12.26.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Witnessing the Patent Mess That the USPTO Created

Posted in America, Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Where patent trolls with software patents are the stars of the show…

Erich Spangenberg

Summary: A look at some recent court actions in the US, motivated by software patent grants

The power outage at the USPTO aside (“It will be interesting indeed to find out how this quite extraordinary state of affairs plays out after the holiday weekend,” IP Kat wrote), there were some other problems at the USPTO earlier this holiday (or just before it began). It’s something for the EPO to learn from (EPO staff as a whole, not management).

A ‘superstar’ patent troll, Spangenberg (shown above with troll cross-pollination), which we wrote about before [1, 2, 3], is said to have just attacked a company which produces Free software. It happened just shortly prior to an IPO and watch how many other companies were sued. To quote this report: “In the realm of patent assertion, there is one man who stands head and shoulders above the rest: Erich Spangenberg. Of the more than 1,600 companies he has sued for patent infringement in the past decade, the most recent is Atlassian.

“The likes of Spangenberg, wielding software patents, attack thousands of practicing companies.”“Not that you’d know it was Spangenberg doing the suing; the action comes from Spangenberg-controlled Pherah LLC, a company that doesn’t even have a website.”

Also published just days ago was this article titled “Patent Trolls Attacked My Business”. The likes of Spangenberg, wielding software patents, attack thousands of practicing companies.

“My small business was the victim of abusive patent litigation,” said the author of of the latter article, “and I want to share my story to promote awareness of this growing problem. Capstone Photography provides photography services at events across the country, like marathons, triathlons and 5K road races. We have been in business since 2005. Naturally, we have a website where athletes can find and view their photos. It’s not rocket science. The basic premise of our site relies on a simple lookup function that any high school programmer could describe and execute.”

“Some of these patents were granted by the EPO and later invalidated (after Apple had sued Samsung and others).”Not only software companies are affected. Watch how Apple, a branding giant, attacked Samsung (mostly a hardware company) just before Christmas. As Florian Müller put it: “While Apple is usually the net payer when it comes to patents (most recently vis-à-vis Ericsson), it has received $548 million from Samsung this month, though a reimbursement may be demanded later. Samsung might base a future reimbursement claim on its design patent-related appeal to the Supreme Court (if that one suceeds, which would not be a huge surprise) and/or on the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has held the ’915 pinch-to-zoom API-related patent invalid (a decision Apple is appealing to the Federal Circuit) and/or the increasingly likely invalidation of the D’677 iPhone design patent.”

Some of these patents were granted by the EPO and later invalidated (after Apple had sued Samsung and others). What does that tell us about the direction the EPO is heading in? Europe already attracts some patent trolls with software patents.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  2. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  3. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  6. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  7. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  8. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  9. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  10. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  12. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  13. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  14. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  15. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  16. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  18. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  19. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  20. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  21. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  22. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  23. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  25. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  26. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  27. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  28. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  30. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts