12.06.16

USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imagine one of those infamous panels about poverty and hunger in Africa, where not a single person on the panel is African…

Juristat tweet
Excluding voices so as to include more patents (wider scope)

Summary: A look at yesterday’s “Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility,” which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these

ABOUT 24 hours ago the USPTO tried to pretend to be transparent by broadcasting a debate which was barely open to participation (read only, not read/write). As can be expected from such an event, key voices or views were prominently and conspicuously absent. “HAPPENING NOW,” the USPTO wrote in Twitter“, was a “talk on #patent subject matter eligibility until 4 pm ET today. Watch the livestream…”

“Was there anyone at this debate who does not work for a multi-billionaire like Bezos or some law firm?”How about actually speaking with them rather than being mere spectators? Were there any “real software developers [...] on the panel?” That’s what Benjamin Henrion rightly asked them because, as he later put it, “if you can follow the live stream, not many developers around.”

Daniel Nazer from the EFF quoted Jeffrey Dean of Amazon as saying that Alice invalidates patents that “remove more from public domain than they contribute to the public store of knowledge.”

“It sure seems like a lot of these ‘debates’ are happening in the absence of those whom they affect.”We remind readers that Amazon is among the pushers for software patents. Was there anyone at this debate who does not work for a multi-billionaire like Bezos or some law firm? Where are the actual developers? Their voice does not seem to matter at all when laws that apply to them are discussed. Henrion asked Nazer (not a developer), “are you on the chat?” Nazer never responded, but we’re generally used to this kind of conceited (high horse) attitude from EFF lawyers.

Either way, Henrion streamed the debate into a file and proceeded to YouTube uploads because “[t]he videos don’t play in Chromium, maybe MP4 patented format is to be blamed.” (which would be ironic!)

See herein the debate as it was uploaded, having been divided into four parts:

“Loved the slide with the big prime numbers multiplication,” Henrion remarked.

It sure seems like a lot of these ‘debates’ are happening in the absence of those whom they affect the most. To the organisers, that’s a feature, not a bug. Bias by design/composition. We see a lot of that in UPC panels/events/debates/consultations and here we have it when patents on software are at stake. Published earlier today by Juristat (targeting “patent lawyers”, based on its own account description) was this slide about “pros and cons of software patents”; well, judging by their Twitter activity, Juristat is more like a Trojan horse that would not tell the complete story about software patents as there are “many more arguments against them,” to quote Henrion’s response, than there are for them (profitable to patent lawyers etc.), as any software developer can probably tell.

More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft ‘Joined’ (Paid) the Linux Foundation

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent deal spin
“Agreements” mean patent settlements

Summary: A quick look at the past week’s news and clues about Microsoft’s (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)

THE STATE of patent trolling in the US is pretty bad and to make matters worse China is now emulating the US system by patenting almost everything and harbouring patent trolls that use rubbish patents (not even with their own name on these).

One aggregator of patents (lots of rubbish in one big pool) that we wrote about before is RPX. It’s like a massive patent troll whose members include Microsoft. According to this blog post from IAM, changes are afoot as a Senior Vice-President jumps ship:

Dan McCurdy, senior vice-president at RPX with responsibility for data and technology solutions, is to leave the defensive patent aggregator to become a partner with strategic IP consultancy Quatela Lynch. He will join on 1st January 2017, when its name will also change to Quatela Lynch McCurdy. The move comes just weeks after Laura Quatela, who founded the firm with former Kodak chief IP officer Tim Lynch in 2014, was named as the new chief legal officer of Lenovo, sitting on the executive committee and reporting directly to its CEO. Quatela will remain the majority shareholder of Quatela Lynch McCurdy and will act as a special adviser to the firm on non-conflicting projects.

It is meanwhile worth reminding readers that Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft’s biggest patent troll (with thousands of satellite firms of its own), is imploding, however this extortion and gate-keeping tool, which habitually attacks Linux, still plays a role of in the operations of Linux-based devices (which it taxes).

See this new article that says “a new intellectual property agreement gives Netflix the opportunity to license TiVo’s patent portfolios, as well as patents for over-the-top (OTT) offerings, which are held by Intellectual Ventures.”

How much of that money flows into the pockets of Microsoft and Bill Gates (a stakeholder in the troll at a personal capacity)? It’s hard to tell, but as we noted here before, Microsoft loves Linux patent tax. With China going crazy over patents, Microsoft recently managed to blackmail Xiaomi over its Linux products (we believe that only Huawei remains untainted by this Microsoft tax) and looking into Microsoft’s patent settlement with Xiaomi (they don’t call it a “settlement”, but it is one), IAM writes:

