07.10.18

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Patent Trolls Rally/Advertise Thomas Massie’s Bill to Abolish PTAB and Promote Software Patents in the US

Posted in America, Deception, Law, Patents at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Adding to existing injustices

Bayh-Dole
Full paper [PDF]

Summary: Vocal patent maximalists (or think tanks of the litigation ‘industry’) want us to think that the US is too restrictive when it comes to patents (the opposite is true) and tries to change the law so as to plague/saturate the system with patent lawsuits they stand to gain from at the expense of practicing companies

THE patent maximalists want the unreasonable. They want to turn what’s public into private monopolies (e.g. publicly-funded research into patents) and then enjoy immunity from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), even when such private monopolies get traded away with patent trolls that sooner or later tax the public.

“They want to turn what’s public into private monopolies (e.g. publicly-funded research into patents) and then enjoy immunity from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), even when such private monopolies get traded away with patent trolls that sooner or later tax the public.”Moreover, the patent maximalists want to make companies accountable abroad (outside the US) for infringement of US patents as judged by US courts, as per Western Geco v Ion (see our remarks on this decision). The patent maximalists are to science what the NRA is to public safety. IPO now celebrates Western Geco v Ion in a new “IPO Webinar on Damages”. IPO’s aggressive lobbying for software patents has been covered here many times before; notice this webinar’s leaders; Microsoft’s ‘former’ Bart Eppenauer (now Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP) is among them.

What bothers us even more is the vanity of patent maximalists, who insist that they should be writing everybody’s laws so as to enrich patent maximalists. This is corruption, but they rely on ‘proxies’ like politicians and pressure groups. Mind Watchtroll’s latest headline, speaking about needing to “[r]estore the patent system” (restore? It was never gone!) and “protect Bayh-Dole” (a subject covered here before, e.g. in [1, 2, 3, 4]).

There’s also an upcoming webinar “on 2018 Bayh Dole Revisions,” which patent maximalists described as follows yesterday: “Technology Transfer Tactics will be offering a webinar entitled “The 2018 Bayh Dole Revisions: Practical Compliance Guidance for Technology Transfer Offices” on July 17, 2018 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (ET). Charles R. Macedo, Alan Miller and Brian Amos of Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP will address…”

That’s next week. Notice how only patent maximalists are speaking and attending. The hallmark of lobbying; they try to dominate the system and control the entire dialogue/debate about it. We see the same in Europe whenever or wherever the Unified Patent Court (UPC) gets discussed.

Watchtroll is quite revealing; it’s a lot more blatant and rude than the other patent maximalists. Only yesterday it resumed its Federal Circuit bashing, as we have noted a few times lately. It’s also smearing SCOTUS over its rulings, not just PTAB (not anymore). They are, at present, attacking just about anything, even the former Director of the USPTO (whom they tried to remove from her job). It’s disgusting to watch and this is why we end up with such an ugly system, where the prime goal seems to be granting monopolies on every single thing.

Shobita Parthasarathy, who gives a platform to a radical patent group associated with Watchtroll (showing how they burn patents in an unauthorised protest on USPTO premises), said that “The US patent system is a mess,” by which he means not what Watchtroll means. When Watchtroll said (yesterday) that it wants to “[r]estore the patent system” it means expanding patent scope, whereas Parthasarathy complains that patent scope has already gone way to far. Here are some of the cited examples:

But the dynamics of the patent system have changed in recent decades. Public health activists have filed lawsuits stating that, rather than increasing access to technology, patents create monopolies that make good health unaffordable and inaccessible for many. In 2013, a coalition of patients, health care professionals and scientists challenged patents covering genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer at the US Supreme Court. They argued the patents had led to expensive and poor-quality genetic tests available only through one company: Myriad Genetics, the patent holder.

Meanwhile, small farmers have organized protests against seed patents, suggesting they accelerate the corporate control of agriculture in ways that are damaging for their livelihoods, for innovation, for consumers and for the ecosystem.

And civil society groups have instigated legislative hearings and media campaigns arguing that patents implicitly provide moral certification for the development and commercialization of ethically controversial areas of research and development. Such campaigns began as early as the 1980s, when environmentalists, animal rights organizations and religious figures challenged the patentability of genetically engineered animals. They worried that by turning these animals into commodities, the patent system would transform people’s understanding of ownership and our relationship with the natural environment.

Patent system officials and lawyers tend to view this activism as seriously misguided. They argue that these citizen challengers lack the expertise to understand how the patent system works: It is a limited domain focused merely on certifying the novelty, inventiveness and utility of inventions. This technical and legal orientation is also embedded in the rules and processes of the system, which make it virtually impossible for average citizens to participate, except by submitting patent applications.

