the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) the troll got its way. To give one example: "Finjan v Blue Coat Federal Circuit 1/10/18 reverses-in-part because as to 1 of 4 patents, patentee "failed to apportion damages to the infringing functionality"; court also agrees with def that "$8-per-user royalty rate was unsupported by substantial evidence."

"Just because Alice isn't applicable in certain cases doesn't mean much; sometimes that is just the case."Another one wrote: "The patentable subject matter ruling is interesting, and also because the opinion was authored by Judge Dyk, and joined by Judge Hughes, both of whom have a pronounced history of finding claims ineligible."

Another proponent of trolls called them "anti-patent jurists" (as if being selective or expecting high quality makes one "anti-patent"). "But didn't Dyk and Hughes," he said, "two of the most anti-patent jurists on the Federal Circuit decide that at least some claims were patent eligible under 101?"

"Turns out that this decision is likely to be cited a lot in the future."They try to personify it... at least they don't resort to sexual orientation slant like corporate media does [1, 2].

Just because Alice isn't applicable in certain cases doesn't mean much; sometimes that is just the case. "Section 101" isn't always a winning argument, obviously...

Media of the patent microcosm covered this 3 days ago. It said:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Wednesday upset a $39.5 million award in long-running patent litigation between Finjan Inc. and Blue Coat Systems Inc., causing a San Jose federal judge to throw the brakes on another ongoing trial between the cybersecurity rivals.


Turns out that this decision is likely to be cited a lot in the future. "Finjan v Blue Coat Syst (Fed. Cir. 2018) PRECEDENTIAL," said the above person. "Claims Directed to Computer Virus Detection Held Patent Eligible under 101; Other Issues in Decision: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-2520.Opinion.1-8-2018.1.PDF …"

"Finjan sued the enabler of the EPO's police state (surveillance and censorship), but we ought to leave that aspect aside in the context of patents."We don't have much sympathy for Blue Coat in particular; what we see here one evil firm against another evil company (the latter at least makes and sells something). Finjan sued the enabler of the EPO's police state (surveillance and censorship), but we ought to leave that aspect aside in the context of patents.

Nicole R. Townes and Daniel Kiang from Knobbe Martens took the time to write about it. "After a bench trial," they said, "the district court concluded that one of the asserted patents is directed to patent-eligible subject matter under Section 101."

CAFC did not agree about all 4 patents. This is the key part: "With respect to patent-eligibility, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that the claims were not directed toward an abstract idea for two reasons. First, the claims were drawn to behavior-based virus scanning which analyzes a downloadable’s code and determines whether it performs potentially dangerous or unwanted operations. This was different than the traditional method of code-matching virus scanning. The Federal Circuit determined that this was an improvement in computer functionality. Second, the results of the behavior-based virus scan are attached to a new type of file which enables a computer security system to perform tasks that it could not do before. Also, the claims recited more than a mere result and provided specific steps of generating a security profile that identifies suspicious code and links it to a downloadable."

That's just software patents.

There might even be another trial. To quote: "The Federal Circuit found that Finjan failed to present a damages case for one of the asserted patents that could support the jury’s verdict and remanded for a determination of whether Finjan waived its right to establish reasonable royalty damages under a new theory and whether to order a new trial on damages."

"IBM -- like Microsoft -- is literally in the business of fueling patent trolls these days."What is also interesting about this case is that there are ramifications for Symantec (Finjan is suing just about the whole security industry, except Microsoft, as it is deeply connected to Finjan).

The Symantec connection is explained here in relation to another Microsoft-connected troll, Intellectual Ventures.

The year's first substantive patent-eligibility decision from the Federal Circuit is a rare victory for the patentee. It is also further evidence that the outcome of an eligibility analysis may be more dependent upon how the analysis is carried out than the actual language of the claims under review.

[...]

The Court began by distinguishing Finjan's claim with those of Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., where the Court concluded that "by itself, virus screening is well-known and constitutes an abstract idea." Particularly, claim 1 (as construed) requires that "the security profile includes details about the suspicious code in the received downloadable, such as . . . all potentially hostile or suspicious code operations that may be attempted by the Downloadable." Thus, "[t]he security profile must include the information about potentially hostile operations produced by a behavior-based virus scan." In this light, the claimed invention is distinguishable from traditional virus scans that look for previously identified patterns of suspicious code in executable programs.



Here's a new report which suggests that the above possibley leads to mistrial:

A California federal judge on Wednesday granted Symantec unit Blue Coat’s request for a mistrial in a cybersecurity patent infringement case brought by Finjan, saying a just-issued Federal Circuit decision striking damages in a related case called for a fresh jury, free from certain impressions about damages and willfulness issues.

The presiding judge said she agreed with concerns expressed by Symantec-acquired Blue Coat Systems that the Federal Circuit's opinion in the prior case affects many of the issues that have been discussed in the current trial...


As we noted in our previous post, IBM was helping the troll last year. IBM -- like Microsoft -- is literally in the business of fueling patent trolls these days. When these trolls are indebted to IBM and Microsoft they will sue neither; instead, they're more likely to sue IBM's and Microsoft's competitors. That may be an implicit if not explicit part of their agreement.

