Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Continued Collapse of Software Patents in the US, No Matter What Patent Lawyers Say

Spinners everywhere

Umbrella spinner
Umbrella spinner

Summary: New examples of software patents that simply cannot withstand or survive scrutiny, either at the appeal panels or at the court (where there's no incentive to approve nearly everything, unlike the USPTO)

THE USPTO wishes to grant more and more patents for increasing revenue and growing influence. This is why it ended up with so many patents, perhaps the majority of which are bogus (based on prior art, abstractness etc.) and the bubble has begun imploding.

Making money by invalidating bad patents sounds like a good thing, but based on this new report from MIP, this business opportunity is being exploited by thugs and con men like Kyle Bass and Erich Spangenberg (we wrote about both of them in prior years). To quote MIP:

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s institution decisions on all 35 of the inter partes review petitions filed by Kyle Bass and Erich Spangenberg are now in

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has issued institution decisions on all the inter partes review (IPR) petitions that involve hedge fund manager Kyle Bass.

As a recap, Spangenberg is one of the biggest patent trolls out there. Kyle Bass comes from a highly ruinous meta-industry and he destroys companies by going after key patents of theirs. Another new article about PTAB (also from MIP) says: "The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated two livestock valuation patents in the first PGR final written decisions. Only one of the 28 PGR petitions filed so far has been denied institution, with two settled and 11 waiting an institution verdict" (progress).

"We are hoping to see more such cases where software patents are identified by determining the reducibility of the operation to pen-and-paper analysis."If you see "livestock" in patents, then you immediately know something is amiss, either because the patent pertains to life or to software/mathematics in this case. Many of the patents which PTAB invalidates these days are software patents.

Speaking of software patents, mind this new decision [via] and blog post titled "Computer Memory Testing Patents Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101" (Alice likely). To quote the summary, action in this case can be "performed by humans without computers [and this] confirms [...] asserted claims are directed to patent-ineligible abstract ideas."

We are hoping to see more such cases where software patents are identified by determining the reducibility of the operation to pen-and-paper analysis. This patent sounds rather similar to the Bilski one, which the US Supreme Court was not too enthusiastic about.

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