06.24.18

Watchtroll’s Reaffirmed Hatred Towards Science and Technology, Shattering the Myth About Patent Law Firms Trying to ‘Help’ Innovation

Posted in America, Patents at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watchtroll

Summary: The anti-technology rhetoric (what they call derogatorily “Big Tech”) of patent maximalists is ruining their old narrative which goes something along the lines of helping inventors

THE advancement of science is something which patent offices like the EPO and USPTO were supposed to prioritise; but as we noted in our previous post, the EPO detached itself from it. It’s nowadays trying to help prosecutors, not scientists. We also recently took note of the patent microcosm, notably Watchtroll, attacking large technology firms and politicians who support technology (rather than law firms and pharmaceutical monopolies that fund them).

“If Watchtroll is going to paint law firms as more important than science, then it simply self-nukes.”This isn’t a “small deal”; this sort of thing can be seen all across the Web, well outside Watchtroll as well. The anti-technology rhetoric has grown rather loud in lawyers’ circles and as recently as 3 days ago Watchtroll did it again, alluding to “Big Tech” (in the headline). It’s supposed to sound negative, like “Big Pharma”.

If Watchtroll is going to paint law firms as more important than science, then it simply self-nukes. Watchtroll (Gene Quinn) just carries on bashing technology companies and it’s a rather suicidal strategy from the patent microcosm, revealing itself as a sworn enemy of science and technology. Just a parasite? There are many other recent examples, not to mention all the court- and judge-bashing pieces (especially SCOTUS and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Justices/judges). Watchtroll pulls no punches; it’s just throwing punches everywhere and other patent extremists (associated with Watchtroll) have gone as far as burning papers in an unauthorised ‘protest’. It’s like watching the “Tea Party” of the patent world.

Nearly Half of Patent Applications at the EPO Are (at Least Partly) Software Patents, According to the EPO, and Not Many Patents Are European (Foreign, Not Domestic)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Casado at UIMP (which gave an honorary doctorate to corrupt Battistelli)

CASADO at UIMP event

Summary: With lack of care for examiners, for European businesses and for science in general the EPO carries on unabated; its agenda seems to be steered by Team UPC, which is looking to profit from lots of foreign lawsuits across Europe (relying on low-quality patents that wouldn’t pass muster in national courts)

THE EPO grants a lot of ‘foreign’ software patents. Foreign like in India, where such patents simply aren’t allowed (“per se”). India is renowned if not notorious for a low proportion of ‘domestic’ patents; it’s like the Indian patent office serves foreign companies (against Indian firms) more than the other way around — a fact that isn’t overlooked by the press. The same cannot be said about the USPTO because many companies (even foreign) operate inside the US.

“Such patents aren’t allowed at the EPO, at least in principle, but the EPO stopped obeying the law anyway.”The patent trolls’ lobby, IAM, has just quoted/paraphrased the EPO’s Vice-President Alberto Casado as saying that 43% of the applications the EPO now receives have a software element to them. Is Casado trying to justify tolerating software patents? It sure sounds like it. Such patents aren’t allowed at the EPO, at least in principle, but the EPO stopped obeying the law anyway. It’s corrupt and it routinely violates the EPC as though the EPC does not exist anymore. Another person quoted/paraphrased Casado as saying that Medical Technology is the first tech area of patent applications at the EPO but the top 1 applicant is… Huawei, from China!

Huawei has been rather aggressive with patents lately. Last night Florian Müller wrote about the case against Samsung, which has taken somewhat of a turn because Judge Orrick (District Court for the Northern District of California) “upholds Samsung’s anti-enforcement injunction against Huawei”. This is important because what’s at stake are nearly a billion computers (‘phones’, tablets etc.) and to quote Müller:

The fact that Samsung und Huawei are the world’s two leading Android device makers always lent some significance to their patent infringement dispute, but it wasn’t really too interesting to watch until the motion process that culminated in Samsung’s antisuit injunction, preventing Huawei from enforcing a couple of Chinese patent injunctions for the time being.

Huawei has since been trying to get rid of that decision, which prevents it from getting huge leverage in China in the shortest term. It asked Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to revisit his decision, and it filed a Ninth Circuit appeal with the Federal Circuit. The latter then told Huawei: you can’t keep two courts busy in parallel with the same matter, so please wait for your California-based judge, then we’ll see.

Remember that it’s Huawei that started it, having initiated injunction (embargo) efforts.

“We should also note that a couple of days ago Amar Goussu Staub’s Louise Amar (Team UPC) repeated the famous lies about UPC, which is not starting at all!”Such efforts would be greatly simplified, Europe-wide, if the EPO kept issuing lousy patents and if the UPC (or anything like it) ever came into force. Thankfully, the UPC is stuck/dead, but the EPO keeps issuing bad patents — a subject raised both by examiners and stakeholders.

