Bonum Certa Men Certa

Hype and Buzzwords Help Disguise Software Patents in the United States, But PTAB Discards Them Regardless

Trying to make algorithms sound a lot more complicated and sophisticated than they really are

The hype



Summary: Using hype and relying on the notion that novelty is implied from fashionable 'IT' trends (like 'cloud', 'AI' and so on), companies continue to receive software patents, but what happens when closer/stronger scrutiny is applied?

ANY time the USPTO grants a software patent it makes us curious; such patents are noteworthy because these are almost never described as software patents. They use buzzwords and misleading terms (the EPO does the same, e.g. with 'words' like "ICT", "CII" and "4IR"). We have repeatedly named some of the buzzwords that are commonly used in the US. Examiners need to watch out and wise up; don't be taken for fools by attorneys.

Software patents ("per se" or "as such") are globally shunned, but they are now formally allowed in China. Not only are these patents counterproductive; they actively harm innovation. But in China, like in the US, the blockchain hype is being exploited to patent algorithms. As one article has just put it:

Apparently, Bank of China, one of the most important commercial banks in the country and the fourth largest, has the intention to work on a solution to scale blockchain systems. The bank has filed a patent application for this process that may help blockchains to scale.


Software patents. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

Here's another new example where software patents are being painted as "drones". The key admission:

"We've effectively made a $1,200 piece of hardware perform like something costing 50 times as much, simply because of our patented software driving the UAS. No one else is doing anything like this," he says.


So it's software. No matter if "[n]o one else is doing anything like this," it's still not patent-eligible.

Another new example comes from PeerLogix's press release. PeerLogix is pursuing bogus patents that are algorithms and moreover it euphemises mass surveillance as "Consumer Data". It's quite common to label such things "big data" because it's a buzzword and thus it can sound rather innovative.

How about "cloud"?

"They just try calling software patents "cloud", as we noted last year. Why are examiners falling for it?"Darryl Taft has just done an IBM puff piece titled "Cloud-centric IBM patents promise payoff" [1, 2]; those are mostly software patents and they're dropping like flies when asserted against those able to afford a legal defence, e.g. PTAB IPR. The article says that a "substantial number of IBM patents for 2017 — more than 1900 out of 9043 total patents — were for cloud technologies, the company disclosed last month. Those numbers illustrate a clear shift in the company’s roadmap for products and services. In past years chip technology dominated IBM’s patent portfolio, which supported the bulk of the company’s business."

They just try calling software patents "cloud", as we noted last year. Why are examiners falling for it? PTAB is thankfully doing a 'sanity check'. For many years if not several decades IBM amassed a large heap of software patents that are worthless after Alice (IBM just lobbies desperately to crush Section 101). IBM cannot maintain this bubble, so it just retreats to a game of buzzwords. Here's the latest example of IBM losing a patent: "IBM loses at PTAB bc its Wednesday: https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2017007705-02-20-2018-1 … “selecting a portion of a document, filtering it to identify a dependent expression,... modifying the document to create a second document.. including a mapping link in a metadata section" is "abstract idea"..."

This is hardly a surprise. We suppose that thousands of not tens of thousands of IBM's patents are bogus patents. But there are so many of these that it's hard to keep track.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft Windows Down to 23% in Spain
the rate of change is noteworthy
Truth is Always Truth
Desperate efforts to suppress the truth resulted in even worse chaos and some people are going to pay for it
GNOME Foundation Welcomes Dolly
It didn't work out with Molly and Holly
 
