Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Lawyers and Their Sites/Media Still a Barrier to End of Software Patents and Patent Wars

The profit motive twists the news or the nature of public debates

The profit motive



Summary: Like the Military Industrial Complex, lawyers' establishments work hard to guard the system which they are constantly milking, profiting from feuds and perceived risks (patent armament)

TECHRIGHTS is accomplishing a long-term goal with the foreseeable end of many software patents in the US. A SCOTUS ruling on Alice became truly a nightmare to a lot of patent lawyers and some of these self-serving patent maximalists bicker about future SCOTUS cases, much like Bilski at one time. We have come to rely a great deal on the Supreme Court, whose judgments are often cited (sometimes both Alice and In Re Bilski) to help convince judges to invalidate patents and dismiss patent lawsuits.



This one Web site of patent lawyers has published China's "Annual Report on Intellectual Property Cases" (Issued by the Supreme People’s Court on April 21 2015) and stated: "In 2014, the Supreme People’s Court adhered to “administration of justice for the people and impartial justice” as the main themes of its work, actively implemented the state’s intellectual property strategy, fully leveraged the guiding role of judicial protection of intellectual property, intensified the reform of the intellectual property judicial regime, continuously enhanced judicial capabilities and judicial credibility and continuously expanded the international influence of the judicial protection of intellectual property, thereby making positive contributions to the development of an innovation-oriented country and a China ruled by law."

Now that a lot of the producing industry has already been moved to China, one is led to wondering if China is seen as a fertile ground for Western patent lawyers as well. The US patent system sure isn't showing them much love anymore, especially if they deal with software patents (which are at the core of a large number of patent cases these days, based on publicly-accessible figures).

See this Entrepreneur article titled "Get a Software Patent to Protect Yourself, But Be Prepared for a Frustrating Process" (misleading headline).

"For a software startup," says the author, "a patent can be the intellectual property providing the key competitive advantage, or it can be an expensive non-defensible bureaucratic nightmare -- or both. I still generally advise software startups to file a patent as a barrier to entry from competitors and to increase their valuation by investors, but every entrepreneur needs to understand the tradeoffs."

Well, we explained repeatedly why patents don't and cannot help startups, especially in the area of software. They cannot sue (back) trolls and they cannot sue giants because every piece of software is almost guaranteed to infringe lots of different patents; those with a stockpile of software patents always win. The author says: "The free and growing open source software community, which covers most mobile and web apps, oppose software patents as impeding or prohibiting the distribution of free software. By definition, patents limit the commercialization rate and range for a new innovation."

"We have come to rely a great deal on the Supreme Court, whose judgments are often cited (sometimes both Alice and In Re Bilski) to help convince judges to invalidate patents and dismiss patent lawsuits."The title of that part says "Patents are counter to open source initiatives and free software." This is why we got into this type of activism in the first place, way back in 2006.

Rob Tiller (Red Hat) recently spoke about "hacking the patent system" -- an article that got him plenty of criticism from FFII figures because rather than combat software patents he tries to 'hack' the system. Software patents cannot coexist with Free software, but Riller "caught up with Daniel Nazer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to pose a few questions relating to software patents. Daniel is a staff attorney at EFF, where he occupies the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents and focuses on patent reform."

It's a dialogue between two lawyers, one of whom is funded by a funder of a patent troll, Vringo, and another by an applicant of software patents, Red Hat.

Remember that patent lawyers make a money from disputes. For a person like Tiller, patents are money, so he doesn't necessarily want software patents to go away. It's what makes Red Hat pay him a salary. We generally trust programmers (or examiners) a lot more than we can ever trust lawyers. it's worth noting that Tiller enjoys (as a platform of publication) a Red Hat 'news' site that's not really news (it's often Red Hat marketing, book tours, and other self-serving promotion).

"The US patent system sure isn't showing them much love anymore, especially if they deal with software patents..."There are many people out there, especially patent lawyers and their rich clients (like Microsoft), who work hard to expand the scope of patents. They're maximalists. They also have their own media, which they call/deem "magazines", "news", etc.