We should also note that a couple of days ago Amar Goussu Staub’s Louise Amar (Team UPC) repeated the famous lies about UPC, which is not starting at all!

See how she started her self-promotional ‘article’:

A few countries have recently geared up for the ratification of the UPC Agreement. Although the date of its entry into force is yet unknown it is hoped that the Unified Patent Court will start its operation before the UK leaves the EU. This means that the Unitary Patent may also become available before March 2019. Indeed, EU Regulations No 1257/2012 and No 1260/2012 entered into force on 20 January 2013 will apply from the date of entry into force of the UPC Agreement. However, the issue of the Unitary Supplementary Protection Certificate still has to be resolved.

Here we have the two famous lies again: 1) that the UPC will inevitably start within months and 2) the only question is, can the UK participate?

Both are patently false, but they believe that if they keep repeating it, then maybe they can somehow compel the German FCC to prematurely issue a decision on the constitutional complaint. But such is the antidemocratic, thuggish nature of Team UPC, which Louise Amar played a major role in.

Team UPC truly complements Team Battistelli; neither cares about the law, which they just make up as they go along.

Patent Factory Europe (PFE) is a Patent Troll’s Publicity Stunt, Attempting to Frame a Predator as the Small Businesses’ Friend and Ally

Posted in Deception, Europe, Marketing, Patents at 2:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French troll

Summary: Patent troll “France Brevets” with its tarnished name (it’s the shame of France, a major source of shame other than Battistelli) has decided to do a charm offensive which characterises it as a friend of small firms (SMEs)

THE EPO continues to lie about being SMEs-friendly. It does this several times per week, perhaps hoping to distract from leaks like these.

Team UPC also lies quite a lot about SMEs; it keeps lying about the UPC being good for SMEs even though the very opposite is true. So SMEs have, in general, become political football. They’re being lied about by those who harm them the most. So should it be a surprise that patent trolls too are attempting to describe themselves as allies of SMEs?

“Team UPC also lies quite a lot about SMEs; it keeps lying about the UPC being good for SMEs even though the very opposite is true.”France Brevets has realised that people know what it’s really up to. So a face-saving move was initiated. The patent trolls’ lobby, IAM, did a puff piece for it (outside paywall for a change, for increased exposure). Then came IP Europe, a villainous patent front group of patent aggressors, with this press release and tweet which says: “Patent Factory Europe (PFE) will provide resources, competences and know-how to help innovative #SMEs in Europe to develop more patents and build strong💪, focused🎯 and usable✅ #IP.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. We mentioned this in our daily links (with a comment) just before the weekend and this might actually gain momentum soon. It’s a publicity stunt from a notorious French patent troll, trying to paint itself as pro-SMEs. It’s that classic old trick, framing oneself as “protecting the little guy…”

As we show below, those are the sole few mentions of “Patent Factory Europe”, which does not even have a Web site. The nature of those who amplify or promote “Patent Factory Europe” says a lot about the “Patent Factory Europe” itself. They’re dishonest patent maximalists.

Patent Factory Europe

Alice, Which Turns Four, Has Saved Billions of Dollars Previously Wasted on ‘Protection’ Money (Notably Patent Trolls)

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 12:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And we’re only a few days away from the eighth anniversary of the Bilski case

Summary: Alice has turned 4 (just five days ago) and software patents have never looked weaker (close to impossible to enforce in high courts in the United States), lowering the incentive to pursue such patents in the first place

THIS weekend we’ll focus on USPTO matters, notably software patents. Those aren’t doing particularly well, no matter how one attempts to spin it. Even Watchtroll has quit writing about it, having said virtually nothing on the subject this past week (yesterday the only “101″ he wrote about wasn’t Section 101 but “Patent Applications 101″). Lawyers are meanwhile trying to figure out how to draft or prepare “Software Patent Applications,” alluding to Alice and Berkheimer, which we’ll revisit separately later. “Register now for our free #CLE webinar, “From Alice to Berkheimer: Practical Tips for Preparing Software #patent Applications,” on June 27, featuring guest speakers Wood IP LLC partners Ted Wood and Archie Williams Jr,” this new tweet says. It was found and highlighted last night, thanks to Benjamin Henrion (FFII).

“It’s worth noting that we’re only a few days away from Bilski case turning 8.”Yesterday we wrote about U.S. Patent No. 10,000,000, which would also be invalid under Alice, according to Benjamin Henrion. He took a look at it and said that “it is mostly a computer program making some calculations about data coming from a sensor. Could be challenged under Alice.”

“Maybe Unified Patents should file an IPR, even just to make a statement about US patent 10,000,000,” I responded. U.S. Patent No. 10,000,000 is epic in the sense that it can serve to show what low quality US patents have sunk to. But here comes Dennis Crouch, a patent maximalist, glorifying the said patent. How long will they obsess over the number?

