Bonum Certa Men Certa

Superficially Artificial or Artificially Superficial Patents on 'AI' Are Fake Patents

They won't hold water (would be rendered invalid if challenged in courts)

Atlantic ocean



Summary: Patent offices on both sides of the Atlantic are using hype waves to facilitate patenting of software that courts would almost certainly deem unpatentable

THE "AI" hype made a big comeback about a year ago. Suddenly a lot of things got called "AI" -- even things that weren't called that before!



The EPO and USPTO were quick to exploit this hype and actively promote it in conjunction with patents, even software patents in Europe and in the post-Alice/US 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. How come? Well, all they care about is the number of patents. Quality does not seem to matter and rules can be disregarded if the applicant name-drops something like "AI". We wrote dozens of articles about it.

"EPO software patent party continues," Benjamin Henrion (FFII) wrote in relation to a puff piece that the EPO keeps linking to (it's from Watchtroll). "We need help countering this," I responded, seeing that not enough groups and people point out this lunacy. The article at hand speaks of "ICT inventions". "ICT" is one of the sneaky terms the EPO uses for software patents and here is what it said: "EPO Chief Operating Officer Mobility & Mechatronics: The challenge of ICT inventions in mobility patent applications is that we have to be able to deal with mixed technology & have our examiners trained to handle them."

Well, "examiners trained to handle them" as in forced to accept these or risk losing their jobs. "AI" is also one of the sneaky terms that the EPO uses for such patents and Friday was no exception. The EPO wrote: "The main challenge for patent offices from AI will be its rapid growth across a range of technical fields. More on how the EPO is well prepared to face this challenge here..."

It's pretty remarkable how often the EPO promoted software patents since António Campinos had started his term. He is absolutely fine with it.

Over in the US, patent maximalists (mostly the large law firms) still try 'puling a Berkheimer' (and Aatrix) to lie about software patents having legal 'teeth'. Here's the latest example of it that we found earlier today:

One of the hottest and most controversial topics in patent law in recent years has been the question of patentable subject matter: Exactly what innovations can be patented?


In the area of software almost nothing -- a subject we'll explore in greater depth (citing new court cases) later this weekend. A very recent post by Charles Bieneman ("Overcome Alice by Talking up Technical Benefits") shows how they try to come up with workarounds (around US 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101). From Bieneman's concluding words: "Anything you can put in your specification about how claimed subject matter makes hardware bigger, better, faster, or stronger may be very helpful supporting a patent-eligibility argument."

So it's the classic trick of trying to make code sound physical -- the oldest trick at the EPO.

"Are Database Systems Patentable?" That's Law.com coverage to this effect after a recent high-profile case (finding database patents invalid). Beyond the headline we just have a patent maximalist dancing around the question to which to short answer is "No!" (and these lawyers know it).

This brings us back to the "AI" metaphor or buzz. Watch how, in this new press release [1, 2], Iveda is disguising abstract patents (which are bunk) using buzzwords like "AI". We are going to see lots more of that in months if not years to come. Sometimes they can't possibly make claims about the code pertaining to hardware (physical), so instead they speak of mere concepts like "AI" -- a concept that can cleverly be spun to refer to just about any computer program.

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