Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Maximalists Keep Coming Up With New Terms and Buzzwords to Bypass the Practical Ban on Software Patents

Buzzword
Reference: Buzzword



Summary: The fightback against Section 101 and the US Supreme Court (notably Alice) seems to concentrate on old and new buzzwords, such as "Software as a Medical Device" ("SaMD") or "Fourth Industrial Revolution" ("4IR"), which the EPO recently paid European media to spread and promote

THE demise of software patents is very much real in the United States (the USPTO grants these only if semantic tricks are being used and courts don't easily fall for such semantics). The EPO is another matter, which we deal with separately as it's rather frustrating.

Several days ago Microsoft's old 'shill' Rob Enderle was back to implicitly promoting software patents, piggybacking BlackBerry v Facebook (we covered it earlier this month). "Facebook can afford to license," he wrote, "but is part of a wave of companies that didn't believe in software patents and licensing and seemingly gives its products away for free."

"Several days ago Microsoft's old 'shill' Rob Enderle was back to implicitly promoting software patents, piggybacking BlackBerry v Facebook..."Facebook does believe in software patents and has already pursued many of its own, but don't expect to get facts from Enderle. The only positive thing that Facebook does in the domain of patents is its support of PTAB (through front groups that it's funding).

Either way, as we said above, the main route to software patenting in the US (more so nowadays) is semantic tricks, notably buzzwords like "IoT" and "cloud". The same is true in Europe ("4IR" is the buzzword of choice this year). Days ago, Canadian Lawyer suggested patenting software under the guise of another resurgent hype wave, "artificial intelligence". None of this is new, it's more like a fashion and it's led primarily by marketing-type brainstorms.

How about this upcoming 'webinar' on patenting software under the guise of "medical" and "device"? Judge Corcoran from the EPO had dealt with something like this (he rejected a patent of an EPO partner) before Battistelli put him on "house ban". Even if not a retaliatory move, it does make one wonder...

Watch them coming up with another new buzzword: SaMD.

"...the main route to software patenting in the US (more so nowadays) is semantic tricks, notably buzzwords like "IoT" and "cloud"."To quote: "counsel for companies in the medical device industry on protecting software as a medical device (SaMD), and also discuss the new FDA rules regulating SaMD and how to leverage IP law to protect SaMD."

These sorts of think tanks ('webinars') are sickening, yet Patent Docs, a site of patent maximalists, promoted half a dozens of these yesterday. Here's one from the Boston Patent Law Association and the Federal Circuit Bar Association with "The Impact of Recent Section 101 Patent Eligibility Cases on U.S. Innovation" (sounds like Alice lobbying right there!).

The Federal Circuit Bar Association also gives 'access' to Federal Circuit Judge Kara Stoll (if you're rich enough to be able to afford these massive fees) and there's this "Course on Federal Circuit Practice & Procedure". "The course will provide a comprehensive study of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC)," says the outline. We intend to deal separately with CAFC in our next post, especially in relation to Alice.

"Watch them coming up with another new buzzword: SaMD."Last but not least, Patent Docs promoted another lobbying event ('webinar') of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which is lobbying hard to thwart Alice and water down Section 101.

All in all, we remain rather concerned to see this well-funded lobby for software patents. Especially in a country where it's notoriously easy to simply buy policy. This lobby is already extremely harmful. It often suggests merely disguising such software patents, so courts will deem them invalid as "abstract" rather than invalid as "algorithm" or invalid as "software".

“With the success we have achieved in early implementations along with the patents we've secured for our innovation," said this press release from 6 days ago, "now is the time to build our sales channels and lead the way in 3D vision guidance software.”

"All in all, we remain rather concerned to see this well-funded lobby for software patents."So they're patenting software. In my research area in fact. We often complain about how computer vision patents get granted in the US, sometimes because they're laden/decorated with buzzwords like "artificial intelligence", "machine learning" and so on (these are all mathematics/algorithms).

How about this other new press release which says "Aquiire features patented, real-time B2B e-commerce shopping" (again, that's software!).

Are examiners paying close enough attention to what they're granting and thus making/rendering a de facto monopoly? It takes a lot of money to challenge wrongly-granted patents and Section 101 is all over these. PTAB would be all of these (if it was petitioned to recheck). Here we have PTAB hater Gross bragging about exceptional cases where IBM 'survives' Section 101 and citing the IAM interview with Iancu he goes again into his ALL CAPS rant mode: "SO WE CAN EXPECT MORE ONGOING 101 NONSENSE FROM PT" (Iancu does not intend to change this any time soon).

"Are examiners paying close enough attention to what they're granting and thus making/rendering a de facto monopoly?"The funniest from him (this past week) is this claim that "PTAB continues indiscriminate use of "abstract idea" to destroy US based innovations..."

He must have meant "destroy software patents," which were themselves destroying US based innovations in many domains other than software. Watchtroll has meanwhile published "Dueling Visions of the Patent System, Dueling Visions for America", which again conflates patent maximalism with the "American Dream" and all that malarkey. We frankly try not to give them much attention anymore, except for entertainment purposes (they're a very angry bunch that bullies judges and officials, including the outgoing USPTO Director). We'll say more about judges and courts in our next post.

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