Recent Techrights' Posts

WikiLeaks Wonders: Major Leaks That Shook the Worlds
Published 14 hours ago
No Outage Here
Microsoft seems to have lost control of the narrative
Microsoft Has Managed to Make GNU/Linux Users Scared of Updating Their GNU/Linux PCs (Thanks to UEFI 'Secure' Boot's Boosters!)
How many people know who's responsible for this mess?
 
It'll Soon Be Half a Decade Since COVID-19's Breakout, We Still Need Verified Facts (Not Corporate Dogma) and Proper Media Reporting
COVID-19 has meant different things to different people
For the First Time, Microsoft's "Market Share" in North Macedonia Falls to Only a Quarter
Microsoft only has Windows
Evan Versus Julian
Published by Julian Assange's wife some hours ago
What The Internet Can Achieve When Put in the Hands of the Good People and Not Censored by the People Who Already Control the Mass Media
albeit Wikileaks put that in social control media owned and controlled by oligarchs
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, July 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] Hate Speech
This is also what makes TikTok so dangerous
Shark-infected Water on the Web
Don't turn Gemini into another "Web"
OpenHarmony, HarmonyOS Next, Deepin, Kylin, and openKylin: How China's Various Manoeuvres Away From Windows Get Covered in the West
Kylin was openly based on Ubuntu
Links 20/07/2024: Tesla's UK Lawsuit for 5G Patents Licence Thrown Out by UK Court, Censorship Examples Surface
Links for the day
Gemini Links 20/07/2024: Why Sleep Is So Important, Bot Problems Online
Links for the day
[Meme] Truth Hurts
"Saying that I physically assaulted women is 'defamation'"
Techrights Turns 18 in About 3 Months
Nothing can stop us
When (Software) Freedom is the Goal
Freedom of thought also
Giving the False Impression That the R blogosphere is Microsoft's Microcosm
Curation that culls "astrotrufing" isn't censorship but quality control for relevance
Expect Many More Microsoft Layoffs After the Latest Windows Outages (Bonus: More Media Says Microsoft Has Cut Half the Staff in Nigeria)
after the latest worldwide blunder we can expect many businesses to gradually ditch Windows
Today GNU/Linux Broke All-Time Record in statCounter Again
Expect more people to hop over to GNU/Linux after the Windows fiasco
Joab Jackson and "The New Stack" Publishing Microsoft Spam (E.E.E. Against Linux) for a Payment From Microsoft
It's not a real news site
Links 20/07/2024: Patents on Software Squashed, Further Attacks on Independent News Sites
Links for the day
Links 20/07/2024: Shopping Mall in Southwestern China and New Health Crises
Links for the day
Microsoft/Windows Has Fallen Well Below 1% (Now 0.7%) in American Samoa
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
The Thelio Mega Is a Dual-GPU Linux Supercomputer
System76 sells many desktops and laptops built to run Linux. The company has now revealed its new high-powered Linux desktop, the Thelio Mega
[Meme] "System of a Down"
The latest international catastrophe kills people
Geminispace Growing and Getting More Free (Independent)
Because self-signed certificates are the way to go
Why Microsoft is Laying Off So Many People in Nigeria
Nigeria is a place Microsoft has lost
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 19, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, July 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/07/2024: Gopher Catchup and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day
Microsoft Lays Off Half of Its Workforce in Nigeria
Microsoft continues to implode in Africa
Links 19/07/2024: Microsoft Breaks Down and Amdocs Has 1,500-3,000 More Layoffs
Links for the day
Washington's WARN Site/Portal (That Excludes Many Microsoft Layoffs) is Now Down for Many Hours, Microsoft Causes Major Outages and Incidents Worldwide (Even Deaths)
The mass layoffs (lots of them in Azure since 2020) probably worsen resilience and security some more
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
[Meme] Conservative (and Fake) Nuclear Physicist Bill Gates
Didn't even graduate from college, media treats him like a world-renowned expert in nuclear energy
The Gemini Capsule of Tux Machines Turns 2 in Six Days
Many people actually use Gemini, some participate in it by creating their own capsule (or capsules)
GNU/Linux Rises to 4% in Saudi Arabia, Says statCounter, Windows Has Fallen to 11% (Android Exceeds 60%)
Microsoft might soon fall below 10% in KSA (Saudi Arabia)
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 18, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, July 18, 2024
GNU/Linux news for the past day
GNU/Linux news for the past day
1901 Days in High-Security Prison (and 8 More Years in Severe Confinement) for the 'Crime' of Exposing War Crimes and Corruption
Julian Assange clip
Opensource.org = Microsoft Lobbying (Openwashing)
Here's the latest pair of blog posts
In Northern Mariana Islands, Where Julian Assange Pled Guilty 4 Weeks Ago, Windows Remains Second to Android, and GNU/Linux Still Grows in Oceania
It was the first month ever that statCounter saw more Web requests there from Android than from Windows
If GitLab Gets Sold (Datadog and Google Named Among Potential Buyers), It'll Prove Our Point About GitLab
Beware the bait on the hook