08.04.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Multimedia Software Patents Declared Invalid in the United States

Posted in America, EFF, Patents at 3:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The long and destructive tail of faulty or shoddy patent examination

A snake

Summary: A look at a highly destructive software patent (on podcasting) reaching a dead end only after the well-funded EFF stepped in and another new court decision which ruled a video streaming patent invalid

TECHRIGHTS spent many years writing about the infamous “podcasting patent” — a patent which was used to shake down many small businesses and even hobbyists. Not only was such a patent not justified to begin with; it deliberately targeted those without incentive to fight back in court (as it’s expensive).

The EFF stepped in some years back and two days ago it reported the latest in a press release by Daniel Nazer. It says:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge a federal appeals court at a hearing Thursday to find that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) correctly invalidated key claims of a patent owned by Personal Audio, which had used the patent to threaten podcasters big and small.

EFF is defending a USPTO ruling it won last year in its petition challenging the validity of key claims of Personal Audio’s patent. EFF argued, and the USPTO agreed, that the claimed invention existed before Personal Audio filed its patent application.

So even the USPTO, which granted this patent in the first place, agreed/admitted/acknowledged that it had made an error. How many people and businesses have so far been harmed (financial impact, health impact etc.) by this terrible judgment? Who will be held accountable for it? There will never be proper compensation, let along a refund. Even without Alice — as the above clearly notes that it boils down to prior art — this patent should never have existed.

Looking elsewhere in the news, patent lawyers (as usual, Tyrus Cartwright from Seyfarth Shaw LLP in this case) only cover (or cherry-pick, or scrape the bottom of the barrel for) cases that end up in favour of software patents*, but if one looks a little further at the latest in the docket (patent lawsuits, not PTAB), “Video Streaming Patents [Are Found] Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101″. To quote: “The court granted defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings because the asserted claims of plaintiff’s video streaming patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea. “[T]he claims are directed to an abstract idea because the claims are not directed to an improvement in computer functionality, and the physical components of the claim merely provide a generic environment for carrying out the abstract idea. . . . The court is not persuaded that the claimed invention results in an improvement to computer functionality. [Plaintiff] did not invent the technology that converts video files into streaming format. . . . Moreover, [plaintiff] was not confronted with the problem of how to combine conversion technology and the Internet, or how to associate identification tags with video files. At most, the claims merely automate a sequence of known steps using conventional technology so that a human is not burdened with various manual steps. . . . The ordered arrangement of such conventional features provides no discernable benefits to computer functionality. This stands in stark contrast to claims which achieved such improvements to computing technology.””

Software patents die every week if not every day in the US (PTAB decisions are more frequent than court decisions). Things have gotten so out of hand for software patents proponents that they doubt Yahoo’s patent portfolio is worth much at all; today Forbes asks, “could Pokemon Go’s profit engine be derailed by challenges to the software patents underlying the game?”

Well, not really. Nintendo can afford going to court and since software patents typically die there, Nintendo will endure. In fact, post-Alice it’s unlikely that any firm (even patent troll) will bother suing.
_____
* In this case [PDF], “patents-in-suit are directed to inventions that verify the delivery and integrity of electronic messages” as judged by PTAB, not actual courts. Not all avenues/means have been exhausted and the analysis is not as thorough as can be.

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. Becoming Robust to Censorship is a Technical Challenge for Web Sites That Publish Suppressed Information and Supportive Material

    Being at the mercy of third parties indebted to corporate patrons (or banks), sometimes in "reputation" or "political correctness" or "safety" clothing, is a topological issue; we need to teach more people to self-host and exercise full control over speech and information (never let those with money and power decide who can speak and who cannot)



  2. Links 28/10/2021: Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Released and Mesa 21.3 Reaches RC3

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] The EPO's “New Normal”

    The rule of law is being thrown out the window/door, people send rude letters, and we’re meant to think that this is the “new normal” (laws and regulations ceasing to exist); brought by the same people who try to force-feed people all around Europe the unlawful UPC



  4. [ES] Spanish: Richard Stallman's Speech From This Past Saturday

    The new bits (in Spanish) start at 14m:42s from the start



  5. This New Edward Snowden Video is Relevant to Media Cover-up in Service of EPO Management

    We’re long mentioned the 'conspiracy of silence' regarding EPO corruption (bribes and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos contribute to this silence), so the above video, which is new, seems relevant to us



  6. EPO Home-Working (or 'Remote' Working or 'Teleworking') Isn't an Act of Generosity But of Exploitation

    Contrary to what staff may be led to believe, allowing folks to work from home is just a workaround (as the law forbids some human-to-human contact/interaction) and pretext for screwing the workers a little bit more while crushing basic rights, such as strike and protest abilities (exercising or expressing dissent)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 27, 2021



  8. [Meme] False Choices and False Dichotomy Designed for Self-Harm

    The self-serving EPO surveys, which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos design to justify their own policies, have severe flaws in them



  9. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day



  10. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)



  12. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.



  13. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  16. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  17. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  18. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  19. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  20. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  21. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  24. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  25. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  27. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  28. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  29. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations


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