12.19.15

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Patent Maximalism and the Patent Trolls Epidemic Which It Leads to Not a Problem for Patent Lawyers

Posted in America, Australia, Europe, Patents at 2:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sometimes money is to be made by killing people, not helping people

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Summary: A roundup of recent articles and even paid-for press releases from proponents of software patents (and patents on just about everything) because they have nothing to worry about and patent wars (or patent stockpiling) is how they make money, regardless of the destructive outcome

THE patent maximalists, or those wishing to patent everything under the Sun (because they profit from it), are still occupying the media because everyone else is busy or apathetic.

An article in AOL, based on this press release, can be seen accompanying another press release titled “Stepes Files Patents for Its Chat-Based Translation Software”. These are software patents. They’re quite an epidemic in the United States and they should serve as a lesson for Benoît Battistelli’s EPO. This is why the US has so many patent trolls.

“This is why the US has so many patent trolls.”Remember AJ Park? It’s a firm that lobbied New Zealand for software patents at behest of rich multinational clients [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here they go again promoting patents on business methods (closely related to software patents as per Bilski). AJ Park is based in New Zealand and Australia, where patent lawyers still bemoan the difficulty of getting software patents (Jack Redfern and Matthew Ward from Shelston IP Pty Ltd in this case) because the Australian government isn’t as easy for monopolists to corrupt. It’s not just an Australian thing; patent lawyers keep working hard to make shallow software patents possible to have granted in the US after Alice. They even issue new paid-for press releases and lobby for continued existence of software patents in the US (this one is from Mark Williams of Snell & Wilmer).

“It’s not just an Australian thing; patent lawyers keep working hard to make shallow software patents possible to have granted in the US after Alice.”As we noted here earlier this month, software patents have a lot to do with patent trolls. Texas, which we have been writing a lot about lately [1, 2, 3, 4], is proof of it. According to this new article: “U.S. courts are seeing a rash of lawsuits involving old and sometimes expired patents as companies try to squeeze the last bit of profits from their 20-year-old inventions.

“The patents sometimes end up in the hands of speculators who may go to court with infringement claims against other companies in the hopes of a big pay off — either by forcing settlements or going to trial.

“Xerox Corp., the office-copier pioneer now a target of activist investor Carl Icahn, has been transferring old patents for electronic documents and communications to outside firms this year. Those entities have since filed about 290 lawsuits against retailers, airlines, insurance firms and gaming companies — even though the patents had expired or will in a few years.”

Notice the role played by Carl Icahn, who helped Microsoft essentially kill Yahoo (he is still doing so). Also remember that Acacia used Xerox patents against Linux.

“Much like debt collectors,” said this EPO person, the above people are “buying old (often expired) debt claims to extort money to the unaware. Vultures. Parasites. Leeches.”

“It’s gratifying to see more complaints about patent trolls, but one way to tackle them would be to ban software patents, as a large majority of parasites and patent trolls rely on these.”Some of these types of leeches already come to Europe.

This patent maximalists’ site refers to trolls as NPEs and writes: “US tech companies have for years battled lawsuits against non-practising entities (NPEs), but now they are fighting back.

“A group of 24 amici curiae, including Adobe, eBay and Google, want to end patent law suit forum shopping – a tactic favoured by so called ‘patent trolls’.

“The group submitted a brief to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit urging that a domestic corporation’s “residence” for patent-suit venue purposes, is limited to its state of incorporation.”

It’s gratifying to see more complaints about patent trolls, but one way to tackle them would be to ban software patents, as a large majority of parasites and patent trolls rely on these.

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