This article was later reposted a few times by Government Technology, under the headline “An Early Expression of Democracy, the US Patent System Is Out of Step with Today’s Citizen”.

The likes of Parthasarathy bother patent maximalists because the patent maximalists keep moaning that patents don’t go far enough; in reality, they already go way too far. Watch what the patent trolls’ lobby wrote yesterday. Adam Houldsworth seems to have no qualm promoting patents on nature/life. That’s just his job; that’s what IAM hired him for. When IAM says “but must wait for 101 guidance” it intentionally misleads the patent radicals it preaches to, as if Section 101/Alice/Mayo will imminently be overridden. This is pure fantasy/lobbying. Here’s the summary:

The US Supreme Court’s treatment of patentability in recent times has often been frustrating to life sciences innovators, with last month’s refusal to grasp the nettle of patent eligible subject matter in Cleveland Clinic Foundation v True Health Diagnostics being the latest setback. However, the highest court’s recent grant of certiorari in Helsinn Healthcare v Teva Pharmaceutical is a silver lining for inventors in the sector – creating the prospect of greater certainty on the rules surrounding prior art and novelty under Section 102, an issue which is of great importance that has been thrown into confusion by recent developments at the Federal Circuit.

The US Supreme Court isn’t overturning Alice/Mayo. In fact, it doesn’t even look into anything remotely like Alice/Mayo.

Another patent maximalist, Dennis Crouch, states the obvious, in an effort to slow PTAB down and defend bogus patents, having already attempted to twist the Constitution to influence Oil States and make PTAB obsolete. Is Dennis Crouch trolling the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on July Fourth? Hard to tell, but these people haven’t given up on the plot to abolish PTAB/IPRs.

Crouch recently did some 'marketing' for Thomas Massie, now backed by and promoted by patent maximalists like Kevin E. Noonan (McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP), as expected. He probably paid to push this into Google News etc. as can be seen here. This was originally mentioned by Patently-O, which promoted it as one can expect (it’s a patent maximalism think tank). What we deal with here is basically a coup attempt; they’re writing the wishlist of the litigation ‘industry’, dressing that up as “Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act.” It’s a pro-software patents, anti-PTAB bill (one of many, all of which have failed).

The reason why all these bills are going pretty much nowhere is that there’s resistance to them from anyone but the litigation ‘industry’. Here’s a new roundup of such bills, posted on Sunday by Watchtroll. When Watchtroll speaks of “Legislative Steps in the Pro-patent Direction” they all just mean patent maximlism, not “pro-patent”. Here for example is Massie’s effort:

New patent legislation would rectify some of the damage done by several court rulings and by Congress.

[...]

Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) have introduced H.R. 6264, the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act.

Notice the usually/typically loaded bill titles (with words like “innovation” that nobody wants to say “no” to). This article appears to have motivated this dramatic tweet about something that’s a week old and done during the summer recess (no politicians to support it): “BREAKING: US Software Patents are back with H.R. 6264, the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act (section 7 aims to get rid of Supreme Court’s Alice jurisprudence) [] Section 7 confirms the patentability of scientific discoveries and software. [...] The legislation largely adopts the language of recent proposals by the Intellectual Property Owners Association and American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association. [] It explicitly states that it “effectively abrogates” Alice and related Supreme Court opinions on patent eligibility [] US Software Patents Law: “This amendment abrogates Alice and its predecessors to ensure that life sciences discoveries, computer software, and similar inventions and discoveries are patentable, and that those patents are enforceable” https://cdn.patentlyo.com/media/2018/07/FinalPatentBill.pdf …”” (quoting the original)

“No, it won’t pass,” I told him. It’s just one of many failed efforts, going back almost to Alice (2014). It’s another shot in the dark. It’s being promoted by a patent troll, Dominion Harbor. That says a lot about who’s looking to benefit — the very antithesis of “innovation”.

We’re surprised that HTIA, EFF and others have not yet remarked on this bill. Many people are simply on holiday right now. Patent Progress, which strongly supports PTAB and is composed solely by Josh Landau (CCIA), wrote this a day ago:

Today, the Computer & Communications Industry Association submitted its comments opposing the Patent Office’s proposal to change the claim construction standard applied in AIA trials from the current broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI) to the Phillips standard district courts apply.

Here is the document [PDF] in question. Maybe it’s time for technology companies’ front groups to publicly explain what a ludicrous bill Massie put forth, serving nobody but the litigation ‘industry’ under the guise of “innovation”.

“Restoring America’s Leadership” is another one of those silly sound bites which is a loaded statement, perhaps alluding to the recent lies from the Chamber of Commerce. Leadership is still with the US, partly owing to patent reform, not in spite of it.

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