12.02.18

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The Anti-Section 101 (Pro-Software Patents) Lobby Looks at New Angles for Watering Down Guidelines and Caselaw

Posted in America, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 3:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Section 101 (35 U.S.C. § 101) withstands endless lobbying against it

Section

Summary: By focusing on jury trials and patent trolls the proponents of bunk, likely-invalid abstract patents hope to overrule or override technical courts such as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

IT SHOULD NOT surprise anyone that USPTO officials who came from the litigation ‘industry’ are upset at the Federal Circuit under Chief Judge Sharon Prost. As we shall show in later posts, she too has come under criticism if not attacks from the usual suspects. For those who forgot or haven’t been following these affairs, Sharon Prost replaces a corrupt Chief Judge who was caught red-handed and is nowadays lobbying along with patent maximalists. They really hate Section 101, which basically invalidates just about any software patent.

A patent maximalist called Janal Kalis has just noted that “PTAB Affirmed an Examiner’s [Section] 101 Rejection of Claims in a Thompson Reuters Patent Application for Docketing: https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2017005527-11-07-2018-1 …”

This is the usual; whenever PTAB gets involved and Section 101 is brought up the likelihood of invalidation/rejection is very high. Berkheimer has changed practically nothing.

“…whenever PTAB gets involved and Section 101 is brought up the likelihood of invalidation/rejection is very high.”So what will those patent maximalists do about Section 101 and about PTAB? “Despite Misleading Question, Berkheimer Case Has Legs at the Supreme Court,” Dennis Crouch says. Crouch himself is a very vocal patent maximalist and opponent of Section 101. And no, he’s just trying to sway the court’s stance, having long promoted software patents and patent trolls. The EFF has also just urged the Justices at SCOTUS to examine the case because they want closure (the court repeatedly declines to revisit the subject). Crouch mentioned “go[ing] to a jury.” To quote: “In my view, the question presented by HP’s attorneys intentionally creates confusion as the Federal Circuit did not rule (1) that eligibility is a question of fact; or (2) that any aspect of the eligibility question goes to a jury. Rather, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly ruled, including in Berkheimer, that the question of “eligible subject matter is a question of law.” I’ll also note that no court following Berkheimer has seen eligibility itself as a question of fact or attempted to get a jury verdict on the issue. I contacted David Salmons (counsel of record for HP) to see what I’m missing about the misleading question, but he did not respond.”

He was later admitting a mistake, citing patent troll Finjan. These Berkheimer pushers (who are software patents boosters) cite Microsoft’s patent troll Finjan in relation to letting a nontechnical jury decide on patents (a big mistake). His mea culpa:

In my recent Berkheimer post, I wrote that “that no court following Berkheimer has … attempted to get a jury verdict on the issue.” Turns out that I’m potentially wrong.

In the pending case of Finjan, Inc. v. Juniper Network, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2018), Judge Alsup has ordered a jury trial on the “inventive concept” question. In its order, denying summary judgment, the court found that the Claim 10 of Finjan’s U.S. Patent No. 8,677,494 was directed to the abstract idea of “collecting data, analyzing data, and storing results.” (Alice Step 1). However, the court decided to wait for trial to determine the inventive concept question…

Looking at this troll’s affairs, it’s pretending to be an actual company, it attracts some investment, and it speaks of ‘sales’ when all it really does is litigation. This is the kind of firm that needs to go bankrupt because it’s a classic troll.

“Logical arguments about the scientific contribution of such patents (or detriment thereof) don’t seem to bother them. A facts-based, evidence-based discussion just doesn’t appeal to these people.”Jury trials, as we have been pointing out several times over the past year, are more likely to get things wrong; jury trials are not suitable for technical matters involving patents, which they don’t understand (particular scientific disciplines). This is misapplying one principle of law to granting of a monopoly. Juvan Bonni, who works with Crouch, has incidentally just promoted these two recent papers. One of these is sort of ‘court bashing’ by Cambridge Technology Law (a push against PTAB); they just loathe patent quality, so they try to discredit the court and AIA. How typical. More lobbying as “papers” (the Koch Brothers sponsor some other attacks on PTAB, using ‘scholars’ in institutions they sponsor). The second of those two speaks of juries in patent litigation. Watchtroll has meanwhile taken this further with N. Scott Pierce (Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP), who repeats the same arguments (more or less). What we find noteworthy here is that almost a year later (10 months) they are still pushing Berkheimer, engaging in revisionism about Oil States (no matter what SCOTUS ruled this past summer) and obsess over faulty jury trials (based on misinformation) so as to discredit the court. Logical arguments about the scientific contribution of such patents (or detriment thereof) don’t seem to bother them. A facts-based, evidence-based discussion just doesn’t appeal to these people. They never wrote a single line of code.

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