Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Trolls 'Business' After TC Heartland: It's Very Tough!

TC Heartland v. Kraft
Reference: TC Heartland v Kraft



Summary: The latest activities inside and outside the courts show that TC Heartland became a considerable barrier to trolling and aggressive tactics of trolls have shifted to (or been aimed at) their critics

THE USPTO's evolving attitude towards software patents (post-Alice) is noteworthy. Section 101 is making a real difference. After TC Heartland (covered here many times before, e.g. [1, 2]) companies try to find 'artistic' ways to push patent litigation to crooked court districts. They often rely on software patents granted before Alice; that's where PTAB comes handy.



The other day we saw this docket report about an attempt to bypass TC Heartland and shift lawsuit venue based on the location of a rented server (many servers are located in Texas for various business reasons). To quote:

The court granted defendant's alternative motion to transfer for improper venue because a rented server did not qualify as defendant's regular and established place of business.


This won't work. TC Heartland was quite clear about this. When companies (or trolls) rely on outdated and low-quality software patents it's not surprising that they try moving litigation to Texas. For instance, this new press release says that some company "expanded its core merchant processing services to include enterprise-grade, patent-protected software and intellectual property..."

Well, "patent-protected software" means not much after Alice; copyrights do, but not patents...

It seems as though their only hope now is judges like Gilstrap, who famously disregards the Supreme Court, not just on Alice but also TC Heartland.

People recall (citing this outline) how Michelle Lee got bullied out of her job by the patent microcosm and the patent trolls' lobby, adding the reference to TC Heartland and alluding to trolls as "NPEs" while mentioning China. To quote: "2017 has been a year of headlines. From Michelle Lee stepping down as the Director of USPTO to the law changing decision in TC Heartland. From NPEs divesting their interests in diverse business models to China’s relatively new IP Priorities, and lot more"

Well, "China’s relatively new IP Priorities" are a recipe for patent trolling. In China, as it turns out, it's now Shenzhen (as well as Beijing and Shanghai) that facilitates the litigation 'business' (patent trolls). As Chinese media put it the other day:

Southern Chinese city of Shenzhen Tuesday set up a financial court and an intellectual property (IP) court.

[...]

In 2016, courts in Shenzhen adjudicated on 14,887 IP cases of first instance, or one 10th of the nation's total. In the first eleven months, Shenzhen courts handled 23,639 financial dispute cases of first instance, twice the number in the same period last year.


Maybe they just wish to become the next Texas. Good luck with that. It's self-harming.

In the US, by contrast, trolls are a dying breed. William Bozeman, for example, was mentioned by the Conservative media the other day. It's in relation to his patent battle against the Federal Reserve System, which paints Bozeman as nothing but a troll. Here are some portions from the Washington Times:

William Bozeman, an independent inventor with a colorful history, says he used to have a good relationship with the Federal Reserve System and even helped improve its fraud detection efforts.

[...]

The Fed described Mr. Bozeman as an opportunist, trying to demand money for technology he didn’t invent.

Mr. Bozeman said he is being bullied by the secretive central bank and that the Fed is trying to run up his legal bills by filing all the complaints in an effort to make him go away.


If he never implemented this thing on his own, then it makes him an opportunist. There are various companies out there, especially in Texas area, which do nothing but litigation. They aren't doing well. Dominion Harbor is a patent troll which felt so hurt by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that earlier this year it ran an anti-EFF series (not just a single article). Nowadays it promotes other parasites and says: "We're not running out of good ideas. We just need to get better at implementing them..."

Dominion Harbor never implemented anything whatsoever, so this statement is laughable. Patent trolls feel the pinch and publicly attack the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) as well as yours truly (they did a whole podcast about me, in which they lied endlessly about me). But don't worry about the EFF; they're doing just fine. They've just done an annual roundup of their activity and wrote:

This year was once again active in terms of patent law and policy. Throughout it all, EFF worked to protect end user and innovator rights. We pushed for a rule that would end the Eastern District of Texas’ unwarranted dominance as a forum for patent litigation. We also defended processes at the Patent Office that give it the opportunity to correct mistakes (many, many mistakes) made in issuing patents. And we fought to prevent new patent owner tactics that would increase consumer costs.


We are very supportive of the work the EFF does on the patent front these days. We habitually see "Electronic Frontier Foundation" in publications like VentureBeat and TechDirt (reposted again some days ago [1, 2]) and the public sentiment too is changing. If it carries on like this, not only will the Supreme Court acknowledge that patent trolls are a problem (some Justices already call them "trolls") but will also weed them out in future rulings.

As a closing word, I'd like to disclose that I received a nasty letter from a highly notorious patent troll. I might publish it some time in the near future. As Ray Niro has already demonstrated, heavy-duty trolls have no qualm about attacking their critics, even if these critics are bloggers. They drag the critics to court. The EFF has been sued quite a few times by now for merely criticising particular patents.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
 
GNU/Linux in Cameroon: Rising Steadily While Windows Falls From 99% to Just 6%
If one also counts mobile (mostly Android)
Monkey See, Monkey Share
on deprivation of users
From 0.17% to 10% or More (GNU/Linux in Dominica)
Dominica isn't well known, but it does seem to have embraced Chromebooks in recent years
Links 28/05/2024: Tensions in East Asia, UK Mandatory National Service
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: NetCrawl and Living in Lagrange
Links for the day
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"