Patents Roundup: More on Patent Shakedowns, IBM Rejoins the Shakedowns Club With Software Patents, China Worries About Patent Certainty (Too Low a Standard)

Posted in America, Asia, IBM, Patents at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The digital version of a protection racket.”

“Steve Jobs threatened to sue me, too. [and also] Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. They’d flown in over a weekend to meet with Scott McNealy. [...] Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, “Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.” [...] Bill was delivering a slightly more sophisticated variant of the threat Steve had made, but he had a different solution in mind. “We’re happy to get you under license.” That was code for “We’ll go away if you pay us a royalty for every download” – the digital version of a protection racket.”

Jonathan I. Schwartz, Sun

Summary: Patent news from the United States and new input from China, where there is growing concern about the scope of patents and certainty that granted patents are in fact valid and enforceable (except using shakedowns for ‘protection money’ or secret settlements)

Patent Litigation Costs and Exploitation Thereof

A lot of firms in the US, primarily but not only patent trolls, take advantage of the high cost of patent lawsuits and basically try to settle with victims (prospective defendants). This is a form of ‘protection money’ strategy, akin to racketeering or extortion. Even the copyright field/domain now tends to have such parasites, often referred to as “copyright trolls” (a relatively new term, coined only a few years ago). Watch this new article (or blog post) which states: “Most patent holders would agree that licensing patents for revenue has gone from bad to awful — from difficult less than a decade ago, to virtually impossible today.”

“This is a form of ‘protection money’ strategy, akin to racketeering or extortion.”This article actually bemoans this, as if more ‘protection money’ is a good thing. What this article’s referrer calls “patent industry” is actually a shakedown industry. “Obstacles to innovation” is just gobbledygook intended to make it sound as though innovation and patents are synonymous and interchangeable. Watch this tweet that says “Rather gloomy article on the state of the patent industry and obstacles to innovation” (nothing to do with innovation).

Remarking on this article, Julian wrote: “What an awful article. It refuses to admit that trolls are a problem, sees no flaw in the idea that litigation should be easy. It also believes patents should be “in the middle.” No. Patents exist for public good. There is no “middle.””

IBM Now Acting Like a Patent Troll (Microsoft’s Anti-Linux Strategy)

IBM now does to the Internet what Microsoft has been doing to Linux.

“IBM now does to the Internet what Microsoft has been doing to Linux.”As noted here yesterday, IBM continues to extort companies with software patents it has amassed like an arsenal (by the thousands per year), and this time it’s Priceline facing the firing line. J Nicholas Gross, “Berkeley IP Law Master” by his own description, wrote that “if IBM cant stop patent infringers who can? Priceline “refused to engage in any meaningful discussion on merits” [meaning agree to pay for software patents that are unproven in court, only in the biased and increasingly reckless USPTO]”

“So basically, IBM is now on a warpath of patent extortion using software patents (amid many IBM layoffs).”Here is an article about it which says: “A federal judge has denied several travel and reservation websites’ objections to a report and recommendation that International Business Machines’ patent infringement lawsuit against them should proceed.”

So basically, IBM is now on a warpath of patent extortion using software patents (amid many IBM layoffs). Just like Microsoft. And we’re supposed to actually trust IBM’s OIN? It’s not even so effective. Here comes a new red herring from IBM’s patents chief, who pretends that the only alternative is having no patents at all; well, almost nobody suggests abolishing the whole thing, just software patents. How nice of Manny Schecter to mislead people like this, even with false dichotomies. IBM is becoming increasingly shameless about its patent aggression, even aggression using software patents, i.e. patents that are dubious anyway. Schecter spends too much time hanging out with patent maximalists like Gene Quinn and it truly shows. IBM becomes more like IAM. As the latest figures from Bliski Blog help show, a lot of software patents are still being ruled invalid by US courts. To quote the latest from Bliski Blog (second article in 2 days, which is rare as there are only about a dozen posts per year): “March 2016 is the first month since Alice was decided that the number of decisions upholding patents (15) exceed the number of invalidating decisions (12). However, this is not a sea change. Rather, it’s an artifact of the data: on March 22, 2016, Judge Robinson (D. Del.) released four decisions denying motions to dismiss that had been pending for many months. The clustering of these four decisions spiked the numbers. More important is that underlying trend of invalidating decisions continues upwards.”