Either way, Alice (marking demise of software patent in the US at the Supreme Court) has just turned 4 and the software patents boosters at Fenwick & West still moan about it. A few days ago Greg Hopewell wrote:

Stepping back, it has now been exactly four years to the day of the Alice decision (June 19, 2014) and four more since Bilski (June 28, 2010). While it has become almost stereotypical to end many discussions of this subject with a call for a legislative solution, this case and others highlight the continuing difficulty in reliably applying the “directed to” and “something more” tests. Even if the application of these tests were reliable to experts who have read a great many 101 cases and could agree on resolving particular claims, the everyday patent examiner, judge, and inventor does not have the time to develop the judgment and expertise to reliably apply such a nuanced test. As reflected in the recent denials for en banc review of Aatrix and Berkheimer, there continues to be a need for clearer, easy-to-apply boundaries that could be resolved legislatively.

It’s worth noting that we’re only a few days away from In Re Bilski turning 8.

A few days ago the EFF gave some statistics related to Alice:

In the 4 years since the Alice v CLS Bank decision,
- R&D spending on software & Internet development has increased
- Employment growth for software developers has outpaced other sectors
- Over 400 incredibly abstract software patents have been invalidated

This has since then been mentioned and “retweeted” by a lot of people, linking to this new article from Daniel Nazer. To quote: (also via)

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. In Alice, the court ruled that an abstract idea does not become eligible for a patent simply by being implemented on a generic computer. Now that four years have passed, we know the case’s impact: bad patents went down, and software innovation went up.

Lower courts have applied Alice to throw out a rogues’ gallery of abstract software patents. Counting both federal courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, there are more than 400 decisions finding patent claims invalid under Alice. These include rulings invalidating patents on playing bingo on a computer, computerized meal plans, updating games, and many more. Some of these patents had been asserted by patent trolls dozens or even hundreds of times. A single ruling threw out 168 cases where a troll claimed that companies infringed a patent on the idea of storing and labeling information.

EFF’s Saved By Alice project collects stories of small businesses that used the Alice decision to defend themselves against attacks by entities asserting abstract software patents. Our series includes a photographer sued for running a website where users could vote for their favorite photo. Another post discusses a medical startup accused of infringing an extremely broad patent on telehealth. Without the Alice ruling, many of these small businesses could have been bankrupted by a patent suit.

Meanwhile, software innovation has thrived in the wake of Alice. R&D spending on software and Internet development shot up 27% in the year following the Supreme Court’s decision and has continued to grow at a rapid rate. Employment growth for software developers is also vastly outpacing growth in other sectors. At the end of 2017, PwC concluded that the “computer and software industries still shine in the R&D stakes, outperforming all other organizations in terms of billions spent.” A recent paper found evidence that the increase in software R&D was linked to the Alice decision.

It wasn’t just the EFF taking note of this ‘anniversary’. Engine wrote: “VC funding for software and internet companies has increased by 88% since #SCOTUS’s #Alice decision on software #patents. Happy Birthday, Alice! Spot her in our new video: https://youtu.be/uKlc-SOBQsA #InnovateWithoutFear”

Alice has been a nightmare to the patent microcosm but a blessing to companies which actually make something.”No software patents (or a de facto ban on them) celebrated by a front group of technology companies. Alice just means more peace of mind and safety for software developers, less risk no matter the company’s size. HTIA then joined in: “We love this video by @EngineOrg ! #SCOTUS’s #Alice decision improves #patent quality! #IP #InnovateWithoutFear”

HTIA too is a front group of technology companies. They have a common cause with us in the sense that they support the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Alice was also mentioned by CCIA’s Josh Landau. It’s another front group of technology companies, both large and small. Landau says “More Evidence Is In—Alice Has Been Good For R&D,” alluding to “a recent paper [which] has provided evidence that Alice’s impact on R&D investment has been positive.” From the Patent Progress blog:

Tuesday marked one milestone—utility patent number 10,000,000. But it also marked a far more important milestone—the 4-year anniversary of the Alice decision. Looking back on those 4 years, Alice has been a clear success in eliminating patents that never should have issued. It’s had a very limited impact on patent prosecution, with most applications entirely unaffected and affected applications as likely to be allowed as not. And a recent paper has provided evidence that Alice’s impact on R&D investment has been positive.

[...]

The paper suggests a primary mechanism for this is the ability of companies to shift spending away from defensive patenting into R&D. In other words, with the risk of being sued on a low quality patent reduced by Alice, firms were both able and willing to spend more money on R&D.

Contrary to the predictions at the time of Alice and contrary to unsupported statements made more recently, Alice has not only not been “the death of hundreds of thousands of patents” or “devastated” research, but in fact appears to have helped the software industry and R&D in general develop even faster.

So there it is. Alice has been a nightmare to the patent microcosm but a blessing to companies which actually make something. Whose plea is more important?

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