In the opening plenary of the day, featuring Xiaomi’s Paul Lin and Microsoft’s Micky Minhas, the ground-breaking deal announced in May between the two companies was, not surprisingly, the first topic for discussion. IP was a major driver of the agreement, as the Chinese smartphone maker acquired 1,500 patents from the software giant; but the transaction was premised on a much broader collaboration between the pair, with Microsoft applications now set to be included on Xiaomi mobile devices. Minhas, recently appointed as Microsoft’s head of licensing, revealed that the deal had taken a year to unfold after a senior Xiaomi executive had expressed the Chinese’s company’s desire to grow its IP portfolio. He added that one of the key drivers in making it all happen was the relationship between some of the key executives involved in the negotiations. Minhas, Microsoft head of business development Peggy Johnson and Xiaomi’s head of strategic cooperation Wang Xiang, all previously worked at Qualcomm, so there was a level of familiarity; while a face to face meeting between the respective company CEOs in March 2016 largely resolved outstanding issues and advanced the negotiation to the point where it became a matter of getting the contractual terms refined. But what really mattered more than anything, it seems, is that both companies had taken the time to understand each other’s perspectives and needs, and that both were fully focused on finding a win-win outcome. Goodwill, rather than good friendships, are the key to successful IP deal-making. Though, of course, it also helps to get along.

The part about “Microsoft applications now set to be included on Xiaomi mobile devices,” as we explained early in the year, is where patent extortion against Linux comes into play. The ‘new’ Microsoft just tries hard to hide what it does, either attacking Linux through trolls or compelling OEMs to ‘pay’ Microsoft for Linux/Android by shoving Microsoft malware into them (sucking up user data and sending it to Microsoft, never mind vendor lock-in through proprietary formats and code).

Don’t believe Microsoft’s claims that it has changed or that it “loves Linux”. It’s still the same old malicious company. It just learned how to lie/mislead better.

Quite a few GNU/Linux firms and even the Linux Foundation are now being paid by Microsoft (like silence money), so don’t expect them to speak out against this injustice.

Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Heiko Maas Cash for Access

Summary: Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat

LAST night we published a caricature about Heiko Maas, whom many inside the EPO accuse of turning a blind eye to the abuses (if no crimes, as per national laws) of Team Battistelli. The growing sentiment against Maas (or mass) inaction can be seen across many spectra, including outside the EPO. Battistelli feels as though he is above the law partly thanks to apathy from Maas et al (deafening silence in spite of many letters and copies of letters).

“Even my defense (from personal attacks) was censored at one point, unlike these attacks.”“Some people at this end,” said a source to us, “have been complaining about failed attempts to post comments on the IP Kat website.”

We too have had such issues and we wrote about the subject several times in the past. Even my defense (from personal attacks) was censored at one point, unlike these attacks.

Heiko Maas saleThe comments that are not being suppressed are in no way defamatory. “These comments related to the recent “cash for access” affair surrounding the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) of which Maas is a member,” our source explained to us. “The details of the “cash for access” affair has been widely reported on in the German media recently. A report in English can be found on the website of Deutsche Welle.”

Perhaps the suspicion here is that the silence regarding the EPO — a silence in the German media as well (as we last noted a few days ago) — is part of a broader conspiracy of silence. It’s convenient for Germany not to criticise the EPO because it’s a local cash cow, milked at the expense of the rest of Europe.

“One of the SPD Ministers whose name got mentioned in connection with this affair was the Justice Minister, Heiko Maas,” our source says. “Some satirical postings have also appeared on the Internet poking fun at Maas and his connection to the “cash for access” affair as reported in the media.” We include them at the top and to the right as it’s probably Fair Use (“criticism”).

“It’s convenient for Germany not to criticise the EPO because it’s a local cash cow, milked at the expense of the rest of Europe.”“For some unknown reason,” our source insists, “comments about these matters aren’t making it through the IP Kat comments filter. Is this just a technical glitch or is there some censorship going on behind the scenes?”

IP Kat was at one point censored by the EPO, so maybe it’s just afraid of particular kinds of comments showing up from now on? That would be an example of self-censorship owing to bullying by the EPO. They tried to do this to me.

My experience leaving comments in IP Kat suggests that in the majority of cases my comments won’t show up (even after review), so I’ve altogether quit bothering with it. This unpredictable review policy, in its own right (by virtue of existing), breeds self-censorship among commenters. What’s amazing though is the sheer amount of troll comments that got published there recently, including some inflammatory ones (against EPO staff).

Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guess Who is Trying to Retroactively ‘Legalise’ His Own Abuses Now…

Battistelli with Scud

Summary: Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)

THE system in Europe is often assumed to be vastly superior to many of the world’s systems. We used to take pride in the EPO being so much better than the USPTO and, among many things, rejecting software patents. We cannot say this anymore because Battistelli’s role model these days seems to be SIPO in China (where the quality of patents is about as low as it can get, it’s just an assembly line of papers). Battistelli “is boxing out of the corner now,” one reader told us in relation not only to the social issues but also the technical issues (patent maximalism is a disease that keeps spreading to the EPO). Applicants quickly realise that the value of EPs is sinking. Why would they even bother with pricey new applications, let alone renewals? Many of them won't. They’re gradually waking up to the destruction left behind by Battistelli (rushed examination, brain drain, etc.) and the injustices demonstrated by miscarriage of justice not just against clients [sic] but against hundreds if not thousands of EPO employees (approximately/at least a hundred cases in just 2 years, some impacting multiple employees per case).

