11.18.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

EFF and CCIA Use Docket Navigator and Lex Machina to Identify ‘Stupid Patents’ (Usually Software Patents That Are Not Valid)

Posted in America, Courtroom, EFF, Patents at 2:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lex MachinaSummary: In spite of threats and lawsuits from bogus ‘inventors’ whom they criticise, EFF staff continues the battle against patents that should never have been granted at all

“Judge Finds ‘Stupid Patent’ Web Story is Protected Speech”; that’s the headline of a new report (found via Slashdot, which has a summary and comments). For those who forgot, the EFF has been sued or threatened with lawsuits for running series which merely criticise or bash particular patents — clearly an act of free speech. The judge too saw it that way:

An Australian court can’t make a California-based digital rights watchdog take down a web article that mocks a company’s patent as “stupid,” a federal judge ruled Friday.

San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd., or GEMSA, in April, claiming the Australian firm exploited its home country’s weaker free speech protections to secure an unconstitutional injunction against EFF.

Kurt Opsahl, EFF’s deputy executive director and general counsel, hailed the ruling as a victory for free speech.

This wasn’t the first and maybe not the last legal action, either. Imagine a world where one is not allowed to criticise particular patents. Not too long ago (just before the weekend) it was said in “Stupid Patent Data of the Month: the Devil in the Details” that the EFF along with CCIA make use of particular tools that we often mention in relation to patent reform. To quote the EFF:

Bad patents shouldn’t be used to stifle competition. A process to challenge bad patents when they improperly issue is important to keeping consumer costs down and encouraging new innovation. But according to a recent post on a patent blog, post-grant procedures at the Patent Office regularly get it “wrong,” and improperly invalidate patents. We took a deep dive into the data being relied upon by patent lobbyists to show that contrary to their arguments, the data they rely on undermines their arguments and conflicts with the claims they’re making.

The Patent Office has several procedures to determine whether an issued patent was improperly granted to a party that does not meet the legal standard for patentability of an invention. The most significant of these processes is called inter partes review, and is essential to reining in overly broad and bogus patents. The process helps prevent patent trolling by providing a target with a low-cost avenue for defense, so it is harder for trolls to extract a nuisance-value settlement simply because litigating is expensive. The process is, for many reasons, disliked by some patent owners. Congress is taking a new look at this process right now as a result of patent owners’ latest attempts to insulate their patents from review.

An incorrect claim about the inter partes review (IPR) and other procedures like IPR at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has been circulating, and was recently repeated in written comments at a congressional hearing by Philip Johnson, former head of intellectual property at Johnson & Johnson. Josh Malone and Steve Brachmann, writing for a patent blog called “IPWatchdog,” are the source of this error. In their article, cited in the comments to Congress, they claim that the PTAB is issuing decisions contrary to district courts at a very high rate.

We took a closer look at the data they use, and found that the rate is disagreement is actually quite small: about 7%, not the 76% claimed by Malone and Brachmann. How did they get it so wrong? To explain, we’ll have to get into the nuts and bolts of how such an analysis can be run.

[...]

EFF, along with CCIA, ran the same Docket Navigator search Malone and Brachmann ran for patents found “not invalid” and “unpatentable or not unpatentable,” generating 273 results, and a search for patents found “unpatentable” and “not invalid,” generating 208 results (our analysis includes a few results that weren’t yet available when Malone and Brachmann ran their search). We looked into each of 208 results that Docket Navigator returned for patents found unpatentable and not invalid. Our analysis shows that the “200” number, and consequently the rate at which the Patent Office is supposedly “wrong” based on a comparison to times a court supposedly got it “right” is well off the mark.

[...]

We’ve used both Docket Navigator and Lex Machina in our analyses on numerous occasions, and even briefs we submit to the court. Both services provide extremely valuable information about the state of patent litigation and policy. But its usefulness is diminished where the data they present are not understood. As always, the devil is in the details.

Lex Machina has done a lot and given an invaluable service to those of us who pursue a saner patent policy. The EFF too, especially in recent years, contributed a lot to patent reform. Its briefs in support of the reformist cause are just some among other actions undertaken by the EFF. It’s hardly surprising that blogs of patent maximalists so routinely bash the EFF and various extremists go as far as suing the EFF.

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. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  2. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  3. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  4. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  8. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  9. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  10. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  12. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  13. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  14. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  15. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  16. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  17. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  18. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021



  20. Links 24/11/2021: Rust Crisis and Team UPC Still Faking 'Progress'

    Links for the day



  21. Links 23/11/2021: New GNU Parallel and Memories of David H. Adler (Perl, Raku)

    Links for the day



  22. In Light of Fast-Accelerating Deterioration -- Sometimes Weaponisation -- Getting Off the World Wide Web (to the Extent Feasible) Makes You Saner and Less Susceptible to Manipulation, Lies

    Almost no sites are speaking about it (probably because they have no presence on the Internet except on the Web), but it's time to motivate more people to get off the Web, for their own good and for society's sake...



  23. Black Friday SPAM on the World Wide Web: A Reminder That the Web is a Dying Platform, Languishing Due to Marketing and Misinformation

    The junk that overruns the Web this 'Black Friday' week (consumerism 'on steroids') is a good reminder that the Web isn't healthy for the mind anymore; it's mostly spying on people, trying to compel them to buy particular things or vote a certain way



  24. Microsoft-Led Misinformation Campaign About Germany and Munich Reminds Us That Microsoft Hates and Actively Undermines GNU/Linux Adoption

    Regarding the latest moves to GNU/Linux in Germany we have 3 points to make



  25. Links 23/11/2021: Libreboot 20211122, Deepin Linux 20.3, Amazon Linux 2022, and Mabox Linux 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 22, 2021



  27. Links 22/11/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 3.1.11, Microsoft 'Extends' Mesa for Windows

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's GitHub is Hugely Toxic and It Censors Critics of Corporations or People Sceptical of Those in Power

    Sociopaths have taken over GitHub and control over GitHub (by Microsoft) is being shamelessly misused, just as we’ve warned all along; GitHub is social control media/network for code, asserting control over projects and developers by means of censorship and other sanctions



  29. EPO Staff Engagement Survey Predates the Pandemic and Provides False Assumptions for EPO Policies or Policy-Setting

    The EPO ticks a box for "surveying the staff", but is it actually listening? Is that done often enough? It was last done almost 3 years ago...



  30. Links 22/11/2021: Claws Mail 4 Enters Debian and Catch-up With Legal Matters

    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