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Media Sites Still Filled to the Rim With Pro-Software Patents Propaganda (Lies by Omission)

Selective media coverage as a biasing strategy

India Nepal cartoon



Summary: Sites of patent lawyers continue to tell only a fraction of the whole story, focusing on one single old case involving Microsoft (which supports software patents) rather than the full picture (Alice and PTAB crushing software patents in the United States)

PATENTS on software are worse than inessential. They're extremely harmful, especially but not only to software developers (irrespective of the type of software and whether it's proprietary or not). They are being promoted for (self) gain by billionaires and patent lawyers, as we noted in our previous post. So why are we still hearing software patents advocacy? Well, for one thing, patent lawyers have a grip on the media. They even have their own media sites and these often look like news sites (basically marketing/sales disguised as analysis or reporting). This post presents some of the latest propaganda on these matters.



According to this recent post from a patent lawyers' site: "A court was easily able to analogize claims of two patents directed to electronic messaging to manual communications processes; the court consequently granted a motion for summary judgment of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101. Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC v. Blackberry Corp., No. 3:12-cv-1652-M (N.D. Texas May 12, 2016)."

"They're extremely harmful, especially but not only to software developers (irrespective of the type of software and whether it's proprietary or not)."Notice the "invalidity under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101" part. We're seeing lots of that today, but patent lawyers would rather de-emphasise or ignore such things. "US Pat 8,545,575," wrote Patent Buddy the other day. "This is the patent a UT Judge held invalid under 101/Alice" (the SCOTUS ruling on Alice in 2014).

There's more of that, e.g. Patent Buddy's "Portable Data Storage Device Patent Unpatentable Under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101" (same grounds).

The cited decision is described as follows: "In a final written decision, the Board found claims of a patent directed to a portable data storage device unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101."

And from the decision: "The underlying concept of claims 13 and 14, particularly when viewed in light of the ’720 patent specification, is conditioning and controlling access to content based upon payment. This is a fundamental economic practice long in existence in commerce. We are, thus, persuaded, based on the ’720 patent specification and the claim language, that each of claims 13 and 14 is directed to an abstract idea."

"They even have their own media sites and these often look like news sites (basically marketing/sales disguised as analysis or reporting)."Looking at the site best known for software patents advocacy, they now have an article titled "Avoiding Alice Rejections with Predictive Analytics" (trying to find loopholes around the law). "Having affirmed the claim construction," says another such site, "the Federal Circuit likewise affirmed summary judgment of noninfringement, adding that disclaimer applied to both literal infringement and to infringement under the doctrine of equivalents."

This is actually about CAFC, not SCOTUS. CAFC is responsible for bringing software patents to the United States in the first place.

3 days ago Ping Hu and Michael McNamara of Mintz Levin tried hard to cherry-pick cases to bring back software patents, in spite of SCOTUS. Their 'article' was titled "A New Hope for Software Patents?" It looks like an analysis, but it's shameless self-promotion, as usual. Mintz Levin wasn't alone here. Patent lawyers are so desperate to spread one single case (Enfish v Microsoft) to the appeals folks in order to save software patents. See "The PTAB Applies Enfish" (the case everyone leans on for legitimisation of software patents). It says: "However, relying on the recent Enfish decision, the PTAB found that the claimed method did not recite an abstract idea. Id. at 15. In so finding the PTAB faulted Petitioner's argument for failing to analyze the claims as a whole. Id. at 15. The PTAB went on to analyze the claimed method under the second step of the Alice test and found that it too was not met. Id. at 16. The PTAB found that, like the claims in DDR Holdings, the challenged claims are necessarily rooted in computer technology. Id. at 17."

"CAFC is responsible for bringing software patents to the United States in the first place."PTAB is not stupid (or corruptible or greedy like the USPTO), so almost every software patent that comes there will end up dead. The blog post "Corelogic, Inc. v. Boundary Solutions, Inc. (PTAB 2016)" says: "On May 24, 2016, the U.S. Patent Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a decision denying institution of covered business method (CBM) patent review of U.S. Patent No. 7,092,957 owned by Boundary Solutions."

That's more of the same, obviously. Even Apple is now running to the PTAB, having found itself on the receiving end of abuses it's now so renowned for. To quote IAM: "Shortly after Smartflash won a $533 million infringement decision against Apple early last year this blog pointed out that the NPE [troll] was still unlikely to ultimately receive such a big payout. For one thing the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has shown its predilection for over-ruling big district court awards, particularly from the Eastern District of Texas and particularly damages awarded to NPEs."

What's noteworthy here is that Apple, which uses software patents against Android (and by extension Linux) suddenly does not like them (because they're used against Apple) and resorts/retreats to PTAB for reprieve. How pathetic is this? Double standards all over this...

"What's noteworthy here is that Apple, which uses software patents against Android (and by extension Linux) suddenly does not like them (because they're used against Apple) and resorts/retreats to PTAB for reprieve."Regarding PTAB, also see MCM v HP Briefs. To quote Patently-O: "MCM-Petition-and-Appendix: (1) Whether inter partes review (IPR) violates Article III of the Constitution; and (2) whether IPR violates the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution. Response Due June 30, 2016."

The inter partes reviews are carried out by PTAB, which we need a lot more of (the EPO equivalent, E/BoA, is being crushed by Battistelli these days).

Going back to Enfish v Microsoft, 3 weeks later patent lawyers still try to prop up this one single pro-software patents ruling. CoffyLaw published this promotional piece and Bastian Best is cherry-picking cases again, citing Michael Best who latches onto CAFC. Fish & Richardson PC, which we mentioned here many times before, also joins the opportunists with a so-called 'analysis' or comparison between Enfish and TLI (a case which soon after Enfish crushed software patents at the same court). Meanwhile, a Microsoft-connected patent lawyers firm (Shook Hardy and Bacon LLP) is trying to expand patent scope with a so-called 'analysis'. The common thing (or theme) here is that they only pay attention to what suits their agenda. It's not analysis, it's propaganda.

"The common thing (or theme) here is that they only pay attention to what suits their agenda. It's not analysis, it's propaganda."Owing to patent lawyers' hype and media saturation, Enfish v Microsoft is now widely known only for reinforcing software patents in the US. "Enfish Could Not Save Patents Asserted Against Nvidia," Patent Buddy wrote, citing this PDF. So obviously there's not much impact to Enfish v Microsoft after all.

Why does the media keep covering it like it's a groundbreaking decision? Here is the corporate media mentioning it almost a month later, stating: "The court wrote in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp that any “improvement to computer functionality itself” overcomes the abstract idea exception to patent eligibility that holds that what is abstract can't be patented." Yes, but how many similar cases were decided/ruled against software patents? Why are these being ignored? Selective attention? Or just propaganda dressed up as 'reporting'? These are rhetorical questions really.

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