“It’s rather disappointing to find that China and the US moved closer into alignment when it comes to patents.”Tell that to IBM. It’s now that confidence in software patents is on the decline (like the number of IBM employees) that IBM chooses to attack perfectly legitimate companies using patent lawsuits.

“Supreme Court vacate Alice patent decision,” as the author of Bliski Blog (Robert Sachs) put it, and “UPSTO reacts” (we covered this before).


China’s own Supreme Court (Supreme People’s Court) has meanwhile remarked as follows, based on the USITO: “On March 22, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a new legal interpretation that will impact patent infringement case resolution. The policy, called the “Interpretation of Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Patent Infringement Dispute Cases (II)” (henceforth “Interpretation II”), will be implemented beginning on April 1.”

“Low-quality patents for the sake of quantity take their toll.”One of the points made there is: “With the compromise interpretation principle, strengthen functions in the publicity and delimitation of claims and increase the certainty of the scope of patent protection” (something which decreased in the US following Alice).

It’s rather disappointing to find that China and the US moved closer into alignment when it comes to patents. They basically patent just about everything under the Sun (or the Dragon) and now there’s low confidence that patents will actually endure in the courts. Low-quality patents for the sake of quantity take their toll.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:


If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).

  2. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts

  3. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day

  4. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations

  5. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess

  6. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day

  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 01, 2021

  8. Links 1/8/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 RC2 and Lakka 3.3

    Links for the day

  9. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s

  10. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day

  11. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises

  12. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass

  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 31, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 31, 2021

  14. [Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

    Don't believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that's why there are layoffs as well

  15. [Meme] Mozilla Has Turned From Technical to Marketing

    Way back, long before Mozilla and Firefox got hijacked by politics (turning Mozilla into a VPN reseller that lies about its stance on privacy), geeks were driving the company, not corporate lawyers and spying/marketing people

  16. Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

    Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)

  17. Links 31/7/2021: Kernel Additions and Linux Mint 20.3 Release Date

    Links for the day

  18. Microsoft Azure Stagnating

    Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee

  19. For 17 Days (and Counting) António Campinos Has Failed to Respond to Call for Compliance With the Law

    Team Campinos has been so arrogant and so evasive that there’s no indication (yet) that it will follow court orders (Willy ‘Guillaume’ Minnoye openly bragged about ignoring court orders and he's still cheering for the EPO's abuses); therefore, staff of the EPO takes collective action

  20. Raw: Elodie Bergot Breaking the Law by Threatening Against the Exercise of Fundamental Rights

    Over the years we saw a number of rude letters from Elodie Bergot, the grossly under-qualified spouse of a friend of Vichyite Benoît Battistelli; most of these we never published (we already have these and can always publish if the need arises), but those paranoid and insecure “Mafia”-like ‘cabal’ need to be exposed for the mobsters they are; for nearly a decade they’ve illegally bullied EPO staff in clear violation of the law (and for over 3 years António Campinos has kept those bullies on board); why does Europe do nothing and why is it never holding high-profile abusers accountable (only low-level facilitators)? Is it because the EU too is being infiltrated by them?

  21. Linspire Should Be Avoided in 2021 Just Like It Was Avoided 14 Years Ago

    The brand "Linspire" was brought back, but the agenda seems to be more or less the same, namely pushing proprietary software and serving Microsoft's commercial agenda (in 'Linux' clothing)

  22. The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode's Own Fault

    Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole

  23. Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

    Links for the day

  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 30, 2021

  25. The Smartest Meter of All

    Yesterday a lady came over to take our power readings (electric/gas meter); secure these people's jobs as they help protect people's privacy (dignity) at home

  26. [Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

    A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://

  27. Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

    Freenode continues to perish faster than we've imagined; it's a good thing that we've had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we're still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it

  28. Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

    Links for the day

  29. European Media Does Not Care About Europe's Second-Largest Institution Crushing Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights

    New video about the latest publication from SUEPO (the EPO’s staff union); it was published yesterday, seeing that the “Mafia” (what EPO staff actually calls the management!) hasn’t done anything to comply with a wide-ranging set of court rulings from ILO-AT; why has the media said nothing about this and what does that say about today’s media? The material is all in the public domain, in widely understood languages, and SUEPO spoke about it more than 3 weeks ago.

  30. Links 30/7/2021: Distro Comparisons and Tootle Introduced

    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