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
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] It Is Not About Empowerment, It's About Optics for Bigots and Businessmen
Truth hurts
Android Surges to New Highs in Georgia, Windows Plunges to 30% (It Was 99% in 2012)
Until 2012 almost all Web requests there came from Windows
Another Casualty of the 'GAI' Ponzi Scheme: Most of the News Cycle and News Sites
accelerated death of journalism
Empowering Predators Who Fancy Exercising Control Over Women (Using Corporate Money)
Remember this when Google talks about diversity, women etc.
GNU/Linux Continues Its Rapid Growth in July, Today We Look at Belgium
Again, a word of caution: statCounter isn't a perfect yardstick
Links 14/07/2024: Goldman Sachs Says 'Advanced' or 'Generative' Hey Hi (AI) is Just Hype, Thoughts on Negatives
Links for the day
Links 14/07/2024: Perils for AI PC Hype Train, Further Attacks on Freedom of the Press
Links for the day
A Response to Bill Maher's Senseless Attacks on Julian Assange and Wikileaks
published a few hours ago
The List of Sites or Sources for Linux News is Getting Shorter Over Time (Despite GNU and Linux Steadily Growing in Usage)
A lack of publishing begets lack of educated, informed population (a return to Dark Ages where rulers leverage mass ignorance)
The Number of Web Servers Has Gone Down
Cloud fatigue deux?
[Meme] GNOME Foundation's Relationship With Women
Lots more coming soon, so stay tuned
The Smugness of "I'm a Journalist"
Attacking women for expressing their opinions (for example, about the abuse they received) isn't unprecedented
It Takes No Courage to Become Another Corporate Stooge
transition to spam
Why Techrights Has Just Programmatically Blacklisted ZDNet
Even their "Linux" writers are AWOL
Gemini Links 14/07/2024: The Stress of 24/7 Notifications and FOSS tools for Sipeed Tang Nano 1K
Links for the day
Windows Already Down to 10% in Lao (It was 96% a Decade and a Half Ago), Vista 11 Adoption Has Stalled
And GNU/Linux is topping a 1-year high in Loa
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 13, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, July 13, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Links 13/07/2024: Patent Trolls in UK Court of Appeal, Eric Schmidt Continues so Show Womanising at Google
Links for the day
Links 13/07/2024: Not Quite Dead Yet After All and Unfederated E-mail
Links for the day
Holly Million, GNOME Foundation departure after Albanian whistleblower revelations
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Julian Assange’s Brother Gabriel Shipton Explains the Logistics of 'Smuggling' Julian Out of the United Kingdom
a lot of new information and prison stories
[Meme] Like They Got Rid of Molly (and Now Holly)
Pay over 100,000 dollars a year for someone without any background in tech (to "lead" a tech project)
Microsoft Windows Falls to Almost 10% in Palestine (It Was Measured at 100% Just 15 Years Ago)
quite a big drop
Guardianship of the Licence is Not Enough (the Case of Systemd and Microsoft)
Whether the GPL gets enforced or not, if people adopt lousy software, that will have negative consequences
Speaking Out and Spreading the Message of GNU
Free Software Foundation (FSF) got 112 new members since 2.5 weeks ago
[Video] Why Wikileaks Publishing War-Related Documents Was Both Important and Justified
It's important to remember the principle which says privacy is for the powerless, whereas the powerful (like those with the power to kill) deserve not privacy but transparency
3.5 Years in Gemini
It's important to speak about and spread the word (about software freedom, BSD, GNU/Linux, patents etc.) in a medium that's strategic and growing
[Meme] Whoever in GNOME Decided to Attack the G (GNU), It Was a Foolish Miscalculation
How could they expect any outcome other than GNOME's own collapse?
Windows Down to Unprecedented Low in Czech Republic, Android Rises to New Record
From 98% in July 2009 (15 years ago) Windows is down to all-time low of 38% and well below Android
GNOME Foundation Lost Nearly a Million Dollars in 2 Years, IBM and GAFAM Won't Bail It Out Anymore
Seems like a suicide mission
Google News Has Become a Big Pile of Garbage
The issue predates chatbots, but these SEO tricks were accelerated somewhat by slop
OpenAI and ChatGPT Could Very Well Collapse and Shut Down Later This Year (Huge Losses, Sagging Usage Levels, and Massive Debt)
we illuminate the suppressed observations that Microsoft-sponsored publishers and cheaply-made slop (LLM spew disguised as "news") try to distract from
[Meme] Attacking the "G" in GNOME (Since 2009) Was a Mistake
Spending 50,000 pounds to sue women of racial minority
Difficult Times in GNOME Foundation
GNOME Foundation is in "crisis management" or "face-saving" or "damage control" mode
Links 13/07/2024: TikTok Interferences, YouTube Throttled in Russia
Links for the day
Kathy Lette on Julian Assange Staying at Her Attic, Why His Release Matters So Much, and Jen Robinson Staying Over Yesterday
They talk a lot about politics, but the segment mentions publishers, including Rushdie
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 12, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, July 12, 2024
Microsoft Windows Down to a New Low in Canada (Only a Third)
Very steep decline a decade ago