“Applicants quickly realise that the value of EPs is sinking.”What the EPO does about this "crisis" (in the Board's own words) is the equivalent of shuffling chairs at the deck of the Titanic. Watch what is showing up in today’s news:

The EPO is expected to refuse to record assignments that do not satisfy the foregoing requirements.

Accordingly, we believe that in the future all assignments should be signed by all parties. Regarding the cases where an assignment has been executed but has not been recorded at the EPO, and where the assignment document was only signed by the assignor(s), you may consider obtaining a second signature from a representative of the assignee acknowledging acceptance of the rights. As another alternative, it might be possible for both parties to sign a “confirmatory assignment” to confirm that an assignment that took place on a date prior to the effective date of these new guidelines.

Given the low quality of patents at the EPO (granted in recent years, not the older ones which have not yet expired), putting more barriers and limitations is the last thing that should be on the agenda. Sooner or later, suggest internal figures, the backlog or pile will have dried up, making the Office underworked and rendering thousands of EPO examiners redundant.

Based on the latest decisions from ILO (or ILO-AT), the Office will also have to spend a lot of time and resources on new ‘trials’. This would involve even more people who otherwise should be carrying out their duties as examiners. Look what a sordid mess Battistelli has created. He should resign, but that alone would not solve all the issues.

“Lacking any sense of shame, Battistelli proposes that the Administrative Council, which was supposed to kick him out years ago, should amend the internal law of the EPO relating to not only the Appeals Committee but also lots of other bodies (including the Disciplinary Committees).”Looking at Battistelli’s appalling reaction to these decisions (leaked here yesterday), the lies are beyond amazing. The guy must be crazy and he’s unable to take responsibility. Instead he’s trying to hold unions whom he’s busting accountable. To him, the fact that there was gross injustice for years is the fault of the Central Staff Committee, which was not nominating representatives for the Appeals Committee. Battistelli has publicly (in the Intranet) accused them of “failure to comply with statutory obligations,” in the same way that he defamed various other people or groups in the Intranet as recently as one month ago (we leaked the example about Mr. Prunier).

Lacking any sense of shame, Battistelli proposes that the Administrative Council, which was supposed to kick him out years ago, should amend the internal law of the EPO relating to not only the Appeals Committee but also lots of other bodies (including the Disciplinary Committees). To quote Battistelli, “if the Central Staff Committee, despite an invitation to do so, fails to make appointments to these bodies, the President shall take appropriate steps to ensure and make the necessary appointments, such as calling for volunteers or drawing lots from among eligible staff members.”

“WIPO looks like very small potatoes in comparison to this.”So basically, Battistelli now tries to ‘legalise’ his own abuses after he committed these abuses. How does that not make Eponia a Banana Republic or rogue state way ahead of even Turkey in 2016? The ‘King’ basically places himself above the law, allegedly buys votes, and refuses to accept a simple judgment even from a UN agency (it’s the only tripartite UN agency). WIPO looks like very small potatoes in comparison to this.

To quote (verbatim) what Judgment 3785 actually said on page 6: “While it is true that the fundamental functions of that body must not be paralysed, it is also true that the body itself cannot be changed through a changed composition. The balance sought to be achieved by the composition of this body, which includes members appointed by the Administration and the staff representation, is a fundamental guarantee of its impartiality. That balanced composition is an essential feature underpinning its existence. Without it, it is not the Appeals Committee.”

Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO chair and budget for personal agenda. Not only Eponia is being ruined by Battistelli but also the integrity of media.

Les Échos and EPO
pwn3d by Eponia

Summary: The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays

“SMELLY” behaviour from Battistelli has become so mundane or banal that it usually isn’t worth reporting. It doesn’t merit special attention, but Les Échos is a special case which we wrote about many times before, e.g. in:

“The UPC Scam” series will resume later today and Battistelli’s role in it is clear and is growing.

Here is the latest “blog” post of Battistelli (warning: epo.org link), promoted by the PR people and lying about the prospects of the UPC, as usual. The Liar in Chief took the time to spread UPC misinformation, doing so several days after the very misleading coverage from publications that he bought/paid for directly and less directly. They did this last week, as we mentioned in last week’s articles, and Les Échos too participated in this misleading coverage.

Apparently, one misleading article wasn’t enough as the EPO wants to gets its money’s worth, so now they hand over to the Liar in Chief, again with false predictions (as before, regarding 2016). They are using self-fulfilling prophecies as a method/trick for compelling officials to sell out (wrongly assuming inevitability) and make promises they cannot even commit to (due to constitutional limitations, among other limitations). “Another Mouthpiece EPO Funded Propaganda published by Les Échos,” one EPO insider called it.

Les Échos should be ashamed of itself for being a tool of a vindicative thug, a serial bully, a chronic liar, and the person who is right now the biggest embarrassment to France, according to a growing number of French politicians.

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