Over at IAM 'magazine', which receives money from the EPO, patent lawyers and their cheerleaders say that India needs more patents, probably software patents ; it's like Raytheon saying that we need more wars. This relates to a lot of different reports (we saw dozens of them) about Modi trying to encourage patenting, even when it's clearly misguided.

Two articles [1, 2] from Dennis Crouch, another proponent of more patents (a maximalist), add fuel to the patent bonfire. "Boiled down," one says, "the court affirmed the grant of the firm’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a complaint that in broad terms alleged that the Finnegan firm had a conflict because it represented the plaintiff and another client in obtaining patents claiming screwless eyeglass hinge inventions. There are two broad issues: when is prosecution of patents for one client adverse to another, and when are two patent applications so close that prosecuting them creates a material limitation on the lawyer’s ability to represent either client."

"...we explained repeatedly why patents don't and cannot help startups, especially in the area of software."Another says that "the Federal Circuit has rejected Carl Cooper’s challenge to constitutional propriety of the inter partes review (IPR) system as implemented by the USPTO. The identical issues had already been decided in MCM v. HP (Fed. Cir. 2015). In that case, the Federal Circuit held that the IPR system does not violate Article III of the U.S. Constitution nor does it violate the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As I wrote in December, the MCM decision “essentially forecloses Carl Cooper’s parallel proceedings.”"

For some details about CAFC's biases see the previous post about Alice and software patents in the US. We previously wrote about corruption in CAFC and we generally consider this court to be in the patent lawyers' pocket.

Earlier on, back in December, a case against Mercedes got mentioned here. It involved software patents. Australian patent attorney Justin Blows (Australia is too soft on software patents, said patent lawyers from Australia this month) wrote about this case ("Vehicle Intelligence v Mercedes Benz, a 101/ Alice case") and noted: "Claims of US patent 7,393,392 in the name of Vehicle Intelligence and Safety LLC were found not to be patent eligible subject matter under 35 USC 101 because the claims cover only abstract ideas coupled with routine data-gathering steps and conventional computer activity."

"Remember that patent lawyers make a money from disputes."This was another case where Alice beat software patents. "Software is patentable subject matter generally," Blows added in relation to another case, "however if the purpose of the software invention is abstract then there must be a further inventive concept that appropriately limits the claims to prevent prohibition of a vast amount of future inventive activity."

Blows also cited this one case in favour of software patents, noting: "To be patentable, a computer related invention must be necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in computer technology"

Well, the USPTO is said to have changed its guidelines at least once since the Alice case, but unlike the courts, it is driven by greed and grants far too many patents (for about 92% of applications).

"There are many people out there, especially patent lawyers and their rich clients (like Microsoft), who work hard to expand the scope of patents."'Revolving doors' are a common issue at the USPTO (people from IBM or Google run it) and now it's 'ex' Oracle staff that will be trusted to run the USPTO in Colorado. As WIPR put it the other day, "Kocialski previously worked at Oracle as a senior patent counsel and has experience in post-grant procedures and patent investigations."

There's a serious issue when a patent system is run by political people, as the EPO serves to show. It's arguably even worse when people from large corporations are left to run it. Here is IAM's take on presidential role in the patent system (no such role should exist).

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned
 
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in redhat.com
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Android Rises to New Highs of Almost 80% in Cameroon
How many dozens of nations will see Windows at under 10% this coming winter?
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day
Microsoft Falls Further and Closer Towards 10% (Windows "Market Share") in Kuwait
more countries entering the "single-digit Windows" (under 10%) club
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Antenna's Pro-Hamas Bias Revisited and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day
[Video] Julian Assange, Over One Decade Ago, Cautioning About What the Internet Had Truly Become
video is not new
Homage to Malta
Malta is probably easy for Microsoft to bribe
IRC at 16
Logging has been used for us and against us
In Malta, Android/Linux Has Overtaken Microsoft Windows (According to statCounter)
statCounter milestone?
Links 15/07/2024: China’s Economic Problems, Boeing Under Fire
Links for the day
500 Days' Uptime Very Soon
Good luck doing that with Windows...
Windows Falls Below 20% in Tunisia
A month ago we wrote about GNU/Linux in Tunisia
Links 15/07/2024: Google Wants Wiz and Why "Sports Ruin Everything"
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and Sending Files via NNCP
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 14, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 14, 2024